WTVM 4/18/14 Editorial: Better to be safe than sorry

(WTVM) - When Auburn University decided to shut down the campus April 16 after a threat of violence, officials did the only thing they could do - they acted with "an over abundance of caution" -- their exact words -- to keep the campus community safe.

It was the same day as the seventh anniversary of the Virginia Tech shooting and nobody at Auburn was taking any chances. It was the right thing to do.

At almost the same time, 1,100 miles to the north, a disturbed man in Boston placed a rice cooker in a backpack near the Boston Marathon bombing site, creating fear and anger by leaving the backpack unattended near the location of the bombing anniversary activities.

Police in Boston had no choice but to destroy the backpack and arrest the man who is in need of serious psychiatric help.

These two incidents are clear examples of the need to act decisively to protect the public.

If Auburn had not shut down the campus, and a criminal act had actually happened, there would be no forgiving that lack of protection.

If Boston police were not alert in the same way, tragedy might have repeated itself.

That's the difficult part of security but it's necessary in these uncertain times.

Better safe than sorry is a cliché precisely because it is true.

In five or 10 years, no one may remember the "over abundance of caution" in Auburn and Boston last week... but we'll sleep better because of it.

General Manager Holly Steuart brings two editorials a week to WTVM. If you would like to respond to an editorial, e-mail your response to WTVM Editorial Committee or write to:

WTVM Editorial Committee
1909 Wynnton Road
Columbus, GA 31906

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