In the meantime, I've heard an awful lot of people on both ends of the political spectrum taking vicious swipes at their opposites and then self-righteously calling for more civility in our political rhetoric.
It's downright embarrassing for the rest of the world to see us showing our collective asses this way.
As for myself, although my politics usually differ from both of the following columnists, for once I whole-heartedly agree with both.
First, Richard Roeper:
Read Loughner’s rantings: “I can’t trust the current government because...the government is implying mind control on the people by controlling grammar. No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver! No! I won’t trust in God!”Too right.
Watch the video in which Loughner, wearing a trash bag, a hoodie and a bizarre mask, appears to “Let the Bodies Hit the Floor” by Drowning Pool and burns the American flag before leaving the viewer with this message: “I want you never fearing of wrongful incrimination by local police [cult leaders].”
His favorite books: everything from Animal Farm to The Wizard of Oz to One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest to Mein Kampf to the Communist Manifesto.
What are we to glean from all this? That heated rhetoric from the right led to the shootings? Huh?
How about this: He’s a nutjob. A twisted, sick mind that exploded. All the back and forth about heated political rhetoric, all the attempts to capitalize on this tragedy, won’t change that.
Next, Neil Steinberg:
The motivations of the shooter are irrelevant. It is OUR motivations we should examine and understand. The reaction to the shootings reminds us how political extremism saps our humanity. It’s the same dynamic that allows young men to strap on explosives and go blow themselves up in crowded markets — the trumping of tender feeling by delusional political obsession. You would not, if it were your wife shot in the head in Tucson, flutter your fingers on the keyboard and wax snarky about Obamacare. You would not, if it were your father, murdered in a grocery store parking lot, carp about Sarah Palin’s rhetorical excesses. You would not, if it were your third-grader, your darling daughter killed on a Saturday morning because she was in the student council and wanted to meet a real congresswoman, pontificate about our cherished Second Amendment rights. The victims had blood to shed — these online observers seem cold, bloodless and inhuman.Thank you both for reminding us what's important and what's not, gentlemen.
Press your fingers, not into the carnage, seeking something crimson to underscore your point, but against your own neck. Find a pulse, if you have one, and then try to conduct yourself accordingly.
We'll have time enough to point fingers once there's been an investigation and the truth of the motivation behind the shooter's actions becomes known.
In the meantime, howzabout we honor the memories of all six of the victims? Howzabout we honor the incredibly brave actions of the men and woman that took the shooter down? Howzabout we pray for all those folks, names not yet revealed, who were shot and wounded?
Howzabout we honor the memory of one incredibly cool little girl by honoring her wishes today and every day?
“I hope you help those in need,” reads the message on the page before Christina’s picture. “I hope you see rainbows.”Enough with the hypocritical angry-making already.
On the page after her photo, the message reads, “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.”
Shame on us. Shame on ALL of us.