First, I give condolences to the victims of the Arizona shooting. I wish them all the best and I pray for them.
Now, on to my opinion. I find it interesting that a lot of people on the news, blogs, radio and TV are saying how this guy is crazy, how he has mental issues or is insane. It is almost like they are setting up an insanity defense for him. I would argue that anybody that engages in that type of behavior has mental issues. You could argue that anyone who commits a crime has mental issues, especially when they commit such a violent crime like this.
Instead of calling him a criminal or a terrorist people are calling him a mental case. I find it ironic that if he was an African-American or Latino that people would probably call him a criminal gang banger. Or they would be talking about illegal immigrants and the focus would not be so much on his mental state of affairs but on his ethnicity. If he was a Muslim people would be yelling terrorist, terrorist, terrorist and probably blame the President for not keeping us safe. There wouldn’t be any talk about this man being mentally unstable or anything like that.
And why are people referring to him as a troubled kid? Is it because he is White? This kid had no problem getting a gun. He is an adult, old enough to join the military, drink alcohol and be tried as adult. I think most people would agree that if he had mental health issues he should not have had a gun. There are laws out there that are supposed to prevent people like him from legally buying a gun. In any event, this man was an adult. He was a criminal and terrorist, if he did what they say he did.
This man is a terrorist and criminal on top of whatever mental issue he had; but I could argue that anyone that is a terrorist has mental issues. When people use his mental issues as a reason for the crime they may be trying to distance it from the political rhetoric.
I don’t believe that the rhetoric of Sarah Palin and others were the cause of the shooting. Leaders of the Republican and Democratic Party had nothing to do with what this man did. That being said, that’s not the point that I’m trying to make that there’s some kind of direct link between the two. The point that I’m trying to make is extreme rhetoric on both sides is bad. It’s no use to point out what someone on the other side said. That is like kids, saying, well so-and-so did it so that’s why I did it. My mom used to say, if so-and-so jumped off a bridge would you jump off a bridge, too? It is not productive and it’s ridiculous to finger point to try and justify what we do. We need to recognize that extreme rhetoric should be toned down; because I think everyone could come to a consensus that Jared, the alleged shooter, is not the only mental person out there that can get access to gun. If so, then we should agree that it may not be in the best interest for us to say certain things that might push someone to their tipping point. I’m not blaming anyone, but him. Although, it’s interesting we blame him for his actions but don’t want to be responsible for what we say. This man, criminal, terrorist did not live in a vacuum. His ideas were political and based in anti-government rhetoric. What we don’t know is, if he found comfort in any of the anti-government, take our country back by gun rhetoric. The fact of the matter is he had some weird anti-government political views. He asked Rep. Gifford obscure political questions, saved a political letter from her, and tried to kill her at a political event. That’s without a doubt, and so when people say that they don’t know if politics had anything to do with it they are avoiding the truth. He targeted a democratic politician for assassination, and he tried to kill her because he did not like her politics. It wasn’t because of the way she looked. It wasn’t because he felt that she turned him down. It was only because he disagreed with her politically. It just so happened in this case, he turned his anger on a Democrat. So for people to claim it wasn’t politically motivated are not dealing in reality. If he had killed a republican then they would be saying the same things the democrats are saying now. Let’s be honest, most people probably thought it was some right wing nut job when they heard about a democratic member of Congress getting shot. Just like if they heard about a building being blown up or a plan intentionally crashing into a building their first thought is a Muslim terrorist.
We need to tone down our rhetoric so people that are unstable won’t use our words to harm others. I’m really talking about the leaders of this country and people that that have millions of listeners. That’s what we should do instead of pointing out what this person said versus what this person said. Please use your words responsibly.