Thursday, January 13, 2011

STFU About Tuscon

I've been listening for the past several days about the senseless shooting in Tuscon by a psychotic whack-job and the mud-slinging and the pointless finger-pointing and irrelevant meaning assigned to it by talking heads.

Would you people just STFU!  PLEASE!

Why is it that a tragedy having no political context at all suddenly results in a political debate over the deep-rooted meaning it has and what liberties we should be prepared to give-up so it never happens again?  There is no deep-rooted meaning here.  There is no political agenda at work.  As much as I think Sarah Palin is an asshole, I see no connection between anything she said and the actions of a psychotic whack-job.  It isn't a call for gun control.  It isn't a call for hating the truly mentally ill.  It isn't a time for President Obama to pump himself up or whip-up guilt with his snake-oil salesman-style rhetoric.

It is a call to take a moment and feel for those who have loved-ones who were killed or injured in the shooting.  It is a time to say to those who were injured (directly or indirectly), "I'm sorry."  That's because most of us truly are sorry.  There's not much more we can say.  Criminal activity occurs every day.  The feeling of entitlement gives people who are already mentally unstable and have a tendency toward violence the potential to be that much more dangerous.  This particular incident happened during a political event, but the shooting itself was the act of a person who (I hope) is not representative of any substantial faction of the people in the United States.  He's as much of a whack-job as Joseph Stack.

So to that, I will say, I truly am sorry for those who were killed or injured and their families and friends.  You're all important -- both young and adult.  It is a shame and a travesty that something like this should ever happen.  Unfortunately, there are people who have little regard for others and we have to live among them.  I wish we didn't.

I'd like for the public to take a moment to consider the behavior of those who are using this event to further their own careers or political agenda.  To me this is the ultimate form of insensitivity.  To those who really think that gun control would somehow magically fix this kind of event from happening -- please understand  that you're not thinking enough like a psychotic nut-job to understand their motivation.  Any kind of legislation involving guns will only be countered by a different kind of weapon, or an illegally-obtained gun.  Political discourse also did not cause this to happen.  This nation was built on the concept of being able to question what our government does (or doesn't do).  Our president asking us to silence ourselves for fear of inciting a nut-job is contrary to the foundation of the United States.  While I am calling for those people (including Obama) to STFU, I understand that they are fully within their right to make an ass of themselves.  When I hear all this politically-charged banter, that's what I'm thinking.

When my mother told me about what happened in Tuscon a few days ago, she said, "I was shocked."  I said that while it may sound insensitive, I'm unfortunately not shocked.  Listening to the news, I hear about stuff like this all the time.  I feel bad for the victims, and at the same time I have to wonder what causes people to be so filled with hate that they're willing to kill innocent people like this, and why it seems to be happening so much lately.  My mother took a moment, then said, "Actually, you're right."  I wasn't really trying to be.

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