Jan. 8th, 2011

wook77: (AZ)
I love my town. I chose to move to Tucson for many (and varied) reasons, not the least of which was the weather. More than the weather, though, is the relaxed atmosphere, the fantastic people and the fact that Tucson skews towards the higher educated and more liberal than the rest of the state of Arizona. It's got a small town mentality in a small city. People hold doors for other people. Random strangers ask how you are and you can tell they actually care.

So when I hear Keith Olbermann say "let's make sure another Tucson doesn't happen", it breaks my heart. I'm proud of the fact that Tucson was the only county, across all age groups, to vote against the marriage definition act a few years ago. I'm proud that Tucson has a vibrant artistic community. I'm proud that Tucson has a fairly liberal attitude about immigration reform and that our Sheriff has refused to enforce SB1070 (the "show me your papers" law) and that City of Tucson Police officers were the first to file suit AGAINST SB1070.

But more than my own pride in my chosen hometown, I have to say that Keith Olbermann's special comment today resonated. We have to do something about hate-filled vitriol. We have to do something to keep others from getting shot.

Because today was horrifying. It's been an emotionally draining day filled with ups and downs. This morning, my Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, was shot, point blank, to the head. A 9 year old girl standing next to her at the meet-and-greet event was killed by a gunshot wound to the back. Five others, most of whom are senior citizens, were also killed. There are a total of 19 victims today.

Arizona has some issues, I freely admit it. We've got wacko concealed-carry laws, ironically passed with the idea that if any citizen can carry concealed, then these mass shootings won't happen because the citizenry can defend itself. We've got crazy immigration bills and Minutemen on the border (Minutemen who happen to like to sell drugs and murder people, too). We've got lots going on down here. I can see the warts.

Part of those warts are the hate-filled vitriol that happens on all levels and by all sorts of people. From Sarah Palin putting a target on Gabrielle Giffords to Jesse Kelly offering a fundraising opportunity complete with shooting weapons with taglines of getting rid of Gabby to the insurance adjustor who came out to look at my car and her comments that "what do a bunch of towelheads know about fixing cars", it's everywhere and it needs to stop.

And what is ironic is that those that are bemoaning how "the left" is leaping to conclusions that link hateful vitriolic nastiness to this shooter are the same people that think that the Arabic people have a hive-mind and all believe in the crazy ideologies that tell them to shoot their senators. The same people that are shouting the loudest that this guy has to be just some random fringe loony are the same people that say that all Mexicans are here to take our jobs, rape our women and kill our economy. And by "ironic", I mean double-standarded and ridiculous.

I don't think that Sarah Palin actually meant for people to pull guns and shoot people just like I don't think that Rush Limbaugh or Glenn Beck or Bill O'Reilly want it to happen, either. But when you're constantly encouraging violence, you can't be surprised when violence actually happens. And if it can happen in Tucson, it can happen anywhere.

January 2012

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