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Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tragedy in Arizona

Hey Everyone,
  I was going to talk about the reading of the Constitution this week by the new Congress, but I think the one thing that is on everyones mind today is the senseless tragic shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 5 others outside a Tucson grocery store on Saturday morning.
  Congresswoman Giffords had just begun a townhall-style meeting, something she had done countless times before, when a gunman burst out of the crowd and began shooting, wounding Giffords in the head, and killing 6 people, including a 9 year old girl.
  The predictable blaming of "right-wing" talk radio, and TV has already begun.  We can be assured, I think that in the days to come, some pretty ugly things are going to be said. But I think the first order of business should be to look at the security at events such as this. The very essence of what it means to be a member of Congress is to be able to get out amongst your constituents, shake their hands, and listen to their concerns. But is it time to assign body guards to every member of Congress every time they attend such an event? Is it time to screen every citizen who comes to the event? Would it have the same feel to hold this kind of gathering at a concert hall or a similar venue? These are all things that will be looked at in the future.
  Christina Taylor Greene had just been elected to the student council of her elementary school. Even at the ripe old age of 9, Christina was interested in politics, and came to see Congresswoman Giffords with a neighbor. She wanted to learn how the political system works.  Is this what we are going to teach our children about how the political system works in this country? Are we going to teach them that if you disagree with someone else's beliefs that it is ok to engage in some kind of violent behavior? Or try to silence them? We all like to point the finger at the other guy's bad behavior, myself included, but maybe we are all guilty, at least once. Anyone who saw the telephone interview that Gretchen Carlson did with Christina's mom Roxanne, could not have remained dry-eyed.
  I think the only other thing to say here is that we all pray for Gabrielle Giffords's speedy recovery, as well as the others wounded along with her. That we all keep Christina's family close to our hearts. Let's not be Democrats or Republicans for now, let's just be Americans.      

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