My One and Only Post on the Giffords Shooting
The Arizona shooting that took the lives of several people and injured many others is an awful thing. I can’t even imagine what the victims and their families are going through right now. My heart goes out to them and I pray that they are able to find some comfort in a dark time.
In the meantime, I’m ashamed of my countrymen who have turned this act into a partisan pissing match.
I have said this before, and I will say it again: people aren’t responsible for the acts of people who share their ideas. Catholics aren’t responsible for abortion clinic bombings. Muslims aren’t responsible for al-Qaeda. Glenn Beck isn’t responsible for some nutjob shooting up the Tides Foundation. And Sarah Palin certainly isn’t responsible for this act. The only people responsible for bad acts are those who commit them.
As far as we can tell, this was simply the work of one or possibly two people. Not some vast conspiracy.
If the early reports are correct, it appears that the shooter was emotionally disturbed and possibly mentally ill. And it is a sad fact of life that there are a small number of violently mentally ill people in this world who will concoct any number of stories to commit their crimes. John Hinckley, Jr. shot Reagan to impress Jodie Foster. Mark David Chapman killed John Lennon because he heard voices in his head. The vast majority of suicide bombers are suicidally depressed people who use religion as a convenient excuse to kill themselves.
After a shooting like this, we should not be asking how we can best score points against our political opponents or point fingers at politicians. We should instead ask how we can better identify the violently mentally ill and get them the help they need before they present a danger to themselves and others.