Another unfortunate tragedy occurred in American history this weekend. A 22yr old lunatic with a 9mm handgun walked into a stripmall (supermarket, walmart, whatever it was) and shot intentionally at Congresswoman Gifford, and randomly at others including her interns, aids and even a 9 year old girl, ironically born on September 11, 2001. Things like this effect all Americans with half a brain or half a heart, just as the Oklahoma Bombing in 1995. Which, by the way is only the 3rd worst tragedy on American soil, 2nd if you do not count Pearl Harbor because it is in Hawaii. Yet, the atmosphere is very different this time around. People on the political map are blaming the left, the right, even specific politicians and talk show hosts. Why in the wake of tragedy of a madman, do people look to blame others? This is almost as bad as the madman who went out on a shooting spree because they are spreading more hatred and blame on a crime that has no justification.
Someone 22 years old is not yet a man no matter what the definition is, even if they are old enough to vote or drink. Medical journals will prove the human brain does not stop fully developing into a mature state until 25 years of age. So, what we have here, is a trouble kid with no real knowledge of politics or American history, much less world politics and history. Even if he read night and day on these subjects, he could not absorb that much hatred for the government in such a short period of time. I am twice his age and still learning about how the world works and I actively read up on world news an politics daily. What we have here is a senseless act by someone who has a troubled path which included drug abuse. The only way this tragedy would have made sense would be if it were a middle aged man (or woman) who lost her home, retirement money, healthcare and and family relations all because of tough economic times, loss of a job, loss of a home, loss of savings due to the theft on Wall Street, but no, not this time. This was a person who just acted out of insanity. He most certainly deserves the death penalty, although that is too good because its nearly instant. Even if this was a well-motivated (like the assassination of Lincoln who rightfully divided the country for a moral cause), how does an assassin justify the killing an innocent child of 9 years old? If you look for his mugshot, it seems as if he is smiling. Innocence due to insanity is not an angle here for his defense lawyer. He is entitled to an attorney by law, but let’s hope the lawyer does play the insanity card so his/her client is executed in a timely manner so we can all put this behind us.
Back to politics. Talk radio is engaging because it stimulates our mind beyond The Beatles, Madonna and Lady Gaga. We all love music, but sometimes we need to visit our intellectual side. And while that can often be disappointing, there is plenty of talk radio that does good like Dr. Joy, Joan Hamburg, and others who try to help people out. Yes, there are people like Glen Beck who often seem too negative, or Bill O’Reilly, but Good Old Bill always teaches to do the right thing. Radicals often have a way of capturing a weak mind, just as Hitler did with its desperate people who were nearly starving. People look for hope, and when religion fails, they look to a leader with change, even if their message is violent. Congresswoman called out Sarah Palin for using the crosshairs of a gun to pinpoint cities in the USA that had politicians she felt were at fault and bad for the future of the USA. Bad choice, better yet, stupid choice. If she made those red dots instead of cross hairs, that would only mean republican, so why not choose something less offensive, violent or suggestive and just put a toxic symbol there instead? Yes, bad choice but that has many blaming Palin for this attack. Blaming Glen Beck the left, the right, immigrants (legal or not) would not have prevented this madman’s actions. If not a Congressperson, most certainly the college or army base he was thrown out of. We do not have control over insanity or weak links of humanity. We worry about the bigger threats like Al Q’ueda, but soon we learn that anyone with access to a gun, money, or credit card can cripple a country financially or emotionally through such an act. To think we can prevent this or place blame and resolve the issue by silencing people with strong opinions in politics and the media are so clueless and naive that things like this even have a chance of being prevented in the future.
Solution? There is none. Precautions, well, maybe a few, like a pat-down of every one attending this type of public event. SWAT team on hand (what else would the be doing anyway)? Maybe a metal detector and/or wand search before entering any public political event. We go through the airport and customs with great scrutiny, yet, we allow anyone into a public meeting with a key member of our political system without even so much as ID or a metal detector?
We need to be more in tune with reality and common sense. We need to stop blaming people who speak out against what is wrong, but we still have to accept that free speech is part of our Constitution. At the very same time, we need to ask those most influential in the media to focus on positive solutions and resolutions and not enrage and anger those who are already disgruntled and with a bad disposition.
As much as my heart aches for all the victims (mostly those elderly and of course the one child), equally my heart goes out to the parents of this troubled Jared Loughner. I do not know if they were good or bad parents, but I know something like this must affect them just as much as the rest of us. If they sucked as parents, maybe they will learn to be better people, if they were good parents, they are probably suffering just as much knowing their son will be executed, but they too will have to live with this tragedy every day left of their life and wonder if they could not have done anything differently to prevent it.
There is no good ending to something like this, unless the left, the right, the middle and all others of any political party or train of thought agree that hate must be eliminated and we must stop attacking and present reasonable solutions to specific problems, rather than hatred and blaming the other person.