Sunday, January 09, 2011

Politics and the Shooting Spree in Arizona

The repercussions of Saturday shooting in Tucson are getting a bit tense. The tragedy is that six people were killed and 13 injured by a 22 year old assailant at a Tucson political event on Saturday morning for Arizona's 8th District Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

Congresswoman Giffords is my congressional representative. I did not vote for her. I voted for her opponent, Jesse Kelly, in the November election. Congresswoman Giffords won by around 1%, mainly because she was able to split her opponents' votes with 4% going to the Libertarian candidate, away from the Republican. She was a smart campaigner, winning fair and square.

Congresswoman Giffords is considered a Blue Dog Democrat. She is a moderate and needed to be in order to win in our district. She supports the second amendment and strong borders (though is against SB 1070). She is pro abortion, pro-Obamacare and pro-federal-government bailout.

I appreciate her willingness to hold "Congress on Your Corner" events. She does a good job interfacing with her constituency.

This shooting is nothing more than a tragedy. It was an act perpetrated by a disturbed individual. It is not the first, it will not be the last. Turning this into a political debate will be the wrong reaction.

Sure we have a politically divided society. That is one of the great things about our society. We can discover for ourselves and vote accordingly as to what we want our government to be and do, given our constitution.

However, turning this particular tragedy in to political debate is the wrong outcome. This is not a statement on gun laws, freedom of speech, immigration, healthcare or abortion.

Did this young man fall through the cracks? Probably. Is this normal for a person distraught with the government? No. Could it have been prevented? Doubtful.

This is nothing more than a terrible tragedy.

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