In the wake of any horrific act of violence, be it the terrorist attacks of Sept. 11, 2001, or the heart-wrenching massacre of first graders and their teachers in Newtown, Conn., there is an outpouring of emotions. Perhaps, it is because all of us seek solace as a national grieving community or we want to make sense of what has happened.
Sadly, none of these events make sense.
We can argue for more government intrusion in hopes of foiling future assaults by radicals. We can argue for stricter gun laws to prevent mass shootings. We can blame the mental health community for failing to provide the necessary care the mentally ill need.
Perhaps the systems in place need to be tweaked. We might need better screening at airports. Maybe a ban on assault weapons makes sense. Yes, we should take mental illness more seriously.
But, extreme knee-jerk reactions to such heinous acts only muddy the waters. As difficult as it may be, now is a time for reason.
On a related note, there was an explosion on the local social media scene Monday that there were going to be a shootings at area high schools. Whether these originated as pranks by students, concerned parents or someone else, such comments only incite fear.
Social media can be a helpful tool for communication, but it can also be a detriment. If nothing else, social postings could create a “crying wolf” scenario.
We can weep. We can ponder. We can plan.
But, above all else, we must keep our wits about us.