Tucson – Rhetoric and Revolvers
I took the past couple of days off so that I wouldn’t contribute to the rhetoric and also to think about the events in Tucson.
Unfortunately, what I’ve seen and read over the past few days is not the decrease that myself and others had hoped for, but more of a doubling down on the terse and often violent statements from both sides. I’ve seen posts on Tea Party sites that call for a push back from the attacks that the Left is doing, and a call for some of that push back to be violent. I’ve seen and heard posts and commentary from the Left that the remarks and rhetoric from the Right are a possible reason behind the shootings because of a form letter from Rep. Gifford’s office that was found in the suspect’s home that had “die bitch” and “die cops” written on it. and I’ve read some statements that violent actions need to be responded to in violent ways. I have also heard of knee-jerk reactionary bills being proposed for more gun control and limits on firearms near Congressional members.
There are members of the Tea Party Nation, including founder Judson Phillips, that have called the events in Tuscon part of a war between the Tea Party and the Left. There has been talk about using the events to fuel fighting between the Tea Party and the Liberal media to stop the take over of the country by Progressives. The absolute last thing that this country needs is another round of violent talk from either the Right or the Left. There were members of the Tea Party who attended the town halls on health care reform last year who were armed, and other who carried signs that said they weren’t armed, this time. This kind of response does nothing to further the discussion. The only thing it does is incite the other side to either the same response or one that is more violent than the one presented to them. The only real way to change minds and influence people is by open and honest discourse, and that is not possible at the end of weapon. When discussion is furthered by violent methods or intent, it does nothing but up the response from the people you are trying to talk to.
Several bills have been spoken about since the shooting to change the current gun control laws that are in effect. One of the bills would prohibit people from carrying weapons within one thousand feet of members of Congress. Another of the bills being circulated would prohibit large capacity magazines like the one used by the shooter. Also, there is talk of bringing back the Assault Weapons Ban from 1994 that has expired. While I can agree that gun control laws do need to be looked at, we also need to remember the simple fact that a gun by itself does not shoot anyone but it’s the person behind the trigger. We need to remember that the mental condition of Jared Lee Loughner needs to be taken into account. According to reports he has a history of mental problems yet he was able to walk into a gun store, pass the required background check, and buy the weapon he used. If we are to have background checks and waiting periods in order to purchase firearms, how safe and secure can any of us feel if someone like Jason Loughner can purchase a weapon so easily? I feel that we should have such precautionary measures in place before purchasing weapons, but those measures should actually work.
What do you feel about the increase of rhetoric since Tuscon? Do you see the need for push back? Are both sides guilty of pushing the conversation into even more violent responses?
How about changing the gun control laws or the background checks? Do you feel they are broken or are they working as they should? Leave a comment or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org