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The Last Word On Tucson

The Other Side of the Tracks: A Socially Speaking commentary

January 18, 2010

By Perry Redd

The shooting in Tucson is over.  The victims have been honored and the country has mourned.  There has been tons of commentary and analysis in the week since.  A week of finger-pointing, blame-shifting and responsibility-dodging.  The facts have been diluted and dismissed.  But what I know is that there are 10 facts that cannot be denied:

  1. U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is off the ventilator and breathing on her own and will be alright; she gets excellent healthcare
  2. six other people were killed and 13 others shot for no good reason
  3. many politicians are dodging any culpability for anything that they may’ve done to urge this act to occur—including incendiary language
  4. the shooter, Jared Loughner, is certifiably mentally unstable
  5. mentally unstable people will still be able to buy, own and carry guns
  6. someone else having a gun could not have stopped the shooter from shooting
  7. members of Congress are cowards who want us to spend more deficit money on making them safer, while the rest of us remain less safe
  8. law-abiding Americans will still be chief among the number of mass shootings that will occur in America
  9. guns will be the protected character in this drama
  10. Like Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnick, millions of Americans clearly understand why this tragedy occurred

More importantly, there are three things that could be changed, should be changed, but won’t be changed.  Without these three points being corrected, we will have this conversation again:

  1. bans on guns—especially assault weapons & accessories—won’t happen
  2. politicians and political operatives won’t disband their vitriolic language
  3. prisons cannot serve as holding cells for the mentally unstable; most mentally challenged people aren’t charged with a crime until they commit one

Of all of the dialogue surrounding the Arizona attack, very little was focused on remedying the cause.  The politi-sphere won’t admit that it allowed hateful and harmful language to contaminate the hate for progressive policies. The right won’t admit that guns cause big holes in people; the left won’t admit that they failed America by not legislating gun-control laws when they had the chance.  As a matter of fact, a gun show was held at the Pima County Fairgrounds,  not far from the site of the shooting…just a week after the tragedy.  The organizers elected to continue with their plans to hold the gun show despite any possible “insensitivity” that may incur.

What this tells us is that, in a capitalist society, money overrules ethics, morals or anything else that should precede your concern for the general welfare of the greater part of America.  People talked long & loud about 9-year old Christina Taylor who was also shot and killed in the attack, but no one will protect her innocence by eliminating the possibility of other little girls being killed by the human killing machines known as guns.  There’s too much money tied up in this commodity; therefore Americans choose to let our children remain at risk.

When it’s all over, said and done, much has been said, and nothing will be done to prevent a tragedy like this from happening again.  In the final analysis, the final word on Tucson is that nothing has changed, in perfect line with the meaning of conservatism.


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