Today is an orange day, so be aware.
The orange day has nothing to do with fire danger in the hills or whether the pollution levels are low enough to where you can use your fireplace. It means it is likely we can … maybe … umm, probably have a terrorist attack.
If you read your Collegian Wednesday, you would have noticed we ran a story about how students are responding to the heightened state of terrorism alert.
Many students were confused about how the system works and many students weren’t worried about a terrorist attack happening here.
This is probably because of the silly and confusing nature of the alert system.
The terrorism alert should simply be labeled “high alert,” “low alert,” and the like. At least then we would know what it means. But this cute color-coded system just dumbs it down so much that it loses meaning and causes confusion.
Also, the quoted students in The Collegian story seemed desensitized for two reasons: the system has suffered from the “cry wolf” syndrome because nothing ever happens – thank goodness – so people think terrorism could never happen in Fort Collins.
As far as “crying wolf,” the alerts should at least tell people what presents a danger and why. The vague “be alert” and “be vigilant” warnings don’t help, especially when people become desensitized to them.
And terrorism can happen in Fort Collins. We have a Centers for Disease Control and Prevention lab here, which could be a target. Any smart terrorist would hit a place were security is lax and people are complacent.
New York, Washington and other big cities are more secure than Fort Collins. If you wanted to hit a soft target, why not a small town like ours?
Terrorists kill people; there are people here.
Plus, Denver is just a few miles down the road, and if something happened there, we would surely feel it.
So we ask our fellow students to pay attention to the alerts and be aware, even if the system in place needs fixing.