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'American experiment' not to blame in Tuscon

Clearly the tragedy in Tuscon indicates that as much as we attempt to insulate our society from the criminal activities of those who are by all accounts mentally unstable or unbalanced, there are times when it is impossible to ward off these actions.

Last Saturday was one of those times.

I extend my condolences to the families of the deceased and prayers for recovery toward those injured in this attack on the freedoms of our society and individual liberty. That being said, the obvious questions before us are how we can prevent these actions and what caused the actions of the named suspect, Jared Lee Loughner.

When I first heard of the attacks, my mind immediately thought of the families whose lives were irretrievably broken by such an action. How difficult it must be to realize your family member went to the store for milk and came back to you deceased or badly wounded. I cannot even imagine the horrible grief experienced by those families whose love ones died in the exercise of their constitutional right of free assembly.

Yet in all of this pain, our media finds a way to divorce itself from common sense and try to pin the actions of someone, who by accounts lost touch with reality some time ago, upon the current political diatribe in our nation. This, in my opinion deepens the wounds of those directly affected and sends the message that our liberty actually causes mayhem in our society.

Never mind the fact that to date, no one has produced one shred of evidence that indicates Loughner was influence by political discourse and diatribe. No one can tell us for sure he allegedly murdered those people because of any political message, right- or left-wing.

The reason for even having this discussion is the nonsensical manner in which some seek the exploitation of those with whom they disagree. Because many on the left falsely believe conservatives desire no government, they label every deranged, anti-government, unstable and unbalanced kook as representative of conservative views. To the contrary, conservatives do not hate all government; we are not in favor of BIG government and wasteful spending that inevitably infringes on the liberties and potential of each individual to fulfill a positive life purpose.

This is why I now call upon each of us to return to, or for the first time arrive at, a place of common sense in this country. The tragedy in Tuscon as well as other deliberate acts of foolish violence such as the daily murders of young black men by other young black men, the death and destruction perpetrated by those who manufacture methamphetamine in the back woods of our rural communities, and the urban terrorism of gangs in the cities of America are deeper examples of a society that is losing touch with common sense.

As evidence I offer that while any sane person can hear whatever rhetoric or diatribe spoken and discern satire and comedy from the simple musings of a simple mind, in no way should we muzzle free speech because someone likely insane does what an insane person would, dare I say, normally do. This is why we call it insanity.

Did you think that our president was actually encouraging the settling of political disagreement by pugilistic means when he sent the message to his opposition that the "gloves are off"- Of course not; his simple use of metaphor was meant to imply that ideologies struggle like prize fighters to prevail.

A return to common sense in America must begin with the return to common values of truth, integrity and reality. This is what Martin Luther King Jr. fought and died for: truth and justice.

The truth in Tuscon is that a likely deranged individual committed an unspeakable horror upon the safety and sanctity of a peaceful society. It was not the words or pictures of political debate that caused this atrocity. The truth is that every generation navigates through the muck of political debate.

At the end of the day, the greatness of the American experiment is that we can speak freely and openly in the public arena without fear of losing a restful night's sleep as the result of being carried off into the night by government henchmen.

A more viable argument for causation than political discourse may be the fact that Loughner was likely exposed to much more violently influential behavior from movies, television and video games than political speech.

So who do we blame- Some would blame Loughner's parents, others would blame a lack of mental health care. As for his parents, none of us know what happened in their home. However, God gave humanity every advantage and we still chose wrong over right.

Here's a novel idea, how about actually blaming the one who pulled the trigger-

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In another matter, I send blessings to my neighbor, Councilman Lance Huish upon his retirement. May God bless you and your family as you navigate the unexpected.



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