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The Daily Wildcat

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The Daily Wildcat

The Daily Wildcat

 

Editorial – Tucson tragedy reminds us: Be kind

It’s easy to forget, in today’s 24-hour news cycle, where politicians are treated as celebrities or pundit punching bags, that public servants choose to put aside their personal lives to represent their communities, and they do so knowing that the job comes with a loss of both privacy and security.

We wish ardently that Saturday’s tragic shooting, which left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in critical condition and several others dead or wounded, didn’t have to be the event that reminded us of this fact. But now it has happened, and now we must remember.

Giffords and those working with her worked hard to connect with the constituents of the 8th Congressional District on a personal level, earning the congresswoman a reputation as one of the most open and available representatives in the nation. She and her staff members put themselves at risk regularly by attempting to reach out to the community and understand its concerns through events like Saturday’s “”Congress on your Corner”” meeting, where the shooting occurred.  The residents of District 8 could feel secure in the fact that someone cared about their concerns, and was ready to carry them with her to the Capitol. More than many of her peers, Giffords took the “”represent”” mandate of her title seriously.

There’s no right way to deal with this kind of tragedy; each must mourn in his or her own way.  But it is gravely important not to further pollute an already toxic environment with more vitriol and unfair accusations. Little is known about the alleged shooter or his motives, but it is fair to say that no one besides this severely deranged individual wanted this to happen. 

Those on the left must remember that nowhere are far-right victory dances taking place over this terrible act of violence; those on the right, in turn, must put aside their political differences with Giffords and mourn the heinous act committed not just upon the congresswoman, but upon myriad other innocent people. And both sides must trust that one another’s condolences are genuine. Allow human feelings, the acknowledgement of the brevity, fragility and beauty of human life, to supersede all ideologies. 

Saturday was a dark day in Tucson, in Arizona and in our nation. It’s hard to know how to go on, having suffered this reminder of how dark, how awful, things can get. The most important thing we can do is move forward from this moment by recognizing our duty to be kind, to be humble, to work together and to work toward something larger than ourselves and our differences. 

— Editorials are determined by the Daily Wildcat editorial board and written by one of its members. They are Kristina Bui, Michelle A. Monroe, Kenny Contrata and Heather Price-Wright. They can be reached at letters@wildcat.arizona.edu.

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