Saturday, January 8, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords, Others, Shot: Prayer Wouldn't Hurt

Details of what happened at a Safeway in Arizona today are still a bit fuzzy, but it's clear that a member of Congress, Gabrielle Giffords, was shot.

She's alive, the last I heard. Somewhere around a half-dozen others aren't. One of them is a judge, the other a child. The child's age is consistently reported as being nine - some news sources say the nine-year-old is a girl, others a boy.

Whichever is the case the child is dead.

Prayer for the Dead: and the Living

Before anything else, I suggest that prayer for survivors, their families, and everybody else involved wouldn't help. No pressure, of course.

As for the folks who died, here's a traditional prayer:
Eternal rest grant unto them oh Lord, and let perpetual light shine upon them.

May their souls and the souls of the faithful departed, through the mercy of God rest in peace. Amen.

Representative Gabrielle Giffords was Shot - So were Others

There's a news conference scheduled at 6:00 p.m., Tucson time, when more details will probably come out. It'll probably be over by the time I finish writing this post.

What seems certain right now is that quite a few people are dead: shot by someone for reason or reasons unknown. Others are alive, but wounded. One of the people who are now dead was a judge. He, and Representative Giffords, are getting the most attention in news accounts.

A judge and a member of the United States Congress have a great deal of status in our society. People in that sort of position are also able to affect the lives of a great many others. It's understandable that news accounts would focus on those two individuals.

I think it's appropriate to think of those who weren't quite so important to society: which is why I suggested prayer earlier in this post.

What? No Rant?

If I don't seem 'properly' enraged by what happened in Tucson, that's partly because I'm blessed with being removed - physically and emotionally - from what happened there.

I do not approve of what happened to Representative Giffords or the others. At all.

Killing those people, and wounding others, was wrong. The person who committed that act should not have done so. The person or persons responsible should, in my opinion, be severely sanctioned: and prevented from taking more lives.

Which isn't the same as hoping that they rot in Hell, that their families and friends be hung, drawn, and quartered, or that Tucscon be wiped from the face of the Earth for being the site of this outrage.

Moving along.

The Shooter Seems to Have Problems, Too

News reports, quite properly, are peppered with words like "alleged," when discussing the person who was arrested for this mass murder.

Actually, the homicide hasn't, to the best of my knowledge, been defined as "murder." I'm pretty sure that courts will thrash that out over the next few years. Or maybe decades.

For the sake of clarity, I'm going to assume that law enforcement officials in Tucson had reason to take a 22-year-old man named Jarred into custody. And, that this young man is the same person who made some remarkable statements before being detained.

From what's coming out, the young man who is now in custody has some quite interesting views. Here's part of an excerpt of an article discussing Jared Loughner:
"...'Hello, my name is Jared Lee Loughner, one of the videos says, in words appearing on the screen. This video is my introduction to you! My favorite activity is conscience dreaming; the greatest inspiration for my political business information. Some of you don't dream - sadly.'

"The video, posted Dec. 15, later turns more political.

" 'The majority of citizens in the united states of America have never read the united states of America's constitution. You don't have to accept the federalist laws,' the video's titles say. 'In conclusion, reading the second United States constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: the government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar. No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver! No! I won't trust in god!'...

"...In a bizarre equation that Loughner appears to mean as example of deductive reasoning, he concludes that 'the police are unconstitutional.'

"In yet another rant verging on the paranoid, he says:

" 'I know who's listening: Government Officials, and the People. Nearly all the people, who don't know this accurate information of a new currency, aren't aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn't have happen.'

"He lists reading under interests, as well as 'conscience dreams,' and among his favorite books are 'Mein Kampf,' the 'Communist Manifesto,' 'Animal Farm' and 'Brave New World.'

"In a comment posted on MySpace three months ago in connection with a video about Pima Community College, Loughner wrote: 'Hello, I know you're illiterate! This is the greatest protest for exposure into a wrongful act. The school is breaking the constitution. If you watch the video then you'll understand. The teachers are taking advantage of you in the first and Fifth Amendment. The United States Constitution, which is the law, can be broken at this school. Thank you and goodnight! Jared'...."
I could cynically assume that young Mr. Loughner was setting up an insanity defense - but the truth is that I simply don't know enough to come to any reasoned conclusion.

What does seem likely is that the young man is deeply troubled - and needs help sorting out his mind.

I also think that, if he's the person who killed so many others today, he needs to be prevented from doing so again: but I don't want to forget that he's a person, too.

Why aren't I Ranting?

As I said before, I'm rather far removed from the sad situation in Tucson. That helps me stay calm. It helps a lot. I'm not, by nature, a tranquil man. Putting it mildly.

Although emotions have a place in human nature, I'd rather consider serious matters calmly. (More, by clicking "emotions" in this blog's label cloud, or going to "Emotions, the Frontal Cortex, The War on Terror, Anarchists, and the Illuminati," Another War-on-Terror Blog (December 23, 2008))

I'm not 'sympathetic' with whoever committed homicide in Tucson today: not in the sense that I think that the person or persons should not be severely sanctioned.

On the other hand, I recognize how much difference an accurate diagnosis and effective treatment can make in the life of someone. As I've mentioned before, I'm one of 'those crazy people,' myself. (November 30, 2010)

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Marian Apparition: Champion, Wisconsin

Background:Posts in this blog: In the news:

What's That Doing in a Nice Catholic Blog?

From time to time, a service that I use will display links to - odd - services and retailers.

I block a few of the more obvious dubious advertisers.

For example: psychic anything, numerology, mediums, and related practices are on the no-no list for Catholics. It has to do with the Church's stand on divination. I try to block those ads.

Sometime regrettable advertisements get through, anyway.

Bottom line? What that service displays reflects the local culture's norms, - not Catholic teaching.