Yesterday a 22-year-old man named Jared Lee Loughner opened fire at a public meeting outside a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona. The main target was reportedly US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords who was shot in the head at point blank range but is miraculously alive and still fighting for her life. Six others including a 9-year-old child were killed and 12 others injured when Loughner opened fire on the crowd with an automatic weapon.
How can Americans feel safe knowing that the neighbour they argued with, the employee(s) they fired, the guy down the street ("he was always so quiet, kept to himself") who's about to have a psychotic breakdown, might be armed? The US has the 4th highest (behind Mexico, Estonia and Brazil) rate of death by fire-arm in the world! This is not a list anyone should/would aspire to top. The suggestion that this universal "right to bear arms" is in no way linked to the tens of thousands of people killed every year by firearms in America is idiotic. This brings me to the wonder that is Sarah Palin.
In 2010 Palin posted the map below targeting Democrats who had voted for Healthcare reform (because healthcare for all is a terrible thing? Still don't get it!). In case the image is a little unclear, yes, those are gun sights and that is Gabrielle Giffords' name, fourth from the top.
|(Via the Huffington Post)|
I am not suggesting Palin meant for someone to actually shoot the Democrats on her list (gunsights? Really?!), or that she is responsible for this gunman's actions; but this, coupled with the tweet below (is it referring people to the above map?) could send out confusing messages.
Both these posts have been deleted from Palin's accounts in the wake of the tragedy in Tucson and Palin has issued statements condemning the gunman's actions (recent reports suggest there might actually have been 2 gunmen), but it's all a little too late if you ask me. Her use of her inexplicable fame and influence (What were you thinking John McCain??) is dangerous and irresponsible. And she's not the only one. Sharron Angle, who thankfully was unsuccessful in her bid for the U.S. Senate has also talked about "2nd amendment remedies" against Congress.
If any good can come of this most heinous of crimes (A 9-yr-old child!!) it is that proponents of the 2nd amendment will rethink their stance. Guns are tools of death that should not be readily-available in your local Walmart! Make another amendment! Get the guns out of your homes and off the streets!