2012-12-20 / Editorial

Scattering Seeds

BY JOHN A. MURPHY

Tomorrow is the 24th anniversary of the bombing of Pan Am flight 103. Despite the horror and magnitude of mass killings that have been perpetrated since, it is important that we not let the terrible event at Lockerbie on Dec. 21, 1988, fade from our collective consciousness.

Two Jamestown families lost loved ones in that terrible event. They, of course, will never forget.

All 270 people on the plane, and 11 that were on the ground, were killed as the result of the detonation of a bomb placed by terrorists, who were agents of Col. Muammar Gaddafi’s corrupt regime in Libya.

Such unspeakable acts diminish us all in many ways, some not entirely obvious. The enormous cruelty and craven waste deprives communities and the world of talent and future contributions. Families and friends of the killed are robbed of love and nurture, of the joy of a treasured presence in their lives.

Accordingly, it is entirely appropriate that we seek ways to prevent similar tragic events from occurring in the future.

Our nation’s leaders are now seeking a wise course of action following another unspeakable act of violence. We know from experience that sometimes a bit of freedom and individual autonomy has to be sacrificed for the greater good. We also know that careful thought must precede the imposition of all such restrictions upon citizens. The test of efficacy (“will it achieve the desired objective”) is critically important in evaluating proposals designed to protect us.

And we must keep in mind that the law of unintended consequences is inexorable in its application.

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