Blue on Monday: A Tragic Weekend

Blue Man Monday here…

Though it could have happened anywhere, it seems that guns, racism and prejudice have found a lethal partnership in Arizona. We are stunned by the senseless killing of Christina Taylor Green, a nine year old little girl, U.S. District Judge John M. Roll, and four other innocent victims, and, the attempted assassination  of US Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ, who clings to life in a Tucson hospital

The dots surrounding this national tragedy are too glaringly evident not to connect. For sure, politicians won’t go there, and the ever politically correct media won’t either, so here are my questions:

  • According to GlockTalk.com, the NRA offers ongoing courses on how to carry concealed weapons in public and how to fire them when necessary. Why does any civilian on the planet need to carry a semi-automatic weapon, especially pistols with high capacity magazines in public? Why have we, voting citizens, made it possible and so easy for people like Jared Lee Loughner, the accused killer and shooter, to acquire and carry such weapons?
  • A “graphic from Sarah Palin’s “Take Back The 20” Facebook page shows a U.S. map with the crosshairs of a gun scope imposed over 20 Democrats’ districts. A spokesperson, who works for Palin’s PAC, said the images of cross hairs weren’t intended to evoke violence: “We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,” she said.” Then allow me to ask, what else are clip_image002crosshairs on a scope used for? It should be noted that the graphic was removed from Palin’s Facebook page the day after the shooting.
  • “Giffords narrowly won a third term in November against Jesse Kelly, a Republican backed by the Tea Party. Last June, Kelly held an event promoted with the message: “Get on Target for Victory in November… Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office… Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.’ And I would want to shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly to do what?
  • Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat and friend of Giffords, lambasted his home state on Saturday as “the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.” Last year Dupnik vowed his deputies wouldn’t enforce the state’s new immigration law, calling it “racist” and “unnecessary.” Adding that, “We didn’t have a Tea Party until we had a black president.” Later in the day Tea Party leaders in Arizona vehemently denied Dupnik’s accusations, then vowed that they would not alter their aggressive campaign strategies in the future. Thank you, Tea Party enthusiasts for making my point here.
  • “According to Mark Potok of the Southern Poverty Law Center, which tracks extremist groups, says inflammatory political rhetoric has risen as a result of the immigration debate. And more recently, he says, the weak economy and the election of President Obama have led to a 50 percent increase in the number of so-called hate groups.” Though it didn’t get much media traction, last year Jimmy Carter said that racism remains a festering wound upon the American landscape. It is hard to dispute that statement, which in my opinion applies to every state in the Union. I may live in a so-called “blue state,” but I see evidence of this every day.
  • Words like “take back America,” by Sarah Palin, “crosshairs,” “target,” “shoot a fully automatic M16” are used intentionally to evoke an emotional and political response. The dots between rhetoric and action— any kind of action, are too easily connected in today’s society. It seems to me that politicians and public leaders of every stripe need to be more responsible in both the words they choose and actions they help to generate.
  • I am left to wonder, what will be teach our children this week?

Kevin Lee

Note: This post was released at 11:05 AM today, five minutes after our nation was asked by President Obama to observe a moment of silence.

(Sources: CNN, NPR, NRA, New York Times)

Author: Kevin Lee

In a nutshell, Kevin fesses up to the following: He’s a retired youth advocate-counselor, a blogger, writer, photographer, rower, Friends Minister, grandpa of six and married to a terrific woman for 43 years and counting!

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