Gabrielle Giffords, the U.S. Representative from the 8th congressional district of Arizona, was holding a public event in front of a supermarket near her home in Tucson for the purpose of staying in touch with her constituents. It’s something that every member of the House of Representatives – the “People’s House” – either does or should do.

In the space of seconds, a lone gunman began firing. Representative Giffords was struck in the head and lies in critical condition at a Tucson hospital. Six others are dead and more than a dozen are wounded.

A 22-year old man named Jared Loughner is being held on multiple charges, including murder.

Whatever happens, Gabrielle Giffords will never fully recover. Neither will the families of those that died and neither will the victims who were wounded. In the blink of an eye, a sociopath changed their lives forever.

These are facts that no one disputes. They are tragic.

Would that the discussion surrounding this story stay on the facts. But it hasn’t and it won’t.

In a shockingly short time, this tragedy became politicized. And the vast majority of the over-the-top rhetoric concerning it is coming from the left.

Where to start?

Well, first here’s Pima County, Arizona sheriff Clarence Dupnick.

“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government – the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country, is getting to be outrageous.”

I’m certain that some unknown someone, somewhere has spewed something sometime about tearing down the government. But I believe that the sheriff is making a more specific reference. Call me paranoid, but I can’t help thinking he’s referring to the likes of Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck and, without specifically knowing it, me.

Blaming talk radio for any high-profile act of violence is now a badly worn cliché.

I am a vocal critic of the government on what I strongly believe to be principled grounds. Among my criticisms is my belief that government is too large and in too many cases destructive to the interests of the very people it is supposed to serve. I have not been shy about saying so. That does not make me, or Rush Limbaugh or the local talker in Huntsville, Alabama or anyone else who does what we do for a living, an accomplice to this crime.

The fact that those that regularly criticize conservatives for overheated rhetoric and so-called “hate speech” go on to characterize conservatives as accessories to murder at the first opportunity is an irony that too few have noticed.

Then there’s Keith Olbermann. How would liberals know what to think without Keith Olbermann?

Olbermann is calling for Sarah Palin to expurgated from public life unless she repents of her role in this story. What role is that? It’s a map of congressional districts that her political action committee targeted for special attention in the 2010 campaign. They used a graphic upon which certain congressional districts were denoted with a crosshair symbol.

Memo to self. Buy a dictionary, put a sticky note on the page containing the word, “campaign” and send it to Keith Olbermann. In Webster’s, the first definition of the word reads as follows;

1. a connected series of military operations forming a distinct phase of a war.

Military imagery has been used in politics going back to the Romans, Keith. Listen to the words for crying out loud – “rank and file,” “campaign,” “targeting,” “battleground” state, “on the ground.” What Sarah Palin did in her graphic was nothing new, nothing incendiary and had exactly nothing to do with what happened Saturday in Tucson. To draw a connection between a perfectly legitimate piece of campaign literature and the actions of a deranged sociopath would be laughable were it not so tragic.

It is quite appropriate to be angry about all of this. It is entirely inappropriate, however, to mindlessly blame those who hold opposing political views.

The simple truth is as follows.

The person who carried out this horror is not the first deranged sociopath to come along and he won’t be the last. I have no idea, in a free society, how to legally and definitively identify sociopaths in advance. I have no idea where or how to keep them safely bottled up. And I have no idea how to keep them from ultimately acting on the malign voices in their heads or whatever it is that leads them to shatter the lives of innocent people.

But neither does the sheriff of Pima County, Arizona and neither does Keith Olbermann and neither does anyone else. Despite what some might offer as clichéd explanations or remedies, so long as we are human, we will remain consigned to living in a world where the most terrible things can happen without warning and for no good reason.

Which is why we pray for Gabrielle Giffords and all who suffer as a result of being near her on Saturday.

May the God who created them and first loved them gather them and hold them close.

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Paul Gleiser

Paul L. Gleiser is president of ATW Media, LLC, licensee of radio stations KTBB 97.5 FM/AM600, 92.1 The TEAM FM in Tyler-Longview, Texas.

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6 Responses

  1. Right on, Paul. Very well articulated.

  2. Rick Armstrong says:

    I could not agree any more strongly. The first rule of Socialism is to never allow a crisis to go to waste. Even if you have to create the crisis or lie about the one that has happened. When proven “patriots” such as the Clintons and Hanoi Jane Fonda begin their factless rhetoric about this terrible incident you can count on a wildly spinning ride.

    We, pray for the victims, families and friends; they rant and rave about ficticious causes of the event. We try to lie the innocent victims to rest and those with personal agendas spin the story to fit their twisted views before they are even prepared for burial. The facts be damned…

    It is so upseting, so uncalled for and so far off target and the “mainstream media” sucks it up like mana from heaven. A sad state of affairs, indeed.

    Rick ARmstrong
    Tyler, Texas

  3. L Miles says:

    A Little Too Much Glee

    The Liberal/Socialist ghouls in the mass media and in Congress seem to be rubbing their hands in glee as they seize the opportunity to once again “club” the Conservatives with implied guilt for the massacre in Tucson, AZ., given their demented sense of values and common sense. “Never let a crisis go to waste” says the Marxist!

    Once again, they show their depths of depravity as they pursue their obsession to destroy any Conservative thought with any excuse or by any means necessary. Hell can’t be hot enough to reward these lying Devils! Where is their humanity?

  4. bennie says:

    the shooting in Arizona will lead to assault on the first and second amendments and the legislation that comes from this iam sure has already been wrote and waiting on a crisis of this nature. we will attach the 9 yr old lil girls name to it and dare someone to vote against it and if they do they will be destroyed in a public forum. We have moved to the point in this country that we the people have taken our rights for granted for so long that we don’t understand them because we don’t understand why the are essential to the success of our country without the freedom of speech this country is nothing. Without being able to speak your mind and not be persecuted for it then what are we? At the risk of sounding crazy does anyone else think that there is a connection to the fact that we have access to guns for every law abiding citizen and the fact that our government is designed to answer to us not the other way around. without the right to speak your mind and defend yourself your family and property then how safe will you feel?
    thanks and wake up
    what does a thirty round clip have to do with the level of this tragedy . Would we feel less for the congresswomen if she were the only victim, would it be less of a tragedy if the Innocent 9 yr old lil girl were the only victim? I say no and instead of using tragedy like this for fueling an agenda and further the injustice done to these families. We should support the survivors of the victims and honor those who perished at the hands of a madman. They were all there being great Americans and being involved in their government, we should follow there lead and get involved.

  5. Linda E. Montrose says:

    I wonder where the obama’s out pouring of concern was for the families of the Ft. Hood massacre? Wonder why the media wasn’t so intent on placing blame for the Ft. Hood shooter’s actions?
    With all this garbage the main stream media is spewing just shows another alinsky teaching…damn the facts, load up on the propaganda and keep shoveling it out! If you tell a lie long enough, someone will come to believe it!

  6. Pat Williams says:

    May God be with the families of the victims of this shooting and with the family of the individual who did this act of senseless violence.

    My first thoughs on hearing about this tragety on the news was may God have mercy on those involved, which was quickly followed by here comes another assualt on the First and Second Admendments by our own elected officials. Sometimes I hate being right. The blood of the victims had yet to cool before the liberals started in on their attack.

    From the content of the remarks made by the liberal elite immediately following this shooting you might think this guy was involved with the Aryan Brotherhood or some other militant extreme right wing group. However, this seems not to be the case. Instead it seems that this was a very troubled young man who smoked dope, listened to hard rock, and was very liberal. That alone should make everyone stop and think before opening their mouth and blaming everyone but the individual who did this. Individual responsibility and Individual liberty are what this nation was founded on and what has kept us free. Now they both ought to be on the endangered list as both are disappearing at a rapid rate!

    Mr. Gleiser, this is a first for me, responding to your comments, however I listen and follow your You Tell Me segment on the radio. Please keep this going as your words are insightfull and are truely needed at this time in our country. I really like both your am and fm stations, the only thing that would make it better is to replace ABC News with FOX News!

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