I’ve been writing this blog for a few days now partly because I’ve been super swamped with work, gym, and just life in general. Also partly because it’s taken me a while to work through my feelings and emotions, internet blogs, news stories, interviews, and everything else relating to this topic.
I work for Comcast dispatch and deal with our technicians in Utah and we also handle our techs in Tucson, AZ. On January 8th around 11 o’clock, we had a few tech supervisors call and advise us that they were dealing with a shooting, so it would affect the tech routes. I had no idea what had really happened and watched in horror with our dispatch department as more and more information was released. I’m sure that most of you are aware of what happened, if not all of you, so just a quick overview:
U.S Rep from Arizona Gabrielle Giffords was holding a constituent meeting at a Safeway in Tucson when 22 year old Jared Lee Loughner opened fire shortly after 10 AM. 19 people in total were shot, 6 of them fatally wounded. Included in the victims was Rep. Giffords (shot in the head, underwent surgery, and according to doctors is on her way to a miracle recovery), Chief Judge John Roll (deceased), and Christina-Taylor Green (deceased) a 9 year old little girl who was born on September 11th 2001. Before I get into the meat and potatoes of this blog, I would just like to say that I am so sorry to the victims and their families in this tragedy. And I think it’s important that we remember that the family of the shooter are also victims, as they have lost a member of their family as well. Because of his selfish, senseless actions, families have been ripped apart and these people’s lives will never be the same.
A few hours after the shooting, the internet was abuzz with a picture that had been posted on Sarah Palin’s facebook page in November. The picture, posted here, is pretty self explanatory.
Yes, those are graphics of a target, as you would see through a scope on a gun. And yes, that is a target over the state of Arizona, aimed towards Rep. Giffords. And if that message wasn’t clear enough, that is her name 4 lines down. The first thing about this picture I heard was “blame Sarah Palin! It’s all her fault.” If you know me, or have been reading this blog since the first post, you will know that I am an Obama supporter. I am a registered democrat, living in Salt Lake City which makes me close to a liberal around these parts. I am a bisexual mixed race woman and in order to be true to myself, could never be a supporter of what Sarah Palin stands for. I believe in stronger gun control, I believe in a woman’s right to choose, and I believe that love is love and whatever goes on between 2 CONSENTING ADULTS is none of my business. But, against all that, I tried my hardest not to blame Sarah Palin for this. I don’t want to be a democrat that just goes against the republicans for the sake of the argument. So I’ve put a lot of thought into this and here is my conclusion, for those of you who care. (Hi Heather!)
What responsibility does Sarah Palin hold in this tragedy? She didn’t pull the trigger. That is what we first need to remember. She does not hold full responsibility. The shooter is responsible for his actions. But what role does she play in this? For as long as I can remember, rappers, actors, directors, video game developers, and Hollywood as a whole has been blamed for countless situations just like this one. A few years ago, a boy killed his little brother and when asked why said that he wanted to be like Dexter, a fictional character on the Showtime series of the same name. I remember that during the Columbine shooting, parents, teachers, and the media were blaming the music of Marilyn Manson. But I’ve always been a firm believer that video games, music, TV, and movies should not be blamed for violence. Those things are here for our ENTERTAINMENT. It is not real. And if someone does not understand the difference between real life and entertainment, there is something wrong with them. It is not fair to blame the entertainers. So shouldn’t the same hold with Sarah Palin and this disgusting picture posted on her website? So I sat with that for a bit. But my answer is no. She is absolutely responsible. Besides the fact that she obviously feels guilty because within hours the image was removed. Sarah Palin is a real life person pushing a real life agenda. She is in the public eye because she wants people to see things from her view point. She wants people to support her political stance. She, as with every other politician, is trying to make the American people see things her way, because she believes she can better our nation. And I am not here to bash that. Politics always has been and always will be about different viewpoints and opinions and everyone is free to have their own. But she is real. Slim Shady is not a real person. It is Eminem’s alter ego, who is actually another alter ego of the real person Marshall Mathers. So when Marshall raps as Slim Shady or even Eminem about hitting women, killing his wife, or shooting Dr. Dre, that is fiction. When Sarah Palin creates and posts this image on the internet with the caption “Don’t retreat, reload!”, that is real life. Now while I get that she wasn’t literally saying “Let’s go shoot these bitches because they voted for ‘Obamacare’” posting that photo was irresponsible.
Again, I am not saying that this shooting was all Sarah Palin’s fault. What I am saying is that someone who is aiming for a chance to run this country should really think about the message they are sending. You never know who is listening.