Thursday, January 20, 2011
A Horrible Tragedy Occurred in Tucson and the Whole Nation Has Missed the Point
Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head, six people died, 12 others were wounded and the entire nation has missed the point. Democrats jumped to blame Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh and the Tea Party. Republicans fired back and pointed out the shooter looked more like a left-winger than a right-winger. President Obama made a nice speech and called for civility. The mass media has been discussing the state of our nation's political discourse for days. A move is on to have Democrats and Republicans cross the aisle and sit with the opposition during President Obama's State of the Union speech. None of this has anything to do with the shooting in Tuscon. Other than the fact Rep. Giffords is a political figure, there doesn't seem to be anything political about the shooting. Jared Loughner appears to be a young man with serious mental health issues. If you have any doubt, just watch the YouTube videos of his anti-government Internet rants about the gold standard, grammar and mind control. People who knew Loughner were afraid he would shoot someone. The discussion we should be having as a nation isn't about civility, but how can we protect the public from the mentally ill without trampling on American's rights. If the root cause of the Tuscon shooting was mental illness, and it appears to be, all the civility in the world will not prevent recurrence of something similar in the future. What we need to be discussing is how did a young man was showing signs of mental instability and making numerous death threats slip through the cracks in our system? Why didn't Sheriff Clarence Dupnik and local authorities take stronger action? How can we change the law to facilitate a stronger response towards individuals making explicit death threats?The nation's debate needs to be switched from civility to mental illness. That is the only way we can hope to stop the next Jared Loughner.