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Only Loughner Is To Blame for Tucson Shooting

In Business, Media, National News, Politics, State News, Uncategorized on January 12, 2011 at 11:51 am

Commentary By Gery L. Deer

DEER IN HEADLINES

As authorities work to piece together more details on the Tucson, Arizona shooting that killed six and critically injured Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, people should be mindful of the dangers involved with courting rumor and speculation.

Pundits are inundating the airways and cyberspace with opinions, speculation and finger pointing in an effort to use this horrific event to discredit the platform of their opponents. Politicizing this event in such a way is shameful.

While there is little doubt that the shooter, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, is a deeply troubled and unstable individual, no evidence has been uncovered at this point to support theories of conspiracy. Nor has he been officially tied to any sort of anti-government organization or political party.

Yet, there is further talk about this man being encouraged to violence by the politicians themselves through metaphor or badly worded speeches and writings. However, to blame Sarah Palin, Barak Obama or anyone else for this man’s twisted behavior is pointless and disrespectful to all involved, particularly the victims.

The events of January 7th were perpetrated by one man whose dissatisfaction with the world around him combined with his mental and emotional issues to push him over the edge of reason and compassion.

No doubt the Hollywood left will soon weigh in about the fact that the man used a gun. A gun control argument regarding this situation is pointless. If Loughner was as mentally disturbed as has been reported, he would have found a way to do this, whether by way of a gun or some other weapon. And if the gun could not be bought legally, he would have obtained it illegally.

Just a reminder, Presidents Reagan and Kennedy were both shot while surrounded by the United States Secret Service – the best-trained and best-armed security officers in the history of the world. Crackpots will always find a way.

Through all of the mindless conjecture being bantered about on television news and talk radio, one argument does have some merit. Political rhetoric and unrest is at a long-time high in America right now. Not since the Vietnam War have Americans been so politically divided.

Clearly America’s political landscape is toxic and shows no immediate signs of improvement. Even so, how one chooses to respond to the current state of government separates activists from lunatics. There is no way to know what Loughner hoped to gain by attacking Congresswoman Giffords, but it is likely he expected to be killed in the attempt.

No one made this man act as he did. It was his choice – whether he proves out to be sane or not. His political or emotional motives are little comfort to families and friends of his victims who struggle to cope with the loss and injury of loved ones.

The big question now is to determine how something like this can be prevented from happening again? Unfortunately, there is just no way to do that. As long as there is a voice of the people, there will be no way to please everyone and fanatics always manage to float to the top, like flotsam in the currents of history.

Occasionally, those fanatics turn out to be great heroes, like our own founding fathers. Usually, however, they are just misguided malcontents who never see the bigger picture or have any understanding of how their actions affect others.

Winston Churchill said, “Democracy is the worst form of government, except for all the others.” As long as people are free to speak their minds, people will voice their discontent. Practiced peacefully, protest brings about healthy change and keeps politicians on the straight and narrow. When protest turns violent however, as it did in Tucson, innocent people pay the price.

Gery L. Deer is a freelance writer and columnist based in Jamestown, Ohio. More at http://www.gerydeer.com

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