Since the tragic events in Tucson on Saturday, political rhetoric continues to flare. Everyone is looking for someone to hold responsible. Some people on the far left fault Sarah Palin, the tea party movement, and private gun ownership for the calamity while some on the far right see it as justice for Representative Giffords’ support of liberal policies or punishment from God for increasing immorality in our nation. In their mad rush to play the blame game, these groups have missed the point. As far as I can tell, the fault for this terrible deed rests solely with the gunman, Jared Loughner. No one else pulled the trigger, no one else handed him the gun, and no one else urged him to enact his plan. It wasn’t the natural result of having too many freedoms…or too few. It was not some grand political statement, but the act of a single coward.
Unfortunately, some political groups in the nation try to use any misfortune, be they natural or man-made, to push their agenda. For them, the end justifies the means and they will exploit any opportunity. I call upon all Americans to resist this temptation and rebuke any person or organization that seeks to profit from this terrible moment.
As they are similar to many of my own thoughts, I’d like to share with the words of Representative Steve Israel, the new Chairman of the DCCC:
In the wake of last Saturday’s tragic shooting in Tucson, the thoughts and prayers of the DCCC remain with our colleague, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, her staff, the other victims of this horrifying attack, their families, and the people of Southern Arizona.
Today, the House of Representatives formally honored them with a resolution expressing the condolences of our entire nation. But since Congresswoman Giffords is both a colleague and a close friend, I wanted to share some additional thoughts.
Congresswoman Giffords is a rising star and I am always touched by her compassion and drive. She was simply doing what she loves to do – talking with and serving her constituents.
We mourn and honor the lives of nine-year-old Christina-Taylor Green, her congressional outreach director Gabe Zimmerman, her friend and Chief United States District Court Judge John Roll, and the other people who were senselessly murdered while simply meeting their representative in their neighborhood.
In Gabby’s spirit of thinking about others, I wanted to pass along the suggestion of her husband, Captain Mark Kelly who encouraged people to pray for the victims and their families, and for those who want to do more, consider making a contribution to two organizations that she has long valued: Tucson’s Community Food Bank or the Southern Arizona chapter of the American Red Cross.
Please join the DCCC in continuing to send your thoughts and prayers to the victims of this horrific attack and your wishes for Gabby’s recovery and return to the House of Representatives.
Rep. Steve Israel
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I too ask that you please remember the dead, the families of the victims, and Representative Giffords. There is a time and a place for politics, but it is not right here and it is not right now.