The Weekly Ringer

The University of Mary Washington Student Newspaper

Opposing Viewpoints: Blame Game Deepens Wounds

2 min read
Courtesy of the Associated Press

The only way to describe the shooting in Tuscon, Az. is as a horrific tragedy. That so many people were killed and wounded only magnifies how terrible the event truly was and the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-8) doesn’t make it any better.

An event like this usually invokes sadness and mourning as common feelings to unite people who realize that a tragedy is always tragedy, no matter whom it strikes.

Instead, the Internet is on fire with tweets and blogs zealously pointing fingers at liberals and conservatives alike. In the midst of all this partisan name-calling and righteous anger at the atrocity “surely inspired by the opposing parties propaganda,” pundits are convincing themselves that Jared Lee Loughner was completely brainwashed by their opposition’s ideology into committing this atrocity.

It is doubtless that some sort of personal ideology influenced Loughner, but there is one thing that politicos should remember between their furious bouts of tweeting; Loughner was simply a sick puppy.

Sadly, there are crazy, dangerous people out there who don’t need much of an excuse to get violent, and it looks like Jared was one of them. After all, he spooked both his peers and professors while at community college, was deemed unsuitable to meet army recruitment standards and had a secret shrine in his backyard containing a skull and shriveled oranges. Clearly, this is the handiwork of an individual who does not represent a majority of Americans.

On this ground, it is an unwise move for either political party to claim a holier-than-thou position, but so far both have done so. Not only does this make both parties look like cranky toddlers with little material to back up their emotional claims, but also it is not in their best interest.

Democrats have the most to lose, as their attacks on gun liberties and the Tea Party almost victimize and undeservedly make martyrs of these politicians and pundits.  In a red state that seems to be getting redder every minute, democratic calls for tighter gun control have caused a gun-buying frenzy that they surely did not anticipate.

Let that be a caution to those who would proclaim the exact cause of this regrettable tragedy. Verbal sound-bytes sometimes cause the opposite of what they mean to say.

As President Obama stated in the eulogy for the victims, being aware of the tragedy while remaining above the political fray is something for which we must strive.