Yesterday as I went about my business I happened to be flipping through the channels and for the first time in years I actually stopped on CNN. The network was reporting a sitting US congresswoman and numerous people had been shot while talking outside of a Safeway Supermarket. Little was known about the conditions of those shot and even less known about the killer or what prompted such a senseless act of violence. As I sat watching Representative Gabrielle Giffords’s status went from critically injured to decreased and then amazingly back to alive and through surgery.
Wanting to offer what little support I could I signed into Twitter for the first time in months. I’ve long grown accustomed to people sending me messages (directed for former governor Palin) with obscenities such as cunt and bitch in them, but I wasn’t prepared for what I saw yesterday. As I sat watching my replies tab starting flooding up with people attempting to connect former Governor Palin’s “target map” from the recent mid-term election with the shooting in Arizona. The conditions of those shot seemed to matter far less to these people than attempting to score political points through a cold-blooded act of murder.
I was personally unsettled by Mrs. Palin’s ad from last year and it certainly didn’t help feelings towards the former governor. I disagree with much of what she has to say, but I don’t act uncivil about it. There should be no space in our political climate for ads such as the one Mrs. Palin created, but more importantly there shouldn’t be space for politicking a murder or the obscenities in my replies tab. Those attacking Mrs. Palin yesterday are just as bad as she is, if not worse. The political rhetoric in this country needs to change, on both sides of the aisle, but right now the act is Arizona looks to be the work of a mentally unstable young man whose motive still remains unknown.
My point here is not to say the political rhetoric in America didn’t play a role, we simply do not know. Should we find out that the shooter was in fact influenced by the rhetoric then blame should be rightfully placed on those who fueled the fire. But let that come at a later point, right now the only thing on anyone’s mind should be the conditions of those still alive and providing what little support we can offer to those killed.
AZCentral.com has a guestbook for those seeking to leave messages for the victims. You can sign it here.