Since an armed man burst through its doors and murdered 49 people earlier this month, Pulse Nightclub in Orlando has been a crime scene and backdrop for TV live shots.
In the days following the shooting, club owner Barbara Poma promised to reopen the club because she refuses to let fear take a special place away from her patrons. The timeframe for the club’s reopening is unclear, but Poma’s vow to open Pulse’s doors again has started a discussion about whether the club should ever reopen.
Some say that there’s no question it should, because it will be seen as a symbol of strength not only for Orlando’s LGBT community, but for Orlando as a whole. Closing the club down, they argue, would mean that fear wins. Others caution that trauma manifests itself differently in different people, and that while the experience of returning to the club may be therapeutic for some, it could also further traumatize others because of the memories and emotions it invokes of the night of the shooting.
Do you think Pulse should reopen as a nightclub? Why or why not? Should it be gutted and renovated or simply reopened with a memorial to the victims?
Charles Figley, Ph.D., founder and director of the Traumatology Institute at Tulane University, where he is also a professor in the School of Social Work; he is an expert in disaster mental health