I need to write when there isn't a hot issue.

I have neglected this blog but I think I will go ahead and write on what is the hot topic of the week. My hope is to write more if I know people are reading.
When I first heard of the attack in Arizona I was stunned but not completely surprised. But my first thoughts were not of who's rhetoric might be behind this tragedy but about the people I knew in Tucson and the family of the then unknown victims. I knew a Congresswoman was hit, some initially and falsely said dead, but I didn't want to try to start making this about politics. I was struck by the scrambling of 24 hours news trying to one up each other and the failure of some so-called reporters to realize that reporting is not just repeating what the guy in the crowd was saying. That said I was not prepared for the tidal wave of blame, counter blame and idiocy that followed. As the parents of a 9 year old girl were struggling with the new gaping whole in their life bloggers and pundits started talking. At first we heard a few ramblings about tea party rhetoric. There were veiled threats in the movement's leadership and rank and file. A Senate candidate looking for 2nd amendment solutions and the now famous "Ballots or bullets" sign calling apparently for armed insurrection if polls don't go their way. But it escalated to someone or many someones attacking the most visible person on the planet to represent the tea party. She is not at all innocent so let me be clear and I think she is the greatest example of what is wrong with our current political state, but it seemed like there was an army of people trying to find anything to link her to something that might have pushed this young man to shoot a Democrat. Oh and people found things. Targets on the districts she wanted to challenge candidates using what looked like the image of a sniper scope. Her silly "don't retreat, reload" comment that made her sound vacuous to me but folksy to the minions that follow her. What we had was the start of the pissing contest. Right wing nuts including prominent members of the club like the radio gurus we all know started looking for quotes of Democrats with "violent rhetoric", others tried to link this kid to left wing ideology including interviewing and quoting anyone who even said they knew him. An old girl friend said he was a lefty but she hadn't seen him in 5 years, another high school classmate said he was a pot smoker and what ever the fuck. The young man had some mental disturbance and a stressor that caused him to feel the need to shoot someone and chose a Congresswoman.

But it doesn't stop there. While some on the left continued, long after it was clear that he wasn't a tea party robot, to beat the drum. The right took a new tactic. Attack everyone and everything good coming from this. The Speaker of the House would not go to Arizona with the President (opting to attend a fundraiser instead). Immediately following the ceremony of commemoration of the dead, hope for the injured and celebration of the living and heroes, some on the right looked to criticize everything from where people were sitting to the opening benediction. How big do your balls have to be to be critical of a faith tradition that is meant to inspire healing at a memorial service? I truly am speechless on that. I want to make a joke..but it is easier to just say the people who did this are bigots and hateful or remarkably dumb.

It is time to heal. Finding a way to do that will be easy for many of us. The new news cycle starts and the GOP in the House will tackle the Health Care Reform Act and the Senate will do whatever it is they do lately. The President will continue to learn how to balance politics with leadership and each of us will still have our daily struggles. It will be harder for the members of Congress who may look over their shoulders a little more often, for the people of Tucson who have to add their name to the list of places that Democracy was attacked and especially the families of those who will help families members struggle with recovery from injuries and those who will wake up every day for the rest of their lives with a piece of them missing. Stolen by a man who made a decision that still puzzles me today.

I have tried to avoid using names in this post. I think I have been successful. The reason is while some will try to use this to further their own careers and others will use the fallout as a way of claiming the mantle of victimhood or even calling out what was said a 'blood libel" (I may address that later) the names we should all know are the names of the victims. Those who on a Sunday day were participating in what makes this country great. Direct contact with those that Represent US. For those that died may their memories always bring a blessing and for those that are injured may the Holy One bring them a recovery of both body and spirit.

As Shabbat comes again let us remember the victims of shooting in Tucson:
Names of 13 victims shot, injured and wounded in the Arizona shooting massacre
1. Susan Hileman, 58
2. Mavanell Stoddard, 75
3. Pamela Simon, 63
4. Ronald Barber, 65
5. Gabrielle Giffords, 40
6. James Tucker, 58
7. Kenneth Veeder, 75
8. George Morris, 76
9. James Fuller, 63
10. Randy Gardner, 60
11. Mary Reed, 52
12. Kenneth Dorushka, 63
13. Bill Badger, 74
Names of the six fatalities killed in the Arizona shooting tragedy
There were six fatalities in the deadly Arizona shooting. They are as follows:
1. Christina Green
2. John Roll, 63
3. Gabriel ‘Gabe’ Zimmerman, 30
4. Dorwan Stoddard, 76
5. Dorothy Morris, 76
6. Phyllis Schneck, 79

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