It is a normal human reaction when faced with unfathomable acts of terror to seek some safe place to apply one’s outrage because to accept that these isolated events are both horrific and unpredictable, with a potential for repeat, is too frightening. To accept that one simple truth would also force a person to recognize that it could happen anywhere to anyone… including the people they love.
So, humans seek a solvable problem to direct their emotional energies toward, as that gives them a semblance of peace and allows them to continue to believe that this won’t happen again… if they could only fix X.
In the case of normally freedom loving people, this is a temporary lapse in judgment brought on by fear. In the case of the left, that fear combines with a sense of opportunity. Regardless of your political leanings or previous opinions on the rights of citizens, it is imperative that we all take a deep breath and remember to use logic in place of emotion when considering our laws and how we enforce them.
On Saturday January 8, 2011, a man chose to kill several people. Because we don’t know why this happened, and we feel helpless to prevent it from happening again, we are naturally asking a lot of questions. Questions are one thing, but making assumptions (and sponsoring legislation as a result) is dangerous.
I’ve watched the hysteria unfold and kept my mouth shut while I prayed and mourned for those who are affected by this unspeakable horror. My only comments have been at the audacity of those who seek to blame others for this man’s transgressions. When CNN/ABC/CBS and dozens of leftist blogs try to pull you in, it almost becomes laughable. Even when Katie Couric dragged me into it with a video of me enjoying the shooting sports in her goofy imitation of a journalistic piece, I did not jump in. It would do others well to do the same, but this takes an enormous amount of personal restraint and emotional maturity. I realize that.
I also realize that those who immediately began blaming Sarah Palin for having a stupid graphic on a map or an entire nation of everyday people who are involved in the Tea Party movement are simply not equipped with my same emotional maturity and self-restraint. They might also be daft. But, they also have a wound from the major whooping in November and they were already hurting. And, like a small child who may lash out because of the pain in those first moments after a bad fall, they are grasping for someone to blame.
The interesting pattern of their childish and emotionally immature response to this tragedy tells a lot… First, they blamed a political ideology that is kicking their proverbial ass. Then, they blamed the one public personality that shares that ideology (and who they most fear). When it became obvious that there was a strong chance the killer actually shares their own ideology, they then blamed the people on the airwaves who supposedly made this guy so angry that he had to shoot people to feel better. The problem with this is that if extrapolated, then all liberals who don’t like talk radio become suspect as possible killers… So, that didn’t last as long… Suddenly, the left began to join in the chorus with all sane folks who were unified in their rhetoric that this is a time to mourn and remember the victims.
If this self-correction had been where it ended, there would be no reason to write this blog entry. But, unfortunately (and not surprisingly) what is coming now is the 2nd generation of rhetoric. By now the left has regrouped and organized their fear mongering messages and have decided to use this senseless tragedy as an opportunity to accomplish unpopular policy. Sound familiar? It should. It is the classic “never let a good crisis go to waste” mantra of the left.
So the race to blame is now really about the chance to eradicate those pesky freedoms and push for “solutions” that otherwise have no chance. Case in point? Guns.
Those of us with the emotional maturity to separate policy making from emotional outburst must be vigilant we don’t allow them to frame a debate that has NOTHING to do with Saturday’s murders and everything to do with the left’s pre-existing agenda. Don’t give an inch. The gun is not to blame. In fact, he could just as easily used a bomb and more people would have died. So, the gun was really not even necessary and he would/could have killed even more without it. So, let’s take the gun out of the equation, because it is illogical and blaming a tool is a crutch for the weak mind.
The killer is to blame. There is nothing to blame that “made” him a killer, necessarily. Even the mentally ill don’t normally kill. So, let that one go, too. Bad things happen and yes, there are bad people in the world. Clearly Loughner is one of them. But, if you are intent on blaming something or someone while you grow up in your emotional maturity, here’s a stupid thing to focus on besides the killer, himself…
Reefer Madness!!! Yes, pot… And, yes, it is wrong and ridiculous to consider, but just as justified a discussion as gun control is. So, here goes… One thing that is readily accepted about the shooter is that he smoked a lot of pot. In the early days, “experts” opined that his written ramblings on YouTube showed that he was likely schizophrenic. They also pointed out that it is “known” that marijuana is very bad for the brain chemistry in those with this affliction. With medical marijuana sweeping the nation (and about to become legally dispensed in Arizona), is this an area that “responsible” adults in policy making must consider? And the guy who sold it to him… He’s to blame, too, I suppose. Do I think we should blame the pot, especially since we aren’t even sure if he suffers from this illness? No. Lots of people use pot for a lot of reasons and I see no evidence it makes them killers. But, it is as worthy as any other in the blame game. So, heck, why not?
Here are some others if you don’t want to go after pot. Maybe it is his violent video games or the ever-increasing brutal nature of the special effects coming out of Hollywood. Maybe it is the hocus pocus black magic he likes to play with in the back yard (I hear those dark spirits are bad company). You know, maybe he got his skull-to-dried-up-orange ratio wrong in his alter brew… Hate when that happens. Or, maybe his girlfriend broke up with him. Or, maybe he can’t get a girlfriend because he is incredibly weird and ugly. Maybe he looked in the mirror and realized he looks like a crazed possessed killer and just sort of went with it. Perhaps Congresswoman Giffords is just too pretty and articulate for him to let her live, lest he be held to her standard. Or, maybe he loves her but she didn’t return his requests to come over and watch the Lord of the Rings Trilogy with him and that, well, really hurt his feelings. Maybe she stopped responding to his frequent emails regarding how Bush really bombed the twin towers and he became convinced she was part of the conspiracy.
The fact is, no idea we can come up with is really a reason to kill. And, as reasonable mature adults, we need to accept that and stop looking for a person or an object to blame.
Follow the author on Twitter @PamelaGorman
Originally posted at PunditLeague.us