As you are sitting here reading this editorial, you aren’t necessarily pondering upon the brevity of life, as worrying means you suffer twice according to our friend Newt Scamander in the film “Fantastic Beasts and Where to Find Them.” However, for North Park Elementary School teacher Karen Elaine Smith and her student, 8-year-old Jonathan Martinez, the brevity of life came into fruition as Smith’s estranged husband, Cedric Anderson, marched into the San Bernardino, Calif. school and opened fire, killing both Smith and Martinez while also injuring another student. After the massacre, Anderson killed himself, thus being ruled a “murder-suicide,” according to CNN.
While this is the second instance of extreme violence in the San Bernardino community in the past two years, following the terrorist attack that killed 14 people back in December of 2015, this wickedness should not deter individuals from living their life as they normally would. Though college is seen as a period of anxiety and constant worry, we can’t second-guess our security every time we step outside and go to a party or take a voyage to the beach.
Worry seems to be ingrained in the minds of students and, consequently, their parents, as we constantly hear about incidents happening on college campuses that range from sexual assault to school shootings. While it’s important to always be on your guard just in case you witness any suspicious behavior, it’s also crucial that you don’t spend every minute of every day worrying about the potential occurrence of these incidents, because such tragedies are very rare in the grand scheme of things.
Whenever occurrences like the recent murder-suicide at North Park Elementary School happen, they garner vast amounts of news coverage, and rightly so; however, the danger of this is that it causes audiences to be extra wary about going out late at night and overall more cautious than usual. As we mentioned earlier, it’s important for students to be on their guard when going out late at night, not just after a tragedy like this happens, but all year round.
It’s true that an incident like this recent murder-suicide brings to the forefront the idea that as college students, we ought to be on our guard whenever we find ourselves in a suspicious situation. While this is the case, we must not let this take over our lives to the point where we’re constantly worrying about a tragedy occurring to us or our loved ones.
Thus, we must not look at an event like the murder-suicide in San Bernardino with fear, but rather with increased caution.