Many people are claiming that the responsibility for Saturday’s horrific mass shooting in Tucson Arizona belongs with Sarah Palin and her camp for placing a map on Facebook page last year designating Democrats who had voted for the controversial health care bill with a symbol eerily similar to the crosshairs of a gun. Some people think that Jesse Kelly’s pre-election event where he encouraged people to come shoot an M16 with him to raise funds to ‘remove Gabrielle Giffords from office”.
I suspect that at this point both people involved are regretting those situations. I belive that the actions of Sarah Palin and Jessie Kelly were, at the very least, irresponsible and a poor example of how we should be treating each other.
As is the case with most tragedies, journalists immediately jumped on the chance to blame someone. Name calling and attempts at isolating and ostracizing those on the opposite side were almost immediate. Bickering and public shaming continue days later, even as the victim’s funerals begin.
In reality, both sides have made some pretty poor choices. It turns out that at one point Democrats have used a map with archery targets marking areas that Democrats could win.
Apparently, President Obama has quoted The Untouchables, stating, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
It seems that words and actions can cause an awful lot of regret. We often say things we don’t mean and we certainly don’t expect for things like Saturday’s shooting to happen. Does that mean that politicians are responsible for the alleged actions of Jared Loughner?
Certainly not. The young man seems to have exhibited many of the symptoms associated with schizophrenia and while he may not purse an insanity defense, he likely had some mental health issues. He is the only one responsible for his actions.
Politicians are not responsible, but their inability to seek common political ground is damaging our country, no matter how you look at it. Whether in their example as role models or the lack of compromising progress in Washington, politicians are damaging our country.
In my opinion, the scenario and political climate reeks of bullying and seems no different from a high school hallway or classroom. When we vote for these people we are just as culpable for the disharmony that exists in our country as they are. The question is, what are we going to do about it?