Sunday, January 09, 2011

A must read post on Gabrielle Giffords and Gun Culture

I've already had my say on how I feel that yesterday's awful events in Arizona should make politicians on both sides of the Atlantic think again when they use, or just as importantly, fail to condemn the use of violent metaphors in political debate.

Thanks to my friend Maria Wolters on Twitter, who pointed me in the direction of this moving and wise post from one of Gabrielle Giffords' constituents, an assistant professor in the Department of Pharmacology at the University of Arizona, who lives about 5 miles away from where the shooting took place. If you do nothing else today, please read it. In a relatively short article, he describes:

  • his emotions while watching the events unfold, including the terror at thinking that some friends of his might have been caught up in it
  • the appalling racism that is never far from the surface in Arizona which is so bad he doesn't feel that he wants to raise a family in that state
  • a snapshot of the intimidating gun culture there
  • an account of an intolerant, febrile and deeply unpleasant political climate
  • a warm appreciation of an excellent Congresswoman
A friend on Facebook last night described a trip to a Wal-Mart in Arizona, where the guns were casually piled up for sale next to the fruit and veg, and anyone over 18 could buy one. I'd be terrified to go out if I lived there, I think.

If you have time, you might also want to read the previous post on his blog, which says that Arizona has cut funding for state funded transplant operations, giving a death sentence to people on low incomes who need such surgery.

Ted's blog post on yesterday's events aptly describes the elements in the crucible which ultimately led to 20 families being thrown into absolute turmoil. The list of people killed is here. It's so heartbreaking, but especially so that a 9 year old with a new and blossoming interest in politics and citizenship, taken along by her neighbour because they thought she would enjoy it, was caught up in it all.  Being taken along to meet a very positive role model for public service might have inspired  her on a path to achieve great things. It's so awful that she won't get that chance.


Anonymous said...

Have to ask, did you make up the lie that in Tucson at a Walmart guns are piled up high, right next to the "fruit and veg", or did your "friend"? The law in the US, is that guns, bullets and all weapons, that are for sale in stores, are locked away. There aren't even any on display, and they aren't out in the open in Walmart in Tucson.

But perhaps the truth is inconvenient for hypocrites like you??

Nor was this shooting the result of "racism", and that professor you cited, seeks to exploit this horrible tragedy, for political agenda. Like you, he views the lives lost, the victims as merely something to flog, he was positively gleeful in his missive. For your information, not that the truth matters to frauds like you, the shooter, Jared Loughner was a LEFTIST. His myspace and youtube accounts reveal that fact. He was a devotee of Karl Marx, and Marx'st Communist Manifesto was his favorite book. He was a drug user. A major news network contacted one of his classmates, who confirmed that Loughner was a "radical leftist". Loughner hated Giffords, because she was pro-gun rights, and pro-life, she was a moderate, not the kind of slavering leftist stooge he prefered.

Maelo Manning said...

Dear Caron,
What happened to the little girl is so very sad and she was just an innocent child.

Laban said...

"I'd be terrified to go out if I lived there, I think."

While I dislike mass murder as much as anyone, the States has less crime than the UK, and one generally feels safer there than here. The friends we stayed with a couple of years back, in Northern California, can leave the cars on the drive at night with the keys in - not something we'd do in an English country town. Mind you, they do have his and hers revolvers in the bedside drawers.

You should visit. Like England, it's a very nice country if you're not poor.

Unknown said...

Anonymous, or shall I call you Mary, I believe my good friend when she said she saw guns in an Arizona Wal-Mart.

Loughner seems to have been exactly the sort of person who would respond to anti Government rhetoric. He liked Mein Kampf as well.

The reason I allowed your message to be published was because I wanted people to see some of the hysterical bile directed at people with a liberal viewpoint by the tea party type.

How dare you suggest that I, or Ted, are not deeply saddened by the lives lost in these terrible circumstances. By comparing us to the murderer, you defeat your own argument.


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