Our entire nation was shocked and saddened after the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday that killed six and wounded or injured 14.
It seemed so improbable that a “meet and greet” event outside of a grocery store could end in such tragedy. It may have happened in a more populated area on the other side of the country, but the reality that it could have happened anywhere is what we believe shocks most Americans.
We’d venture to guess that most of our readers have met their congressman before in a public setting. Former Congressman Alan Mollohan was at Town & Country Days numerous times. Did you think there was any danger then? Probably not.
However, we know that local law enforcement officers stepped up their presence and vigilance during those visits. Were you aware that they were looking out for you and your Congressman with the idea that such an improbable attack could occur? Probably not.
In the wake of this past weekend’s events, you may remember that the next time a politician makes a local public appearance. If you’re aware, you’ll probably notice an increased police presence. If you’re appreciative, you’ll thank them.
Some people have asserted that this tragedy is the result of an inflamed political climate. The heated political debates that surround our party system can become ardent at times, but isn’t that really the way we want it? We value our democracy that allows freedom of speech and the exchange of ideas.
Saturday’s tragedy wasn’t the result of political rhetoric, it was the outbreak of an unstable person. Unfortunately this gunman was not the first to express his feelings in this manner.