Tuesday, January 11, 2011

My Take on Tucson's Tragedy

Since the tragic shooting in my adopted town a million words have been written and spoken about the climate of hate that has been part of our political system.  As has been repeatedly noted, we will never know exactly what motivated the shooter, Jared Loughner. 

I do not believe it is simply words that caused this terrible act.  I believe that there are three parts that resulted in the culmination of this tragedy that need to be addressed.  

  1. Vile words of hate and vengeance have created an atmosphere that justifies a criminal act in the mind of a disturbed person.   When there is talk by politicians in the halls of congress of using the second amendment rights to solve a problem WE have a serious problem. 

  2. Those on the 'right' are trying to distance themselves from the heated rhetoric that has  become a staple of the FOX network talking heads and of some of the Tea Party crowd.  It  simply won't wash, because we have all seen the guns at the Tea Party rally's, heard the hate spewed rants, and  seen the signs promoting this ugly emotion.  If we are aware of it, then it's logical that an  unbalanced person can be influenced by the words and might feel justified in carrying out the vile message.  It has been  proven that Jared intended to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords.  This was premeditated.
  4. I was furious when I heard John Kyle (Republican Senator for AZ) criticize our Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, for (as Kyle put it) 'politicizing the shooting.'  It was politicized when a U. S, Congresswoman was shot.  That's why we called it an attempted assassination and not an attempted  murder.  Kyle is a  lawyer so he can't be excused for ignorance.  He is just an oily jerk.

  5. The ease of obtaining a gun:  To me this is the issue that we should be concentrating on.
  1. Our gun laws are so lax that they may as well not exist.  First and foremost:  unless you are a member of the military or law enforcement you have no reason to own an automatic weapon.  Those weapons are made to kill people and to kill as many people as possible rapidly.  There is no other use for them PERIOD.  They should be banned.
  3. The powerful NRA lobby has so cowed our representatives, or bribed them with obscene contributions to their campaigns, that they even let the law expire (under George W. Bush) that made the manufacture and selling of extended ammunition clips illegal.  Now anyone can buy one and, therefore, kill a whole slew of innocent people before anyone has time to  react.

  4. Mental Illness:  How many times after a massacre (such as the shooting of the students at Columbine High School) have we heard that the sign of mental illness was evident in the shooter(s) long before the evil act was carried out?  We need to educate people on the signs of mental illness so they will see that the sick receive the help they need before they go over the brink.
  6. This must be followed up by better funding for mental illness.  It is shoved under the carpet when money is allocated for health care.  The result is that we are all at risk when a  demented person is free to carry out heinous deeds. 
It irritates me that most of the national media when telling of the victims state: The congresswoman was shot along with Judge Bolton and a  9 year old girl.  Why do they fail to mention the 3 women in their 70's and the young aide to Gabrielle who was to be married next year?  Not all are so dismissive of those victims, of course, but most are.  As Ronni would say, "What are they - chopped liver?"  One of those women was a blogger and was shot three times.  Her name is Ashleigh Burrows and she writes the blog The Burrow.

Please keep those who are the victims of this crime in your thoughts long after the news media move on to another story.  And help in any way that you can to prevent further carnage by demanding strong gun laws, toning down the rhetoric, and pushing for the funding of mental illness.

Our representatives should not be allowed to avoid these issues after the news dies down, as they have in the past.

(Please ignore the extra numbers.  I have tried in vain to edit this without them, but blog spot has it's own idea and I have failed to outwit it.)


Kay Dennison said...

Points well taken. Rain had an excellent post on guns today that I think is worthy of note.

Banning guns is not the answer -- criminals and anyone so inclined would still have them.

paula said...

I'm with you on this, Darlene. All three points are well taken. Gun laws vary from state to state, in addition to federal lasws, so this is a good time for those in lax states, like Arizona, to rethink how they're managing lethal firepower. I don't know anyone against guns for hunting, but no one needs military weapons,like semi-automatics, except maybe law enforcement and definitely the military (to protect US).

Anonymous said...

Darlene, I'm a reader and commenter on a/b's blog and like you reeling from the events in our hometown. You hit this issue right on the head. Thank you.

Joy Des Jardins said...

You nailed it as far as I'm concerned Darlene....great post.

20th Century Woman said...

Darlene, you always get right to the point with good sense and logical analysis. What you say is exactly right. I'd like to post this on my facebook page.

Looking to the Stars said...

Good post, as always.

ellen said...

I've been wondering myself why so little attention has been drawn to the other victims. Thanks for reminding us that many were injured.

janinsanfran said...

Dear Darlene -- somehow I had forgotten that you are located in Arizona, so I am just now catching up with your reactions. Agree with all your points.

You never see numbered lists on on my blog because I too can't get the numbers to behave the way I want them.