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The Tucson Tragedy

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Author 37124
Message Sally McMillan

The Tucson tragedy has many implications for the U.S. A commentator on tv said, "How could this happen in the United States of America?" Sadly, my answer would have to be, "It's typically American."

Hate messages are spread from many sources: talk radio, columnists, politicians, frustrated citizens. When angry or desperate emotions are aroused, the means to commit acts of violence are easily available.

For the short term, all of the above will be introduced and argued as the reason for this latest massacre. The first and second amendments to our Constitution will be vehemently defended. In the end, it will be considered an anomaly, the action of a disturbed individual.

Nothing will change. The questions won't be asked: Why are people disturbed? What kind of society do we have? What messages are we getting? Who are today's role models? Who cares about the ordinary person? What has happened to civility, to respect, to tolerance?

The hope for America lies in change. The way government operates needs to change. It needs to return to a government of, by, and for the people. It needs to return to the mindfulness of why it exists, as expressed in the Preamble to the U.S. Constitution: in order to form a more perfect union, establish justice, insure domestic tranquility, provide for the common defense, promote the general welfare, and secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.

When government restores these ideals to Washington, perhaps the country will have a renewed sense of hope. The politics of fear, which has overshadowed these original principles, and greed, which has replaced them, have brought us to the current disregard for "the other" and for the rule of law.

When people no longer feel a disconnect from their government, when their hope is restored that it is working for them, perhaps then a Tucson tragedy will be an anomaly. Perhaps then the American people and the world will once again look up to the United States as a beacon of light that can be a model for all. This act of violence cannot be excused, it must be deplored; but it's time for everyone to examine their consciences.

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Sally McMillan is a mother, a grandmother, an activist and a writer. She's from Philadelphia, Iowa, and now Albuquerque. She has four children and 12 grandchildren.

She is a graduate of Chestnut Hill College, Philadelphia PA (more...)

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