As we follow the developments in Arizona around the shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords, we're gathering opinion and reaction from a variety of It's A Free Country contributors. Blogger Solomon Kleinsmith submitted this piece late Saturday night.
The tragic news coming out of Arizona has dominated the news this weekend, and both ends of the political spectrum are jumping all over the issue, trying to use it to their own selfish political ends. Heaven forbid a tragedy like this ever go to waste...
The problem with those two categories is that they leave out one of the largest categories: the sane perpetrator with a personal agenda. Columbine shocked the country because Eric Harris took the personal attack to an unprecedented level: self-motivated terrorist attack. But we see less grandiose examples of the same instinct several times a year. A few shooters who "go postal" are nuts. Most are sane.
With information and rumor moving so quickly in the 48hours since the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, here are a few facts, plain and simple, that we hope can provide some context and accuracy. If you'd like to suggest some more for inclusion - real facts, remember - post them in the comments section and we'll add as appropriate.
If there's one thing we learned from the awful shooting in Tucson on Saturday, in case we didn't know already, Sarah Palin makes some liberals completely lose their minds. It was about 10 minutes after the shooting was announced that Markos Moulitsas of the liberal website Daily Kos, last seen advancing political discourse by writing a book comparing conservatives to terrorists, linked to a map on the Sarah Palin website which featured crosshairs "targeting" Gabrielle Giffords' district in the last election. Obviously, then, Sarah Palin was responsible for the shooting.
I was raised in Tucson’s Barrio Hollywood, lived in Arizona for the first 30 years of my life and considered it home even after I left to begin my academic career. My memories are good and bad. The good include the pleasures of youth complemented by great food, especially the uniquely savory carne seca chimichangas and green corn tamales that are the best I have ever tasted. The bad include discrimination of varying types and intensity.
But the state’s apparent commitment to resuscitating its myopic and racist past weighs increasingly on my estrangement from my home state.
Today, Monday January 10th, at noon EST, join Brian Lehrer and It's A Free Country's Anna Sale and Jody Avirgan for a live chat about the attempted assassination of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords. It's A Free Country bloggers will also join. This is an opportunity to react to the event and discuss the state of politics in America today. More details to come. You can set an email reminder in the box below.
More charges are expected against the man suspected of killing six people and severely wounding Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. Federal prosecutors have already charged 22 year-old Jared Lee Loughner with five felony counts, including attempted assassination of a member of Congress.
Prayer is an appropriate, but not a sufficient, reaction to Saturday’s event. Fortunately, we as a nation are equipped with the necessary tools: the ability to pass legislation, to engage in and transform political discourse and to support a robust political process.
Emotions have been running high across the country since the Saturday shooting shattered our sense of security, took a half dozen lives and injured a dozen more victims in Tucson, Arizona.
—Solomon Kleinsmith on partisanship in the wake of the Arizona massacre.
Early Wednesday morning, Sarah Palin released a video response to the tragedy in Tucson. In her first extended remarks since Saturday's attack, she condemned the debate about violent political rhetoric that's followed.
"Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence that they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible," she said.
Watch the video below, and tell us: what do you make of Palin's response?
Days after the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords this weekend — and the deaths of six others at the same incident — the question of “why” remains.
The theories have come fast and furious since this weekend, shedding little light.
Some have hinged on drug use. Others have focused on a mentally unbalanced young man. Still others have looked for ties to the tea party. And it may be weeks before any real motive can be found in the assorted notes, emails and accounts that are creating a composite picture of suspect Jared Lee Loughner.
But that is less true of the setting of the shootings, Pima County and the city of Tucson. A mix of big college town with a strong, activist conservative base, Pima is a complicated backdrop.
A complex blend of seeming contradictions, Pima is a county where the long-serving Democratic Sheriff can rail against conservatives who talk about “tearing down the government” — as he did this weekend. It is also the place where a congresswoman can have her office vandalized after voting in favor of the health care reform bill — as happened to Giffords last year.