As Eesha pointed out yesterday, Representative Gabby Giffords announced that she would step down in a moving video. This, of course, was just over a year after being shot, along with 11 others, six of whom died, by a man should never have had access to a gun. It was also nearly two years after Sarah Palin put Giffords in her crosshairs, “targeting” her for having voted for Obama’s healthcare plan.
And props to Eesha for alluding to how toxic gun-toting language, celebrated by so many on the right, contributes to tragic acts of violence such as these. Giffords, herself, warned, prophetically, that people
need to realize that the rhetoric and firing people up and, you know, even things, for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list. But the thing is that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gunsight over our district.When people do that, they’ve gotta realize there’s consequences to that action.
Sadly, the media has been reluctant to analyze, in any real way, the issues that led up to the shooting. Perhaps they are afraid to politicize personal tragedy. But to ignore the policies and politics that led to the shooting is not only irresponsible, but trivializes the deaths and the injuries sustained by the survivors. A real media critique of the context in which the shooting happened could raise consciousness, impact legislation, and literally save lives– and would could be more personal and honorable than that?
Enter, as always, Amy Goodman and DemocracyNow!, who restore my faith in responsible journalism. I really recommend that everyone moved (as they should be) by the shooting watch the segment aired on January 9th, the one-year anniversary of the Tucson shooting. If we organize around the issues of gun violence, the deaths, suffering and trauma, will not be in vain.