Aaron Jasper (L) and Jackie Pickering hold flowers outside the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line (Shannon Stapleton/REUTERS).
Aaron Jasper, left, and Jackie Pickering hold flowers outside the barricaded entrance at Boylston Street near the finish line. (Shannon Stapleton/Reuters)

We’re particularly vulnerable right now. We’ve been attacked, and we don’t know yet who did it. Any siren could mean another attack within hearing distance. We can read about or watch and listen to the horror. We can’t do much else (the Red Cross says they have enough blood).

And we can speculate about who did it, how, and why.

The Post’s editorial on the Boston tragedy praises the calm and caution with which responders helped victims yesterday. Authorities, too, and media were cautious for the most part, given the huge unknowns surrounding the story. It’s frustrating not to know key details, and it’s easy to fill in information gaps with one’s personal biases.

So we got a fair amount of rampant speculation in the comments to The Post editorial, prompting other commenters’ disgust:

robertshriner

Is this the site where you hide behind a keyboard and throw insults? Geez- I just read the article and accidentally scrolled down too far.

But there were many, many commenters willing to suspend the usual bare-knuckle boxing that happens in comments:

hitpoints 

Yes, this is that site. Just being honest, not snarky with you. Though I certainly am guilty of treating these forums as entertaining jousting, I can’t act like that regarding this news. Let’s have some humanity, people.

And scolding the minority who are certain, or at least willing to guess, that this is the work of Muslims or militias.

Soulstranger

If you find yourself WANTING one group or another to be responsible for the bombing in Boston because it would advance your political agenda – you need help. Take a deep breath, step back and wait until the facts comes out before slinging any mud.

Commenters are impressed and proud of those runners and spectators who rushed in to help:

DownTheMiddle

I was glad to see hundreds of volunteers rushing to the aid of those who were injured. I have to admit, the second I saw a bomb explode, I would resort to the knowledge of how Al Qaeda plants additional devices to go off 3 minutes later after 1st responders jump in to help. Appears we were lucky that whomever did this wasn’t particularly astute to the more brutal tactics of AQI, or perhaps they’re a rank amateur like the Times Square bomber. Perhaps the Patriot Act has put in place some monitoring of purchases that allow us to neuter those who want to do real damage, and that’s allowing for the fact that yesterday resulted in real carnage for those involved.

criticalobserver

Be grateful that you live in the US. The Boston police and the FBI have good chance of finding the culprit(s) without enhanced interrogation, though it might take longer than under a dictator.

erinoconnell

Having run a marathon, I can say that no other event compares in terms of the camaraderie and solidarity amongst the runners and spectators: people gather on the sidelines [to] cheer on strangers and offer support, especially near the finish line. Those happy, caring supporters were targeted in this attack. It rivals Newtown in the innocence of the victims and the psychological pain the rest of us feel, having our sense of security shattered by violence in a place it is least expected.

ScrumMaster1

For those of us who are runners we need to keep on running. Next year in Boston.