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Arizona Shootings

Fight, Gabby, fight hard. Lots of energy coming your way, dear lady.

Not much to add, other than:

1) As a geologist, let me assure you I’ve never had to “take a stand” or “reload” when using a theodolite.

2) I would never have even thought of Sarah Palin in relation to this shooting had her camp not hastily taken down all of her related online materials as immediate response. If they’re just words, let them be, own them and, um, it’s not always about you.

3) On the inevitable gun control debate: It’s very dangerous on the part of the left to let the right own the Second Amendment, especially in the manner the right has been carrying on. Any gun owner and user knows that the language surrounding guns and the weapons themselves ought to be used with caution, respect and responsibility. Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and many in the Tea Party have been very callous and irresponsible with the way they bandy about guns and their lingo, by lecturing to people to arm themselves, to reload and if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment solutions. Guns need not show up to rallies and other public places as symbols, totems and toys. They ought not to be trivialized like this, especially not partisan-politically.

Where then is room for a liberal like me who is very much in favor of the second amendment and opposed to gun control in response to this horrendous shooting? A liberal like me who believes that real, sane, stable gun owners know when and how to use their weapons and for BOTH sides (yes, that includes Republicans) to use gun language to set partisan tone in response to this tragedy is abhorrent and, again, irresponsible.

9 comments… add one
  • liprap January 10, 2011, 4:10 PM

    I think about all of this in terms of how little we are doing for mental illness…and how little we KEEP doing for it. The internet and the political pundits’ violent rhetoric simply give the instinct to do harm a seemingly greater legitimacy within that framework. It’s not legitimate, it’s sick. This guy needed serious help before he went out and shot all these people.

  • Charlie Martin January 10, 2011, 5:49 PM

    2) I would never have even thought of Sarah Palin in relation to this shooting had her camp not hastily taken down all of her related online materials as immediate response. If they’re just words, let them be, own them and, um, it’s not always about you.

    Except, uh, she hasn’t.

    A lot of people who blamed Palin said she had though.

    Personally, I didn’t think either maps or guns, since I know that that glyph is a printer’s registration mark.

    It’s worth remembering that even our most prized prejudices are still maya.

    • Maitri January 10, 2011, 6:00 PM

      Thanks for your comment, Charlie.

      It’s really less about our prejudices and what we think and more about the facts as they stand, right? Again, why did the Palin camp attract attention to itself by taking down those key materials right af the shooting, which they admit they did. They also say those were intended as surveyor’s marks so the fact that you think they are a printer’s registration mark doesn’t really matter, does it?

      Poor Ms. Giffords and everyone who died and was hurt yesterday. Let’s get our thoughts back to these real victims.

  • ryan January 10, 2011, 8:40 PM

    It’s so predictable that the scapegoating of the right happened. I remember after the Ft Hood massacre how journalist and Dem politician’s where urging restraint and saying let’s get all the facts before jumping to conclusions. It’s embarassing how quickly they jumped to conclusions here…so predictable and pathetic.

    The guy is just as much a left wing extremist as a right wing extremist, why not blame it on the President?? He’s said some pretty inflammatory things over the last few years (my favorite “if they bring a knife to fight, we bring a gun”) Since he was met Rep Gifford in 2007, why not blame the Dem Congr Committee for posting the same type of map with targets on it a few years back??

    I agree with you, we SHOULD be focused on the real victims. However, blame it on the media and the Democratic politicians who are jumping all over themselves to ensure that the Democratic party scores some political points over this tragedy. Patethic, predictable, and hypocritical.

    • Maitri January 10, 2011, 11:19 PM

      As long as Americans show up to support their party and their party alone at all costs, with party talking points and nothing original to add, they will only be part of the problem and not the solution.

  • Cousin Pat from Georgia January 11, 2011, 1:59 AM

    Yes, yes, yes. Let us trot out the old “the Democrats are trying to score points off a tragedy” line. As if the GOP didn’t milk the 9/11 tragedy into hysteria over a Ground Zero Mosque that is neither a mosque nor at Ground Zero nine years later. You want to know why everyone jumped to conclusions? Profiling. Because when violence happens with a vaguely Middle Eastern sounding name, a whole lot of people get on the news before the facts are even in, and we all know what they say.

    So you can guess what happens when a white boy guns down a Democratic Congresswoman in Arizona of all places. That’s right. Profiling. Got to dance with the one that brung ya, and there are still some folks out there in this country that remember Oklahoma City. I have dyed in the wool Christian, Republican and Southern family members who “jumped to that conclusion.” Don’t get mad that what is “good” for the goose is “good” for the gander.

    If only our society tried a little harder to get facts straight, and let investigations work, before running off at the mouth every damn minute, maybe we could figure out why crap like this happens all the time in our country.

    Now we find out he’s just one of those types that wants to see the world burn. It isn’t surprising, especially in the way our popular culture, music and politics glorify violence. Right-wing has long reminded me of the gangsta-rap formula – always manufacturing a controversy to sell albums and look hard, never responsible for followers getting the wrong idea.

    But I’m with you Maitri, on the whole 2nd Amendment thing. I’m not against reasonable regulation of firearms, either. I want the government to do what it can to keep the bad guys from arming themselves while protecting my right to legally carry a firearm. The police won’t always be around to defend me or my neighborhood, after all. Guns don’t kill people, they just make it easier for people to kill people.

  • Maitri January 11, 2011, 9:49 AM

    When something like this happens, Republicans scream “Terrorist” or “We didn’t do it!” based on the skin color of the perpetrator and Democrats in turn yell “Gun control!” What we forget is that there are other more important issues at play that have nothing to do with our increasingly-irrelevant political parties.

    I’d like to reinforce what I said in the post about “real, sane, stable gun owners.” What are we doing about mental health and responsible gun ownership, which also includes keeping guns out of the hands of people like this idiot?

    • Cousin Pat from Georgia January 11, 2011, 12:09 PM

      Regarding the “real, sane, stable gun owners,” those are the folks you rarely, if ever, hear about. They make up the vast majority of gun owners.

      Unfortunately, the mental health infrastructure in this nation is so inadequate (from my experience) that there is almost no way to identifiy at-risk individuals short of them asking (and usually paying) for help themselves. I do not believe the law places high restriction on such individuals’ rights to gun ownership, but background checks are required in even the most gun-friendly states for the most usual of weapons, when purchased from a lisenced dealer. Individual restrictions include prohibitions (on a state by state basis) on felons or those convicted of domestic violence.

      I do not know if there are prohibitions for anyone based on mental health, or if that would even come into play with this case.

    • Cousin Pat from Georgia January 11, 2011, 12:22 PM

      Or I could just stop guessing and call my Dad to ask him.

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