Sunday, January 9, 2011

Yesterday's Shooting in Arizona

If you have been anywhere near the news since yesterday, you probably heard about the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and 19 other people at a political event in Tuscon. Here's some random thoughts on the topic:
  • By the time you start offing politicians, you've pretty much lost democracy. There is a political way to "take back" the government and it doesn't have anything to do with violence or political hatred on all sides.
  • And yes, Sarah Palin, your "Take Back the 20" targets look like gun sites to me, not survey markers. This doesn't put the blame on anyone but the shooter but when you carry a lot of political weight, you need to use it responsibly.
  • Like almost every other mass shooting, this situation seems to be a failure of the mental health system, not the failure of gun control. Note to people in Congress and other politicians...if you want to prevent many of these shootings you need to fix our horribly broken mental health system. It's the psychopath on the other end of the gun that is causing the problem, not the gun itself!
  • A typical knee-jerk reaction was the ludicrous call for all in congress to arm themselves. That's a scary thought. When you choose to carry a gun for protection, you also need to educate yourself about your firearm and, most importantly, PRACTICE regularly. Just carrying a firearm does not protect you!
  • If a person in the public eye is thinking that they would be able to carry a firearm to protect themself, think again. It is hard enough for the average (well trained) guy on the street to carry a gun for protection. In the case of your average citizen, they will have to recognize the threat (much easier to do when you are in a common one-on-one situation not in a large crowd) and then be able to shoot without collateral damage (shooting other people who just happen to be around...much more difficult to avoid in a crowd of people). The bottom line, if you are in a position where you need executive protection, hire a professional and don't try to do it yourself. It would seem to be a very difficult proposition to give a speech and smile nicely at the crowd while at the same time scanning for threats and being in the "ready" position with your firearm.

That's about all. I pray for those who were killed in the shooting and pray for a swift recovery for those who were injured.

1 comment:

  1. Well said! As you cleverly stated, the knee jerk decision to arm oneself would yield more tragedies in our communities. It's not the carrying of firearms that put people in position of advantage. It's the training, planning and overall preparedness that gives the carrier a position of advantage. Carrying firearms is not for everyone! Leave to professionals!!