(Right before I started to post this, the story on Yahoo was updated to report that Gabrielle Giffords might not be dead, that she may indeed be alive and in surgery. So, I’m posting what I originally wrote but I’m just going to say that details are still coming out. Here’s the latest version of the story, or, at least, the latest as of my posting this.)
U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat from Arizona, was shot in the head and, it was initially reported, killed a few hours ago. She was in Tuscon, doing some sort of constituent event. The guy who shot her — described as being either in his teen or early 20s — was arrested after attempting to flee.
Not surprisingly, details are pretty sketchy right now but already, you can either go on twitter or read the comments left on Yahoo (or any of the news services) and you can find the usual gang of asshole zealots from both sides of the political divide.
The left-wingers are going. “Tea Party! Palin! Tea Party!” with such gleeful abandon that it almost seems as if they’ve been waiting for something like this to happen so they could go, “I told you so…”
Meanwhile, the right-wingers are going, “No, it was a liberal who shot her because she was a moderate…” and again, I have the same reaction to them that I have to the left-wingers.
And then, you’ve got the nuts who are saying that she deserved to die because she was in politics and all the rest.
Meanwhile, never mind the fact that a human being might be dead. Never mind the fact that her husband may have just lost his wife. Never mind the fact that her parents may have just lost a daughter. Never mind the fact that 6 other human beings were killed by the same shooter and that others were wounded. No, never mind any of that.
Who needs respect for the dead when there’s a bunch of empty rhetoric to be shouted out by a bunch of people who know nothing beyond their own prejudices?
And before I start having to deal with any asshole zealots accusing me of being a right-winger or being a left-wing or anything else, let me say that this has nothing to do with what Giffords’ politics may have been or whether or not I agreed with them. Nothing. I know next to nothing about her beyond what happened today. I don’t know who she is as a person but I do know that nobody deserves to be shot in the head. Murder is murder, whether the victim is good or bad and whether it’s being carried out by the individual or the state.
This is one reason why I hate dealing with self-annoited political activists. So many of them think that they can use a bunch of slogans and posturing to cover up their own deficiencies as human beings. Not one word of sympathy for Giffords’ family from the online zealots on both sides of the political spectrum. Instead, just a bunch of “See, I told you so!” bullshit. I don’t care how any one of them may have voted in November, it’s disgusting.