The shootings at a Tuscon supermarket earlier today are a terrible tragedy. Among the victims were a congresswoman, a federal judge and a young child. It’s nothing more than a downright shame.
I watched the coverage as the story unfolded on CNN. They did a respectable job, connecting up with a few people on the phone who were at the scene. One such person was Dave Fitzsimmons, a cartoonist with the Arizona Daily Star. What this guy said was almost more shameful than the shooting itself. Things like:
“The right in Arizona, and I’m speaking very broadly, has been stoking the fires of a heated anger and rage successfully in this state.”
“This is a gun happy state. I myself enjoy guns from time-to-time, I’m not against gun ownership. But for this state, it has become a fetish. This is a intense gun culture and the politics of the state are far to the right, rabid right.”
This was only an hour or two after the shootings! And he’s already blaming the right. Unbelievable. Even more surprising was the fact that the blame game continued throughout the day in blogs, on Twitter and on Facebook. And it was fueled by people who don’t live in Arizona, people who aren’t part of what’s been going on in that state. What is this fascination with blame? Why do we have to know today why the shooter did it? Why can’t we just let law enforcement do their investigation and tell us if there was a reason?
I love internet. But there was a time when we didn’t need answers the same day. There was a time when we were more patient. There was a time when we were willing to allow the authorities to do their job and give us the information we need in due time. And there was a time when we showed a bit more respect for victims of such terrible crimes. But those times seem gone forever. 24-hour news on TV and the internet have changed us for the worse. Now, we’re much more impatient. Now we just can’t wait to lay blame.
I did a little praying today. I’m just sad for the victims and their families. And this turned out to be a sad day for our country in many ways.