Arizona in Mourning

January/10/2011 16:35PM
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An unbalanced young gunman shot 20 people at a political rally in Tucson. Six people died. Four heroes kept it from being worse. A 74 year old woman stepped in as the shooter was trying to load a fresh clip. Two men jumped on the shooter and a third helped hold him down. A medical intern certainly saved Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with his aid. It is a terrible tragedy and Arizona is in mourning for the dead and wounded. Another senseless sign of our troubled times.

Led by the Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who may also be unbalanced, the news immediately politicized the event. He attacked the amount of vitriol in political rhetoric that he said may contribute to violence, repeated that view with obvious emotion on Sunday and also lashed out at laws that let everybody carry guns. I feel that Sheriff Dupnik is setting the same example he is blaming for the tragedy. When have you ever heard a sheriff lay blame for a crime like this? Is he not inflaming an already bad situation and perhaps making another unbalanced person think about his words?

He went on to say “I think that when the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia about how government operates and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, has impact on people especially who are unbalanced personalities begin with.” He equated Arizona to Tombstone because of the gun laws.

Dupnik’s comments lit up the media in Arizona and they jumped on the political aspect of the trade. The National media soon followed. The same media that said we need to take pause after the Ft. Hood shooting, and not make this a political/religious issue.

No one really knows the shooter’s motives for doing what he did. If it were pure politics, it seems he would have stopped after shooting the congresswoman. For all the sheriff knows, he just looked for a crowd. The media has even gone on to say Sarah Palin was a critic of Giffords. God knows, no political figure in America has been on the receiving end of more vitrol than Palin.

I believe it is truly classless for Sheriff Dupnik to use this tragedy to stump for his personal political beliefs. And, to add fuel to the very fire he believes caused this to happen. He would be better served by investigating the crime and recognizing the citizens who did such a heroic job of mitigating the damage. Evidently there was no police presence at the scene.

Local media, now national media, even suggest it could be tea party motivated. It shows the sad state of communications in this country and how far the media has sunk from their job of journalistic reporting. The media and the sheriff treat this like a TV reality show.

To the sheriff’s position on guns, if the young man who helped subdue the suspect had gotten there 5 minutes sooner he might have reduced the carnage. He was carrying a 9MM handgun, legal in Arizona.

Some reasonable journalist wrote, “this is a rush to see who can be wrong first”. Isn’t that the truth.

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