A friend in Arizona texted me when Giffords was shot on Saturday. I went to fire up Word Press, but then I stopped. I had no information. What was I going to say? Was I just going to catch the tag wave frenzy? That’s not my style, so I waited until there was more background on who did it, on what happened, and of course the question we’d all like answered: Why.
Up front, in this case, I think it was just a deranged person. A person who was warped, and reached some kind of breaking point. The event is tragic – not just because an aspiring 9-year-old born on Sept 11 was shot while attending because of her interest in government, not just because of all the other lives lost or damaged as a result of this even – it is tragic to me because the event will be used for other agendas.
This event may be used by anti-gun activists to say “see? we shouldn’t allow guns!” Of course, this only justifies my belief that usually, only criminals and wackos take guns to these events, and they don’t abide by the law. So, legislation against guns will only apply to people like me who don’t have one, or to folks who don’t readily bring them to political events, but probably should! The truth is, the guns are and will be out there (as evidenced by this event). I wish someone else attending the event was trained and had remembered to bring their gun, so they could have taken this guy out before so many were killed.
The article I read already showed how the event was being used to point the finger at the Republicans for their “war based” campaign that used cross-hairs and weapons to “target Democrats.” OK, we all know the Republicans are kinda stupid for thinking those campaigns were a good idea, but to draw a bridge between a cross-hair and actual killing at a political event is equally stupid. At some point we have to take into account that the average voter should know the difference between an abstract marketing campaign and the actual, real event of pulling out a gun and committing a crime. If the average voter can’t discern that, then we should be taking a hard look at our educational systems, and our values as a country.
The article also mentions how the sheriff in Arizona blamed the event on the “vitriolic political rhetoric” in our country. This one I am mixed on… on one hand, the unemployment rate is 10% (except in DC where it is 5.9%), we are being asked to increase the debt ceiling to a number GREATER than 14 trillion dollars, taxpayers were asked to bail-out companies that were deemed “too big to fail” (really, that just tells me anti-trust hasn’t been doing their job), and the list of corruptive activities goes on. So, I would EXPECT some “vitriolic political rhetoric,” wouldn’t you? On the other hand, I am not a big fan of just whining… to me that is the platform of the Tea Party,”Let’s all get together and shake our fists, maybe vandalize some stuff, but we don’t really know how to fix it.” At some level, maybe their platform has improved – I haven’t read much recently – but basically I am all for people being angry, when they use that anger productively to solve a problem. Shooting rampages don’t count as productive problem solving, so this guy was still a moron.
There’s another group of people out there waiting for the government to implode. Can’t say as I disagree with the theory – I sometimes wonder how a system that has generated 14T of debt and wants more, a system that rewards big business and crushes its people under the burden of those rewards, can continue to function. But this event is not the beginning of government implosion – at least not in my opinion. Now if they find the frumpy white guy that appeared to be “advising” Mr. Pot Head, they’ll either land a decent pot bust, or maybe they will trace it back to some organized group. In that case, we may have some revolutionaries on our hands… that would change why this event occurred.
Until then, it was some crazy punk, at the Safeway, with a gun (I am surprised Clue never included a gun – maybe NRA asked them to leave that out of the game). And even if Giffords was a horrible politician – I wouldn’t know, I haven’t read about her political views or her actions in office – we are back to shooting rampages don’t count as productive problem solving.