THE killing of MP David Amess was an attack on our democracy. In the coming days and weeks, we will learn more about the motivation of his killer and the events that led up to his death.

In this, as in all prominent news stories, we must separate speculation from fact and be wary of those knee-jerk takes that are too certain, too soon, to be credible.

What we do know is that Amess was killed while fulfilling his duties as an MP. He was attacked during one of his regular constituency surgeries at around noon on Friday and reportedly stabbed up to 17 times.

Despite the heroic efforts of the paramedics who attended the scene, Amess died soon afterwards. A man has been arrested on suspicion of murder and held under the Terrorism Act.

The grief of Amess’s family, friends and colleagues doesn’t bear thinking about. We can only hope they are given the privacy and space they need to process their loss and support one another.

READ MORE: SNP MP pays tribute to 'good friend' Sir David Amess after 'shocking' death

Many people would not have heard of Sir David Amess before the brutality of his death launched his face on to the news channels and front pages. The tributes to him over the last few days have told of a dedicated parliamentarian, a warm and supportive friend and a devoted father and husband.

He has been described as funny, energetic and a diligent public servant.

When the news broke, our thoughts immediately went to Jo Cox (below) and the similar horror of her untimely death.

Two MPs have been murdered in the last five years.

The National:

House of Commons Speaker Sir Lindsay Hoyle has committed to an immediate review of security arrangements for MPs. The Presiding Officer of the Scottish Parliament, Alison Johnstone, has said that she will be in touch with all MSPs to discuss any concerns they have for their safety.

It’s natural to look for instant answers in the wake of a preventable tragedy. We want to close the loopholes, plug the gaps and give ourselves the re-assurance of knowing that we did everything we could to stop it happening again.

We saw this after the murder of Cox. So, how are we here yet again, reading tributes to a public servant slain while carrying out his public duties?

While we can’t legislate or plan for every eventuality, there are things that could happen now that would help. We need to take threats against politicians seriously.

There are some that seem content to see our representatives threatened, harassed and abused, as long as they are on the other “side”.

There is, of course, a huge difference between threats and criticism. The latter is one feature of the job, the former is a poison that is infecting our democracy.

Politicians, often women and more often women of colour, say that threats of murder and sexual violence are worryingly common.

Social media companies need to act. It’s long past time that their huge and unfettered power came with an expectation of responsibility.

​READ MORE: House of Commons suspends business to allow MPs to pay respects to David Amess

Home Secretary Priti Patel is said to be considering removing the right to anonymity on social media to prevent the “cruel and relentless” abuse of MPs and others.

Speaking about Sir David’s murder on Sky News yesterday, she said: “This is about wider public discourse and I would go as far to say social media and anonymity on social media, where Members of Parliament are the subject of some of the most cruel comments and attacks, and they are relentless.”

It might look like an easy answer but it’s not the right one. Shadow foreign secretary Lisa Nandy told the same programme that Patel’s comments were “a bit rich” given that her party refused to support Labour’s attempt to have penalties imposed on big tech executives who allowed their platforms to be used for abuse. She also pointed out that the removal of anonymity could have far-reaching an unintended consequences.

“The difficulty with removing anonymity altogether is that you’ve got pro-democracy protesters and campaigners, you’ve got whistleblowers, people around the world who sometimes have to use some level of anonymity in order to make themselves heard,” Nandy said.

We don’t yet know whether Amess’s alleged killer made online threats towards the MP. There has, thus far, been no suggestion he did.

The likelihood is that removing online anonymity would have not prevented this tragedy. In truth, there is no one measure or one piece of legislation that would have.

​READ MORE: Priti Patel won't rule out banning anonymity on social media after David Amess death

Politicians hold a unique role in our society. It is right they are held to account for how they undertake that role. But that does not mean that they should feel unsafe at work. That does not mean that police protection, home security systems and panic alarms should be a necessary part of the job.

They work for and on behalf of the public. That sense of duty should cut both ways.

We can’t fix our toxic politics, online hate or extremism with one piece of legislation, but listening to the concerns of public servants who, at this moment, will be feeling more fearful than ever, would be a good start.