Perpetuating the Tragedies

You know, everyone is commenting on the shootings in Arizona. I’ve seen a few pieces on her aide, Daniel Hernandez, and how he thought quickly and may have saved Gabrielle Giffords’ life. Good man. Then there were Dr. David Bowman and his wife, Nancy Bowman who is a nurse. They heard gunfire and immediately ran outside of the store to do what they could. Don’t forget Colonel Bill Badger, who wrestled the gunman to the ground and kept him from reloading.

People died. That sweet little girl, Christina Green. Also John Roll, chief judge of the United States district court of Arizona. Dorthy Murray, aged 76. Dorwin Stoddard, aged 76. Phyllis Scheck, aged 79. Gabriel Zimmerman, aged 30- an aide to Congresswoman Giffords.

The people who saved lives, overcame the human reaction of terror to put others above themselves. The people who were living lives of love, industry, and faith in their nation. These are the heroes. These are the ones who deserve our attention. Ms. Giffords deserves our prayers and attention.

And we want to know why. Our fury at what many are calling ‘meaningless’ murders is demanding that we understand the person who did this awful thing. We want to know what made him do it, in part because we want to know how to make it never happen again. I am with everyone on this, but I don’t believe we have to consider these deaths meaningless. Of course I would not want this to happen; these are murders and murder is never okay. Never. The man who did this needs to feel the full brunt of swift, decisive and meaningful justice. We as a people, a culture and a nation need justice to be served so that we can feel closure and continue the healing process.

But let’s not allow these deaths to be meaningless. And let’s not allow this gunman to gain notoriety beyond what is reasonable. I know we want to know as much as possible, but giving evil men like this the fame and notoriety they long for only plays into their evil desires and actions. We need to stop perpetuating tragedies like this by shoving the full weight of modern media behind giving them exposure. The way you shut an extremist up is by ignoring his diatribes and protecting yourself from attacks with superior thinking and strength. Take the power away from all ends and their evil is impotent and they can shrivel up into hideous, crumpled, useless husks of the darkest parts of humanity.

As for the pundits who are using this evil act as political fuel to push gun control, harp on the left or right of the political spectrum, or anything else, I have this to say: You disgust me. You make the deaths of these Americans mean politics, special interests, and unethical backroom dealings.

You’ve got Bill Maher blaming the shooting on right-wing rhetoric. From a guy who often puts his brain to good use, this is irresponsible and puke inducing. You’ve got Arizona Sheriff Clarence Dupnik grandstanding on the soapboxes of hyperbole about gun control and right-wing paranoia about the government– and it’s clear why he’s doing it. He has an agenda. Then there is the Westboro Baptist Church who wants to protest with their horrid signs and totally un-Christian stances– and a state legislature trying to make a law against the protesting.

Bill, don’t take advantage of these peoples’ murders. Dupnik, you need to be silent and be about the work of justice. Westboro Baptist Church– I think you know what’s coming to you. In the words of a different philosophy from Christianity, “Karma’s a b****.” Arizona state legislature– watch your citizens and support them in their lawful counter protests. Don’t make laws restricting individual liberty. If you do, the evil ones win.

This was a truly evil crime. Let’s not perpetuate the evil by giving this gunman what amounts to celebrity.

I won’t even say his name here, because I have no desire to be a part of this horrid machine.

I add my prayers that those injured will heal quickly, and that those left behind by the deaths of those listed above will be wrapped in the arms of family, God, and community and that their pain will heal. I add my prayers and words to the voices of others condemning this crime as evil and seeking justice. This kind of tragedy does not need to remake our country; it needs to remake us as individuals, pushing us to be better, smarter, more informed and more pro-active in the interest of our fellow citizens.

About jaredgarrett

Jared Garrett is the author of Beat, a YA scifi thriller, and its forthcoming sequel, both published by Future House Publishing. A new series, debuting in January 2016 and also published by Future House, kicks off with Lakhoni, a fast-paced rescue adventure in a world reminiscent of Aztec culture, to be released in January 2016. He self-published Beyond the Cabin, a novelization of his childhood in a cult, in December 2014. Both Beat and Beyond the Cabin were Whitney Award nominees, and his story Song of the Wind, received honorable mention in the Writers of the Future contest. In addition to writing, he's spent fifteen years in adult education and is an accomplished public speaker and workshop leader.
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