It is something that we just don't see in Canada: Politically inspired gun violence.
The fatal attack during Pauline Marois' victory speech on Tuesday night in Quebec will certainly spawn all sorts of punditry saying we have moved one step closer to becoming a more violent nation.
But does this solitary explosion of rage signify anything more than an individual's senseless act? Is the political climate in Quebec responsible for the suspect's actions? Will this tragic act escalate fears that Anglophone and Francophone conflicts may increase. We certainly hope that this incident will not be used as easy fodder for political agendas.
We'd like to believe that individuals who strike out with violence are simply irrational. They may be nursing a grudge against the world, individuals, or political parties, but their motivations are fuelled by deep-seated personal troubles. They fixate on a gender, religion, ethnic group, workplace, or politician - but the targets could be anybody or anything. It is, of course, a nonsensical choice.
Certainly, incendiary political rhetoric probably doesn't help these ticking time bombs among us - but one can't blame run-of-the-mill political platforms for inciting violence.
Unless this individual is part of an organized underground political terrorism group with a violent agenda, we suspect it will be another tragic example of a random act by a seriously troubled individual.
We are reminded of the horrific attack on Gabrielle Giffords, a U.S. Democratic Congresswoman, who was seriously injured when a young man shot her at an Arizona shopping center in 2011. Six people died in that attack and 13 were wounded - many critically.
As Gifford noted later, she was saddened for her attacker and his family, realizing the young man's act was a result of mental illness. She chose to view the situation with grief and compassion.
We should follow her example - mourn for the fallen and resist attaching political significance to a tragic event.