Just because it’s a false alarm doesn’t mean authorities overreacted

A friend of Sol Pais, the 18-year-old Floridian who set off a hunt for her because of concern he might intend to do harm to others, says law enforcement authorities overreacted.

“She never threatened anyone. There are no credible threats and only assumptions that she was (a threat) just because the word Columbine was used,” Michigan college student Adrianna Pete told The Associated Press.

Judge for yourself: Pais was obsessed with the 1999 massacre two boys carried out at Columbine High School in Colorado, some of those who knew her have said. When she disappeared last week, on the eve of the 20th anniversary of the killings, someone was worried enough to call the authorities. Police in Colorado began looking for her. A number of schools there were closed as a precaution.

Pais surfaced at a gun shop in Denver — where she bought a shotgun, legally. Her body was found in a campground, where she apparently had used the gun to take her own life.

So, did law enforcement authorities overreact?

Absolutely not.

Too many times in the past, we have heard reports that people who committed mass murders had been “on the radar” of law enforcement agencies, who did not act quickly enough to prevent the killings. Likewise, we have heard of people who knew others they believed to be dangerously unbalanced, but who did not alert police until after some horrific event occurred.

So no, no one overreacted regarding Pais.

If anything, law enforcement agencies from Florida to Colorado reacted to the situation as most of us would hope they would. Good for them.


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