Moving Toward Healing Gifford’s Husband Willing to Meet with Shooter’s Parents
While some politicians are still picking at their hurt feelings over being called to account for their violent rhetoric, those with real work ahead of them have embarked upon the long journey of personal recovery. Healing has begun for the families in the Arizona massacre as Gabby Giffords’ husband says he is willing to meet with the parents, Randy and Amy, of the alleged shooter, Jared Loughner.
“The husband of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords said he would be willing to meet with the parents of the 22-year-old man accused in a massacre that critically injured the Arizona congresswoman, killed six people and wounded 12 others.
“I don’t think it’s their fault. It’s not the parents’ fault,” Mark Kelly told ABC’s Diane Sawyer in an interview to air Tuesday. “You know, I’d like to think I’m a person that’s, you know, somewhat forgiving. And, I mean, they’ve got to be hurting in this situation as much as anybody….
Kelly’s comments were perhaps a sign of the nation’s shock and outrage abating as the southern Arizona city buried the dead and Giffords made impressive strides toward recovery.”
The compassion and empathy displayed by Kelly for the pain of Randy and Amy is an example of the best of our nature. If he can watch his wife lying in a hospital bed struggling to recover from a bullet to the brain and still find the depth of heart to imagine the suffering of the parents of the young man who shot her, it would seem that the least some conservatives could do would be to show some compassion for the Democrats and liberals who are upset over the violent rhetoric conservatives have embraced over the last several years. Instead, the entire conservative movement is engaging in one big public relations campaign to deny responsibility for their actions while playing the victim.
The victims here are the dead, the injured, their families and friends and the loved ones of the shooter. The victims are the people who came to engage in the democratic process and instead witnessed an atrocity. The victims are the many Democrats who are still dealing the death threats from angry conservatives, supposedly over the healthcare bill. The victims are the American people who have been traumatized by one more senseless act of violence.
If liberals and Democrats allow themselves to be shamed into silence again over this atrocity, we will all be complicit in the next one. We must take a stand for accountability and civil discourse. And civil discourse does not imply that we must pretend certain things never happened or play the game of false equivalency – rather, to do so would be irresponsible on our parts. Take a peaceful, civil, but adamant stand for liberty and our democratic process by demanding accountability and self-reflection from those for whom violent rhetoric is a relentless cheap political ploy.