Elvis Costello - (What's So Funny 'Bout) Peace Love and Understanding
Yesterday was a difficult day. And frankly, after watching hours and hours of cable news reporting and retracting critical information (do media outlets even know what the word "confirmed" means any more?) and pundit after pundit trying desperately to place gunman Jared Loughner on the left/right spectrum and tut-tutting that "both sides" must tone down their rhetoric, I was ready to throw my shoe at the TV.
Here's the deal: I don't care what it said on his voter registration card. He shot a Democratic congresswoman, a Republican-appointed federal judge, a pastor, a congressional staffer, and a child. Some things can't be reduced into simple binary partisan issues and the attempt to do so ignores the much more important issues in front of us. From all we've been able to glean, gunman Jared Loughner was dealing with some mental issues. Whether there's been an official diagnosis of schizophrenia we can't know, but many of the reports coming from those who have known him in the last few years do point towards that.
So for me the more critical question regarding Loughner is where are the mental health services to help this poor kid? There were plenty of red flags that indicated he needed it. And why oh why did the state of Arizona just make it easier for people like Loughner--who was kicked out of his community college until he got a psych eval--to obtain guns, especially a semi-automatic one? And when will we see anyone who regularly advocates violent solutions take responsibility for their words? Let me say this: if your first response after hearing about a congress person has been shot is to scrub your site of your violent rhetoric, you can't say that you had no impact.
So stop. Disagreeing with another's point of view does not require "Second Amendment remedies". People need not fear "rivers of blood" or having gasoline thrown on them for having a different political outlook. No one should be taken out and shot for their beliefs. And for god's sake, if you're still unwilling to change your behavior, don't ever say again that you couldn't have seen this coming. Because, as sure as the sun comes up in the east, it will happen again.
ABC's "This Week" - Special edition of the program live from the scene of the Arizona shootings.
CBS' "Face the Nation" - Sens. Charles Schumer, D-N.Y., and Jon Kyl, R-Ariz; Rep. Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
NBC's "Meet the Press" - Sen. Harry Reid, D-Nev.; Reps. Emanuel Cleaver, D-Mo., and Raul Labrador, R-Idaho.
NBC's "The Chris Matthews Show" - Panel: Kelly O'Donnell, John Heilemann, Chuck Todd, Alex Wagner. Topics: New "12 for '12" Series: Will Mitt Romney Remain The 2012 GOP Frontrunner? Why Is The GOP Trying To Repeal Health Care?
CNN's "State of the Union" - Sens. Dick Durbin, D-Ill., Lamar Alexander, R-Tenn., and Lee; Rep. Austin Scott, R-Ga.
"Fox News Sunday" - Sens. Rand Paul, R-Ky., and Chris Coons, D-Del.; Rep. Cathy McMorris Rodgers, R-Wash.
So what's catching your eye this morning?