We must look at the big picture, Let's raise the bar
a news hound can be a horror, as was the case Saturday. I spent the day
engrossed in the coverage of the attempted assassination of a U.S.
Congresswoman and subsequent slaying of six other innocent people in
Let's try harder to get it right?
first learned of the tragedy through email from at least three
well-respected news organizations under the heading, "Breaking News." A
short time after the initial news of the shooting of Congresswoman
Gabrielle Giffords, another "Breaking News" item reported that she had
been killed and four people were dead. The items were presented as a
simple statement. There was no mention of non-verified information.
Countless Twitter posts echoed those initial reports.
catastrophic event, we all hunger for details as we seek any shred of
hope for which to cling onto. Such a traumatic scene can be chaotic.
Only after switching to television news did I learn that Congresswoman
Giffords was still alive and in surgery as she continued to fight for
Comfort from official statements
Official statements were
offered by Speaker John Boehner, former Speaker Nancy Pelosi, many of
Giffords' colleagues. Even President Obama addressed the nation, as he
offered heartfelt sympathies to all those affected by this tragedy. His
statement was terse; his demeanor was solemn. It was strangely
"An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve," Boehner said.
Congressmen may not get it
Mr. Boehner. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all of us.
This act was not just against a member of congress, it was an attack on a
human being who happens to be a Congressional Representative. Yes, it
could happen to any one of you, but it could also happen to any one of
There has already been talk of possibly implementing some
type of security for members of Congress, though early indications
suggest such a special detail would be dismissed by members themselves.
Good, because I have to ask, will I have security when I go to my local
McDonald's or other fast-food restaurant where shootings have taken
place and innocent people have been mowed down? Will there be special
security in my grandchildren's elementary school, at the place where my
children work, or other places of learning and working, which have been
similar scenes of untold tragedy?
It's all about guns
us not miss the point. This was a violent act, that is not unlike many
that have already played themselves out in quiet neighborhoods in
residential, commercial and industrial locations in both rural and urban
areas across the country. This happened to occur in an upscale Tucson,
AZ neighborhood. But what about all the other neighborhoods across the
country where this kind of act occurs on a nightly basis? What about the
inner cities where killings are sadly commonplace? It seems this
domestic terrorism is far more imminent than foreign terrorism. People
are just not safe in their own neighborhoods. There are too many guns on
the street, and what's more, they are killing machines.
this heinous act in Tucson will illustrate to members of Congress that
there is a problem with the ability of people, all people, any people,
to obtain a semi-automatic weapon—a very efficient killing machine. What
is the purpose for anyone having a 9mm Glock that has the ability to
rapidly fire into at least 18 innocent people's bodies in a matter of
moments? Why would anyone need one of those? Why are assault weapons
made, except to use them for slaying or maiming innocent people?
According to one news source,
this weapon would have been banned had the Congress not let the assault
weapons ban expire during the Bush Administration. Had that been done,
this shooter may not have been able to carry out this act.
down the rhetoric if you want, but the real issue is our domestic
weapons of mass destruction. The first amendment which guarantees our
freedom of speech is being pushed to the limits. But sticks and stones
mean little when compared to the abuses of the second amendment. Those
who wrote the amendment never envisioned a 9mm Glock in the back pocket
of a mentally ill person who hated the government. It is lunacy to
defend such an indefensible act.
Instead of the first
discussions in the 112th congress being about added security for elite
congressional members, shouldn't the discussion be about curbing the
over-arching violence experienced in this country. The people's house
has been tampered with. Welcome to our world.