Who out there does not feel inspired by all the acts of heroism displayed during the shooting spree in Tucson, Arizona, perpetrated on the American citizens in a shopping center parking lot?

Amidst this horrendous tragedy we all condemn, many inspirational acts of heroism came out of this unspeakable horror. During such times of tragedy, most of us look to God, our Creator, for strength of Spirit to understand and help us through these trying times. On the other hand, as Americans, we also look to other human beings for comfort, and words of hope, to help us through and past the emotional and mental feelings we experience at such times. Despite the fact we live far away from the actual tragedy, we internalize the grief of others, living in an era of instant pictures with on-the-spot reporters, which brings the happenings right into our own living rooms.

Additionally, we as Americans have something so ingrained in us, to look to elected officials in general and a President in particular, for words of wisdom, and hope and Truth, during times of great tragedy. I’m not sure where this expectation comes from, but most likely early childhood, schooling, and our history. Not the least of which is in recalling such memorable speeches by a President such as the Gettysburg Address by President Lincoln. Whatever the reason, we expect words of wisdom when a President speaks in times of great tragedy, for inspiration, to get through and past.

With reference to the Tucson tragedy, which happened 5 days ago, last night the President of the United States flew to Arizona, and spoke to a very large crowd there. Today listening to news reports, plus many written responses to his speech, a mixed bag pro and con. But no shortage of opinions either way. Accordingly, I join the list and express my opinion.

For openers I thought it strange when the Indian man dressed in native garb, opened the ceremony, with an Indian prayer mentioning snakes and beasts of the land. As a Christian nation, I was rather taken aback, when there was no Christian minister, nor Catholic priest, nor Jewish rabbi on the podium, to speak at the opening ceremony. And had not really gotten over the shock of the silent prayer meeting on the steps at the Capitol, where a large crowd gathered on a very cold day, and there was no religious leader of the Christian faith there, to lead in prayer. Just the President and wife appearing and standing before the crowd and said nothing. To me quite surreal.

I don’t know about others, but I for one couldn’t help but reflect on the President’s campaign speech to Transform America and reminded we have already been so transformed, no Christian prayers at important gatherings, not even the Lord’s Prayer, spoken. Which has been the Tradition here in America.

We all know Presidential speeches are usually written by someone else, and usually delivered as a “canned” speech, except some, like Reagan, according to reports, wrote his own speeches.

I thought President Obama’s speech came across with a very staccato tone, interrupted frequently with a lot of yelling and loud noises, which sounded like a college pep-rally meeting, rather than a memorial service for a grieving community. Rather than extending solemn words of hope and inspiration, coming from him, he seemed to be receiving inspiration to talk from the deeds of heroism from those attending, as he articulated and recognized each one.

For me there was no extemporaneous feeling of inspiration emanating from the President, but more closely aligned to a campaign speech, with all the inappropriate cheering, which kept interrupting in a campaign mode.

I thought his descriptions of the little nine-year-old girl who died as a result of the shooter was proper and fitting.

I felt the speech was too long, and at times boring. As I listened couldn’t help but think about Arizona, as a border town, experiencing so many killings relative to the Mexican border drug wars, not receiving the proper help for protection, from the government and a commander-in-chief, who could do more, but instead supporting other countries and costly wars elsewhere.

Because the main role of our central government is supposed to protect this country from enemies domestic and foreign, not enough focus and interest in the border wars, which have been ongoing for a long time. And because the State of Arizona, along with other border states, have suffered so much pain and grief as a result of the border war with drug dealers, as I see it the President is remiss in his duty by not supplying more support for that battle. Whereas he might not be able to do anything about a lone wacky gunman, killing American citizens, he could do more about the ongoing border killings.

I’m reminded of what Winston Churchill said: “Government will do the right thing after exhausting all other possibilities.” So apropo in the current situation in Arizona. If the federal government was interested in doing the “Right” thing, then there would be more interest and actions in putting a stop to the killing fields of the Mexican border wars, instead of all the resources concentrated on the Afghanistan borders.

As the President pointed out, “We can disagree without being disagreeable.” And in this connection, in my opinion, his rhetoric does not connect with policies promoted. Something rather chameleon about this disconnect.

Aside from the tragic events last Saturday, and the President’s much publicized trip and speech last night, as the Congress reassembles, much talk about security of public officials. Quite frankly, I don’t think it should be the responsibility of the American taxpayer to provide security for politicians who choose to make speeches and hold rallies to promote their agenda. With the salaries they make, they should provide their own security. With so much unemployment, probably one could hire a couple of private security guards for $50.00 an hour. A couple of private security guards for four hours shouldn’t cost over 500.00 dollars. And the individual politician should be responsible for some protection of their assistants who accompany them on these outings of meeting their constituents. And failure to do so is irresponsibility on behalf of the elected official.

A couple of private uniformed armed guards standing near any congressman and their assistants, would most likely deter any nutty gunman from walking up and shooting. Protection always works, at the moment it doesn’t it’s no longer protection. And the role of Security is to protect.

Instead of all the emphasis on a blame game, because local tax-paid police are not there for security, the emphasis should be on these individual politicians making some provisions, by assuming the responsibility for their own protection. There are no guarantees, relative to this subject for anyone, but common sense suggests the person needing protective security guards for themselves and their assistants, should provide and pay for.

Inasmuch as it’s the role of political government to protect its citizenry, and not the other way around, seems to me the pervasive dialogue, relative to security of politicians, is unrealistic, and a convoluted notion about security and protection.

From Sheldon Richman, author and VP of “Future of Freedom Foundation,” comes this: “Apologists for activist government never tire of telling us that the benevolent State is our protector and that without it we’d be at the mercy of monsters. It’s about time we understood that the US government does more to endanger the American people, than any imagined monsters around the world…by pursuing its Grand Foreign Policy of meddling anywhere and everywhere.”




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