I know that many don’t agree with me about not wanting to play the blame game when it comes to the tragedy in Tucson, but I’m sorry, I don’t see a direct correlation between Loughner’s shooting rampage and the violent rhetoric on the right. I abhor the violent rhetoric on the right, but I think many on the left look foolish trying to make a direct connection between the two. Jon Stewart said much of what I’ve been thinking, hat tip to Politico…
“We live in a complex ecosystem of influences and motivations and I wouldn’t blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal music for Columbine,” Stewart said on “The Daily Show” Monday night. “Boy, would it be nice to draw a straight line from this horror to something tangible, because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stopped this, then the horrors will end.”
“You cannot outsmart crazy,” Stewart said. “You don’t know what a troubled mind will get caught on.”
Stewart said he doesn’t know “if there is a way to make sense” of the shootings.
Nevertheless, he did stress a need to tone down political “ramblings.”
“It would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn’t resemble how we talk to each other on TV,” he said. “Let’s at least make troubled individuals easier to spot.”
The real issue that I think we should be focusing on is getting people who need help with mental problems the care that they need. There were many signs from Jared Loughner that he was unstable and suffering from paranoia, but without any system in place for dealing with these people, he just fell through the cracks. The Virginia Tech shooter had similar problems and also showed signs of problems well ahead of his killing spree. As a country, we should be focusing on solving this issue instead of turning a disaster like happened on Saturday into a circus act, which the media does all too well.
The issue of the violent rhetoric that has become the norm on the right (and there is no “both sides” to it…..that’s complete horseshit), is a separate issue. Maybe now is the time to have that debate, but it needs to be separated from the Tucson tragedy. Both sides are using the emotions of the horrible tragedy to bolster their arguments and it sickens me, to be honest. I heard one friend of Jared’s say that he wasn’t a political person at all. Even though he had an issue with Gabrielle Giffords, it didn’t seem to be about her politics as far as I can tell. His paranoia had taken him to a whole different reality. Let’s have the debate about our political discourse, but let’s not play on the emotions of the moment.