Strangely enough, that story is not the Philly news I had settled on for the day. I was more inclined to bring up the three deaths in three shootings in one hour. This totally dusts the last event like this I mentioned, which was the same body count, but overnight in 8 hours. We're really kicking it into high gear in 2011, I guess.
Aaaaanyway. Speaking of shootings, the real meat of today's link roundup is this video showing an interview that Congresswoman Giffords gave after the front window in her office was broken following the publication of the Palin map. For those of you who have just landed from Pluto, or who are reading this ten thousand years in the future, or for some other reason don't know what the hell I'm talking about, Congresswoman Giffords was recently the target of a hail of maniac gunfire in Arizona that critically wounded the Congresswoman and a dozen others and killed six people. The interview deals mostly with the idea of violent action following harsh political rhetoric, and in it Giffords says the following, suddenly very poignant to me, line: "Our democracy is a light, a beacon, really, around the world, because we effect change at the ballot box, and not because of these outbursts of violence..."
So, yeah, I'm with Obama, and apparently also with Giffords, on this one. I hope we can use this as an opportunity not for more anger, but as another opportunity for making America as great as it should be. An excerpt from Obama's speech:
Imagine -- imagine for a moment, 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 some day 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 and 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 to live up to her expectations. I want our democracy to be as good as Christina imagined it. I want America 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.
Well said, Mr. President!