No one ever went to Walt Disney World expecting to be attacked by an alligator. Little 2-year-old Lane Graves lost his life to an alligator recently while his family vacationed at Disney's Grand Floridian. We cannot imagine the emotional horror of the Graves family losing their son while simply wading in shallow water at the small beach adjacent to the hotel.
I've been to Walt Disney World maybe five times. Many Americans have never been. I never really thought about danger in years past when taking my children. Walt Disney World has been the place where Americans and internationals have sought to get away from it all for a day or two of vacation and happiness. I've been on some extremely fast roller coasters there and thought they were scary but never really entertained a thought of being in danger. The parents of Lane Graves never dreamed that they nor their little son were in danger at Walt Disney World.
Florida is filled with alligators and snakes. They are everywhere and growing. Every year there is a hunt on pythons in the Everglades. They have multiplied way of control. Alligators have become a nuisance as well. Who wants to be afraid to walk through their subdivision at night because of the possibility of an alligator attack?
Walt Disney World royally screwed up. They knew alligators existed in their lakes and ponds and should have taken every means possible to protect their patrons. Walt Disney World and all the tourists will go on with fun and mega millions of income every week. Lane Graves is dead. His parents will never emotionally get over this trauma. A hundred million dollar settlement will never bring him back nor take away the pain of this family.
Media have reported new signs and barriers have gone up at this lake and other areas where there might be danger. This is our common reaction to such tragedy. Whenever a car goes over a bad curve and someone is killed then the highway department will put up a guardrail. When a bridge crumbles and hundreds of motorists plummet to their death then the state and federal government will build a new bridge. When terrorists take over airplanes and ram them into our skyscrapers and kill thousands of people then we enact safety measures to try to prevent it from happening again. When ISIS begins driving tanks, armored cars and storming communities and towns on our Mexican border then what will we do? Will then think, "Hmm, maybe we should build a wall?" Or, will we think, "Hmmm, maybe our citizens need guns to defend themselves after all?" In most cases severe loss of life and pain and suffering have taken place before we come up with defense plan.
Disney World now has come up with some measures to warn and prevent further loss of life. They now have signs, barriers and reportedly are getting rid of alligators that they can find in the ponds and lakes. This is all too late for the family from Nebraska. However, hopefully lives will be spared in the future.
Could there be a lesson from Walt Disney World for America? We cannot simply pretend that there is no threat. The threat to our safety in this country is real. ISIS, radical Islam, and a crazy mindset that threatens harm to every American is real. We must utilize every ounce of prevention available to keep us safe. Building a wall, maintaining our Second Amendment rights and keeping Americans warned and abreast that danger truly exists. Police, FBI and local communities must work together to protect our nation. Mom used to say "an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure." Disney should have thought ahead and done more. Our country must wake up and do more. Prevention at every level will save our country and way of life down the road. Ignoring prevention will lead to more pain and suffering for our country. Being proactive and not reactive to everything in this country would save us a lot of grief.
- Glenn Mollette is an American syndicated columnist and author. He is the author of 11 books and read in all 50 states. This column does not necessarily reflect the view of any organization, institution or this paper or media source.