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The Tucson killings

My heart goes out to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, all those killed and wounded in the senseless shooting in Tucson, and to their friends and families. It appears now to be the act of a single, insane individual, and yet even after that came out this tragedy is being used as political ammunition in yet another divisive, insulting argument.

This horrible act will generate plenty enough rancor and politicizing later; for now, please have some respect and give everyone time to mourn and heal.



( 11 comments — Leave a comment )
Jan. 9th, 2011 05:28 am (UTC)
But Mark, mourning and healing are confined to the friends and family of those hurt or killed. I don't think sensible discussion of the implications of the attempted murder of a politician and the murder of a judge should be ruled out.
Jan. 9th, 2011 08:15 am (UTC)
I don't think, when it comes to a national leader like this, the mourning and healing should be confined just to those directly involved. However, the main reason I think we should pause for awhile is that there *isn't* any sensible discussion. The hateful political vitriol broke out right away, and hasn't debated even after it was revealed the gunner appears to be mentally disturbed, rather than having a political ax to grind.

I'm tired of knee jerk; granted that I myself have had to bite my tongue hard to keep from responding to the stupider comments, but we should have all given it a rest for awhile.
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:57 am (UTC)
It almost always is a single unbalanced individual who commits these acts but whether it's the gunning down of an abortion clinic doctor or the killing of a judge and several innocent people and the attempted killing of a congress woman there must be questions asked about the rhetoric and rancour which *may* have influenced these individuals. And also questions about gun law.. how does an unbalanced individual not only get a gun but be legally allowed to carry it to such an event?

I agree that the time is not now. Now is for mourning the dead and healing the living

But the debate must be had and must surely be had in a genuine spirit of bipartisanship. Not point scoring or grandstanding or denouncing or politicising but seeking solutions.

Interestingly enough a single, unbalanced individual recently stabbed an MP here.The would be assassin was a Muslim and you can bet that, despite her acting alone, despite her obvious mental health issues, despite the Muslim community denouncing her actions the right wing press here had a field day stirring up a nice bit of racial and religious hatred.

It all has to stop and the violent rhetoric has to stop.

I have no idea how to do that but I do know that it's going to take cool heads and real cross party agreement
Jan. 9th, 2011 11:21 am (UTC)
I agree, the debate must be had -- I for one am eager to tear into those knee-jerk political opportunists who blamed America's conservatives within minutes -- for an act carried out by a young psycho who, it turns out, proclaims himself to be an extreme liberal. They all should have taken a breath: Plenty of psychos claim a cause, but in the end they're just psychos. I'm disgusted at the way people who used this horrible thing for their own ends.
Jan. 9th, 2011 11:47 am (UTC)
I haven't seen him proclaimed as a liberal, his reading matter included bot Mein Kamp and the Communist Manifesto... (actually I own both of those books so I'm not into trial by bookshelf :)) His you tube rhetoric included anti government, pro gold standard, pro life rants. hardly extreme liberal views, libertarian may be but certainly unstable.

With respect Mark "tearing into" anyone won't help.

Calm, reasoned debate might.

And in my opinion everyone needs to take a deep breath, a step back and wait for all the facts to emerge. That will take time, but in the meantime all sides need to stop yelling and finger pointing and see if there's any way something positive can emerge fron this horrible tragedy.
Jan. 9th, 2011 12:01 pm (UTC)
Several of his friends initially described him as liberal, and he described himself as a communist. (Although I've noticed the interviews with his friends have been disappearing even from internet news sites.) I'm not suggesting anyone puts his bookshelf on trial: I have Mein Kampf myself, although despite my best efforts I still haven't been able to wade all the way through it. Boy, Adolf was long-winded.

I disagree, some people need to be torn into when the time comes (metaphorically, of course). I can differ with someone on politics, but I have absolutely no patience for people who jump in while a tragedy is still fresh and try to use it to their political advantage. Those people need to be called on it, regardless of their beliefs -- it's exactly the kind of poisonous politics that needs to be fought against, hard. I'm not talking about the facts of the case, I'm talking about their hateful, knee-jerk reactions to it. Those people owe the whole country an apology.
Jan. 9th, 2011 12:31 pm (UTC)
And to be frank the same applies to those who jumped in yelling that he was a liberal or communist.

Knee jerk reactions of any kind are not helpful and to make this partisan will not help matters.

The most widely reposted things I saw were Sarah Palin's target map, Gifford's response to that and the frankly horrible " Don't retreat, reload" And yes I think that type of imagery needs debate whether or not it proves to have had anything to do with this tragedy.

Shooting a judge and an elected representative is always going to be seen as a political act and the debate will be political.

I just hope that once the initial shock and anger subsides it can be civil.

BTW the UK press are covering this very fully and I'm seeing lots of responses from Americans of all political opinions. Maybe the second order good from this first order evil will be an open and honest debate

And yep Mein Kampf is a pretty dreadful book... Marx is hard going too!
Jan. 9th, 2011 07:33 pm (UTC)
Fair enough; despite his friends' claims that he called himself a left winger, and his own statements that make it clear he was anything but a follower of conservative ideas, I think it's reasonable to say that in the end he was a follower of the nutjob voices in his own head. But saying we shouldn't have a knee jerk reaction is one thing: refusing to repudiate people who engage in toxic politics for the advancement of their own beliefs is something else entirely. Nobody should get a pass on jumping in while the blood is still fresh on the ground, and agitating for their own political agenda. I'm perfectly willing to engage in civil debate with anyone, but those people need to admit not only that they spoke too soon, but that in their zeal they were just plain wrong.

On a related note, debate over violent imagery will be pointless until that debate acknowledges that it comes from both sides. If everyone wants to talk about Palin's graphic, than they need to talk about Obama statements such as "they bring a knife - we bring a gun", "hit back twice as hard", and "punish your enemies". Frankly, one of the qualifications for insanity would have to be believing that any of that from either side was a call for literal violence, which brings us back to "he was just crazy".

Anyway, I suppose I'm going to have to break down and read Marx, too. I do have some of his writing around here, somewhere, but ... well, I'd rather read Groucho Marx.
Jan. 9th, 2011 09:44 pm (UTC)
Both sides

All elected representatives

This has to be cross party, bi partisan or it won't work.

Marx is interesting it could never work of course because it relies on people having no self interest.... yeah right :)
Jan. 10th, 2011 06:13 am (UTC)
Well, it's a rose colored glasses thing with Marx. A lot of what his theories are very good ideas -- in theory. Sharing everything, taking care of everyone ... but then that self interest thing kicks in. The first time you force people to follow along, instead of everyone volunteering, it all falls apart. Individuality is why it never works out whenever his theories are tried in real life.

If we could all just get along ... we wouldn't be human.
(Deleted comment)
Jan. 9th, 2011 07:35 pm (UTC)
Yes ... sad day for everyone, really. The more I hear about the Congresswoman, the more she seems like one of the really decent people left in Washington.
( 11 comments — Leave a comment )

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