January 10, 2011

In the Mirror

In a moment of national tragedy, horror and sadness we all search for answers and explanations for the cause of our pain and outrage. When I first heard about the attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the murder of nine innocent people the first question I asked was "is she a Democrat?". My first statement was "those fucking Republicans and tea-party assholes!". Before I knew any of the details I automatically linked the heated rhetoric from the November elections to this heinous act. I'm ashamed to admit that I thought to myself that this will finally shut those damn tea-partiers up. What sort of inhuman reaction is that?

I'm disgusted with myself for instantly looking at this gruesome crime through a political prism. I didn't shed any tears for the victims. I didn't have a moment of reflection for all of the families affected. The first thing on my mind was a big fat I TOLD YOU SO to the Republican party because I predicted that the violent rhetoric would lead to violence. I don't know if the testy campaign season had anything to do with Rep. Giffords being shot, no one does. What I do know is that a very sick and confused man killed nine innocent people and injured many others.

When soldiers serving in Iraq started coming home in caskets I didn't gloat because I was right and Bush was wrong. I was genuinely sad. I am now genuinely sad for the lost. For the lost lives as well as my lost compassion.

Image taken from: http://www.jimithekewl.com/2009_02_01_archive.html


  1. Well at least you see that you were wrong.

    Everyone now is pointing fingers, blame this one and blame that one, blame the talk-radio hosts, blame Sarah Palin. It is not about that.

    It's about a severely screwed up man who went and opened fire. He wanted something changed? That was not the way to do it. There was an article in the New York Times this morning about how his classmates were scared of him, something was off. This could have happened in the school, it could have been another VIrginia Tech.

    Because it was aimed at politics we jump to blame someone else to forward our own political agendas which just goes to show what is happening in this country. Maybe now people with shut up and realize that we are all idiots and need to worry about ourselves, our families, our friends, and our country and less about our political parties.

  2. It's true that there are plenty of nutters around who are probably just nuts anyhow. of course I don't think the rhetoric of people like Palin helps, though.

  3. The whole thing is really sad. And a 9-year-old! That poor family. My heart goes out to everyone involved, even the shooter and especially his family.

  4. I was sad when I heard the news. But you know what, I don't think it's wrong to ask "Is she a Democrat?" because seriously, how many liberals go around shooting politicians? We don't, we peacefully protest and sing kumbaya. The violence is mostly from the Right.

  5. Penny: I agree with you 100%. I guess the point of this post is sort of that I can't really jump on others for using heated rhetoric when I've used it repeatedly myself on this very blog. I try to avoid being a hypocrite the best I can and it wasn't right for me to condemn others for something I've done myself. I'm a firm believer that change comes from within, so that's where I like to start.

    David: I agree. She's looking pretty awful at the moment for having a target pointed over Rep. Giffords district. Really poor taste and it's possible it did contribute. I was looking more within for this post than trying to look at what the causes might be.

    Janet: It is. It's such a senseless tragedy.

    Tsarista: This certainly isn't the first time violence has taken place. That woman who got stomped at a Republican rally comes to mind as well as all the vandalism that has been taking place at the offices of countless U.S. Reps from the Democratic party. I sincerely hope I'm not the only one taking a look in the mirror as the actions of a lot of people need to be atoned for.

  6. There is nothing wrong with your thoughts. I believe that all humans are subject to becoming defensive. I found myself on the same boat. Not enough people are strong like you, and announcing to the world, "I have to change."

  7. Tori: Thank you, those are very nice words. We've all got to start somewhere, a little reflection is usually a good beginning for any task.

  8. Well said, guy. I long for a day where politics don't dictate our actions. Where we do things because they are right, and that's all. The tricky thing is knowing what's right, of course. But it starts by looking inward, seeing pain and suffering for what it is--tragic and awful, no matter who it happens to or who/what has caused it. Whether it's the bombing of an abortion clinic or the assassination of Republicans, it's all wrong and ugly, and tarnishes our humanity. No one's life is worth more or less than another, right?

  9. I'm not surprised by your reaction, because almost everyone else I knew asked the same thing. We live in a time where hatred rules right now. There are a lot of ignorant people filled with hate and that makes others filled with hate.

    I'll admit when I heard about the shooting, I was incredibly angry and frustrated, before I felt sadness. :( That makes me sad. And I hate to say it, but I was hoping the gunmen was a crazy teapartyer, just so it would finally prove to people what nutcases they all are. Shameful.

    I feel the same way you do. I'm ashamed at my bitter and politically selfish reaction. We need to focus on the families of those poor victims and those injured. My heart breaks for them.

  10. Carol: Well, I'd say my life is more important than everyone else's but I'm biased. But seriously, the world will only get better if we all become better people. I can't dictate to other people that they should be good. All I can is be good myself and try to help others do the same.

    Jennifer: Well said. It's such a tragedy and I watched a video by this guy. Just a complete whack job. Just plain nuts.

  11. What makes me ill is that a friend of mine checked Palin's facebook page and there are a lot of folks cheering on the deaths, including the 9 year old girl. While she was not responsible for this, her type of actions - like gun crosshairs on the map instead of simple stars or dots for where the democrats are, and frequent support of violence, war, and even senseless killing of animals for her TV show (that she was not going to eat), are symbolic of what I see way too much in the Republican and Tea Parties. It is revolting.

  12. I started my assumptions as well. It is sad. My heart goes out to those affected by this tragedy.

  13. Woah. Cut yourself some slack, bud. At least you realized you were jumping the gun...how many people never even get that far??

    You're a good guy who had a knee-jerk reaction...we've all been there. You self-corrected and even told all of Blogville that you'd initially reacted badly.

    That's gotta count for something.

  14. Christopher, it isn't that you've lost your compassion. It's just that you were sidetracked because of all the media trash and all the political mud that's been flying in the air, these past few months. Sometimes, we get distracted. But these realities do remind us of who we truly are.


  15. Christopher, I think you just admitted to a reaction that most people probably didn't even realize was their first reaction as well. And, the fact that you wrote this tells me that you have not lost your compassion.

  16. Eco: That is really sickening. What kind of soulless f*** could cheer on such a tragedy?

    Ashley: Mine too. I can't even imagine.

    Kathryn: From a moral standpoint (and ok most standpoints) I tend to be a little hard on myself. I've done some downright shitty things in my lifetime that I'm not proud of so I have a tendency to over-police myself. Don't worry though, I like who I am. Even if I can get a bit over-dramatic at times.

    Mikey: Yes indeed, I think I learned a bit about myself and to pretty much shut up till I think things through.

    Nevine: Very well said. I do let my mind get distracted by all the negativity at times and it really does bother me. Need to keep it in perspective and remember what I really do care about and who I really am.

    Jo: I think I've still got some left in the tank too. Thanks.

  17. The children in my house (aged 11 and 13) were really upset that a nine-year-old girl was killed. They really didn't understand.

  18. Samantha: I don't think anyone really can understand that. The poor girl.

  19. Don't be hard on yourself. You aren't the only one following that train of thought. Politicians are the ones who gave the crazy shooter a target. Still, I'm very sad at the loss of life, especially the child. Disgusted is maybe a better word for it. Disturbed too.

  20. i'm horrified, sad, angry and very worried about what the future holds in the US political arena.
    Chris - don't be hard on yourself. You have a brutally honest insight into your heart. You are much more brave than most.

  21. I actually just wrote about this today, taking a day off from my "no blogging for two weeks" edict.

    I've honestly been infuriated by the news. I'm livid about it.

    I'm glad you acknowledge this, though. Self-reflection is rare in people who keep up with politics.

  22. Carolyn: It's a crazy situation to say the least. I don't think I'm being too hard on myself. If I want to be the person I plan to be I need a few self-corrections from time to time.

    Robyn: It can be a bit frightening at times but despite all that I remain an optimist. Just means people like me need to work harder. Don't worry, I'm done beating myself up about it. Oh, and thank you. You're way too kind.

    Riley: News sucks nowadays. I miss the days when news just reported facts. If I was even alive for those days, I can't recall. If we all look at ourselves a little closer we might be able to come together a little better as well.

  23. I think (like many have already said) that you are human in your reaction, but obviously human in your sympathy. At least you corrected the thoughts.

    It's very upsetting that the majority of people are still seeing this through a political lens.

    Bottom line is, things like this happen regardless of political party affiliation. There are crazies in every group.


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