Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Stop

The weekend carnage in Arizona defies words.  Like many of you, I can't think about what happened, I can only feel. And what I feel is anguish. Raw, hot anguish that makes it impossible to look at news reports in the office because they make me weep.

It doesn't help that too many people think the best way to deal with their anguish is to point fingers of shame and blame. And others to say, God forgive us, the good folk of Tucson who were shot somehow deserved it.

Before you rush to tell me how wrong I am, ask yourself this: if a kid commits suicide do you blame the rock music he listens to?

And if you truly believe a nine year old girl deserved to be shot to death, I'm sorry, I can't think of any  rational reply.  I only pray your journey through life makes a u-turn onto the road to Damascus very, very soon.



We know what happened in Tucson. We know six people are dead, and others are seriously wounded.

We know Sarah Palin did not pull the trigger. We know Jared Lee Loughner did. And we know he's not of sound mind. 



And that is ALL we know.  We FEEL a lot.   We don't want to think and particularly not think it could take years to find out the why.  Or worse, that it might never make sense.





Please, my friends and foes alike, let us step back. This is the time for mourning. This is the time for weeping.  The time for blame is not now. 

Let us be kinder to one another, friend and foe alike,  in our collective anguish and pain.  Stop talking. Stop blaming. Please stop.

62 comments:

Josin L. McQuein said...

I also doesn't help when people use tragedy as a platform to get their hate-saturated diatribes space on the nightly news.

People should be allowed to mourn their loved ones in peace. It doesn't matter who the deceased is or what you thought of them in life, funerals are for the families left behind.

And no one who's already grieving should have to endure a certain group who pops around waving "church" in their name like a badge of courage picketing -- especially not the family of a nine-year-old girl who is as innocent a victim as you can come by.

I wish I could give a standing ovation to the group gathering to literally stand between that poison and the people it's directed at. It shouldn't take a circle of strangers willing to stand at the grave of a child they never met to buy some decency for her parents.

Dan said...

Very well said. Even if the "why" ever does come to light, no matter his motivations, this will never, ever make sense.

You're right, this is not the time for commentary, or finger pointing. It's the time to take a hard look at what we as humans are capable of doing to each other.

Hopefully there will be a time soon when people will dissect this, not to lay blame or guilt, but to figure out how we can keep something this senseless from ever happening again.

Janine said...

Thank you for that.

Bill Cameron said...

So when is the right time to hold the spewers of venom and of reprehensible incitement to violence responsible behavior.

Oh, right. Never, because it might make someone uncomfortable. Go ahead, crazy right wing, keep bringing your guns to political events, keep threatening Second Amendment remedies. Worship your guns and feel free to win at the bullet box if you lose at the ballot box. This thing in Tuscon? Just some isolated crazy. And that George Tiller? Nothing to do with you. Nor the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building. Nor the guy in Pennsylvania who killed three cops because he was afraid MuslimSocialistNaziObama was going to take his guns. Sure, you preach armed revolt against the government, against doctors who provide women's health care, against members of the "Democrat Party," but these terroristic attacks have nothing to do with that. It's all just talk, right?

No, it isn't. But we're not allowed to point out the obvious because it's "politicizing tragedy." Only the Right is allowed to politicize tragedy. (Can you say "9/12 Project"?)

Screw this. I refuse to shut up because it makes people uncomfortable. It's time to stop letting these monsters off the hook. Because the attack in Tuscon wasn't an isolated incident. It was part of a string of violence which has one thing in common: right wing extremism whipped into a frenzy by mainstream conservative figures every freaking day.

No, I won't stop. Because until the Palins and the Becks and the Boehners and the rest are stopped, the violence won't stop. It will only get worse.

Megan B. said...

Well said. This whole blaming business has definitely gone too far, and it's time somebody said so.

Stephanie Barr said...

Answering hatred with more of the same leads only further into the maelstrom.

I will not empower the night, but will light a candle, content, even if it is extinguished, that I did more to fight the darkness than curse it.

I grieve that candles were extinguished and dimmed for so little purpose and so much pain. When will we learn?

Laurel said...

Wow. That is almost identical to what I said . Including STOP.

Thank you.

Jessica Nelson said...

I completely agree and think your post is excellent! Thank you.
Such a tragedy. :-(

April said...

I can't believe someone would claim that the people of Arizona deserve this. Over immigration reform. Really? It makes me want to puke.

I seriously wonder if people listen to the words that come out of their own mouths.

The rest of the country wants to judge Arizona for attempting to secure its borders when they don't live there. I bet if one of their neighbors had been violently murdered in the night by a Mexican drug cartel, they'd be clamoring for a crackdown, too. In fact, many of those same critics would love to see racial profiling against Arabs at airports because of 9/11. So it's OK to feel up a woman in a burka for bombs, but it's not OK to ask a Latino on a known human trafficking route for proof of U.S. residency? I'm starting to agree that the U.S. as a country is schizophrenic.

Gerb said...

Well said. Amen.

The Frisky Virgin said...

Thank you. I made nearly the same plea to someone today who took every opportunity to turn this horrific tragedy into a political blame game. Just NO! It's not the time for that kind of talk. Innocent people are suffering; families have lost loved ones; a CHILD lost her life. This is a tragedy.

As you said, this is not the time to point fingers.

Mystery Robin said...

This is a perfect post. Thank you.

C.J. Redwine said...

Yes. This.

Michael G-G said...

Who is this Bill Cameron guy? A pretty damned good writer, wouldn't you say?
I happen to agree with him.
We need to keep speaking out. Loudly.

Transparent Mama said...

Thanks for this. I wish someone in the media would say this.

Fanfreakingtastic Flower said...

Maybe this is the "wrong" reaction, but whenever anything like this occurs, and the media grabs hold, I don't understand why we, as a people, become emotionally involved en masse.

Granted, assassination attempts on representatives don't occur on a daily basis. This is a newsworthy event, and a national dialogue about the tenor of our politics is deeply needed.

I'm not saying what happened isn't a tragedy, it is. But tragedy is around every corner. These murders are no more sad or tragic than the other 15,000+/- murders in the US last year.

And so it bothers me when the zeitgeist picks victims to martyr and lionize. Maybe it's just me, but it always feels as though our media depicts these sufferings as though they were new, like these heinous acts are new. But they're not. They are old and they are common. And it's not that those people don't deserve to be remembered, they do, but it bothers me because we spend the rest of our time unmindful of the anonymous many who pass without anyone to mourn them.

I guess I just wish we, as a society, were as serious about solving our problems during slow news days as we are now.

Steven E. Belanger said...

Though I'm not a fan of the forays lately of Arizona's legislators, I have to applaud them for passing the law banning picketing at funerals. I know we shouldn't partake in name-calling, but even the thought of picketing at a child's funeral and saying that the child's senseless death was God's way of punishing America's tolerance of homosexuality...well, that's just barbaric. Arizona lawmakers drafted a bill, voted unanimously to support it, and put it into effect in about an hour, proving that the system can work well, and quickly, when it wants to.

Ari said...

Violence aimed at another human being is senseless, Janet. The passage of time will not alter this or provide us with a rational understanding of an irrational act.

No ideology, no third party held that gun. Jarod Lee Loughner pulled the trigger that destroyed lives. Lives that were real. Lives that were full. Lives that held promise. Those were real people who were innocent of any wrongdoing. Grieve for them, weep for their families and pray for the rest of us—pray for those among us who have lost that vital emotional connection to the rest of humanity. Pray for those who would use this to further personal agendas. Pray for those of us who know our own lives are diminished by the loss of each life taken on Saturday. Pray for Jarod Lee Loughner and pray for his family. Pray that we may all learn love and understanding for each other whatever our differences.

Lisa Blandford said...

Thank you for that Janet. Thank you.

Patrice said...

I'm with Bill. Sorry if that's not a popular stance here. I freely admit it isn't all on one side... but most of it is. And yes, it does make a difference what people listen to.

It is not politicizing a tragedy to point out the atmosphere in which that tragedy was nurtured.

And so it will the next time and the next time... until and unless we change the rhetoric and change the reality that those "not of sound mind" can put their hands on weapons of terrible destruction.

Chrissy Widmayer said...

Thanks for this. I've been looking for ways to put my own frustrations into words. This is exactly how I feel.

Steve Masover said...

I have to say I agree with Bill Cameron in his comment timestamped 10:44 pm.

With this exception: while "the right wing" has a pretty good grip on the baton these days vis-a-vis inciting violence, "the left" doesn't have clean hands either when it comes to ugly and reckless and inflammatory rhetoric (and I am speaking, in part, for my younger and much more thoughtless self).

Being accountable for our political discourse applies to spewers of venom of every stripe. And pretending our discourse doesn't influence people to act (including people who are less-than-perfectly grounded or rational) isn't real.

But not taking about it when the consequences of failing to be accountable are fresh and painful is not a cure for disease no people or nation can afford to ignore. Including us, the people of the United States, now.

Shelley Watters said...

Thank you for your kind and heartfelt post for the people of Tucson. I grew up in Tucson and my mom used to take me to that very Safeway when I was Christina's age. Tucson is every bit the 'small town wrapped in a big city' that the news portrays. So it was beyond heartbreaking to see what happened. I always knew Tucson would make the national news, but never dreamed it would be for something so heinous.

Two days before this tragedy we had a gunman at the Chandler Mall, where he had a shoot-out with cops before taking hostages in a restaurant across the street. By the grace of God that incident did not end in bloodshed.

It truly feels like the Wild West in Arizona.

It's a scary world we live in. Sometimes we forget just how dangerous just going to the grocery store or the mall can be. It's a sad reminder to cherish every second of every day, because you never know when it could be your last.

I don't have any answers. I don't know what the right course of action is to make this stop. But I do know that I will do everything in my power to keep my family and my kids safe. And cherish every moment I have with them.

Douglas Morrison said...

Amen, Janet

LeeAnn Flowers said...

Thank you, Janet. I wish that there were more level heads in this world like you. I have no idea your political or religious views, and frankly, don't care. That statement applies to everyone, conservative, moderate, liberal, Democrat, Republican, Independent, Christian, Muslim, Hindu, any other division you can think of. We all share in the tragedy, just as we all shared in 9/11, Columbine, Oklahoma City, Waco, or any other scene of death and destruction. I'm not sure there is a universally acceptable answer other than love. Love your neighbors, love your enemies. Hate in any form is never an answer.

Simon Hay Soul Healer said...

I'm hoping that humanity is better than the violence being committed by all cultures. If we truly wanted peace we'd lay down our arms, and disband our armies. The politics of this situation means nothing to me. I only see people being shot and murdered. What if it was my family? We do need to stop. Everyone worlwide needs to stop. How are we to be an example to the rest of the world, and our children, if we're killing each other. Violence continues because we choose to be violent. We need to stop.

B. K. Birch said...

Amen Sista!!!!

Leah said...

Thank you for that. You reach a lot of readers.

There are a couple of good links here, in case you haven't already read these three articles: http://momswithopinions.blogspot.com/2011/01/strange-days-indeed.html

I still can't listen to news reports (particularly about the little girl) without getting choked up. I'm not normally into such visceral responses (9/11 numbed me to smaller tragedies, I think), but this one hurts. I'm right there with you.

wry wryter said...

Ditto Bill !

I do not stand to the left or right; in the middle does not mean on the fence either.

Ms. P and the others do indeed incite. How sad that we have come to this.

stacy said...

Mostly I remain a little haunted by the death of Christina-Taylor Green. Her death is no less tragic than the others, but she was a good thing to come on 9/11 and that light has winked out.

For me, that we can't come together and mourn as a nation in so short a time after 9/11 symbolizes our decline more than any placement of education or health care on a global scale.

Liana Brooks said...

Thank you, and amen.

It's horrible that someone could try to justify this, one way or another. Murder for political reasons goes in the face of what our democracy was built for.

Murder of a child is nearly unforgivable.

Melissa Sarno said...

Couldn't have said it better. Thank you.

David said...

Janet's plea to stop discussion that engendered more discussion isn't even ironic anymore. It's just American.

You had to expect this. It is what happens when we all are given a voice and access to weapons of any sort, be they microphones, keyboards, or guns.

The problem isn't just the media. It's US and our desire to share our opinions with impunity.

All of US.

keyboardhussy said...

No, don't stop--because when you don't hold people responsible for inciting violence, then they continue to do so--and yes, that is EXACTLY what Palin and her ilk do. Some of the most visible people on the right continuously spew hate rhetoric and encourage violence--the quotes about taking out Harry Reed, reloading instead of backing down, drugging Nancy Pelosi, that Obama might be the devil--they are continuously thrown out there and while you may not remember or notice all of this venom, those that DO should not STOP talking about it because people DO need to be held responsible for their hate speech--PERIOD. Words have power--you of all people should know that.

This can't be said enough, so I'm pasting it here:

Bill Cameron said...

So when is the right time to hold the spewers of venom and of reprehensible incitement to violence responsible behavior.

Oh, right. Never, because it might make someone uncomfortable. Go ahead, crazy right wing, keep bringing your guns to political events, keep threatening Second Amendment remedies. Worship your guns and feel free to win at the bullet box if you lose at the ballot box. This thing in Tuscon? Just some isolated crazy. And that George Tiller? Nothing to do with you. Nor the guy who flew his plane into the IRS building. Nor the guy in Pennsylvania who killed three cops because he was afraid MuslimSocialistNaziObama was going to take his guns. Sure, you preach armed revolt against the government, against doctors who provide women's health care, against members of the "Democrat Party," but these terroristic attacks have nothing to do with that. It's all just talk, right?

No, it isn't. But we're not allowed to point out the obvious because it's "politicizing tragedy." Only the Right is allowed to politicize tragedy. (Can you say "9/12 Project"?)

Screw this. I refuse to shut up because it makes people uncomfortable. It's time to stop letting these monsters off the hook. Because the attack in Tuscon wasn't an isolated incident. It was part of a string of violence which has one thing in common: right wing extremism whipped into a frenzy by mainstream conservative figures every freaking day.

No, I won't stop. Because until the Palins and the Becks and the Boehners and the rest are stopped, the violence won't stop. It will only get worse.

Rowenna said...

It seems to me that blaming is a way of trying to make sense of tragedy, a way of coping. The trouble is, it's such a selfish way to approach it. It's a strange and distant method of making absolutely sure that, when the question is asked "Who is at fault here?" the answer is, unequivocably, "Not me. Me and mine have nothing to do with this--it's that Other out there." It doesn't even start to solve the problems...just isolates us all further.

And thank you, Janet, for reminding us that it has no place in the period of grieving, and does nothing to support those who lost loved ones.

Margot Galaway said...

Well said.

Listen in silence to what is being said at this time, and by whom. Then decide if these are the people we want leading us.

caitieflum said...

I have to agree with Bill and the like. Really you want people to stop questioning how the media and how things are said? That sounds like a great idea, let's just ignore the problems of society. Let's just keep things how they are now so this will happen again, instead of questioning and stopping it.

Sarah Palin didn't pull the trigger, but she encouraged people to reload. She put a target on Congresswoman Gifford. But we shouldn't talk about that because that isn't what this is about.

I;m calling BS. We need to call these people out, show them what their words can do. Anyone who can say "this guy is just crazy" is ridiculous. Lots of people are mentally unstable and even more can easily be pushed over the edge and the rhetoric is not helping.

I won't stop and I hope others don't either.

Brian Drake said...

Why do people continue to suggest that right wing talk radio and right wing political representatives are responsible for what happened?

By repeating that drivel, without the evidence to prove it, you are solidifying Janet's point.

Palin and Limbaugh and Boehner are not responsible for what happened. A man with severe mental problems, a registered independent, a so-called "left wing loon" by his fellow Pima Community College students, is the cause of this tragedy.

Where was this outrage when the left wanted Dick Cheney do die of a heart attack during one of his many trips to the hospital?

Where was this outrage when a filmmaker made a movie about the fictional assassination of George W. Bush?

This isn't about right wing rhetoric, rock music, immigration, or whatever other bogeyman you come up with today to try and shift the blame; it's about a sick man who killed and wounded people because of his own twisted delusions.

STOP. There are lives that have been shattered and destroyed by this, and Rush Limbaugh had nothing to do with it. You are drowning in your own ignorance if you think he and his ilk did.

If one of the victims had not been a democratic representative, would you be blaming the right wing?

lora96 said...

So true.

The only thing I know for sure is that NO ONE wanted those people to die except the person who pulled the trigger.

This is terribly, impossibly sad. I cannot fathom it.

I wish so much that there was less hate and anger in the world, less pain. This dreadful thing has happened. Let it be what it is and mourn. Picking at the wound doesn't heal anything.

CourtneyC said...

I wonder, Bill, if you created a character in a book who espoused the same viewpoint your post does (without knowing anything else about that character, like, whether he ever saved a cat in act 1), whether the majority of readers would equate that character as the "good guy" or the "bad guy." Just some food for thought...

Also, even if I were to buy into the notion that Sarah Palen was responsible for this madman's act, how do you propose to "stop" her? Freedom of speech is something I'm not prepared to give up.

ryan field said...

Excellent post. I've been amazed at the amount of vitriol I've seen on social networks regarding this tragedy.

Sarah W said...

I don't often weigh in on political issues, and Janet, I apologize for doing so here.

It seems to me that highly vocal, accusatory, post-tragedy rage, however understandable, is the same stuff that routinely leads to riots in the streets, destruction of property, and further loss of life. We are so close to erupting into a nationwide rampage over rhetoric, an uncivil war over volume.

If we all stand back and take a couple of deep breaths - a lot of deep breaths for a very long time, in silence - maybe those of us who are outraged and those of us who are defensive and all of us who are in mourning and this truly senseless loss of life will not escalate the situation past this point.

Don't be the child who glories in scoring points and pushing buttons, don't be the parent who insists on showing other people the error of their ways (and I'm fully aware of my hypocrisy, thank you). Be the adult.

We all need to take a break. Or we're all lost.

Robin Ruinsky said...

I'm with Bill Cameron on this.
It's not about blame. It's about accountability.
Sarah Palin put that map online targeting Gifford and others with gun sight cross hairs. She chose to use the word reload. She chose to demonize her political opponents.
The next day the door to Gifford's office was smashed in. Coincidence?
I don't think so.
Gifford expressed fear over that Palin's tactics were encouraging violence.
Palin and others who preach violence to silence their political opponents can not be let off the hook.
Looking at the reality of the hate filled political climate in this country does not take away from mourning the dead.
Recognizing that it's too easy to buy a semi automatic weapon that can spray 30 rounds in seconds does not take away from mourning the dead.
We can mourn and still be wise and look at where we are and try to figure out where we go from here.

Daisy said...

Excellent post. It's amazing to me how many people have rushed to latch onto this tragedy to use it as proof of their belief of the essential evil of their political opponents.

Outsized, outrageous rhetoric has been part of politics for as long as there have been politics for it to be part of, and sane people know that these "calls to arms" are not to be taken literally. And insane people cannot be saved by taking away anything they might misuse or misunderstand.

What's more, we don't even know if the killer's motives were political at all-- as terrible as it sounds, he may simply have been out for attention. We just don't know.

Daisy said...

Also, speaking of attention-seeking: I refuse to believe that that people who would blame the victims what happened or try to turn their funerals into a circus represent anything more than their own pathological need to be in front of TV cameras, and we should endeavor to deprive them of that as much as possible.

Abigail said...

@Daisy

"Also, speaking of attention-seeking: I refuse to believe that that people who would blame the victims what happened or try to turn their funerals into a circus represent anything more than their own pathological need to be in front of TV cameras, and we should endeavor to deprive them of that as much as possible."

It was the Westboro Baptist Church that said the little girl deserved to die and that it was God who brought that gun. These people are not new to protesting people's funerals. And because of that, they're working a legislation where no one can protest within 300 ft before hour and after hour of a funeral.

Daisy said...

@Abigail:

That's exactly what I mean. These people know that showing up at funerals shocks and outrages people, and they do it any time they think there will be cameras there. Whatever "cause" they think they are representing has nothing to do with their consistent publicity-baiting. The worst thing we can do is to reward them by giving them the attention (even negative) that they are so clearly chasing.

Marcy Campbell said...

I was one of those people quick to blame. I saw the headline on Twitter, and within seconds, my mind went to the image of the crosshairs map. I’ve been angry about that, and so much else, for a long time. I acted in a juvenile way by tweeting a brief, angry comment on Twitter that immediately got me unfollowed by some who don’t share my political views (equally juvenile of them, I think).

I was wrong to do that. The deed was done by one mentally disturbed individual, and we can only speculate on the tipping point. But I share Bill Cameron’s view that this is not the time to stop talking. More of the same angry rhetoric and finger-pointing probably won’t lead to much. But how about coming together across the aisles to set some guidelines for the type of discussion we have with each other? How about some kept promises in regards to decency in campaigning?

I do not think now is the wrong time to have this discussion. Indeed, now is the time we must. There is no etiquette book to let us know exactly when such a discussion is proper. When all the dead are buried? When all the sick have recovered? By then, it’s too late. Our news cycle will have shifted to the next thing. If this tragedy wasn’t “caused” by anyone’s hateful speech, that does not mean we can’t use this opportunity to make our world a little more decent. Now. While our attention is focused on it. Now, while we are tired of crying and feeling hopeless. I can’t see how that disrespects anyone.

Emily White said...

I'm shocked and appalled anyone would think the victims deserved what they got. This whole situation is horrific.

Those of us looking in from the outside hunger for a rational explanation for what happened, but there was nothing rational in that shooter's mind.

And I agree with you. Rather than pointing fingers, we need to step back and get rid of all this hate. Sometimes I look at where we are in this country and I get so sad at how we've divided ourselves.

DCS said...

Well said, Janet.

Anne-Marie said...

As a Canadian, I would just like to weigh in from the outside looking in. Freedom of speech as an absolute, to me, is not worth a life, whether it is the life of an innocent young girl, or that of a politician you disagree with. In Canada, as in the UK (and probably other western countries), we have something called hate speech laws. You may think it's a huge infringement on your free speech, but I am quite glad to live in a society where someone is not allowed to call for the death of homosexuals or any other group or individual without being accountable for his or her words. Our laws basically give you the right to free speech until you start threatening or targeting others with violence.

It is not about blame, because the blame lies squarely on the person who did the actual shooting, but it is about making people accountable for the incitement to violence that their words may bring about. You may disagree with the position our country has taken, but the idea that free speech is something to bandy about in ways that encourage others to behave violently and recklessly is not speech I would be jumping up and down to defend.

Linda Leszczuk said...

Thank you.

christine tripp said...

What needs to be talked about every time one of these senseless horrors occur is Mental Health care, or the pitiful lack there of it. About a society that doesn't get it. That brains are just another organ in the body and become ill.
But it is just so much easier to blame the book someone read before they shot John Lenon, or the music teens listened to before they snuffed out the life of students in their school. It's never about the sickness and depression left untreated, that's too easy/hard an answer isn't it.

Karin said...

I really could not agree more!!!

Donna Hole said...

This is a tragedy all the way around. Jerod Lee committed an unforgivable act, regardless of the reasoning, or the age/notoriety of the victims involved.

I have no sympathy for perptrators of hatrid and violence. I believe in my heart that this is the outcome Palin wished when she published her writings, and yes she should be held culpable. Her and all others of like mind.

But ultimately, it is Jerod that made his plans and pulled the trigger. He is responsible for this tragedy; and the media circus that has followed it.

Today, my sympathies go out to the families that are suffering directly from this horrendous act.

........dhole

Joyce Lansky said...

Anyone who is a public symbol must take responsibility for their actions. People follow Sarah Palin; therefore, she needs to express her views in a less militant manner, especially with followers who are involved in gun rights.

Furthermore, as someone who wishes to become president, she needs to work with ALL people. Palin lacks common sense. She knew Giffords' office was vandalized after her post, and Giffords commented on it. Why didn't Palin remove it then?

Wake up, people. Sarah Palin is not "all that" and has brought this criticism upon herself, whether the gunman was her follower or not.

"United we stand; divided we fall."

Ken Michaels said...

Thank you for your perspective, Janet. I think that many of us were, and still are, in such pain that we want and need to blame someone. There's no one to blame. It's as insane as Kennedy, Martin Luther King....many of you don't know. We, as writers, as artists, always try to make sense from chaos. Let's realize we're outraged and embrace one another. It's difficult. Maybe, you're right. We just need to weep.

Nichole said...

I was visiting Tucson the weekend of this tragedy and I didn't only find the murders disturbing, but I found the voices of the witnesses disturbing.
The shooter was disturbed and so many young people in America are.
How did we get here, I wonder?
Blaming those who sincerely try to make the world a better place makes no sense.
It's not about politics.
But is it about parenting or the lack thereof?
As a parent, I think it is...
and yet, my statement is placing blame isn't it?

wry wryter said...

As a young girl I remember the sixties, the crazies standing on doorsteps with guns preventing little black children from going to white schools. Lunch counters, demonstrations, being fire hosed and all of this for the right to live as this country claimed, to be free. The words were hateful, the actions incomprehensible, children dieing, people being hung…I remember saying to my mother…has the country gone mad? She had no answer.
So now…have we gone mad. The Kennedy’s, Dr. King, Waco. Oklahoma, 9/11...we live in a world that at times comes tumbling down around our gravestones…yet out of the rubble, sometimes a hand reaches out and civility prevails.
Remember the riots, remember when Rodney King simply said, “can’t we all just get along.”
People, people, people, a madman spoke with a gun, ( he is a sick man). Mad men and mad women stand at podiums and spit venom about there fellow Americans as if the other guys view is poison. They are not sick, they are responsible.
A crazy person did this but it does not let the speakers off the hook.
We have the right to say what is on our minds BUT we must be cognoscente of the fragile who hear it. It does not matter what side the shooter was on or what he believed, what matters is that he shot, he killed, he wounded, he changed the lives of families and this nation because he is crazy.
In the sixties it took the deaths of little girls in a burning church to tone down the hate. Why is it that children have to die in order for the rest of us to realize that what we say, what we do, how we treat the mentally ill, and how we perceive our freedoms to be absolute, are part of living in a flawed society?

Claudia said...

Best perspective I've heard on this. Thank you.

Braden said...

Bravo, Janet. Bravo.

Daryl Sedore said...

You're Chasing Smoke Bill

This just makes me feel Numb

We're going to have a Killer Year

Come on...ease off...lighten up and love one another.

That's it: LOVE