When the News Isn't Fit to Print ... Blog

And The Blame Goes To …

In Can You Hear Me Now?, Civil Lefts, Disappearing Ink on 10/01/2011 at 08:06

Like Mark David Chapman and Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris before him, Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman who tried to assassinate U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and murdered six innocent bystanders, is emerging as a deeply troubled young man who sought to bring attention to himself.

Almost immediately after the attack, irresponsible media outlets, from the Huffington Post to CBS News, sought to politicize the event, by hypocritically referring to a map that Sarah Palin’s organization released during the 2010 congressional campaign, “targeting” Democratic districts marked for takeover, without any evidence to link the former governor or her map to the shootings.

We live in a political society, but while it is true that this nation has always been divided by deeply held political differences, over the course of our sometimes-violent history we have managed to pull together in times of national tragedy. Sadly, that was not the case this weekend. In the rush to make political hay many in the media and some in public service failed to recognize that Jared Loughner—if he is indeed the shooter—did not gun down Democrats yesterday, he gunned down Americans.

In the aftermath of yesterday’s horrifying events, Speaker John Boehner released a statement, saying that “an attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve,” but that was inaccurate. Shortly afterwards, President Barack Obama came before the media and said, “… such a senseless and terrible act of violence has no place in a free society,” but that was also tragically wrong.

Yesterday’s attack was an attack on the American people, not merely those who serve us, and as shocking as it is to say, it could not have so easily happened in an other-than free society. It is part of the cost of our freedom.

A surely as Lee Harvey Oswald gunned down a beloved president in Dealy Plaza; as surely as the Columbine killers wielded their weapons on their unsuspecting peers; as surely as Timothy McVeigh and Terry Nichols perpetrated their unspeakable horror at the Murrah Building in Oklahoma City, similar monstrous acts will from time to time be carried out in a free society.

In coming days, politicians, pundits and editors from major news outlets will float opinions as to how society can prevent similar acts in the future. Congress will hold hearings because that is what Congress does, and a biased media will tout the position that best suits their agenda. And this horrible act will be politicized, like it or not.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik is blaming bigotry, hate speech, and gun ownership. It is almost as though many on the Left are grappling for the right set of circumstances to fit their preconceived notions as to what causes evil in our society. But evil is not complex.

There is often a terrifying simplicity to evil that defies explanation. We search for answers in order to prevent it, but the answers are more often than not indefinable by any rational reasoning. Evil exists and always will and no amount of blame placing will change it. The fact is, we live with evil and we must deal with it on a case-by-case basis as it rears its ugly head. No amount of legislation will stop it; no increased restrictions on a free society will put and end to it.

In the end the authorities will find no coherent rationale as to why Jared Loughner committed this unspeakable act; just as with Dylan Klebold and Eric Harris and Mark David Chapman and Lee Harvey Oswald, there is no rationale that explains evil. What we can and must do, however, is assign blame where it belongs, with the gunman who committed this monstrous deed.

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