I wish I did not have to write this blog today. On Saturday, a crazy person made the conscious planned decision to use violence to hurt and kill people. As he is being investigated and sordid details of his life and his delusions are coming to light, as the world is painting the portrait of a madman, and before the blood is even dried fully on the sidewalk, there are those who are using this tragedy as a trumpet call to enact new laws to protect us from ourselves and to further erode rights guaranteed to us by a 222 year old document that is supposed to serve as the framework and the supreme law of this land we call the United States.
When news of the shooting was first being reported, media outlets and political figures were quick to point fingers at conservative talk radio, the Tea Party, and Sarah Palin for being the inspiration and influence for this individuals actions. Now as the details are coming to light, no connection has been found to any of the above, and the agitators have quickly had to change their tune and find another cause du jour. While the digging into the shooter’s personal life continues, we find that politically, he was more aligned with the democrats and progressives than with any conservative personality. I will not point fingers and lay blame at them though. Blame lies solely with the shooter himself. It was his choice to take a gun and shoot and wound 18 people, 6 of them fatally. I initially did not want to label him as crazy, as the legal system doesn’t really punish the crazy, and I want to see him punished for his actions. He alone is responsible for this atrocity, and he alone should suffer the punishment.
Unfortunately, in our politically charged world today, it is likely we will all suffer because of a single individual’s actions. No tragedy or crisis will ever go unexploited to advance agendas. Carolyn McCarthy, a Democrat representative from New York, wants to introduce a bill as soon as Congress reconvenes on Wednesday to further limit firearm and ammunition sales (specifically quoted as assault weapons, even though Saturday’s shooter did not use an assault weapon). Congressman Robert Brady, a Democrat from Pennsylvania wants to introduce a bill criminalizing the threat or perceived threat to Congress and the Judiciary. The actual text of the bill is not available yet, but hearing Representative Brady describe it, pretty much any critical speech toward an elected or appointed official could be seen as threatening in a loose interpretation of the word, and would therefore be punishable. President Obama (also a Democrat, not that there’s anything wrong with that…) on Sunday called for new legislation to be enacted that would essentially create "licenses," to be able to use the internet. If you don’t have a license, you don’t have access. So one tragedy, and one deranged shooter could bring about restriction on how we talk, what we can say, to whom we can say it, what type of tools law biding citizens can buy or not buy. If we have to very carefully craft how we address those we elect to represent us, isn’t that limiting our ability to petition the government for a redress of grievances (1st amendment )? If we have to have a license to post things on the internet, and all of our posts are linked directly to us instead of anonymously, isn’t that compelling us to testify against ourselves (5th amendment)? And finally, gun control laws. there are enough already that might be effective if they were actually enforced, and yes they all encroach upon the 2nd amendment, but we expected this didn’t we? Are we shocked by the move to take away our rights, or are we numb to it by now.
Evil prospers when good men do nothing. Violence is not the answer, but being vocal, and making your views known is the right and appropriate action to take. This violent act was perpetrated by a single deranged individual. Let’s not let his killing spree extend to our liberties and our American way of life.
That’s my two cents worth. What’s yours?
#violence; #civil #rights; #constitution; #giffords; #tragedy;