Tucson Tragedy Aftermath: Let the Freakshow Begin...

Seems we have our "first" tragedy of 2011.  This time last year we were knee-deep in earthquake coverage.  The celebrities and politicians on both coasts were planning candle-lit-evenings while posturing with sad, glum faces and singing sappy love songs for the cameras...all in the name of fundraising for the poor, displaced people of Haiti...and, of course plugging a new album or movie, or covering up an affair (talking to you John Edwards).  Some put their money where their mouths are; the others plan evenings of entertainment, all in the name of making a buck and getting their irrelevant name back in the news.

Last Saturday a terrible tragedy occured in Tucson, Arizona.  Thanks to the constant blabber of 24/7 news, we're going to be hearing, analyzing, judging, and opining about this story until the next big tragedy happens and we move on to something a bit more fresh and exciting.

I was listening to all the "experts" on Fox News Saturday hearing the news as it was breaking.  Now, before you scoff and discount what I'm about to say just because I'm "one of those", hear me out.  I've tried getting my info via MSNBC...sorry, it's a snooze fest.  And, I used to tune into CNN to listen to Rick Sanchez opine during tragedy, if only for the "shits and giggles" it provided.  For the record, I thought that guy was off his rocker long before the powers-that-be in the CNN main offices figured it out...and, I'd give the same nod I gave to Sanchez to his colleague, Larry King, for most of the same reasons I listened to Sanchez, occasionally.  Andy Cooper was my go-to-guy during the "Haiti Crisis"...who could resist those t-shirts?  Not me.

Seems all the pundits have an opinion on this clown that took out a lot of people in a Safeway parking lot last Saturday morning.  First reports soon after the news started pouring in pointed to the new scapegoat...Palin...seems most of the Left are softening toward Bush...after an eighteen-month-distance from the guy responsible for everything wrong with this country, it seems they've found a new gal to blame.

Jon Stewart summed it up best; and I agree with him 100%.  The jist of his commentary was this: he no more blamed the political rhetoric on this tragedy than he would blame heavy metal music for the Columbine Tragedy.

I've listened to the experts for the last few days.  Everyone seems to have an opinion regarding this kid.  By the looks of the mug shot, I can't imagine this monster having an afternoon/evening routine of listening to talk radio/cable news.  As I hear more about him he sounds like he fits the typical "whackjob" profile.  A kid with a list as long as his arm of brushes with the law,  trouble at school, neighbors who, when interviewed, claim "something wasn't right", and a mug shot that makes the hair on the back of your neck stand up. 

Palins fault?  I don't agree.  He was causing trouble and raising eyebrows long before the Mama Grizzly came on the scene.  The boy is a nut...plain and simple.  He's not the first to shoot at a crowd; he won't be the last.  This is America.  Our country was based on differences of opinion. 

Passing laws to prevent the debate of ideas doesn't seem right in America.  I think laws and efforts would be better placed in finding out why people who know better let clowns like Loughner fall through the cracks and end up in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson on a Saturday afternoon with a gun, magazine full of ammo and a mind filled with crazy ideas.

The other problem I have is with the idiots that come out after the tragedies.  The ones that somehow take a terrible tragedy and make it "all about them".  While I enjoy the instant news coverage cable provides, I think this is what "encites" the mentally unstable.  Take a looky-loo at all the attention this knucklehead is getting.  In a nutshell, (pardon the pun), events like Saturday and the attention it gains encourages other weirdos to come out of the closet--and I'm not just talking about future shooters...I speak of the politicians...celebrities...and the distant relatives...seriously, does a show like Extra really need to broadcast "live" from the scene??

The sideshows that pop up everytime something terrible happens takes away for the event.  What happened in Arizona last weekend was a national tragedy.  Sadly, events like this seem to attract the "all-about-me" crowd like a big magnet, which of course, causes me to roll my cynical eyes.  There ought to be a law about people like this: 

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  • As a social psychologist I'm always surprised as to why this concept does not get into certain peoples head. Research shows and logic dictates that people are intact influenced by what we see and the mentality that surrounds us. Did Palin kill the people in Arizona? No. Does violent rhetoric influence each and every one of us? Yes. This includes violent movies, music and whatever we subject ourselves to. It's not brain surgery. Just logic.

  • "Catcher in the Rye" influenced a guy to kill. Jodie Foster's existance caused a guy to try to kill. Arguably, a "Road Runner" cartoon could influence a guy to kill. No logic...just fact.

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