Monday, January 10, 2011

So Much Bigger Than Arizona

I am sickened as I learn more about the Arizona shooting. How many adjectives are there to describe it? Horrific. Sick. Terrifying. Senseless. Surely this page could be filled with more. And surely my prayers, like those of so many others, are being sent for the families of those taken too soon and for the recovery of Congresswoman Giffords.

But the more I learn about this attack, the more frustrated I am that so much media coverage has been given to the reactions of other elected officials. "Stay tuned to hear what our Michigan legislators have to say about the shooting and what they're doing to protect themselves," was offered on last night's news. This morning I read that Congress is delaying business today as they work toward better safeguards for themselves. Yes, they need safeguards, but would there be a break in business today if Congresswoman Giffords had not been one of the victims? Would Congress be grappling to find solutions if this had been yet another campus shooting or workplace rampage?

I live in a metropolitan area where shootings are so common that they don't always make the news. Rage and gun response is getting as familiar in the suburbs as it is in the city. If a solution exists, I don't know what it is. But I do know we have all become a little immune to the news of a shooting. We all shake our heads and feel the chill of wondering if the next one will be in our neighborhood or our school or our business. And then life returns to normal - as it should - except for those left to grieve.

So, dear elected officials, please don't make this tragedy just about you. It's about the loss of all innocent lives. It's about every parent who buries a child, every spouse who buries a soul mate, every man or woman who buries a friend because someone decided to make his or her community pay for a perceived injustice.

Today, when work is put aside so Congress can focus on better safeguarding its members, please remember those for whom the flag will never be lowered and for whom a moment of silence will never be offered.