Saturday, January 15, 2011

Disjointed Thoughts on the Tuscon Shooting

1. Yes, the right wing's rhetoric has been violent and nasty in recent years. However, I think it's unfair to tie the Tuscon shooting to that rhetoric, especially when the shooter was mentally disturbed and rather apolitical.

2. I thought President Obama's speech in Tuscon was excellent. Maybe one of the best speeches I've seen him give--up there with the speech on race in Philadelphia in 2008.

3. I love how many heroes there are in this story--the intern who rushed to Congresswoman Giffords' side, the people who shielded others from the spray of bullets, the woman who prevented the shooter from reloading, the two men who wrestled the him to the ground.

4. Although this shooting cannot and should not be blamed on conservatives' rhetoric, it does make it harder to ignore the Right's mix of paranoid anti-government hysteria and gun fetish. Not a good combination. Am I the only one who thinks it strange that in order to win a Republican primary, candidates often have to one up each other over how many guns they own? "How many guns do you own?" was a question in the recent debate between RNC chairman candidates. The more guns listed, the more excited was the crowd.

5. Jared Loughner used a Glock 19 with a 30-round magazine to kill 6 people and wound 13. Can anyone tell me the appropriate use for this weapon? A Glock is light, easy to carry, easy to conceal, carries a bunch of rounds, and is easy to fire rapidly. In other words, it's perfect for pulling out in a crowd and wreaking havoc. That made it the weapon of choice for the Virginia Tech shooter. I mean, who really needs a 30-round clip for home defense? What I'm getting at is this: There's no good reason that weapons like this are for sale for just about anyone to buy. America has weird-ass issues with gun worship, and we pay a heavy price for it.

6. You need to watch Jon Stewart's take on Fox's coverage of the memorial service in Tuscon.

7. That's all for now. This is too big and too sad a topic for me to discuss in any concise and coherent narrative.