The horrifying tragedy that took place in Tuscon on Saturday is an event that will not be soon forgotten. Perhaps, looking back, we will see it as a turning point, when members of Congress decided that interacting with constituents was no longer worth the risk.
I, for one, hope the horrifying actions of Jared Loughner have no effect on the vibrancy of our Republic. As Democratic strategist Joe Trippi wrote for Fox News:
If we took all the steps necessary to prevent this attack we would either not be able to meet with our elected officials or a lot of people we only think are crazy would be in jail — locked up.
All this talk of “watching our language” in public debate runs counter to freedom of speech and ignores the fact that in a country of 300 million people there was only 1 person who didn’t grasp that speech is speech — that you don’t use a gun in a debate.
We can not create a free society in which there is no chance of a tragedy like this.
In a free society, these events can occur. But what troubles me most about this whole affair is the way some have reacted. Democrat Congresswoman Carolyn McCarthy is introducing gun control legislation, as if that would have really stopped the murderous rampage of a psychopath. Democrat Congressman Bob Brady, meanwhile, is planning on sponsoring a bill that, according to CNN, would “make it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a member of Congress or federal official.”
As The Daily Caller points out, “It’s hardly worth deconstructing an idea this stupid. By Brady’s definition, virtually all political language could be construed as illegal, beginning with martial terms like “campaign.” But it is worth defending speech, even the loud and grating variety.”
Mass murder is not a partisan issue, nor is it a reason to further restrict first and second amendment rights. I hope that media figures, elected officials, and the American people realize this. It is not the time for pointing fingers and assigning blame. One person is ultimately responsible and that’s the psycho who murdered six innocent people and shot twenty in total. If you use such a tragedy as a political weapon, as Keith Olbermann and Paul Krugman have done (just to name a few) you are the lowest of the low.
Please keep the families of the victims, Congresswoman Giffords and her family, and everyone affected by this tragedy in your thoughts and prayers. That is the proper response. Seeking to assign political blame is not.