Entries in Giffords (4)

Sunday
Jan082012

The Greatest Delusion is the Hope that the Evils in this World Can be Cured by Legislation

If youre wondering where you read the title of this post before, look at the top of this page.  My first hope is that I can get one liberal in this country, who believes that passing laws makes problems disappear, realize the greatest delusion is the hope that the evils in this world can be cured by legislation. My greatest hope is that I can get everyone of you who reads this blog to get a concealed handgun license or a concealed weapon permit in your state of residency.

A year has passed since the shooting of innocent citizens and attempted assassination of Rep. Gabrielle Gifford by a crazed gunman in Tucson.  Six lives where taken and thirteen were wounded when Jared Loughner fired his 9mm pistol at Giffords until it was empty, in the parking lot of a Safeway supermarket.  Loughner was subdued by citizen heroes in the crowd, not cops, as he attempted to reload. 

You can find posts all over the web this weekend and in newspapers all over the country, including my favorite, the Wall Street Journal, full of stories on the tragic event.  Most of the articles, including the WSJ, focus on the trauma of the victims and the call for more gun legislation.

This leads me back to the line which is at the top of this page 24/7/365, that the majority of the people living in America just dont get.  CRIMINALS DONT OBEY LAWS.  In fact, they are CRIMINALS because they DISOBEY LAWS. There is not law or penalty that will stop criminals who are intent are breaking the law. Laws dont stop bad people from doing bad things. PERIOD

What could have stopped Loughner is two to the chest, one to the head with .45 (or less caliber) hollow point bullets, fired by a legally armed citizen.  If you feel like you have to do something to change the evils in the world, purchase a handgun, learn to use it safely and accurately and get a CHL. 

Passing legislation that requires you run an FBI check on your neighbor or brother in law before you sell him or even loan him a firearm does NOTHING but create more government spending by increasing the bureaucracy.

If you feel like Congress MUST do something in a wake of a tragedy like the Gifford shooting, write your Congressman. Tell him/her to assign a couple of Capitol Police Officers to every member of Congress while they are in Washington. Tell them to put a few of the 8,000 ICE/HSI agents (who cant and/or wont enforce immigration laws and have been losing the war on drugs for 40+ years) to work providing security to our elected Representatives, when they return home.  The U.S. has laws, personnel and appropriations already on the books to do both.

The last thing we need is more gun control laws that do nothing to stop criminals from getting guns and using them to commit crime.  Legislation further restricting the sale of firearms only makes abiding citizens less safe by making it more difficult for them to defend themselves from criminals.

We dont need Congress to pass laws to make us safer. THEY DONT WORK.  Buy a gun, exercise you Second Amendment rights and responsibilities to keep yourself, your family and your neighbors safe.  The Nanny State cant protect us.  Cops are too busy staking out 4-way stop signs and shooting radar on highway service roads to protect the public.  Take some responsibility for yourself and youll feel a lot better than you will writing Congress and lobbying for more laws that will HURT you not the criminals.

Wednesday
Jan122011

President Speaks Amid Shrieks & Cat Calls in Wildcat Country

Here is the text of the President's remarks, at what passes for a Memorial Service at the University of Arizona. I personally was appalled and embarrassed by the bizarre pep rally atmosphere at a Memorial Service. This was the most ill conceived Presidential event that I have ever witnessed.  What was the White House thinking?

I didn't have a problem with the content of the President's speech. But the event was orchestrated by the White House and it can only be described as Memorial Service mayhem. The shrieking cat calls, screams, hollering, applauding and pep rally behavior by the students of the University of Arizona was inappropriate and shocking.

"To the families of those we’ve lost; to all who called them friends; to the students of this university, the public servants gathered tonight, and the people of Tucson and Arizona: I have come here tonight as an American who, like all Americans, kneels to pray with you today, and will stand by you tomorrow.

There is nothing I can say that will fill the sudden hole torn in your hearts. But know this: the hopes of a nation are here tonight. We mourn with you for the fallen. We join you in your grief. And we add our faith to yours that Representative Gabrielle Giffords and the other living victims of this tragedy pull through.

As Scripture tells us:

There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God,
the holy place where the Most High dwells.
God is within her, she will not fall;
God will help her at break of day.

On Saturday morning, Gabby, her staff, and many of her constituents gathered outside a supermarket to exercise their right to peaceful assembly and free speech. They were fulfilling a central tenet of the democracy envisioned by our founders – representatives of the people answering to their constituents, so as to carry their concerns to our nation’s capital. Gabby called it “Congress on Your Corner” – just an updated version of government of and by and for the people.

That is the quintessentially American scene that was shattered by a gunman’s bullets. And the six people who lost their lives on Saturday – they too represented what is best in America.

Judge John Roll served our legal system for nearly 40 years. A graduate of this university and its law school, Judge Roll was recommended for the federal bench by John McCain twenty years ago, appointed by President George H.W. Bush, and rose to become Arizona’s chief federal judge. His colleagues described him as the hardest-working judge within the Ninth Circuit. He was on his way back from attending Mass, as he did every day, when he decided to stop by and say hi to his Representative. John is survived by his loving wife, Maureen, his three sons, and his five grandchildren.

George and Dorothy Morris – “Dot” to her friends – were high school sweethearts who got married and had two daughters. They did everything together, traveling the open road in their RV, enjoying what their friends called a 50-year honeymoon. Saturday morning, they went by the Safeway to hear what their Congresswoman had to say. When gunfire rang out, George, a former Marine, instinctively tried to shield his wife. Both were shot. Dot passed away.

A New Jersey native, Phyllis Schneck retired to Tucson to beat the snow. But in the summer, she would return East, where her world revolved around her 3 children, 7 grandchildren, and 2 year-old great-granddaughter. A gifted quilter, she’d often work under her favorite tree, or sometimes sew aprons with the logos of the Jets and the Giants to give out at the church where she volunteered. A Republican, she took a liking to Gabby, and wanted to get to know her better.

Dorwan and Mavy Stoddard grew up in Tucson together – about seventy years ago. They moved apart and started their own respective families, but after both were widowed they found their way back here, to, as one of Mavy’s daughters put it, “be boyfriend and girlfriend again.” When they weren’t out on the road in their motor home, you could find them just up the road, helping folks in need at the Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. A retired construction worker, Dorwan spent his spare time fixing up the church along with their dog, Tux. His final act of selflessness was to dive on top of his wife, sacrificing his life for hers.

Everything Gabe Zimmerman did, he did with passion – but his true passion was people. As Gabby’s outreach director, he made the cares of thousands of her constituents his own, seeing to it that seniors got the Medicare benefits they had earned, that veterans got the medals and care they deserved, that government was working for ordinary folks. He died doing what he loved – talking with people and seeing how he could help. Gabe is survived by his parents, Ross and Emily, his brother, Ben, and his fiancée, Kelly, who he planned to marry next year.

And then there is nine year-old Christina Taylor Green. Christina was an A student, a dancer, a gymnast, and a swimmer. She often proclaimed that she wanted to be the first woman to play in the major leagues, and as the only girl on her Little League team, no one put it past her. She showed an appreciation for life uncommon for a girl her age, and would remind her mother, “We are so blessed. We have the best life.” And she’d pay those blessings back by participating in a charity that helped children who were less fortunate.

Our hearts are broken by their sudden passing. Our hearts are broken – and yet, our hearts also have reason for fullness.

Our hearts are full of hope and thanks for the 13 Americans who survived the shooting, including the congresswoman many of them went to see on Saturday. I have just come from the University Medical Center, just a mile from here, where our friend Gabby courageously fights to recover even as we speak. And I can tell you this – she knows we’re here and she knows we love her and she knows that we will be rooting for her throughout what will be a difficult journey.

And our hearts are full of gratitude for those who saved others. We are grateful for Daniel Hernandez, a volunteer in Gabby’s office who ran through the chaos to minister to his boss, tending to her wounds to keep her alive. We are grateful for the men who tackled the gunman as he stopped to reload. We are grateful for a petite 61 year-old, Patricia Maisch, who wrestled away the killer’s ammunition, undoubtedly saving some lives. And we are grateful for the doctors and nurses and emergency medics who worked wonders to heal those who’d been hurt.

These men and women remind us that heroism is found not only on the fields of battle. They remind us that heroism does not require special training or physical strength. Heroism is here, all around us, in the hearts of so many of our fellow citizens, just waiting to be summoned – as it was on Saturday morning.

Their actions, their selflessness, also pose a challenge to each of us. It raises the question of what, beyond the prayers and expressions of concern, is required of us going forward. How can we honor the fallen? How can we be true to their memory?

You see, when a tragedy like this strikes, it is part of our nature to demand explanations – to try to impose some order on the chaos, and make sense out of that which seems senseless. Already we’ve seen a national conversation commence, not only about the motivations behind these killings, but about everything from the merits of gun safety laws to the adequacy of our mental health systems. Much of this process, of debating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future, is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.

But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized – at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do – it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.

Scripture tells us that there is evil in the world, and that terrible things happen for reasons that defy human understanding. In the words of Job, “when I looked for light, then came darkness.” Bad things happen, and we must guard against simple explanations in the aftermath.

For the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack. None of us can know with any certainty what might have stopped those shots from being fired, or what thoughts lurked in the inner recesses of a violent man’s mind.

So yes, we must examine all the facts behind this tragedy. We cannot and will not be passive in the face of such violence. We should be willing to challenge old assumptions in order to lessen the prospects of violence in the future.

But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.

After all, that’s what most of us do when we lose someone in our family – especially if the loss is unexpected. We’re shaken from our routines, and forced to look inward. We reflect on the past. Did we spend enough time with an aging parent, we wonder. Did we express our gratitude for all the sacrifices they made for us? Did we tell a spouse just how desperately we loved them, not just once in awhile but every single day?

So sudden loss causes us to look backward – but it also forces us to look forward, to reflect on the present and the future, on the manner in which we live our lives and nurture our relationships with those who are still with us. We may ask ourselves if we’ve shown enough kindness and generosity and compassion to the people in our lives. Perhaps we question whether we are doing right by our children, or our community, and whether our priorities are in order. We recognize our own mortality, and are reminded that in the fleeting time we have on this earth, what matters is not wealth, or status, or power, or fame – but rather, how well we have loved, and what small part we have played in bettering the lives of others.

That process of reflection, of making sure we align our values with our actions – that, I believe, is what a tragedy like this requires. For those who were harmed, those who were killed – they are part of our family, an American family 300 million strong. We may not have known them personally, but we surely see ourselves in them. In George and Dot, in Dorwan and Mavy, we sense the abiding love we have for our own husbands, our own wives, our own life partners. Phyllis – she’s our mom or grandma; Gabe our brother or son. In Judge Roll, we recognize not only a man who prized his family and doing his job well, but also a man who embodied America’s fidelity to the law. In Gabby, we see a reflection of our public spiritedness, that desire to participate in that sometimes frustrating, sometimes contentious, but always necessary and never-ending process to form a more perfect union.

And in Christina…in Christina we see all of our children. So curious, so trusting, so energetic and full of magic.

So deserving of our love.

And so deserving of our good example. If this tragedy prompts reflection and debate, as it should, let’s make sure it’s worthy of those we have lost. Let’s make sure it’s not on the usual plane of politics and point scoring and pettiness that drifts away with the next news cycle.

The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud. It should be because we want to live up to the example of public servants like John Roll and Gabby Giffords, who knew first and foremost that we are all Americans, and that we can question each other’s ideas without questioning each other’s love of country, and that our task, working together, is to constantly widen the circle of our concern so that we bequeath the American dream to future generations.

I believe we can be better. Those who died here, those who saved lives here – they help me believe. We may not be able to stop all evil in the world, but I know that how we treat one another is entirely up to us. I believe that for all our imperfections, we are full of decency and goodness, and that the forces that divide us are not as strong as those that unite us.

That’s what I believe, in part because that’s what a child like Christina Taylor Green believed. Imagine: here was a young girl who was just becoming aware of our democracy; just beginning to understand the obligations of citizenship; just starting to glimpse the fact that someday she too might play a part in shaping her nation’s future. She had been elected to her student council; she saw public service as something exciting, something hopeful. She was off to meet her congresswoman, someone she was sure was good and important and might be a role model. She saw all this through the eyes of a child, undimmed by the cynicism or vitriol that we adults all too often just take for granted.

I want us to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as she imagined it. All of us – we should do everything we can to make sure this country lives up to our children’s expectations.

Christina was given to us on September 11th, 2001, one of 50 babies born that day to be pictured in a book called “Faces of Hope.” On either side of her photo in that book were simple wishes for a child’s life. “I hope you help those in need,” read one. “I hope you know all of the words to the National Anthem and sing it with your hand over your heart. I hope you jump in rain puddles.”

If there are rain puddles in heaven, Christina is jumping in them today. And here on Earth, we place our hands over our hearts, and commit ourselves as Americans to forging a country that is forever worthy of her gentle, happy spirit.

May God bless and keep those we’ve lost in restful and eternal peace. May He love and watch over the survivors. And may He bless the United States of America."

Monday
Jan102011

How Low Can the Lunatic Left Go?

The criminal investigation of accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner has revealed that he was obsessed with U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords.  Federal agents found a handwritten note signed by Loughner, "I planned ahead my assassination", according to an FBI affidavit.

Both liberal and conservative news outlets have reported that Loughner had complained to friends about how he was treated by Rep. Giffords at a public event several years ago. 

Tommy Mariotti, a high school friend, told  the Wall Street Journal that all Loughner did was play music and video games. His friend said he wasn't especially political, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration.

Another friend told the  WSJ that Loughner, "seemed to have a mental downfall" following a break-up with a girlfriend.  Loughner was arrested for drug possession in 2007. He withdrew from Pima Community College after school officials required him to take a mental evaluation,due to his disruptive behavior in class. 

Other high school friends told the WSJ that Loughner, "became progressively more weird", and reported that he would fall into unnerving, long stupors of silence and stare fixedly at his buddies.

Many people who knew Loughner, said he was never really political but tried to be philosophical and that he liked "contemplating the meaning of words and the origin of language."

At a public meeting in 2007 asked Rep. Giffords how she knew that words mean anything.  Reportedly, Loughner was angered when Giffords answered him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting.

As a federal agent I was assigned to numerous protective details, including U.S. and foreign heads of state and other senior officials.  I was trained in dignitary protection at the Federal Law Enforcement Training Center, the U.S. Secret Service and the Diplomatic Security Service. 

Based on my training and extensive experience in dignitary protection, assassins in the United States tend to be loner white male with self-esteem problems.  They tend to be functional paranoid schizophrenics, who have serious psychosis often described as a  shattered personality. They may be delusional but not hallucinatory. 

Their paranoia can be described as highly organized or a methodical delusional system that may be convincing if you accept the basic premise. If you accept the basic (delusional) premise that everyone is out to get a particular individual and is ready and able to do him harm, then it becomes a convincing argument that this individual should strike out and neutralize these enemies before they can act against him.

Assassins are generally not leaders, and one of the reasons they are attracted to strong, charismatic personalities is to compensate for what they see, either consciously or subconsciously, as their own emotional short comings. Like serial killers, most of them come from troubled childhoods.

Another telling characteristic is the way assassins tend to express themselves. A very large number of them will keep diaries or journals recording not just events that happened or the way they are feeling on a particular day, but also every slight done to them and imagined conspiracies as well as detailed plans for what to do about them. Since they don't have any close friends or trusted confidantes, there social isolation they express themselves to themselves in detailed secret communications. In many cases, they actually use this journal writing to program themselves to commit crime.

In planning an assassination the offender imagines that this one big event will prove once and for all that he has worth, that he can do and be something. It proves an identity and purpose as nothing in his life ever has. You can see this pathetic desperation in the fact that assassins are so focused on how people will perceive them after they've acted on their fantasy they don't always build an escape plan.

Another trait shared by celebrity stalkers and assassins is their odd lack of loyalty to any political cause.

The violent act is a result of a deep-seated feeling of inadequacy on the part of the assassin. The assassin overwhelmingly is a white male in his 20's who does not feel good about himself and never has. In some way, he sees the violent act as some solution to his problem. 

In spite of what the lunatic left has been spewing all over the media, neither the Tea Party movement nor political rhetoric was responsibe for, or influenced Loughner's heinous act.

It is reprehensible that anyone would use this tragedy for political gain. But that is exactly the liberal media is doing.

CBS’ Schieffer: Tucson Shooter Inspired by ‘Dangerous, Inflammatory Words’

ABC News blamed the Gifford shooting on the Arizona Immigration Law

The Washington Post went there at the top of its story - without any evidence to support the theory. CNN specifically targeted Sarah Palin because she occasionally uses gun references. Others who got tagged were Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and the Tea Party. Never mind that the suspect had a history of mental problems and no record of political involvement.

This clearly demonstrates that the lunatic left will attempt to use every opportunity, no matter how tragic, to stifle free speech and silence opposition to Obamacare, illegal immigration, or any of their socialist agenda.  In the words of my friend Debbie Schlussel,  When liberals say “climate of hate,” what they really mean is “Free speech for me, but not for you.”

Progressives are hypocrites who are filled with the very hate that they obsessively attribute to anyone who dares oppose their arrogant Marxist version of morality. 

The Audacity of Hate

Saturday
Jan082011

Jared Lee Loughner 

Jared Lee Loughner of Tucson Arizona posted a Youtube video on December 10, 2010.  Numberous news reports have identified Loughner as the gunman in the shooting of U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many others as others at a "Congress on the Corner" event in Tucson earlier today.

One of the fatalities was 9 year old Christina Taylor Green, born September 11, 2001.  She was a member of the student council at her local school and went to the event because of her interest in government. She is the granddaughter of former Philadelphia Phillies baseball manager Dallas Green.

The Las Vegas Sun reported that the dead included U.S. District Judge John M. Roll; Green; Giffords aide Gabe Zimmerman, 30; Dorothy Morris, 76; Dorwin Stoddard, 76; and Phyllis Schneck, 79. Judge Roll had just stopped by to see his friend Giffords after attending Mass.

Representative Giffords is married to a Navy Captain and NASA astronaut Mark Kelly. She recited the First Amendment to the Constitution on the House Floor this week, including the right of the people to peacably assemble. She was reported shot in the head at close range and is listed in critical condition.

A Jared Lee Loughner who had a MySpace page cited Mein Kampf as one of his favorite books, according to the Huffington Post, which has been taken down. Giffords is Jewish.  Photograph of Loughner in the Arizona Daily Star

My thoughts and prayers are with all the victims and their family members and friends on this difficult day. At least six people have died as the result of the shooting, including a United States Disctrict Court Judge and a nine year old child.