January 9, 2011

Senseless Tragedy and Senseless Speculation

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords' near fatal shooting, along with the senseless deaths of 6 others was a tragic event. For all of those immediately impacted by the tragedy, my thoughts and prayers are with you, along with those of millions of others I'm sure.  I wish Giffords and all of the other injured a speedy recovery.  At this point I'm hesitant to focus on the political implications of this senseless tragedy, but unfortunately because others already have started speculation, it has become necessary to point something out.

I listened to some of the press conference on the the situation and heard something that was out of line and ill timed. NPR of course, encapsulated the speculation started by Sheriff Clarence Dupnik speaking at the press conference;
At a news conference Saturday night, a clearly emotional Dupnik, who has been close to both Giffords and Roll, repeatedly cited what he characterized as the "vitriol" that has infected political discourse. He said that his own state has become "the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

There is reason to believe, he said, that the shooting suspect "may have a mental issue," adding that people like that "are especially susceptible to vitriol."

"That may be free speech, but it's not without consequences," he said.
NPR didn't end it there - they went further by finding some other speculative comments from a professor;
"It's not a good atmosphere right now, though I'm not saying that's what prompted this," said University of Arizona law professor Andy Silverman, who knew Roll well. "But things in Arizona are very tense, and we've become the incubator for a lot of immigration-related matters and now for the birthers, too."
Birthers?  They weren't done.  Judge Roll, who was killed in the shoot was used to tie in illegal immigration and the fact that the Tea Party targeted her congressional seat was used to tie in Sarah Palin;
During an interview with MSNBC after her office was vandalized, Giffords noted that her district was on Sarah Palin's "crosshairs" list of targeted congressional races. And it had been reported that in 2009, Roll and his wife received 24-hour protection for at least a month after receiving death threats after certifying a multimillion-dollar lawsuit illegal immigrants had filed against an Arizona rancher.
I've heard others try to tie in the Tea Party as well.  Such speculation, is asinine and unseemly in the wake of the tragedy.  Worse, it's obscene.  This was the act of a deranged individual.  To equate that to free speech that you happen to disagree with is wrong-headed opportunism. It's disgusting to use the opportunity to smear a large segment of the population.  Further, to argue or insinuate that the Tea Party rhetoric fostered this because crazy people are susceptible to their notions or ideas is to belittle the tragedy.  

There is no reason for this tragedy to have occurred.  It was the act of a disturbed young man and was without justification.  To assign blame is an easy thing to do, but that does not make it right.  One could argue that because the shooter was enraged over the quality of grammar evident in the educational system (and apparently he was), that the fault was with the teachers' unions for concentrating on salaries and tenure rather than proper education levels. Tenuous?  Absolutely, and no one with any semblance of decorum or reason would do so. But some on the far left are opportunists of the lowest order, and NPR is not immune from engaging in that sort of accusation.

With any luck, Giffords will have a full and speedy recovery and resume her congressional duties in short order.  We can disagree on policy and still be not only civil but humane and caring.


  1. My thoughts and prayers are with Rep. Giffords, the other victims, and their families.

    The Lunatic Left are at it again. Let's let them further reveal themselves as nuts. It'll be better for us politically just to point out the facts and the Left's lunacy.

  2. Agreed completely Teresa. Remember, these are the same people who rushed to dismiss the Fort Hood tragedy as the act of a stressed, lone lunatic.


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