By now everyone has heard about the shooting in Arizona. While I always find violence upsetting, these events have upset me in a way I never would have expected. Hearing about it, and reading the stories breaks my heart. I've found myself a little obsessed, reading every article that gets posted.
I want to hear from my congressman, my senators, my president, I want to hear what they all have to say for themselves. We're all "sorry" and "sending our prayers," just as we should.
But what do we do now? What does anyone have to say for themselves? We've been all letting it go, passively accepting these things and look whats happened. People are dead. So what do we all have to say now? I don't want platitudes. I want answers, action and responsibility.
I am always upset by the use of violent metaphors from anyone but especially in politicians. To use cross hairs over a district in advertising campaigns, to say you want to "take out" your opponents, or suggest "second amendment solutions" to the country's problems is as offensive as it is irresponsible, and people on both sides of the isle are to blame. I'm tired of people not taking responsibility for their actions. I don't tolerate it in my students (suggesting that they just made -fill in the blank- because they felt like) and I won't accept it anyone else. Words have meaning and actions have consequences. If you run around suggesting violence you can't act shocked and offer trite "well he/she misunderstood me...." comments when it comes back to bite you. Enough is Enough!
In the wake of the mass shooting of some 20 people, including a NINE YEAR OLD GIRL, we must end the violent rhetoric that has exploded over the past few years. I may be young, but I'm old enough to have seen a change in American politics. Disagreeing, and spirited conversations are how we grow as a society, how we find the best options for all of us. When did we start deciding that there was only one way to be, to be an American? I think of my family, my friends and even those of you I hold nearest and dearest to my heart and I know that even we don't agree on everything, and I prefer it that way.
Anyway, I signed this petition, its calling on every member of Congress, as well as the major TV news networks, to put an end to any overt or implied appeals to violence in our political debate, and I hope you will too.
I know, its a petition, not a solution. But its a first step.