Don't overreact to tragedyPosted Wednesday, January 12, 2011, at 8:51 AM
We've often railed against the politics of hate, which has seemingly become pervasive.
Logical discourse and reasonable debate have given way to demonizing opponents. In part, that may be because, lacking logic and reason to support their position, it's the only tool left to some politicians and pundits.
The shootings in Arizona have launched a national call to tone down that rhetoric. If that actually happens, it will be a good thing. But it's likely to disappear with the next big story to fix the attention of the public. Too many politicians and pundits make their careers and livelihood on venom, so the only thing that will really stop it is to reject them at the polls and quit listening to the radio and TV talk-show hosts that advocate that poor excuse for dialogue. It's up to us, as individuals, to bring about that change.
Some people will take this as an excuse to rail against gun control. But we find it interesting that one of the heroes of this massacre, a man who rushed into the shooting scene and helped subdue the gunman, was himself armed with a concealed handgun (and held the proper permit to do so). He said he didn't pull his gun because he didn't want to add to the chaos and terror of the moment. Which shows that it is possible to be a gun lover and still be smart. He didn't use the weapon he obviously carries for self protection in the midst of an incident when others might have considered self protection paramount. Not all gun lovers want to use their weapons at the first chance. Some actually think first.
Others believe our elected officials should now get special police protection. No, they shouldn't. While not unknown, this was a rare incident. Elected officials need to be able to walk among the people they represent without armed barriers between them and the people. Even most presidents, where the danger is highest and unfortunately real, often express the wish that they had less protection, not more.
When you live in a democracy, you have to accept some of the risks that come with the freedoms we enjoy.
Let us not get too carried away with the "message" from the Arizona shootings.
The cold, blunt reality is they were carried out by a nut with a gun. Nothing more and nothing less. Crazy people are going to do crazy things and there is very little anyone can do to prevent it.
It was a terrible tragedy and our hearts go out to all of the victims and their families.
But let's not overreact.
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