I lived and worked in Tucson Arizona for close to eight years back in the 1990s. I worked for a short time, 100 yards down the road from the recent mass murders there that involved the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords of the U.S. Congress.
As stated I worked down the road from the Safeway and its parking lot, the scene of this recent American-style tragedy. I even ate lunch a few times in a food court setting in the front of the supermarket way back when.
I researched this matter of the shootings that took the life of a nine year old girl among others. The date is January 8, 2011. Seems like two months ago instead of one month to me. Time seems to be compressed sometimes concerning memory.
I had written an account of the attack on Rep. Giffords Tucson office at the end of the debate and vote on Health Care Reform last year. The attack in the middle of the night and broken glass brought to mind the terrible tragedy of Kristallnacht in Nazi controlled Germany in November 1938 against Jews in the population. I made reference to that event because Ms. Giffords is Jewish.
The apparently troubled young man who did the shootings and these murders seems to have bought into a uniquely American style of settling arguments or supplementing mental disorders with guns.
Because I had been in this place in Tucson and knew its layout I did not write anything or comment until now. I felt the tragedy in a personal sense having a shared experience of the geography with the victims. I should also note that it took me five years to finally write down my experiences of the 911 tragedy here in NYC.
I also wanted to turn a corner in this blog whereby I did not want to poll parrot the party line coming out of the media. The media turns on cable and cable turns on the middle class who can afford it. The media rightly or wrongly from left or from right seems to feed on the energy of rage both in content and filler. I need to and we all need to as well step back from the edge of that rage that permeates our complex modern society.
Rage is not only a middle class thing but perhaps a middle aged thing. It comes from the disappointment from expectations not fulfilled. It comes from recognizing the disappointment from the perspective of age and or wisdom from life experience.
I do not want to merely echo the media and its sounds of fury.
Now a month later I can look and see how death by random acts of violence is fed by rage and guns.
I do not object to hunters having rifles in their homes with or without permits. I do object to weapons of war with high capacity discharge being sold in America. They are not necessary in a civilized society.
I think that licensing handguns within the confines of city limits is the right of the well being of the population of that densely populated city to assure protection from violence and violent mental illness spilling into the streets and onto the parking lots of America.
I am not advocating repeal of the second amendment’s right to bear arms. I am trying to find common grounds with all parties to seek a solution to too much gun power in America and to too many guns.
The days of the wilderness are long gone. The days of conflict with the native Indian population are long gone. In the twenty first century, a fetish for guns and gun power is a bit outdated and obsessive. It speaks of the breakdown of community and loss of civility in our society.
The gun lobby and the media lobby both seem to be catering to keeping the rage up to sell their products. Whatever.
I am glad that Representative Giffords survived and may well have a normal life returned to her after much therapy.
Prayers for the victims and their families in Tucson. Prayers for the perpetrators, both the lobbyists of hate and rage, as well as for the disturbed young man who committed this crime.