I just want to emerge from my other project long enough to send out my deepest sympathies to the victims of the Arizona shooting. My condolences to the families of the victims who died, and prayers for healing to those who survived. Hopefully, Arizona congress member, Garbrielle Giffords, who at this writing has survived made it through surgery and was apparently the intended target of the shooter, makes a full recovery.
From what we're learning at this time, the shooter seems to have been paranoid and delusional, believing in a government conspiracy.
Unfortunately, there has been a rather disturbing and disgusting response to this shooting. Having been away from the computer much of the day, I had a lot to catch up on when I finally got on. Looking at my facebook news feed, I saw some people I know on the political right sharing stories and comments about the incident. They universally made comments of condolence, prayers and comfort to the victims while either ignoring the shooter completely, or mentioning him only to condemn him. They focused on the victims.
Then I started to see what the folks I know on the left where sharing, and I was stunned. No thoughts on the victims. No condemnation of the shooter. No, they were busily blaming the Tea Party and Sarah Palin for the shooting! One particularly vile Huffington Post article was a favourite to share and comment on. As I continued catching up on my news, I saw the same pattern everywhere. News sources and people on the left spent more time finding ways to blame the the right than anything else - especially in the comments sections. Even the more "neutral" ones still managed to bring in a TEA Party and/or Sarah Palin angle. Thankfully, I few opinion pieces and editorials were already up, condemning those who were using this tragedy to attack the right.
What is perhaps the most ironic about this is that, while the shooter was pretty open about his distrust of the current government (while rambling almost incoherently), he had been described by someone who knew him as being "far left" and "very liberal." This has been barely mentioned by anyone - and rightly so, since from his writings, his actions had little to do with partisan politics and everything to do with his one delusions. The right *could* have taken this and run with it, using it to attack the left. But they didn't. They kept the blame firmly on the shooter. Completely the opposite of what I'm seeing from the left.
It's disgusting beyond belief.
update: Names have now been made public. My condolences to the friends and family of:
U.S. District Judge John Roll (63)
Christina Green (9)
Gabe Zimmerman (30)
Dorothy Morris (76)
Dorwin Stoddard (76)
Phyllis Schneck (79)