January 8, 2011

We started our day early today.  Our son had a football game this morning, and we had to be at the field at 6:45.  We went through our normal Saturday routine.

When we got home, we turned on our television to find that an Arizona congresswoman and several other people had been shot.

Now, several hours later, we’re listening to continuous reports on CNN, MSNBC and various news stations.  President Obama is now speaking.

A nine-year old child, a federal judge & several others have died.

As I sit here, typing this, I’m thinking of some of the rhetoric that has now spun up.  There is almost continuous commenting on Twitter, Facebook, and in the media.  It’s amazing how quickly people jump to conclusions and how quickly politics are dragged into the situation.

I lean distinctly to the left in my politics, but I try to keep my opinions to myself.  I can’t imagine the desire to run for public office.  To be under such scrutiny and  pressure is unfathomable to me.  We spend a lot of time criticizing our elected officials, as is our right as American citizens.  I think that we can all agree that our country is struggling right now.  That being said, Representative Giffords was doing something that is common for elected members of Congress.  She was meeting with constituents, putting herself out there to listen to the people who she represented.  She and the people that worked with her did not deserve to be attacked.  The people going about their normal Saturday routines did not deserve to be attacked.

There are all sorts of politicians in our nation’s spotlight these days.  Politicians that embarrass me, disgust me and alarm me.  I do not want them to speak for me, or to represent me on any platform.  I do not wish them harm, however.  I use my vote as my voice.  I don’t know what the motive was for today’s shooting.  We may never know.  I can say that this nation has lost its civility.  We’ve lost the ability to be good to one another.  Our country is so divided, and the debates are so heated that it’s hard to believe that we could ever find common ground.

I am heartbroken once again by the actions of one of my countrymen.  We go on and on about terrorists and how our nation must protect itself from threats outside.  How do we protect ourselves from each other?  It seems that we are pretty damned good at hurting ourselves.