The recent shooting rampage in Tuscon Arizona raises some uncomfortable, but necessary questions about immorality in our society, specifically the blatant disrespect exhibited by Rep. Gabrielle Gifford's in 2007 - which ultimately provoked a despairing and hopeless young man to commit murder.
Some of you may be deeply offended by the aforementioned premise, but I base it, not upon my own musings, but upon the wisdom and philosophies of one our nation's greatest thinkers: Barack Obama.
Here's the deal:
At a 2007 event, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords took questions from members of the audience. Jared Loughner, one of the attendees at the event, asked her a seemingly incoherent question. Sadly, Rep. Giffords failed to give him a satisfactory response, which prompted Mr. Loughner to later complain, ‘Can you believe it, they wouldn’t answer my question.’
This lack of respect on the part of Ms. Giffords apparently irked Mr. Loughner - and the rest is history.
In his 2006 Call to Renewal speech and in his highly acclaimed memoir, The Audacity of hope, Barack Obama touched upon this subject. Obama stated that it is precisely this kind of immorality and disrespect toward the soon-to-be murderers, and the less fortunate among us, that is largely to blame for both the murders and the increase in violence in our society.
"The problems of poverty and racism... are not simply technical problems...," said Obama. "They are rooted in both societal indifference and individual callousness... Solving these problems... will also require changes in hearts and minds."
"I believe in keeping guns out of our inner cities," he went on to say. "But I also believe that when a gang-banger shoots indiscriminately into a crowd because he feels somebody disrespected him, we've got a moral problem. There's a hole in that young man's heart — a hole that the government alone cannot fix."
Indeed, it was this lack of respect and total disregard for a fellow Arizona citizen that elicited a sense of hopelessness in a young man's heart - ultimately inciting him, in the prime of his life, to commit murder. A hole had been drilled into his heart as a result of both "societal indifference" and Ms. Giffords' "individual callousness", hence, he had little choice but to bore a hole in the hearts of those who disrespected him and to those, who through their callousness and indifference, facilitated both his mental and emotional demise.
It goes without saying, that another contributing factor to the shootings was the coarse public discourse among Republicans, which ultimately squashed the bright and promising future of a young left-wing, George W. Bush-hating, flag-burning idealist, who will now sit in jail for the rest of his life.
Sad, but true.