Time and Distance

So, we have a little over a week's worth of distance from this tragedy. One goes through certain stages in a situation like this. Shock, disbelief and grief initially. Then anger and outrage, aggravated as I witnessed the transparent attempt by those on the right to deflect blame from themselves, and assign it to others. It only got worse as the days wore on.

There was Sarah Palin's video (which I could only watch in 30 second intervals, punctuated by a lot of drinking.), in which she portrayed herself as the true victim in all of this. It was such an embarrassing, self-serving display of insensitivity, that any presidential aspirations she may have had probably ended right there. Then again, Arizona recently elected a governor who can barely form complete sentences, and those she can form are often lies. I never underestimate stupidity. Palin's latest quote is, "I will not shut up!" There's a surprise.

Then there was Trent Humphries, co-founder of the Tucson Tea Party, who had the distinction of being the first person of the extreme right to actually blame the victims for the crime against them (I would have bet money on Fox). Immediately after which, he began to express fear for the safety of himself, the Tea Party, and his family (in that order, I assume). Before this, many, including myself, hadn't even heard of him. I believe his initial inflammatory statements were designed, at least in part, to rectify that situation. The most recent incident happened at a town hall meeting, at which Eric Fuller, one of the victims of the shooting, was arrested after taking a picture of Humpries, and muttering "Your dead." It's my belief that Mr. Fuller should have stayed home. The trauma of being shot, and watching those around him brutally murdered was only a few days old, and I think he was still in shock. I also believe that Mr. Humpries knew this, and deliberately provoked a man he knew to be in a fragile state of mind. When Humphries was asked if he wanted to press charges, he declined (smartest move yet).

"I am more worried about our community," he said. "This doesn't need to be about Trent Humphries. This doesn't need to be about politics."

Right. What is it with sociopaths always referring to themselves in the third person?

I could call Humphries a subhuman slug, but it would be doing a disservice to slugs everywhere.

There are others. Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sean Hannity, all whose comments I found to be offensive and tiresome.

It's my belief that everyone of conscience, no matter their ideology, asked themselves the same thing at some point after the shooting:

"Did I do anything to contribute to this?"

In the end, the answer isn't nearly as important as having the decency to ask the question in the first place. And in what may be the few positive things to come out of this, it became painfully easy to spot those who didn't look inward. Whose first thought was to protect themselves and their ideologies. They fear to look into their own hearts, because of what looks back at them from the darkness. It is, more than anything over the last two years, the greatest measure of their lack of integrity and character. And that's a good thing.

Because now we know who they truly are.

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