How scared is too scared when it comes to mass shootings?

Wednesday became another day of mass shooting news following a workplace shooting in Maryland.

With what seems to be weekly news about shootings, it’s easy to see how some people become afraid of certain settings. Dr. Pauline Wallin calls it “emotional reasoning.”

She explained that means believing something must be true because you feel it is true. Also, she says risk seems higher when an event is perceived as uncontrollable, unforeseeable, having catastrophic potential or socially enhanced through media.

If someone is unable to calm themselves by taking a few breaths when panic hits, it’s probably time to talk to a professional, Wallin said.

“If you find you are making decisions not to go out and that you don’t attend church or you don’t go shopping, you’re afraid to go anywhere … then you probably need to see a professional,” she said.

Wallin added that statistical risk does not correlate with perceived risk and offered some examples.

Each year, 30,000 to 40,000 people die in crashes. About 135,000 kids go emergency rooms with sports-related injuries. Since 1982, 725 people have been killed in mass shootings.

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