If you’ve tuned into the news this morning, you probably know that even as reports circulate that the two main suspects in the Charlie Hebdo murders may be holed up with hostages, it seems another hostage situation, possibly linked to the earlier killings, has developed at a kosher supermarket in Paris. Agence France-Presse is reporting that two people have been killed at that venue.

This is, of course, an environment in which rumors and false reports flourish, but it’s also true a small number of heavily armed people with little regard for their own or others’ lives can do a lot of damage very quickly.

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Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.