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Sunday, January 09, 2011

The Tucson Shootings 

Once again, a terrible violent tragedy struck yesterday in Tucson, AZ, with Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords critically injured, six others dead and a number of other injuries. I learned of the shootings while attending a Maryland Conservative Action Network conference where the news was announced and we took a moment of silence to pray for the victims. Any attack like this is appalling and always raises the question of how this could happen.

The shootings have, not surprisingly, generated a round of charges about political debate and rhetoric. David Gergen and Jennifer Rubin point out how pointless and counterproductive that is. The suspect in the case appears to be as mentally off-base as were the shooters of John Lennon and President Reagan. This tragedy should not be used as an excuse to intimidate the political debate that is essential to our free society. Paul Mirengoff says more.
We can all wish for more reasoned discourse, just as we can all wish for milder weather. But complaining about the nation's discourse is probably a waste of time except as a method of attempting to advance the interests of a particular faction. And that itself can be viewed as an example of unreasonable discourse.

The shooting of Rep. Giffords has a not only affected the world of politics but also the space community, as she has played a key role in space policy as chair of a House Science and Technology subcommittee. Her husband. Mark Kelly, is scheduled to command a Shuttle mission to the International Space Station (ISS) where his brother, Scott, is currently commanding the ISS mission.

Finally, Katherine Jean Lopez reminds us of the youngest victim of the shootings, nine year old Christina Green. Let's remember all the victims in our prayers and remember to be kind to those around us.

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