Arizona shootings: time to reflect
Not many days ago I wrote a post on this blog pointing out the dangers to society when some people get easy access to firearms. It is terrible when this takes on more meaning than I had expected, but Saturday’s events in Tucson, Arizona, should make everyone in the United States think again, and much more seriously, about proper gun control.
But there are also other lessons. One of them is about the impact of excessively partisan and hate-filled speech in politics. As is now fairly well known, Gabrielle Giffords was one of the ‘targets’ identified by Sarah Palin on a US map identifying politicians to be removed from power because of their support for the healthcare Bill (her ‘map with gunsights’ has been taken down by her, but is still available on some websites). The rhetoric of some American politicians has become crazily extreme, to the point where people (as we now see) can be put physically at risk.
The United States is a country I admire very much for all sorts of reasons, but right now it needs to stop in its tracks to reflect on what has happened, and how it has allowed itself to become a place of unreasonableness, intolerance and violence.