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(Opinion) Arizona shooting – making matters worse

January 10, 2011

Arizona shooting – making matters worse

Rebecca Mansour, a spokeswoman for Sarah Palin, says the gun crosshairs on the “Take Back the 20” map – that’s the map that asks us to “Help us prescribe the solution” – were not any type of gun imagery, but where meant to be the type of crosshairs someone would see on a map. I’m sorry, but the graphic was bad enough. Trying to defend the graphic and present it as something it wasn’t, is shameful.

Regardless of Jared Loughner’s motives, which sadly seem like they may point more to anti-Semitism than anything political, the important thing to remember here is that words matter and images matter. When a legislator compares her position in Washington to that of “a foreign correspondent in enemy lines”, when she talks about “nefarious activities” and calls for the people of Minnesota to be “armed and danergous… because we need to fight back” because “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.”, we need to ask for that type of speech to stop. In this case, Congresswoman Michele Bachmann was criticizing President Obama’s cap and trade plan in March 2009. There’s nothing wrong with Congresswoman Bachmann criticizing the president’s plan, but criticize the plan with facts and logic and ask for rational debate rather than giving us instigative language which arouses angry and hostile emotions in people.

In simple words, would it be so difficult for politicians to just listen to what my mom used to tell me and, “Play nice.”?

It’s difficult to quantify the losses in this tragedy, but the death of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green is especially sad. One of 50 babies born on September 11, 2001, her father told CBS news, “She was born and she left us in very tragic moments in United States history here. Her life wasn’t all like that.” At least that’s one thing to be happy about.

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