Sunday, January 9, 2011

Violence and Politics and Life

The shooting yesterday in Arizona was certainly a tragedy, and I join in prayer for the victims and the victims' families. The 22 year-old man who perpetrated the violence is certainly disturbed, angry, and frustrated. I believe this is an aberration rather than the norm. That being said, I also believe violence is more prevalent than it should be.

Last night six people were shot in Baltimore and two died, including a police officer trying to do his job. Fourteen headless bodies showed up in Acapulco just half of the 27 who were killed overnight. Home invasions, car-jackings, domestic abuse, animal abuse, drive-by shootings; these have all become fairly commonplace in our society. Let's not forget school shootings, a phenomenon that didn't exist 30 years ago.

Now, the blame game starts. The Left, predictably, is blaming the Right. The Right is, predictably, defending itself and pointing out the biased coverage of the Mainstream Media. Neither the Right nor the Left is culpable for this act of violence. The person responsible is Jared Loughner. Period. It's not his mother's fault, it's not his father's fault, and it's not Karl Marx's fault.

The "inflammatory rhetoric" and the "use of violent terms" that people are citing should not be scapegoats. We have had "inflammatory rhetoric" in politics since politics began. The "use of violent terms" have been a part of the American vocabulary long before Loughner decided to go on a shooting rampage. Instead of trying to blame language, politics, or ideology; let's find the real reasons. I don't know what they are, but Loughner has certainly left clues on the internet. We may never know exactly what precipitated this act of violence, which is hard to accept because we are a people who want answers for everything. Loughner, himself, may not know exactly why he did what he did.

Today, instead of playing the blame game, let's hold our families a little closer, let's appreciate our lives a little more, let's pray for peace, understanding, and justice. Let's look at our lives and attempt to rid them of as much violence as we can. Peace and justice start at home. This may be an overused phrase, but it's true, nonetheless.

Be safe, be healthy, and be thankful.

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