Terror attack in France rattles some in SWFL


NAPLES, Fla. — People in Southwest Florida are reacting to the latest in a string of deadly terror attacks around the world with a mixture of trepidation and resilience.

The truck attack in France overnight Thursday is part of a trend that WINK News contributor and political psychologist Dr. Bart Rossi doesn’t think will go away anytime soon.

“We should be prepared for more terrorist attacks,” Rossi said. “These people who are terrorists start identifying maybe with ISIS or al-Qaida, and then they get radicalized pretty much on their own through the internet.”

The combined effect of the attacks has left Naples resident Vicki Gwaltney overwhelmed, sad and confused. She told WINK News she avoids crowds and calls her children more often.

“It makes me afraid to go outside,” Gwaltney said. “I don’t even like going in the malls now.”

Others say they’re desensitized by it all. Both reactions are normal, Rossi said, adding that the most effective way forward is to live life to its fullest.

“We need to think of how we put things into context, and the only we can get back at
terrorists is to thrive,” he said. “Be successful and to thrive.”

Jacques Cariot, owner of the French restaurant Bleu Provence on 1234 Eighth St. S. in Naples, isn’t letting the latest attack on France stop him from doing just that. He found out about what happened in the midst of a Bastille Day celebration in the restaurant.

Cariot said he and the restaurant patrons all joined in singing the French national anthem upon hearing the news.

Cariot’s son lives roughly 40 minutes by car away from the site of the attacks. He was unharmed, but the issue of terror is complicated when it comes to children.

Southwest Florida resident Karen Streeter said she’s concerned about how to discuss terror attacks at home without causing fear. Regardless, the subject consistently comes up.

“I think its always a conversation that we have constantly in our home at the dinner table,” Streeter said.



Rossi said children crave concrete answers.

“Parents need to say to kids, listen, there are some bad people out there,” he said. “They want to do terrible things but there are risks we take every day. There might be an auto accident but we do drive in the car every day.”


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