I never thought the first blog of this year is going to be about death of a girl, whose birth was a symbol of triumph against the evil we are all fighting since 2001. But as it turns out, the New Year for us just came as a change of date, nothing more than that. People don’t change overnight, they don’t change ideologies, they don’t let go of hate, prejudice or enmity. The tragedy in Tucson, Arizona has once again shown the partisan division of United States. It’s a sad testament of the fact that political difference is going beyond the boundaries of policies or ideologies. It’s turn ugly, and six people from a judge, John Roll; to a nine year old girl, Christina-Taylor Green, who was born on 9/11/2001, showed us that ugly picture with their lives. This shooting also reminded us the old issue, that every time somehow gets bypassed, availability of assault weapons to everyone.
The incident showed us how divided the political arena has become. When the Congress or the President very poetically talks about bipartisanship, it really sounds like rhetoric. On the ground, everyone has drawn their lines based on race, religion and how much tax they’ll have to pay. Since the 2008 election, we have seen the surge of a more aggressive right wing politics in United States. The rise and now almost established as the ring master of Republicans, The Tea Party, is the biggest evidence. The inclusion of Barack Obama and the Tea Party in US politics would’ve been great inclusions only if both of them had anything in common that really could’ve given the people any hope of bipartisan political development. The President is driven by ideology and the Tea Party is still a mystery to me. Surely when people bring loaded guns to health care related town hall meetings to prove a point, you have to wonder about their mental health and how much care they might need. Also the leadership of this right wing hardliners played with over aggressive wording time and again, which in their words, was to “energies” the base. When you use words like “Don’t retreat, reload”, and use bulls eye marker to “target” constituencies in the midterm election, it was just a matter of time that some nut job somewhere will take it the next step and that inevitable has happened in Tucson. The right, or especially the Republican party can argue that Jared Lee Loughner, the 22 year old shooter had no party affiliation. But that’s 40% of the entire country, who are registered Independents! That doesn’t mean the political parties have no responsibility in how or what are the throwing out there. The aggressive rhetoric of the Tea Party movement leadership worked like advertisement on television. After two or three times you don’t pay attention to the detail in the new detergent commercial but after listening to it over and over again, you do look at it on the detergent isle when you go to the supermarket. That’s what has happened to this troubled mind. His mind was diverting and got stuck with the words spit out of the rightwing airwaves and he took it on himself to take the “target” down; Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (whose constituency was actually on the website as a target that Sarah Palin used before the mid terms in November). Now make the rightwing airwaves some website or cleric in Syria or Palestine or Pakistan and make Jared Loughner an unknown kid from the Middle Eastern suburb and the result will be the same. Some troubled, lonely drugged up mind with no social support around will take a twisted ideology in heart and take it to the extreme.
There are stupids all over the world, and they are in the right and also in the left. If you know your base has a violent and aggressive emotion on issues and you ignite it with your words, you are responsible for the consequences. When riot and ethnic cleansing took place in Rwanda, the international court also charged the people who were instigating the violence over the radio channels, and not everyone who takes action have to be a registered member. I hope people from all sides will think first the way they point out opinions on issues in the future.
And then there’s the love affair with guns in United States. I really won’t waste my energy in pointing out that all the shootings from Columbine to Virginia Tech to Tucson, had something to do with the availability of assault weapons legally. I really don’t get the fascination about guns with people. The country has a pretty powerful military and the chance of some enemy coming to our seashores unnoticed is highly unlikely. So I don’t see the need of the militia mentality. Also if you need fire arms to protect your family, exactly what are you expecting might happen? Unless people know about a zombie breakout that I don’t know about, I don’t see the need of a gun that shots 32 bullets in a minute. Also the idea that if everyone had guns, then we can stop crimes happening when they take place is an idea that I think Hollywood studio executives won’t even buy. If you could’ve become a crime stopper just by having a gun in your hand then we wouldn’t need the Police Academies and our law enforcing agencies won’t even need any kind of professional training. Chances are very high, out in a chaos you’ll shoot someone you were trying to protect. The idea that banning assault weapon won’t stop the bad guys to get the guns is also baloney. If that’s true, then no matter how much you’ll try to stop drug junkies will always find a way to the good stuff or teenagers will always get booze somehow; why don’t we make drugs legal and drop the drinking age, tax them heavily, make money and leave the decision to the individuals choice what they want to do!! The ban on assault weapon in 1998 which expired in 2004 made it possible for the disturbed mind in Virginia Tech or in Tucson to get hold of a weapon that they shouldn’t have been allowed to have. Trust me, I’m not asking for weapons ban for average citizens. This is one way to tell the system that having guns in hand doesn’t make them powerful. But unless you are preparing to fight your own army or planning to take a vacation in Zoombieland, you don’t need powerful assault weapons. Unfortunately, after every tragedy everyone very silently take their eyes off the gun issue and blame it to the “troubled” mind of the individual. But no one in the left or in the right thought this is a obvious question to ask, how does these young trouble minds get hold of these guns at the first place?
Shots were fired and it went through the heart of the nation, and you all are to be blamed, because you gave the country a bad name 🙂
List of the dead Victims in the Tucson Arizona shooting:
- Christina-Taylor Green, 9,
- Dorothy “Dot” Morris, 76,
- John Roll, 63,
- Phyllis Schneck, 79,
- Dorwin Stoddard, 76,
- Gabriel “Gabe” Zimmerman, 30.