Last week while the left was mocking the reading of the U.S. Constitution during the opening of the 112th Congress, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords crossed the aisle to make constitutional history with Republicans. It was Congresswoman Giffords who read the First Amendment – protecting our right to free speech, religious freedom, and peaceful assembly.
On the right, we use tough, hard-hitting terminology to define our views. We believe that that life begins at conception and abortion is murder. We support a more limited role for the federal government. We will fight for the continued acknowledgement of the Judeo-Christian heritage of our country. We support broad Second Amendment rights.
The tragedy on Saturday will not change our views or the ways in which we express them. Congresswoman Giffords is someone we have praised on radio as one of the Democrats who was willing to take the Obama administration to task over border security. She is not a hero of the Left or the Right. By all indications, she is a true representative of her constituents. She is the kind of Democrat who is as comfortable communicating her message to Fox News, as she is MSNBC.
The individual charged with shooting Giffords, Jared Loughner, is reportedly an “ardent atheist” who did not vote in the midterm elections. There is no evidence found that indicates conservative politics had a thing to do with his monstrous actions. Loughner’s bizarre obsession with Giffords appears to have started in 2007, well before the Tea Party existed and the ObamaCare debate began.
Why are we shying away from the mental illness discussion that America so desperately needs to have? A former college professor called Loughner “mentally disturbed,” someone who “needed psychological help.” Loughner’s classmate wrote, “He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon.” The warning signs were present. If any laws come from this tragedy, they should be laws authorizing a more pro-active response to disturbing public behavior.
Congresswoman Giffords is a strong Second Amendment supporter. Politicians and pundits trying to score political points for stricter federal gun laws or tougher speech restrictions are not actually honoring what the congresswoman stands for.
Americans are tough. It is time to get back to work fighting for what we believe in. We certainly have the capability to do that while praying for the congresswoman’s recovery, the others who were injured, and the dead.