The deplorable and tragic attack in Arizona rightly brings people around the nation and world to their knees in prayer. In our own congregation, we gave several moments in specific prayer for all who have been wounded and the families of those killed or wounded. We also prayed that God would grant wisdom to the law enforcement involved in investigating and prosecuting the case.
Sadly, however, tragedy is being manipulated into “opportunity” for those political crackheads who cannot manage to see the world beyond a party designation. Already, before the families of victims have even laid their loved ones to rest, the fatheads have begun twisting stories, posing for cameras, and providing soundbites.
The sheriff investigating has already stated that Jared Loughner, the 22-year-old accused of the shootings, is “a typical troubled individual who’s a loner.” Loughner’s YouTube rants contain essentially indecipherable ideology containing elements of antisemitism and white supremacy. He had also attended political meetings of Giffords’ before.
But, rather than viewing this as a horrific deed carried out by a lone sociopath, politicians see it as another chance to bring up the national gun control debate. Really? Every time a tragedy occurs, this logical tragedy follows. New York does not allow gun ownership. Are they safer? Kennesaw, Georgia requires gun ownership. They are safer – three murders in nearly 30 years (2 by knife). But, don’t let facts (or taste, class, tact…) stand in the way of further federal legislation that would restrict the rights of law-abiding citizens who aren’t insane. Why let people mourn when you can capitalize on it?
Additionally, Loughner’s politics (unstated by him) have been drawn out by the good folks of the Associated Press and nearly every major media outlet. In every article yours truly has read in coverage of the story, lines have been drawn to the Tea Party, the Republican Party, and anyone opposing Obamacare. Articles continually state that Giffords’ office was vandalized after she voted for the health care bill. One article mentions that handguns were brought to a Tea Party rally outside her office. Of course, the same articles later mention that those issues may not be the cause, but that’s only after they have planted it in the reader’s mind.
Any connection whatsoever between Loughner and the Tea Party? Any indication that Loughner was a Republican? Any evidence that somehow conservative pundits influenced his thinking at all? No worries. Don’t let facts get in the way, you’re journalists!
America long ago rejected the sanctity of human life and continues to find new, deplorable ways to demonstrate that disregard. In fact, that disregard has become so entrenched that we have forgotten how to mourn death when we see it; seeing only opportunities for self-promotion and deceit.