Tag Archives: Gabrielle Giffords

A Vote for Healing…

Whatever else you think about today’s vote in the House of Representatives to approve the Debt Ceiling bill – there’s one thing from which we can all draw a truly bipartisan measure of joy: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ return to Congress for the first time since she was shot in the head on Jan. 8, 2011.

I was watching the vote tally on C-Span when sustained bipartisan applause rang out. At first, I couldn’t understand the celebration: the vote had not been settled at that point. Then, the C-Span announcer told us what the fuss was all about. Gabby Giffords had arrived on the floor to cast a vote in favor of the favor of the bill to raise the debt ceiling.

“I had to be here for this vote,” she said. “I could not take the chance that my absence could crash our economy.”

Some might take issue with whether today’s vote will ultimately help or hurt our economy – but setting politics aside for a moment, let’s simply marvel at this woman’s strength, resilience and grace.

I’m sure she didn’t mean to steal Speaker John Boehner’s thunder – though he’s probably very glad she did. In a chamber that had seen weeks of escalating rancor and polarization, colleagues from both sides of the aisle embraced her.

May her remarkable healing continue – and let our national healing begin.


Filed under Politics

The Year Begins in Tragedy

I never imagined that my first blog entry of 2011 would be about something as tragic as this…

I’m wrestling with a lot of thoughts and emotions in the wake of the horrific shooting in Tuscon, Arizona that wounded Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year old girl.

The first thing that comes to mind is this:

Let us all pray for the victims: the slain, the injured, and those who survived but will always have that awful scene seared into their memories. Let’s hope that Rep. Giffords recovers from her terrible wound and returns to Congress to pursue the work that her would-be assassin tried to destroy.

The next thing that occurs to me is this:

The killer shot 19 out of the three-dozen people at that gathering – killing six of them. How in the world do we, in a civilized society, allow people to legally arm themselves with that kind of automatic firepower? Could this coward have slaughtered that many people in so short of time with a knife, a hunting rife, a shotgun, or a six-shot revolver? Not a chance.

Sorry NRA supporters and Second Amendment apologists, but anyone who thinks they need that kind of firepower for self-defense must imagine that their enemies are coming at them with even bigger firepower. (Like their own government?) They are clearly fearful and paranoid. And frightened paranoids are the last people we want to have armed with automatic weapons.

I also think about this:

Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik is a hero. At the press conference on Saturday, he called it like it is – whether it was politically correct or not. He said over and over that the vitriolic anti-government political rhetoric spewed by some voices in the media contributed to this tragedy. Sheriff Dupnik reminded us of the consequences of that kind of speech. He’ll be savaged by the right wing in the coming days – but he spoke the truth.

The right wing is selling hate and intolerance – and this is the inevitable result.

What an awful way to start the year.

I’d rather have written about the wild results in the first round of the NFL playoffs.

Let’s hope this makes Beck and Limbaugh and Sarah “cross-hairs” Palin think before they rant. But, then again, they aren’t really paid to think.


Filed under Politics