Thursday, January 13, 2011

Tucson Shooting

The shock of the news spread across the country

Americans routinely seek answers as to why certain events take place. That's particularly true when tragedy strikes. We want to know what we can do to prevent such things from transpiring again.

Sometimes that search for answers leads to a jump to conclusions. Such may be the case in the horrific shooting that took place Saturday in Tucson, Ariz.

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., remains in intensive care continuing her recovery after suffering a gunshot wound to the head from close range during an event near a supermarket meant to allow the congresswoman to meet one-on-one with constituents. In all, 14 people were shot, with six people being killed, including a judge and a 9-year-old girl.

As the shock of the news spread across the country, people started to ask why such an event took place. Some analysts started to speculate that the suspected gunman, 22-year-old Jared Lee Loughner, targeted Giffords for political reasons and that the nation's rising angst and rhetoric on any number of conservative-vs.-liberal issues prompted the action.

Indeed, the rhetoric is high in the nation. It has been for some time. And critics have seized on that point by tying political speech to this horrible act. Some blame conservative voices such as Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin. Others blame liberal members of the media, including the editorial pages of the New York Times for fostering such discontent.

While many Americans would agree that the vitriol should be toned down in an effort to unify the country, these critics are missing an important point: No motive for the shooting has been identified as of yet.

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