By Molly Snyder Senior Writer Published Dec 09, 2007 at 5:27 AM

Earlier this week, a 19-year-old man walked into a mall in Omaha, Neb., and opened fire, killing eight people and eventually himself. In February, a similar shooting spree took place in a mall near Salt Lake City.

This month, many of us will hop from mall to mall, searching for the perfect holiday gift. Do the recent tragedies affect your willingness to shop in a mall? Are you more likely to shop online or at smaller stores in light of this year’s mall rampages?

No. What happened in Omaha and Salt Lake City this year was devastating, but these events will not hinder me from shopping in malls. Tragedy can happen at any time, in any place, so you cannot make decisions based on fear. The chances of dying in a car accident are much greater then the chance of being murdered in a mall, yet we all drive around in our cars every day. We live in a dangerous world, and there’s no way to completely protect ourselves from that.

Yes. Sure, the world is a dangerous place and tragedy can strike at any time, but you can reduce your chances of being in the wrong place at the wrong time by staying away from places with recent streaks of violence. There are too many “copy cats” out there who hear about something like a mall shooting and then plan their own. It’s just not worth the risk, so I will probably shop less in a mall this holiday season than I would under normal circumstances.

I don’t shop at malls anyway.
It doesn’t affect my shopping procedure because I don’t care for malls in the first place.

Molly Snyder started writing and publishing her work at the age 10, when her community newspaper printed her poem, "The Unicorn.” Since then, she's expanded beyond the subject of mythical creatures and written in many different mediums but, nearest and dearest to her heart, thousands of articles for OnMilwaukee.

Molly is a regular contributor to FOX6 News and numerous radio stations as well as the co-host of "Dandelions: A Podcast For Women.” She's received five Milwaukee Press Club Awards, served as the Pfister Narrator and is the Wisconsin State Fair’s Celebrity Cream Puff Eating Champion of 2019.