The sheriff got it right: Arizona has become the mecca for bigotry and prejudice. However, it had the reputation long before the recent events. Anyone remember Barry Goldwater? He was a supreme bigot. But I really think the larger issue is violence. There is so much violence in our culture that it feels like the wild, wild west. Lawlessness, blatant lawlessness and a complete disregard for human life is another ugly side of America. America loves its guns and they are so easy to obtain. The sheriff got it right when he also indicated how unstable people take violence to the next level. I think that we are no longer a civilized world. Is it time to leave this planet? Does anyone see the escalating violence? Children are being raised on violence, from violent video games, violent movies and television, violence in the news, domestic violence, bullying, gang violence, and there is no end in sight. The shooter in the recent violence in Arizona has a troubled past, according to the news reports. The scary part is that no one can predict what a person is going to do just by the way they act or what they say. But certainly there were strong signs that Loughner was troubled in very dangerous ways and that there were strong indicators for his potential for violence. Guns need to be regulated more stringently; the mental health of individuals needs to be monitored more closely, especially if they display bizarre behavior or make bizarre statements. Family members and friends need to play a larger role in getting people help that are mentally unstable as well as notifying authorities of statements made by those individuals. We are living in a very scary time. It is not just here, it is everywhere. But we can do better than we are doing. We can take more responsibility also for what we say and do. Saying the wrong thing can obviously get us caught in the “cross hairs”. Freedom of speech is fine but not without responsibility.
- Kevin Powell: Arizona Is America (huffingtonpost.com)
- Arizona shooting: Wild west politics | Editorial (guardian.co.uk)