What gets my shorts in a twist is that here we have a horrible criminal event, with a judge, a child and 4 others dead, along with a Congresswoman critically injured. Then within the first half hour, and less than half a dozen PPRuNe postings a bunch of people are looking to pin the blame for this onto their political opponents.
Don't shoot the PPRuNe messengers here obgraham - the consequences of violent right wing political rhetoric was foretold much earlier than that. By none other than the poor victim herself -
"The thing is, the way that she has it depicted -- the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district -- when people do that, they've got to realize that there's consequences for that action," she said. March 25, 2010
The TeaPartiers, S.Palin, Rush, Glen, et al did not cause this event. Neither did the Red Chinese, MoveOn, the Iranians, the Israelis, the Daily Kos, or Al Franken. The perpetrator is to blame. To assign vicarious blame to someone else is just plain disgusting.
I guess that sort of reasoning would let Osama bin Laden off the hook for the WTC attacks then too.
It sickens me to see someone aim for political change by assassination, and shoot dead six others and injure a dozen more.
Use your right to vote, run for election, volunteer, or write an opinion piece in the local newspaper if you know how to do things better.
It's not a perfect world. It never will be.
I don't care about the Congress member's political views. Shooting them in the head at point blank range is absolutely the wrong way to act in a democratic society.
And there might be a second person who helped set this up then ran away.
Yes, the person who pulled the trigger may have had "psychological issues", but why has the U.S. drifted so far from civil discourse, even if it includes yelling in someone else's face if you don't agree with their opinion, that somehow it's okay to use a gun to shoot someone you don't agree with, then blast away at others there to hear what the duly elected representative had to say?
We're talking about real humans with parents, children, and families. It's not some anonymous face on TV or abstract avatar on the internet.
Last edited by visibility3miles; 9th Jan 2011 at 14:26.
What you recommend is very important in a civilized society. The culture that is well educated, honest, and can think critically will make best use of such a process.
I did all those things in the mid nineties. Ran for elective office, was successful twice, volunteered on non-profit boards, and engaged energetically in politics. My affiliation didn't help, as a conservative, I was railing against a stacked deck, but I figured if I had some success, being active might catch on.
It worked, and it didn't. I was amazed at how different was the reality from my naive world view. Politics invariably brings out the darker side in most everyone. I was surprised when I noticed in myself a slide to expediency and a relaxation in my commitment to "change over time". The upshot is that as an individual, one becomes enamored of the power to effect change. A great thing, Yes? One hopes. Instead, this power succumbs to "compromise", "consensus", and groupthink.
I was disillusioned, and through the experience I have become even more alienated from "process". It has become a game, whose rules are flexible, subject to interpretation in the moment, and productive of results that suit the few.
Now if the 'many' had more interest, were more greatly disposed to thinking and action, the situation might be different. Instead, we send "Them" to the center of power, you know, "Them, who used to be Us". It is an alienating and narrowed skill set that we allow to run our system. First, we dumb, then we lazy, then we lost.
I have little Faith. We no longer Own the Power. We have allowed it to be taken, through inattention, selfishness, etc. Worst of all, we have succumbed to pitching invective at each other. Can one imagine a more helpless mass of Sheep? You know, those who think the answer is to flick nonsense at one another.
It IS us v. them. Whether it is a new phenomenon or not matters little. As we are swept into the dustbin, it is sad that we are directing our very real power as individuals to tear down the ones we must soon befriend, to resist this dark and epic evil.
More than anything else, gun ownership has stifled Death and Destruction in our dysfunctional society. Without these weapons, the number and scope of sociopathic behavioural acting out would have mogrified our society into what the Gangs are actively trying to accomplish Now.
It sounds farfetched, but there is a tacit constrictive force in our Land that emanates from a history of independence, and the ability to defend it.
Now this is not theory, and I will admit the process is at a breaking point. Injustice, Organized Theft by Government, a breakdown of morals and beliefs, etc.have taken us to the brink, and backlash is our daily legacy.
Gang warfare is but a niche product of what our Leaders have engaged in in our name for longer than there is energy to remember.
Action produces reaction. Even in the most troubled mind, there is generally at least a glimpse of reason. The twisted outcome is hopefully rare. Everything is connected.
If it was not, Humans would have died out almost as soon as they appeared.
I believe that a 'member of the public' carrying a (licensed) concealed weapon joined in (ostensibly to apprehend the original gunman). As the authorities are now seeking another possible accomplice, maybe this (innocent?) member of the public was responsible for some of the injuries (or even deaths)?
Oh I'm no anti gun nut Mr Bear far from it,the comment was meant to indicate how tempting it must be sometimes to take direct personal action when the means of doing so are always at hand and one's surprise it does not happen more often.
With respect, no doubt one could find examples of a dirth of civility in almost every country in the world. Nobody is trying to gainsay that fact, nor single America out. I am happy to say however that while parliament can be a bit raucous and undignified at times, nobody has taken to using sniper crosshairs to metaphorically target opponent's seats etc.
As for your Russian example, ongoing events there are a tragedy and if anybody wants to start a Russian Politics Hamster Wheel no doubt we would see as much concern posted there as here.
Further reading suggests that 'my' report of an armed member of the public might be false. Current reports suggest that the would-be assassin was disarmed by a female who grabbed the magazine when he attempted to reload . . .
Brave lady if that is true!
The person sought by the authorities is thought to have accompanied the gunman to the shopping mall. Sounds like it might be an older man.
Actually, con-pilot has posted several times, that while supporting gun ownership, he does not own any operable weapons. I own 8 at last count, all legally registered and used appropriately, ready for home defense. While having a license to carry, I do not do so. The legal outcomes, from disturbing the peace charge if a concealed weapons is spotted accidentally to serious legal ramifications arising from justified use of weapon is just not worth the extremely low likelihood of actually needing a gun. Someone attempting a home break-in deserves the outcome received.
On the shooting and US politics:
First, for all the overheated rhetoric of the "right" responsible for this tragedy for the Giffords' family and the others, the "Tea Party" and the right in general won the election resoundingly. Winners don't generally go on shooting sprees.
Rep Giffords was a "Blue Dog" Democrat married to an astronaut, she voted against Speaker Pelosi, for for deficit reductions, voted for gun rights and for the repeal of DC gun laws. She represents a, in the scheme of things, conservative district that is under a lot of stress--it is Arizona after all. It is every bit as conceivable that the Left would want her "dead" as any Right Winger. In fact, the Daily Kos, before removing the post, had her "targeted" in the same manner as has been reported on Palin. President Obama, himself during the campaign told a group, "if they bring a knife to the fight, we'll being a gun." Politics ain't beanbag.
So, knock off The Attitude. The Attitude is the chip on the shoulder that says, "I'm liberal, (left wing, socialist, whatever the flavor of your country) hence I am pure, moral and above mundane questioning. My opposition on the Right is vial, mean-spirited, willing to commit violence, leave the destitute in the gutter, beneath contempt. They are not worthy of honest argument, recognition as human, or anything but a strawman pinata."
US politics, like this hamster wheel, is presently overheated in its rhetoric and feelings. There is a reason, as opposed to the politics of much of world. We are fighting (if you will permit a pugilistic term of art) over real issues and values. America has two intertwined threads of politics that go back to the post-Revolution era. Are we a individualistic, liberty-desiring, free country OR are we a community of people devoted to a republican ideal of citizenship, willing to sacrifice for the "other" people in our midst. Founded on immigration, we are better at integrating, assimilating new people, new cultures, new ethnics than any country extant. Would France ever elect an Algerian to the Presidency? Would Japan allow a non-Japanese to be elected? Not to put them down, but look at what has happened in my lifetime--segregation to President Obama. Not possible elsewhere, PERIOD!
Right now, with three recent "wave" elections which reinforced and then tore down the results, we are in a period of "open field elections", as commentator Michael Barone put it. There are vast changes occurring within the population, not merely economic in tough times. The electorate is very fluid and receptive of political argument, hence the politician's reversion to strong, even violent, rhetoric. It won't be sorted out easily Fasten your seat belts. If the "American Empire" is going into decline in influence, changes will won't be confined to the US.
Google "Jefferson" and Hamilton" to get an idea of the gulf and it timelessness of our politics.
Last edited by galaxy flyer; 9th Jan 2011 at 19:52.
Americans do not live in fear of not safely going to the store, school or political rallies. Simple as that. Perhaps, in Scotland, you can imagine that just like I can imagine Scots dying from eating deep-fried Mars Bars and haggis.
Not to speak for him, but Con-pilot's point was the shooter was not so delusional as not be aware of his shooting and the legal implications. In Arizona, he will be charged with a capital murder and faces the death penalty, As Con-pilot has shown, even hardened murderers who will murder inside prison, will buckle under to the possibility of death row.
Our Constitution has a Second Amendment, note it position just after Freedom of Speech and Religion, guaranteeing the right to keep and bear arms. It has repeatedly been upheld, is widely supported and unlikely to change anytime soon. Please do NOT pin your prejudices on our country.
Matari posted a link to an article from the Daily Telegraph in his post 52, an extract of which follows:
Demonstrators kicked the Rolls-Royce as it travelled to the Royal Variety Performance in central London. White paint and bottles were thrown over the car and a window shattered. The Prince and Duchess were “unharmed” and continued with their engagement at the London Palladium, a Clarence House spokesman said.
I detest violence of all sorts; against property, against people. But the above report which he quotes does not appear to have been all that traumatic.
I am deeply saddened by the event in Tucson.
That one of the (so far) survivors, but seriously wounded, is a public figure is a distraction but makes the whole episode more "newsworthy".
Lives have been lost. Whether they were judges, passers by or what ever, makes no difference. A life is a life, and everybody has a fundamental right to live. And not to be slaughtered outside a shopping centre.
There is a poignancy that one victim was a child.
I am deeply saddened by the loss of life of some of your compatriots, matari.
I have not so far read of your sadness in the same vein. You do not seem moved by this tragedy, and your attempt to make a comparison between trivial vandalism on the one hand, and multiple loss of life and grievous injury on the other hand, I find highly distasteful.
If you want to make some kind of trans Atlantic issue, have the grace, decency, basic human respect, not to attempt to do so on the back of what is a black episode.