As one gets older fewer things have shock value. The barbaric shooting of Gabriella Giffords -- while doing what we hope all congressmen would do -- and a number of other, innocent bystanders, did shock me deeply.
Regardless of her political views, she was an elected official, who of necessity will have a higher profile and perhaps even be in the crosshairs of nut jobs and other human debris found in any society. The assassination of politicians and other famous people is not unique to any particular society. In fact, millions of innocent people have died in the carnage that followed the loss of a single life taken by an assassin, as it was with the single shot that set the world aflame in 1914.
Hardly ever is an assassination inexpensive in shock-value, human suffering, and the psyche of a nation. That is true regardless of who is murdered. John Lennon's murder had the same effect, perhaps to a different degree, than that of John Kennedy, for example.
There are two differences, however, that I'd like to look at. When a murderer sets out to purely kill the victim, it takes one unexpected act and one bullet. The unexpected act gives the element of surprise, and the bullet finishes the job. That's how President Lincoln, President Kennedy, John Lennon and Lee Harvey Oswald were killed. There is very little one can do about these killers to prevent the killing.
There is, however, a much more deadly strain of killer which is what I want to talk about, and that's the killer who wants to kill as many people as possible, which is what the case was here with Jared Lee Loughner who shot up the "Congress on Your Corner" initiatives of Gabriella.
Consider when politicians, who are eligible for security protection, have been assailed. The perpetrator was, without fail, rapidly wrestled to the ground and disarmed or killed before too much damage could be done. When the perpetrator acted in a mostly unarmed environment, numerous innocent people are maimed or killed before the killer either runs out of ammo or someone manages to successfully intervene.
Jared "human trash" Loughner managed to shoot 18 people killing 6, according to information available on Saturday night. Who had the ability to stop the killing sooner and perhaps save the 9-year old girl's life or that of the judge, or the staffer who was a promising, responsible young man of 30?
I thought it was one of those weird coincidences that I'd read about Vermont's gun-carrying laws the same day that this shooting occurred. I didn't know that there is a law, or it was proposed (State Rep. Fred Maslack?) that a $500 fine be imposed on anyone not carrying a concealed weapon. The argument is that those who choose not to carry a firearm expect others to protect them and defend the State; a question mark is placed on their loyalty and honesty about living in Vermont. Now, there's a novel thought.
Let's lay that template over the shootings of today and see what transpires. I am sure if someone in the audience at Gabriella's meeting today was armed Jared would not have had a chance to fire off his third shot, perhaps not even his second, before someone realizing he's about to commit mass murder, blasted him away first, saving the lives, injury and trauma of many innocent others.
If soldiers in Fort Hood were allowed to carry their firearms while on campus, Maj. Nidal Malik Hasan would not have been able to kill 12 and injure 31 others. It was a colossal breakdown of common sense that Hasan could take two pistols on campus and empty them out on unarmed, unsuspecting bystanders.
All the hand-wringing and psychological analyses that follow these tragedies could still take place, as they should but the number of innocent lives lost can be minimized by allowing people to defend themselves. In my opinion, these costs in human suffering must be accounted to someone and those who prohibit people from defending themselves should be strung up and shamed out of their positions of power.
Besides the fact that the Constitution is clear in the Second Amendment that the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, common sense and history prove that where people carry arms as a matter of garb, crime rates are substantially lower than where the Constitution is violated; and where gun-control laws are instituted, crime rates go up at the expense of innocent lives. Why then, if higher crime means more innocent lives are lost or injured, like we have seen today, why would legislators and judges continue to bamboozle and bully the population into believing guns are evil while the opposite is true: gun ownership dispels crime? Or, worse still, why would people buy into this kind of abuse from law-makers and politicians?
Indications and early prognoses are that Gabriella Giffords would recover, it's too early to be sure, but I was pleasantly surprised to learn that she is an ardent promoter of an armed citizenry in obedience to the Second Amendment. I would venture a prediction that, should she fully recover, she could be instrumental in returning some of these hacks of people's rights to ordinary citizen status and get the government out of the way so that we are able to defend ourselves and our homeland.
They have the blood of these innocent folks on their hands and consciences.