To go without saying, my prayers and thoughts have been and remained with all the victims of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona days ago. I admit that I am not often surprised or shocked by most incidents in the world including violent acts but this act of terror and senseless murder against a sitting Congresswoman and everyday people has been shocked and angered me. I am angered not simply by this evil act but by the reactions of some people, both high profile and everyday persons. They range from finger-pointing to outright disinterest and lack of care in the terrible act that occurred that day.
The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, is truly a sorry excuse for a human being and should be forever remembered as cowardly and evil little man whose only achievement in life is the killing of innocent Americans who were observing one of their most basic rights as citizens as to meet and speak with their elected member of Congress. No matter what his reasoning or motive there is no excuse or justification for this most heinous act of violence...
Possibly more troubling than the actions of the shooter are the reactions I have gotten from talking about this with others. The vast majority were as you would expect, sadden and disturbed by this act. However, a small number I have spoken to or listen to in the last few days have troubled and angered me greatly.
From watching MSNBC or other Liberal media sources, you would notice that many people, both commentators, politicians, and ordinary people are already putting the blame of this attack on the "Right wing" fringe of American politics and even the Tea Party movement itself. And while it is plausible to connect fiery partisan rhetoric from conservative politicians or commentators to such actions, it is a very short-sighted and erroneous connection. I will leave the issue of responsibility and harsh partisan rhetoric for another day because from what I have seen there is little evidence to suggest this is the 'cause' of the shooting. From what has been released so far this disturbed man's political beliefs are all over the spectrum. According to people that knew him and things he has published online, He is: Anti-religion, Anti-abortion, pro-gold standard, and overall anti-government. He listed some of his favorite books that include "Mein Kampf" (Rightist), "Communist Manifesto" (Leftist), "We the Living" (Anti-communist), and others. From what I can tell this young man's political beliefs are hardly typical of a Liberal or Conservative and were all over the map which is not surprising knowing how disturbed this man is. So the idea of this attack being motivated or caused solely by either major political belief seems hardly true.
But the most troubling conversation I have had in recent days was of a different kind entirely. Instead of blaming "the Right" for helping to create such a troubled man as others have done, this person blamed the victims. This person had not seen the news and I gave him the information I had about who was shot and how many and what little information was known of the shooter at the time. What was this mans reaction? "Was she a Republican or Democrat?"....I honestly can't described how disgusted and angry I felt after hearing such a stupid, irrelevant, and heartless question. It should make no difference if Mrs. Giffords was a Republican or Democrat, violence against any politician is terrible and has no place in our society. I then mentioned the deaths of the Federal judge and young girl to this person. His response was that it was a shame a young girl was killed but the death of the Federal judge didn't bother him at all. From how he saw it, the actions of Democrats and Liberals (which he must have assumed the Federal judge was) fully justified such an act and it was just a shame 'innocent' people got killed or hurt. This conversation truly bothered me because I have had many conversations with this man before and I would never had guessed he would respond in such a way. I knew he was no fan of the President or Democrats in general but to think such an ordinary regular man could have such disdain for those he does not agree with politically and have such disregard for the loss of innocent life...It's truly shocking and disgusting. Such a person in my mind is no much better than the perpetrator of this heinous crime.
Let us, as Americans, remember that day as one of great tragedy and one of reflection. Regardless of our political differences or beliefs, there is no justification for the killing of innocent people and the attempted murder of an elected representative of the people, as such an act in not only completely and wholly un-American, but inhuman as well.