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  1. #1
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    Default The Inevitable Political Thread: The Arizona Shootings

    Here is a letter written by John McCain on Obama's reaction to the shootings. While I am neither an Obama lover or hater, I think McCain was spot on with this. I don't necessarily agree with all his policies but I cannot deny that Mr. McCain is a class act.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn...l?hpid=topnews

    My favorite excerpts:
    "I disagree with many of the president's policies, but I believe he is a patriot sincerely intent on using his time in office to advance our country's cause. I reject accusations that his policies and beliefs make him unworthy to lead America or opposed to its founding ideals. And I reject accusations that Americans who vigorously oppose his policies are less intelligent, compassionate or just than those who support them."

    ‎"I do not think it is beyond our ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate. "
    **Friend of bar.ka**

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  2. #2
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    Default

    Interesting that you should bring this up. I recently found a scholarly publication from 1971 among my books. It consists of multiple articles on Political violence. It's called Violence as Politics and was written at a time when acts of politically inspired violence were very common--the civil rights era, Vietnam protests, assassinations and assassination attempts. Haven't gotten very far, thanks to the jargon, but one thing seems clear. Hostile atmospheres do, in fact, breed violent responses.

    One should note that there have been anarchist bombings in Italy in the last week or so, that terrorism contributes to the hostile atmosphere, and that the worldwide economy also contributes to the civility or lack thereof in discourse when people's hopes and dreams are frustrated.
    "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
    Thread killer Extraordinaire



  3. #3
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    Default

    Wait - has there been an update on the case? Because from what I have read this guy was just a severely mentally ill person who really should have been committed.

    Oh - one of the victims of the shootings was just arrested for threatening to kill a public figure. He is now under observation. Apparently he started ranting in public and took a photo of the oerson, and then said, "You're dead."

    It seems that

    1) The murderer was not the only lunatic at the event, and

    2) Though the murderer was not in any way inspired by political rhetoric, the political rhetoric AFTER the event sure as heck inspired the other lunatic just arrested.

    I think the media did a terrible disservice to the American public by announcing that this massacre was politically motivated - when there is nothing, and was nothing, to even suggest it was.

    It was irresponsible, and it was only the quick action of the police that stopped another lunatic on the verge of murdering someone.


    The discussion our nation should be having is not political. The real question is - how do we protect society from insane people, without trampling the rights of mental patients.

    Years ago I used to assist in involuntary commitment proceedings. It was VERY difficult to get someone committed. That was 20 years ago - and I doubt it has gotten easier since then.

    I was recently shocked to discover that my state is one of the EASIEST states in which to get someone involuntarily committed.

    This is a mental health issue. Not yet another mudpie to be thrown in a political catfight. To scream at each other about politics detracts from the fact that there are some very violent mentally ill people out there.

    They need help, and the public needs to be protected from them should they finally snap.

    Every time some lunatic kills people - we later find out that family, friends, even the police knew about the person, knew he was going downhill and that he was likely to one day act on his threats. Yet - most of the time nothing can be done except maybe a 24 hour old on the person.

    THAT is the real problem. It's a shame the whole thing has turned into another political circus.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  4. #4
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    Default

    The only political links so far are 1) A Congresswoman was shot and 2) the media is trying to make it political.

    None of the facts presented so far make this political at all.



  5. #5
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    Default

    Thank you both, JSwan and Belladonna, for having the common sense to realize that this maniac was just that, a maniac. From everything we know so far, I would bet every penny to my name that he's diagnosed paranoid schizophrenic.

    When the story first broke, my first thought (aside from sadness for the victims) was dear god don't let this guy be a Tea Party member. So far, from everything available to us, it seems he was just nuts, not political in any way.



  6. #6
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    Default

    That was just a severely mentally ill person that happen to shoot those people there.

    He could have just as well shoot classmates and professors in the college where he was dismissed from.
    For what they say, may very well had, if he had not fixated on that other person.

    Crazy people are just crazy, any and all may set them off.



  7. #7
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by dressurpferd01 View Post
    When the story first broke, my first thought (aside from sadness for the victims) was dear god don't let this guy be a Tea Party member. So far, from everything available to us, it seems he was just nuts, not political in any way.
    Well, it was political in that Giffords was definitely the target. It was premeditated, not a random event or occurrence.

    Anyway, I'm not a McCain fan in general, but I do agree that his sentiments are spot-on in this case. I hope that this,
    There are too many occasions when we lack that empathy and mutual respect on all sides of our politics, and in the media. But it is not beyond us to do better; to behave more modestly and courteously and respectfully toward one another; to make progress toward the ideal that beckons all humanity: to treat one another as we would wish to be treated,
    rings true to everyone, political affiliations aside.



  8. #8
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    This tragedy just reminds me of Virginia Tech.

    So many similarities.... And in the end - probably could have been prevented had people been able to have the murderer committed.

    And though the hue and cry after this tragedy could be heard around the world, even though there was not one bit of proof - the story about a left leaning person who WAS motivated by the rhetoric, is buried deep in the WaPo. The incident happened during the filming of a tv special on this very subject - and the entire outburst was omitted. (which is ironic)

    For the record, I'm not a member of the Tea Party nor do I care one whit about Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, Fox News, etc.

    I'm just kinda pointing out the obvious. And I think this new found civility among politicians will be short-lived. But the needs of the severely mentally disturbed will still exist.
    Brothers and sisters, I bid you beware
    Of giving your heart to a dog to tear.
    -Rudyard Kipling



  9. #9
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    The more information coming out about the shooter, the worse the school and the sheriff's office sound.

    No charges were pressed by the school involving threats he made in class. These same charges and little trips as a non-voluntary mental patient would probably have shown up on the NICS system (which is used when anyone buys a gun from a dealer as he did in November).

    The Sheriff's Office didn't really seem to care about his behaviour...and strangely enough, they've been dodging releasing any information they have on the gunman. Different groups have requested info on police dealings with the lunatic, which the county claims to always release under a local FOIA process.

    Amazingly, they've refused to tell anyone what past dealings they've had with him or any other info on why they didn't deal with him.

    In the great scheme of things, it's as simple as a lunatic making threats, acting irrationally and being a threat...and the local law enforcement failing in their job. Hmmmm, wonder if that's why the sheriff was so quick to blame politics and conservatives to have people looking elsewhere for people to blame (and so as not to look at him).

    "Methinks he dost protest too much"
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    Well, it was political in that Giffords was definitely the target. It was premeditated, not a random event or occurrence.
    This. Yes, he was just an insane crazy person. Unfortunately he was not stopped before this tragedy unfolded.

    My heart breaks for the families of those who were lost, and pray for the recovery of those who were injured.
    **Friend of bar.ka**

    Fils Du Reverdy (Revy)- 1993 Selle Francais Gelding
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  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Tha Ridge View Post
    Well, it was political in that Giffords was definitely the target. It was premeditated, not a random event or occurrence.
    It was political because she was a politician.
    it was political...he was an independent, she was a Dem.
    It was also sexual since she was a woman.
    It was also racial since she was white.
    It was ageist since she was older than he was.

    It was many things...political it wasn't
    "Sic Gorgiamus Allos Subjectatos Nunc"



  12. #12
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    Default

    While I understand that the individual responsible for this atrocity was severely mentally ill, I cannot overlook the callous and unthinking public individual who had the congress woman marked with a cross hair on their website. May or may not have had to do anything with motivating the sick individual to actually act on the assassination attempt, but it certainly is not beyond reason to think it.

    I cannot for one second fathom how some considered that an appropriate statement against someones politics and not as wishing them personal harm.

    But then again, I was in 9th grade when the Columbine Massacre rocked the nation, and I remember the aftermath vividly. They banned Goth apparel in the HS I went to, and suspended a boy and sent him to a "special school" (all but Juvie) because he had a list of names of people he didn't like. I knew the kid, who was nerdy and nice, and didn't have a mean bone in his body. But they took that list to be a hit list, as opposed to the "I'll show them someday" list he had meant it to be. It was absolutely bad taste to have that list, especially in light of that horrible shooting, though it was not in itself a threat of violence. I can only imagine what would have happened to him if he had made a website with cross-hairs over the residences of those people with a "Don't retreat, Reload" Slogan. It certainly would not have been allowed to just be deleted.

    While the shooter, in this case, does not seem to be politically motivated, it certainly makes me think that we need to take a very serious look at the political rhetoric in this nation and take a collective step back with a big deep breath. Bravo to Senator McCain for his eloquent and thoughtful response.

    My favorite excerpts:
    We Americans have different opinions on how best to serve that noble purpose. We need not pretend otherwise or be timid in our advocacy of the means we believe will achieve it. But we should be mindful as we argue about our differences that so much more unites than divides us.
    and
    Our political discourse should be more civil than it currently is, and we all, myself included, bear some responsibility for it not being so. It probably asks too much of human nature to expect any of us to be restrained at all times by persistent modesty and empathy from committing rhetorical excesses that exaggerate our differences and ignore our similarities. But I do not think it is beyond our ability and virtue to refrain from substituting character assassination for spirited and respectful debate.



  13. #13
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    Default

    How did local law enforcement fail? They have released info on previous contacts with him. One was for underage drinking and the other was pot related I believe. Hardly any indication of what a nutter he was. I also don't understand the thought that it wasn't political. He targeted a politician. Do I think the rhetoric caused him to do it? No... I think he's a nut. But to defend the toxic political atmosphere is just not sound imo. I think the sheriff was very brave in some of his remarks. Which were his own personal feelings about the state of things here in Arizona. We do have profound issues with prejudice and hate.



  14. #14
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    It was political because she was a politician.
    it was political...he was an independent, she was a Dem.
    It was also sexual since she was a woman.
    It was also racial since she was white.
    It was ageist since she was older than he was.

    It was many things...political it wasn't
    Oh, come on, it was political because he attempted to kill a politician. Sorry, but if the kid really wanted *just* to kill someone, it wouldn't have been Gabby Giffords.

    You have read that this was not the first event of hers he had attended, and that he had previously spoken ill of her based on a response to a (likely political) question he asked her at their previous meeting, no?



  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by LvdSprtHorse View Post
    He targeted a politician. Do I think the rhetoric caused him to do it? No... I think he's a nut. But to defend the toxic political atmosphere is just not sound imo.
    Ding, ding, ding.



  16. #16
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    You know what bugs me most about the whole shooting and the politics involved with it? The fact that tragedy happens every day in this country and it goes largely unnoticed. It takes something large scale like this to spark a response. Of course large scale things like this are going to get more attention but there are mentally ill people out there who kill people every day. Just because they were not shot in a mass shooting event doesn't make their death any less tragic than those who died in this shooting. I don't see the President talking about those people. I don't see many politicians lobbying to get our mental health system up to where it should be so interventions for seriously mentally ill can be made.

    The whole thing just really bugs me.



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by seeuatx View Post
    While I understand that the individual responsible for this atrocity was severely mentally ill, I cannot overlook the callous and unthinking public individual who had the congress woman marked with a cross hair on their website. May or may not have had to do anything with motivating the sick individual to actually act on the assassination attempt, but it certainly is not beyond reason to think it.
    Absolutely. Free speech is not an absolute right; it comes with responsibilities. The First Amendment does not give you a right to shout "Fire!" in a theatre.

    Similarly, those who are influential in the theater of public opinion and know the extent to which their voices are amplified by the media should assume that their voices will be picked up by "the crazies" in the audience. They have to be prepared to face the consequences of shouting "Resort to the Second Amendment!" in the theatre.



  18. #18
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    I am stunned that this guy was able to buy a gun. Makes me fear more than I usually do for the status of gun ownership in this country - government gives a nod to gun control, but it's all lip service. If you want a gun, you can get a gun.

    Disgusting, really.
    http://www.chronicleofmyhorse.com/profile/Ashley26

    "You keep one leg on one side, the other leg on the other side, and your mind in the middle." -- Henry Taylor, "Riding Lesson"



  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by Trakehner View Post
    It was political because she was a politician.
    it was political...he was an independent, she was a Dem.
    It was also sexual since she was a woman.
    It was also racial since she was white.
    It was ageist since she was older than he was.

    It was many things...political it wasn't
    You left one out:
    "It was also anti-semetic since she was Jewish."

    The first thing that jumped out at me when the news stations started receiving info about the guy was that he had listed his favorite books as including "Communist Manifesto" and "Mein Kampf". And she's Jewish. That may be pure coincidence given his overall insanity, but nonetheless, it's a difficult one to overlook.
    Jer 29: 11-13



  20. #20
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    It reminds me both of Columbine and Virginia Tech and it shakes me to the core. I am a high school teacher and just prior to this went to my school couseling department SIX times in ten days concerned about a student. I have contacted the family myself. After the sixth time, I went to the principal. Nothing has been done.



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