In the wake of the politically motivated shootings in Arizona I have been doing some thinking. My first thought was that this whole thing makes me so sad. It makes me sad when anyone dies or is hurt be it an accident or as in this case a person who I believe is probably a little or a lot unstable decides to do something crazy.
In the aftermath of this tragedy the media on both sides of the political spectrum have ramped up the rhetoric. I feel that both sides bear a little bit of blame for this whole mess. I realize that you can't control crazy and people do and will continue do any number of criminal and crazy things and try to find something to blame other then themselves. But, the reason that I think both sides are to blame for this is that both sides want us to be scared. They both thrive if the people who believe in there message are scared that their rights are either going to be taken away or infringed upon in some way.
Though I have to admit it is hard to not point blame squarely at conservatives when they use rhetoric like Sharon Angle did last year.
"You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out."
She said that on the Lars Larson show. Now I totally understand that she meant take Harry Reid out in the political sense. She means defeat him in the election. But in the context of the quote in can sound a little scary. I also realize that I am not crazy and I am good at comprehending things. I feel like it really comes down to thinking about what we say and how we say it. When politicians or even just regular old folks use phrases like "putting someone in the cross hairs" or "taking someone out" or even the phrase "second amendment solution" it is pretty hard to not take those as some sort of a call to violent action and if you are at all a little unstable it can very much be a call to violent action.
Now, if they are making a call for violent action, then own up to it and face the consequences. Do not after the fact try to pretend that "well that wasn't what I meant". Because often if the goal is removing an obstacle or removing someone from office then yes in a very straight forward blunt way assassination is the answer. I do not think it is appropriate and I think we live in a time where there should be solutions to problems that are not violent ones.
There is a respect for authority that needs to exist regardless of whether or not I agree with their political position. If I do not like there policy I will work to vote them democratically out of office. I will not try to harm them by violence. I feel that whatever success you may achieve will be forever tainted by acting violently against them. As it stands right now we still live in a civil society that is governed by laws for all of us. If I wanted to live in a world that is controlled by the biggest gun. well there are parts of Africa that I could move to.
All of my ranting aside. This is a sad, sad, thing and I hope and pray that we do not have more of this in the future. I do not think that things in America are anywhere near bad enough that an armed rebellion is the answer. They were not bad enough when Bush was president and they are not bad enough now that Obama is in charge. We are better then this America. We must be.