Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords

So, on Saturday, US Congresswoman, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, was shot at what was effectively a town hall meeting at a grocery store in her home district of Tucson. Jared Loughner has thus far been the only gunman/suspect arrested, having injured not only Rep. Giffords, but twelve others at the meeting, as well as killing six - including Federal Judge John Roll, and a 9 year old girl named Christina Taylor Green, who was amazingly enough born on Sept. 11, 2001 - yes, THAT 9/11 - and was attending the event having just recently been elected to her student council and wanting to see how politics works.

So many thoughts through my head, both reasonable and unreasonable, emotional and cold, fair and unfair ... with apologies, here they are:

  • How awful. And how dare they run that man's mug shot so often, when really this should be a time to remember the victims.
  • Having said that - while I am against the death penalty, I will not be shedding any tears at this man's execution, or using this as a case study against it in any particular way.
  • I agree with those who find it unfair to blame politicians and their rhetoric for this assassination (attempt) - ultimately we are all responsible for our own decisions ... nevertheless ...
  • How can we expect any different when our elected officials - ie, mainstream politicians who are supposed to represent mainstream views, as opposed to the lunatic fringe, speak of 'watering the tree of liberty' (a longtime euphemism for armed revolution/insurrection), reverting to 'those second amendment solution' (referring to the constitutional amendment allowing pretty much unlimited gun liberties in the US), and putting posters out their featuring political opponents' districts in the crosshairs of a gun (one of whom, by the way, was Gabby Giffords)? Maybe 'blame' is too strong; but a surfeit of caution to keep our hands clean and the appearance of impropriety at bay is perhaps fair.
  • Either way, whichever of the above positions you fall under - thinking your first real extended statement following such a tragedy should involve spending more time exonerating yourself rather than sympathizing over and bemoaning the REAL loss and REAL tragedy of this situation, you, sister, are not even remotely a victim in this situation, and in fact while I wouldn't say you're a perpetrator either, you certainly haven't helped, nor are you doing so now. You have NO class.
  • And speaking of no class - all I am going to say is, anyone who thinks it even remotely appropriate to protest a 9-year-old's funeral because she is Catholic, or any of these funerals because they had the nerve to associate with a centrist-progressive Congresswoman, is not a church, they are not Christians, and they are on the fast track to hell in their own particular handbaskets. I refuse to name these people and give them even more attention - but they bring a whole new meaning to the term evil.
May God bless and keep all the victims of this situation, and their families, friends and colleagues. And may this remind us that democracy, even in the world's oldest and possibly best, is fragile, and we must respect and love and nurture the freedoms and privileges it brings us. And please, let us honour those who are dead and injured by being more respectful in our treatment of those with the courage (yes courage) to enter the blood sport of politics - it is a very brave, courageous and important role, and most who undertake it do so honourably and with good intentions - even in our disagreements, let's remember that.

Except you, Sarah Palin. You can just sit on your own thumb and spin, and be grateful that's the worst I'm wishing on you after the spectacle you have made of yourself for nigh on 2 1/2 years now.

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