I Wish I Had Said That!

A side to the debate over the Arizona shootings which hasn't been stated often enough.

This is an indication that I haven't yet mastered the art of writing these commentary blogs.

I have been trying to find the words to express how my opinion in the debate which has followed the January 8th Arizona shootings. 

It was stated in a newspaper column just a few days after the tragedy.  And it appears (although that's just my opinion) that the writer isn't a fan of Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement.

Cleveland Plain Dealer columnist Regina Brett noted all of the blame which was vented in the hours, days and even weeks after the shootings, much of it on cable TV news channels (liberal, conservative and otherwise).  If you want to read the entire column, it's available at www.cleveland.com/brett.

Basically, she says: free speech isn't always pretty, and a lot of us don't like it (including some of the comments I see on our web channel), but it is a part of what America was founded on.

"I don't like guns and have no desire to buy, carry or own one and wish more people didn't,"  Brett writes, "but I live in America. We have a Second Ammendment right to bear arms."

She continues: "I don't like the opinions spouted by most of the political pundits on talk radio and TV, but I live in America, where we have a First Ammendment right to free speech. Every person is entitled to express an opinion. The rest of us are free to not listen."

And this is the quote I would like to emphasize:

"I don't like the hate spewed by the far right and the far left, but I live in America and my television has a magic button marked OFF." (Something which, I might add, has been a feature of every TV since the beginning, even before there was a remote control.)

It's easier to point fingers of blame at something you disagree with, especially when an apparent opportunity arises, but more difficult to find the real culprit.  The real culprit was Jared Lee Loughner, whose concerns don't appear to have anything to do with gun rights, conservatives, the Tea Party or Sarah Palin.

As for "toning down the rhetoric", try telling that to people in Egypt right now.

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