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Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tragedy in Tucson

As all other heartfelt Americans, I have been horrified at the shootings of Arizona Congresswoman Gabby Giffords and others in Tucson. The act was tragic beyond words and, while prayers continue for those recovering and the families of the deceased, attention also turns to the causes of this dreadful event.

Many are pointing to Sarah Palin’s website that showed rifle crosshairs superimposed over an image of Giffords’ district – and those of others on Palin’s target list. I am no fan of Sarah Palin, but the blame for this mass shooting should not rest solely in her lap. All the same, I expect she now certainly regrets her famous campaign quote: “Don’t retreat. Instead, reload!”

Yes, folks, political rhetoric is dramatically out of control. Politicians and partisan commentators seem to incite hate and fear rather than rational debate and intelligent questioning. But their anger doesn’t stand alone.

Our society has produced teenagers who shoot each other over a pair of tennis shoes. Last year in Memphis, a man shot and killed another man in a dispute over a parking place. Supposedly well-balanced parents end up brawling at their kids’ sports events.

It all seems to be part of a national devolution of good sense and the ability to disagree agreeably. Senseless violence in this country is a cancer that has metastasized to every segment of our society. It has to stop, and I believe we can reverse the trend – one person, one family, one school, one business at a time. Will you help?

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