Enough. Seriously. Enough.
An insane young man walked into a store and attacked human beings. Each of the human beings, those wounded physically, those wounded emotionally, and those who died, are (and were) individuals with individual stories, but first - human beings.
This is an opportunity to stop the hate speech and inflammatory reporting but instead of any attempt in the blogosphere to do that what I'm reading is just as inflammatory as the speech being blamed for the shooting.
You don't teach a child that violence isn't the answer by beating them. You don't teach them that biting isn't tolerated by biting them to show them how it feels. That's kind of basic knowledge.
We can't screamingly point fingers at Sarah Palin and yell about how she caused it with her hate speech and gun sights because we're being just as inflammatory. Are our motives more pure than hers because we have righteous indignation?
Righteous indignation is dangerous. We've seen it recently lead to the murder of George Tiller by a man filled with righteous anger at Dr. Tiller's obstetrical practice that included abortion.
This isn't an opportunity to find poster children for our various causes and it is offensive to me, personally, to have read plans within a 24-hour period to capitalize on this tragedy to move other agendas forward politically.
It was offensive to me to see the spat of immediate statements from various organizations decrying the violence and, by the way, talking about the work their organization does. I get it, folks. I happen to run an organization too. But all I would have posted, had I decided to do that, was that our thoughts were with the families and the victims... no blurbs about the work of my group.
It's not a fundraising opportunity. It's not a chance to frame this tragedy to forward a political agenda. It's not a chance to prove inflammatory speech has repercussions by using inflammatory speech to enrage our bases.
It's easy to fix the blame. It's easy to point fingers and place blame. It's much more challenging to start the dialog about how we fix the problem. It's not a piece of proposed legislation that makes it illegal to place gun sights on a map. And it's not a time to talk about changing the Second Amendment.
So how do we fix the problem and not the blame? And, by the way, I was as furious as everyone else and immediately started finger pointing until I stopped and thought about what I was doing and realized I was pushing just as hard as "they" were - and to what end?
We can talk about individual responsibility. We can talk about more civil dialog. But folks in the public tend to look at their opponents and nod their heads and say "yeah - s/he should be more civil and take more responsibility" without looking at themselves.
Let's hold up a mirror and look closely at what we've contributed to the fury in this country. Let's look at our tweets and our minute-by-minute reporting and prodding and poking.
Let's talk about what happened and not who caused it by saying this or that. Let's talk about the national grief. Let's talk about the little 9-year-old who lost her life. Let's talk about the men and women who died; the young man who rushed to do triage and cradle a woman's head against his chest because she had been shot in the head. Let's talk about the human beings deprived of their most fundamental human right - the right to life!
In the Jewish religion there is a period of mourning called "shiva." Shiva is the seven-day mourning period that follows burial. The purpose is to grieve intensely and prepare to move on. During that week, friends, neighbors and colleagues come for a short visit to comfort the mourner.
We are all, this week, mourners. Let us look to one another and offer comfort and not anger. Let us grieve for those who died and focus our good thoughts on those still in danger. Let us offer our strength to those wounded and recovering.
And then - after the week of mourning - let us work to fix the problem and not the blame.