By Wayne Dawkins
Will fatal gunplay silence political voices of reason? Hell no. Extremists and cowards must not win.
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ resume suggests a voice of reason. She is a moderate Blue Dog Democrat, a fiscal conservative focused on deficit reduction, but a little to the left of many constituents in her conservative Tucson, Ariz.-area district.
On Saturday, Giffords took a bullet in the head at close range for what; hosting a town hall meeting at a supermarket.
The motives of the 22-year-old accused gunman – Jared Loughner – in custody were not clear. What is clear is that the 40-year-old Congresswoman was clinging to life, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl were among the six dead, and at least 12 other people were seriously wounded because of mayhem with a semi automatic pistol.
The violent, poisoned rhetoric of the start of this year, and the closing months of last year meant Saturday’s bloodshed was horrific, but not surprising.
We’re in a charged atmosphere where Fox News commentator Tucker Carlson said he “over spoke” in recommending the execution of dog torturer turned reformed NFL star Michael Vick.
At a forum to choose the new Republican National Committee head, each candidate was asked how many guns they owned. How’s that for a job interview question? Michael Steele, who’s clinging to his chairmanship, told the audience he did not have a firearm; candidate Ann Wagner from Missouri bragged about the 16 guns in her household.
Gun toting demonstrators showed up at several health care reform town hall events.
The videotape drew snickers on the “Daily Show” and “Colbert Report,” but by Saturday afternoon the clip was no longer funny.
Sarah Palin is soaked in blood. Late last year, she targeted Gifford’s re-election campaign and depicted a gun scope bullseye urging 8th District constituents to “reload.”
Giffords supported health care reform and that policy choice incurred Palin’s wrath. The 2008 vice presidential loser says she talked in metaphors, but Palin couldn’t recognize one if it slapped her.
For now, the dragon lady from Wasilla can spare us the Facebook posts and tweets and stay silent in Alaska. Giffords survived a political challenge from a tea party-backed opponent. Now the wife of a space shuttle astronaut faces a greater challenge.
At a Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. breakfast in Hampton, Va., Andrew Young told 1,300 witnesses that to die for a cause is a blessing because it is a better choice than dying for nothing.
Domestic terrorism or incoherent mayhem cannot allow people aiming to lead and to reason to cower in fear.
Hope, positive change and reason will prevail.