Let’s face it, America needs a real debate about its society. We need to start talking about the violence plaguing our nation. It doesn’t matter if the violence occurs at some random work place, in a school or at a town hall meeting being held by a member of Congress, we need to have a national discussion on it and it must start now.
For such a discussion to be productive we must also all put aside our political differences and address every issue, rather it be from the 2nd amendment to rhetoric played on television and the campaign trail. Take the case of yesterday’s shooter, Jared Loughner. We now know that he legally obtained his firearm, yet all reports are indicating someone who is mentally disturbed. Is this a case for stronger background checks? I believe so. Let’s take another massacre, the one of Virginia Tech where 32 people lost their lives at the hand of Seung-Hui Cho and his guns. Once again, this was someone described as mentally unstable, with a long paper-trail to prove it, yet he was able to legally purchase firearms.
Now I am a person who firmly believes in the 2nd Amendment. I actually have been in heated debates with others on the left over this. Where I break with the right at is the open access to guns. Yes I want to be allowed to own a firearm, and if I got to go through a rigorous screening process to own one, then I feel that much safer. Such a process also won’t keeps guns out of the hands of those who want to do harm, but it could help limit these cases. In two incidents we may have seen 38 people still alive if their assailants weren’t able to get a gun so easily and legally.
But guns aren’t the only issue here. We also need to address the political rhetoric. One of the hot issues has been Sarah Palin’s crosshairs map, where she targeted numerous Democratic candidates, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. Yesterday was such a longtime ago though and today, Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-TN) refused to talk about it:
CROWLEY: Was it over the line, sort of specifically, since it’s now being talked about everywhere, with Sarah Palin’s web ads about people that she would like to see targeted for political defeat.
ALEXANDER: Well, Candy, I think you’re responsible, by bringing this up, of doing the very thing you’re trying to condemn. You’re making and implying a direct connection between Sarah Palin and what happened. You’re picking out a particular incident. Well, I think the way to get away from it is for you not to be talking about it.
Sticking your fingers in your ears and going “na na na I can’t hear you” is no way to hold a responsible debate. Sarah Palin’s map does need to be discussed, just the same way as any violent rhetoric stemming from the left. In this time of crisis nothing should be off the table.
America is facing a growing epidemic of extreme violence and if our nation wants to survive then we need to openly and honestly discuss everything that could be contributing to it. Hopefully our elected leaders, on both sides of the aisles, will see to it and tone the political rhetoric down and open such a debate. Our future does depend on it.