Staff editorial: Overreaction to sniper

There are ten victims and eight are dead. The D.C.-area sniper has struck fear in the community through unbelievable accuracy and deception. The community is so shocked by this abnormal assault on the District that presumably one man has been able to affect an alarming amount of day-to-day activities of ordinary citizens.

Homecoming football games and dances, mostly in D.C. suburbs, have been postponed or cancelled – along with SAT testing and an array of other school and community events. The public, attempting to be as safe as possible, is giving in to the threat and giving the sniper what he or she wants.

The community reaction is partially justified, considering the randomness of the attacks, the “it can happen anywhere” mentality and the positives of erring on the side of caution. But the community is over-reacting. The mass cancellations and postponements are overkill. School boards, little leagues, community centers and city governments should allow parents and individuals to make decisions regarding situational safety themselves.

In countries like Israel, where suicide bombings are a frequent occurrence, citizens are determined not to give in to the threat. Israelis continue to ride crowded buses everyday with the constant threat of bus-bombings. But near the District, the sniper threat is keeping children from playing sports, couples from having weddings and a community from experiencing life as usual.

Security measures need to be taken and can be expected with the sniper still at large, but citizens should not cancel life events because of constant fear of the sniper. Understanding another attack is possible, officials are doing the best they can to avoid providing a target, but locking down the community is not the answer.

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