It has been a week since the awful tragedy in Tucson. Where six people lost their lives, and their families are still grieving. A week ago I had asked that we let law enforcement do their job and investigate. Not to point fingers, not to lay any blame, until we know the facts. Today, we now know a lot more about the shooter, and what happened.
Just hours after the shooting in Tucson, there was a call to tone down the political rhetoric. Those on the left blamed Sarah Palin’s map, that showed a bullseye over various districts. As the attacks grew louder, Mrs. Palin defended her actions in a video posting to facebook, which drew even more rhetoric from the left. Even the sheriff presiding over the investigation, took a shat at the political rhetoric. There was even a law proposed banning the use of speech or images that could be perceived as being inflammatory or could instigate violence. There were even calls to reinstate the fairness doctrine. Those ideas were quickly dashed as we learned more about who this guy really was. Still there are calls for civility from both sides of the aisle, most of which have fallen on deaf ears.
There is now a call for more gun control, specifically, denying those who are mentally ill the ability to legally purchasing a gun. There is also a call to ban large capacity magazines. There is talk in some quarters that somehow our schools have fail him; that he should have been identified early and gotten help. There is also a discussion about how hard it is to have someone involuntarily committed for mental health reasons. I’m sure as time goes on there will be even more discussions about how this program failed or that agency didn’t do what it was suppose to.
The one thing that made this tragedy stand out is that Congresswoman Giffords was seriously injured. This is truly sad, she was doing her job, meeting with her constituents, in about as open forum as one can get.
Anyone should be able to run for office, and hold that office, if they are otherwise qualified for, without the fear of being physically harmed. Our elected lawmakers should be able to meet with their constituents without the fear of being shot. At the same time their constituents should be able to meet with elected officials without having to go through a full body scan or ‘enhanced’ pat downs.
A Commenter posted on January 9th
Those who run for public office?who agree to be leaders?put themselves out there in the public eye. They are noticeable to the ?crazies? Everyone who runs for a public office faces this issue eventually Whether it is while you are knocking on doors meeting people and attempted to win an election?or after the election when you walk through the metal detector on the way into a courthouse.
Lawmakers at all levels are reviewing their security. It shouldn’t take a tragedy like this to review security, it should happen at least annually. I recently had several e-mail exchanges with several state and county lawmakers. None of them felt particularly unsafe running for office or preforming their jobs. Several of these people routinely make themselves available to the general public, because it how they find out what the people they represent think. They also stated that law enforcement does a good job. Normally an uniformed officer presence is all that is needed to keep everyone in check. While some discussions might become heated, there is rarely the threat of violence.
This was an irrational action carried out by someone who is irrational themselves, we can not apply our rational thinking to understand why. We don’t need to know the why, we just need to know the he committed the act. We can pass more laws, however most of our laws are reactionary. They take effect once the act is done, then there is a penitence to be paid for it. Anyway it didn’t matter, because he didn’t care about laws. Just like someone wanting to harm another doesn’t really care about protection or restraining orders. We might have been able to changed the means, however, the act would have still occurred.
We keep looking for something that is broke. We should be looking only at the one who committed the crime, not ourselves, not our laws, not our system. He broke the law. He may not have respected our laws before, I hope by the time all is said and done, he does.
My prayers continue to go out to those families who have laid their loved one to rest. Over the next several months, they will be faced with many demons, and wrestle with many different emotions. They will need our prayers and thoughts for many months to come.