Tuesday, January 11, 2011


Tucson: For Once Let's Us Not Forget

For Once Let’s Not Forget

The anger will subside as will the shock and outrage. Tucson will go the way of the Kennedy assassinations, the King assassination, Columbine, Long Island Railroad and the other unthinkables we have endured. It will become a painful memory that we wish we could erase from our national consciousness. However, we must never forget. When we think of becoming complacent again let’s remember a precious little girl struck down while visiting her Congresswoman or a man shielding his wife’s body giving his life to preserve hers or a brilliant woman in a hospital with part of her skull removed. With those memories let us for once act and stay vigilant.

When a politician or commentator puts crosshairs on map, when they tell people to “reload” and to take “second amendment solutions” or shoot a gun in the air and say this is what we must do to the Health Care Bill or any piece of legislation – we must remember. We must stand up immediately and demand that a civilized society will not tolerate that. These people should become immediate outcasts in normal society not awarded with votes or millions of dollars. We must demand the main stream media denounce these actions and stop elevating these people. They must be called out for what they are.

When people use their political, media or religious pulpits to spread hate against any group they must be confronted immediately and continually.

When those who spread hate and incite the deranged try to stop us from calling them out we should have MORE not LESS of a backbone to put them back in their place.

When a Congress in the pocket of the NRA tries to remove assault weapons bans so that a deranged person can get their hands of thousands of rounds of bullets and a Glock we must not allow it as we did in 2004. Those of us who believe in sensible gun control MUST be as loud as those who misinterpret the 2nd amendment for their own good – and demand a Congress that acts in our interests and safety.

AND WE MUST VOTE. Many on the Left sat and pouted this past November and now look at the balance of power in the House. While they pouted the radical Right voted. What are the chances of getting decent gun control passed a GOP House? Think back to 2004 when the assault ban legislation was allowed to lapse and there should be your answer.

So please let us not forget, let us not fall back and allow hate and incitement to again be taken as political discussion. Let us demand gun control, let us act. Retreating into our comfort zones and winking and nodding at those who hate only works until the next unthinkable act enters our pages of history.

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As Marge and I were reading about the 2nd amendment solutions, and cross hairs on elected officials, and encouragements to reload that some speculate may have motivated Saturday's tragedy I commented that had I said those sorts of things in print I would have been arrested for inciting violence against the government. I cannot imagine what would have happened to a Muslim cleric making such suggestions. Why do we tolerate this sort of behavior from the radical right? I do not know and worse, I do not know what to do about it. Sadly, there are relatively few of us who appear to be outraged by what we see and hear in campaigns and in too much of the media. We vote and we write letters and we sign petitions and complain, but we do not sell like Glen Beck or Rush Limbaugh. Nor do we appeal to too many voters who are unwilling to think even a little. I will not forget Tucson, but I do not have a lot of expectation that the tragedy will do much to change the bitterness that seems to be the predominant taste in today's political stew. I hope I am wrong.
Thank you Joan. I agree that progressives have themselves to blame for staying away from the polls in November 2010. But I question whether Palin or Beck had any influence on Jared what's his name. It seems like he was in his own little world.

I think Sara Palin is overplaying her hand with this "blood libel"nonsense.
Perhaps the events in Tuscon are more related to how we, in our society, attend to one another, rather than our gun policies or lack thereof; the second amendment to the constitution or the lack of civil discourse in our public media or political debates or practices.

I recommend a viewing of Dr. Lieberman's interview with Charlie Rose last night, Tuesday. It is replayed tonight again at 8 and 10PM on Blumberg News channel. Or one can go to the Charlie Rose website.

Dr. Lieberman's beautiful explanation of the type of mental illness that leads to executing the sorts of violent behaviors seen in Tuscon was soul wrenching. For me, at least, I believe I had my first experience of feeling compassion for someone possibly descending into a psychotic break who was predisposed to taking the action he took because no one was looking at the indicators of his condition. I am glad I listened to Dr. Lieberman passionate, clear, compassionate explanation of actions taken because the demons of the mind overtake the system that guides us when we are engaging in right and wrong behavior.

Maybe if we were attending to one another more we might be able to worry less about guns and violence and ignorance displayed on talk radio. Maybe we'd have a chance to rech out before someone's demons took over the stage. Eleanor
One of the most saddening aspects of the Tucson tragedy is that the lost and wounded represented the "intelligent and curious" middle. That is, there were Democrats and Republicans who made the trip to Safeway to communicate with their representative. Judge Roll, a fairly conservative, Republican appointee to the Federal bench, was there to communicate. And, of course, the 9-year old girl, eager to learn. THAT is the tragedy that mainstream media should be portraying for the country. It was an event planned to be civil, respectful and productive.
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