And for the young man who thought this was somehow an answer to our nation’s problems.
Gabrielle Giffords did nothing to deserve this or any violent attack. I don’t know a lot about the Arizona congresswoman, but in briefly reviewing her web site, I’m struck by the fact that she has been driving a campaign for fiscal restraint, including reducing Congressional pay. At the moment, I see her as one of the good guys. But even people like Barney Frank and Charlie Rangel do not deserve to be attacked violently.
It seems that the shooter is possibly a deranged conspiracy theorist. Unfortunately, there are times when the lines blur between some of these folks and legitimate political advocates. Although I’ve heard that there are some that are already pointing fingers at conservative organizations as if they are promoting this type of violence, I’ve seen little advocacy for violent protest among those I know in the Tea Party, the Republican Party, or other aligned organizations. Our tendency is to try to find a problem to solve in the midst of a situation like this, but sometimes there is no problem to solve except to incarcerate the person responsible. Finding other scapegoats is not productive.
In a similar vein, I am hoping that this tragedy does not become a new reason for more government intervention in our lives. While this is a gut-wrenching affair, it should not be seen as justification for further attacking the 2nd Amendement. Sean McClanahan has some great comments at Des Moines Gun Rights Examiner .
However, for those who advocate that violence is somehow becoming the only answer to solving the problems we see in our government, it simply is not. It has become easy to try and draw comparisons between our lives today and the lives of those who formed our country. The comparison is sadly wanting, and cannot be used as an excuse for violent action, nor threatening statements. The nice thing about our country and form of government is that we can work through our issues intelligently. Unless we suffer from physical subjugation, I cannot conceive of any reason for violence to achieve our agenda. If we are incapable of making our case before the People, violence cannot be a suitable alternative.
Not now, not ever.