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Some Quick Thoughts on Today’s Tragedy

January 8th, 2011 · 7 Comments

By now, most people have been made aware of the tragedy in Arizona, where Congresswoman Giffords (D-AZ) and others were shot at a constituent event. Six people were killed including a US District judge, a 9 year old child, and one of Congresswoman Giffords’ aides.

From what I have read, I don’t think that we can really determine the ideology of the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. From what little has been revealed about him, he doesn’t seem to really be a right winger or a left winger. He did make some statement about currency and the gold standard. He’s obviously a disturbed young man, but only a trained clinician could make a real diagnosis or assessment about his mental health.

I hope that this incident does not deter other elected officials from holding public events with constituents. I do think that elected and appointed officials should heed warnings and take threats seriously, but I also think that they need to avail themselves to the people they serve. One member of the Arizona congressional delegation who has also received threats is Congressman Raul Grijalva.

I have read a lot of finger pointing on both the right and the left regarding today’s tragedy which is reflective of the polarization in the country, but I do feel that we don’t yet know enough about the alleged shooter and his motives to really determine what set him off. I do think that there are often consequences to heated rhetoric that references firearms and weapons, but I also am a firm believer in free speech. And readers of this blog are especially aware of the political climate in Arizona. I encourage you, the readers of the blog, to pay a visit to your Congressional representative’s next public forum to send a message of hope, civility and civic participation.

Finally, I hope that everyone who was wounded, including the Congresswoman, is on the healing path. This evening it was reported that Congresswoman Giffords was awake and speaking, which is quite remarkable for having been shot in the head.

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Tags: Crime · Rep. Raul Grijalva

7 responses so far ↓

  • 1 William Gerena Rochet // Jan 9, 2011 at 11:30 am

    Why would you juxtapose left winger with a right winger. Given the nature of the reactionary forces in this country that go back to the assassinations that have taken place in the US, there is no history of the left engaging in such toxic and dysfunctional behavior. I recommend, if you say you do a lot of reading from both sides to go to: http://www.commondreams.org/headline/2011/01/09-0

  • 2 Augusto Conde // Jan 9, 2011 at 7:05 pm

    Let’s not kid ourselves this was a politically motivated act of terrorism, just based on the fact that an elected official was targeted. While a call to tone down the rhetoric is appropriate, it needs to be acknowledge that the heated rhetoric is coming from the right. If the assassin had been a Latino the Republicans in Arizona would be calling for additional violations of civil rights and a greater military presence on the border. Palin’s call for political jihad is a contributing factor to this act of terrorism. Sad to see Arizona become a 2011 version of mid 60′s Mississippi.

  • 3 webmaster // Jan 9, 2011 at 9:16 pm

    Thank you for your comments. I think that it is looking more like the alleged shooter may have had ties to an anti-Semitic, anti-immigrant group.

    I definitely agree that had this shooter been Latino or even Muslim that the backlash and reaction would have been more ugly.

    I’m not one to attribute so much to Sarah Palin, and in recent months, I have tried to ignore her because I feel that she and her family get enough publicity for not really contributing much. However, I do think it is telling that she has deleted her crosshairs references of her facebook/website. I think that if she truly feels that her rhetoric is without consequences that she should leave up her original words, etc.

  • 4 irma // Jan 10, 2011 at 12:04 pm

    The shooter was definitely politically motivated.
    Giffords was a supporter of immigration reform, universal health care and identified as a Jew.
    Loughner apparently expressed interest in the
    American Renaissance group – a upscale version of the KKK. The founder is a Yale graduate.
    Their rhetoric incited an ignorant, disturbed
    loser to take action for them. He will get the death penalty for killing a federal judge while they continue to spread their message of bigotry and hate.

    To quote from one my songs Loughner was only
    a “pawn in the game.”

  • 5 irma // Jan 10, 2011 at 1:38 pm

    Apologies to Mr. Zimmerman, of course that quote was definitely from one of his songs. Me, I cant read
    music ……

  • 6 HispanicPundit // Jan 10, 2011 at 1:54 pm

    On Sunday’s “Good Morning America, they interviewed close friends who all described him as a lefty. Claiming, “As I knew him, he was left wing, quite liberal…” Here is a great article on a related topic.

    Just sayin…

  • 7 webmaster // Jan 10, 2011 at 7:38 pm

    Irma,

    Now it is being reported that Loughner was not tied to the American Renaissance group.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/az-shooter-jared-loughner-not-tied-to-anti-semetic-american-renaissance-group-either/

    I had also heard that the alleged shooter may be liberal, but from what I understand, he just seems to be confused and obviously mentally unstable. This is why I am rather reluctant to point fingers in a certain direction, although I do think that the political rhetoric has reached a fever pitch… but for all I know Loughner may not have watched television or frequented political websites.

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