It?s time…

The news out of Montgomery County, Md., isn’t good. Then again, not much good news has come from a series of killings linked to an anonymous sniper who has murdered random victims in Maryland, the District of Columbia and Virginia.

A bus driver was killed before daylight Tuesday as he stood inside his bus in Aspen Hill, Md. And, like the 12 times before, the shooter got away clean. Hopefully this random act of violence won’t keep people off the buses.

Even as the latest shootings go unsolved, it’s imperative that we not perpetuate this atmosphere of anxiety and apprehension. The killer hasn’t run short of possible victims. He’s striking over a larger geographical area and has yet to set any sort of pattern based on time or day of the week.

Isn’t it clear by now that no amount of precautions are foolproof against what appears to be 10 senseless killings in our area at the hands of a serial sniper? The sniper has struck despite the endless opinions from various experts on what a frightened public should do. It’s important that our communities do not to give into fear.

It’s time we stopped running for cover and get on with our daily lives. It’s time to stop crouching while pumping gas and it’s time to stop zig-zagging through parking lots. It’s also time to begin playing football once again. Too many community activities have been cast aside to accommodate the arbitrary madness of a killer.

Closing the schools or locking them down hasn’t deterred the sniper but it has proven what the actions of one maniac can do to an entire region. It’s time to go shopping and visit friends. It’s time to play golf, basketball or go jogging. It’s time to enjoy the colors of a beautiful autumn with friends and family.

Local, state and federal law enforcement agencies have dedicated much time and effort to finding the killer while keeping watch over a public exposed to his random violence. It’s also time for members of the public to keep a closer eye on what’s going on around them. Criminals are often foiled by the vigilant eyes of neighbors. It’s time we all kept an eye out for our neighbors’ safety while keeping another eye out for the suspicious acts of the killer.

Most of all, however, it’s time to go about our daily lives free from paralyzing fear.

A community that shuts down because of such random tragic events only encourages the next maniac who wants to achieve the same goal.

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