Another Sad Day in Our Nation’s Life

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Today is another sad day in the life of our nation. Today six people were killed and several others were injured in Tucson, AZ, by a disturbed and potentially demented young man named Jared Loughner. It is presumed the intended target was Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords (see recent article about charges against Loughner in the Los Angeles Times, Jan. 9, 2011 at 1:22pm).

While Congresswoman Giffords remains in a drug-induced coma following emergency brain surgery, already the finger pointing has begun. While I, and most people including most gun enthusiasts, abhor gun violence committed against people, this not the time to point fingers. Sarah Palin listed Rep. Gifford on “target list” of congressional seats to be overturned by Republicans. Some are saying Loughner took the campaign language literally. There doesn’t seem to be any proof of that just yet.

Six people died violent deaths today, including a judge and a nine year old girl. We can point fingers at both sides of the congressional aisle–the rhetoric has become violent in both camps. Our entire society has become increasingly polarized to the point neighbors refuse to even say “hi” to one another due to ideological differences. Yet, it is the diversity of ideology that has made this country such a successful experiment. Our diversity has shaped us and transformed us, like two rocks rubbing against one another slowly smoothing one another’s surface. We need one another.

But, this is not the time for finger pointing or guessing wildly why this happened. We may never really know why this happened. It is a time of mourning, a time for prayer, a time for reflecting on the course of our nation and society. It is a time to come together, rather than re-enforce the divisions. It is a time to let our law enforcement conduct their investigation.

May God be with those injured, the families of those killed, those who witnessed this atrocity, those investigating, as well as with Jared Loughner. May we find a way to pray for healing.

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