Some of my readers know that I hold Jon Stewart of Comedy Central’s “Daily Show” in very high regard. I do take exception to the name “Daily Show”, however, as it only airs four days a week.
Last night I was again impressed by Jon’s sensitive, thoughtful and intelligent reflection of the events that took place on Saturday in Tuscon, Arizona.
Jon Stewart is known as an award winning comedian who looks at the light side of the news or makes fun of it, if you will. He has a very large following and does influence popular opinion.
There are many opinions on what happened when 20 people were shot outside a Safeway Store in Tuscan with 6 people killed and others injured and fighting for their lives including Representative Gabriella Giffords. Gabriella is a democratic moderate well-loved by all on both sides of the aisle. Ms. Giffords was shot point blank in the head but miraculously has survived and doctors are cautiously optimistic about her recovery.
A federal judge was killed and the campaign director of Ms. Giffords staff. Also a nine year old girl who was born September 11th, 2001 was killed. She had a great interest in politics and that is why she was at Ms. Giffords event last Saturday. Three senior citizens were also caught in the crossfire.
A 22 year old man, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody and faced charges in court yesterday. He will be facing a number of federal and non-federal offense charges and is back in court January 25th.
There has been a great deal of speculation by the media pundits, affectionately known as the talking heads, that it is the toxic state of politics in the country that caused this senseless and tragic shooting.
Everyone is happily laying the blame at someone’s feet and turning this unconscionable incident into, yet again, a political football.
There is speculation from the medical profession about the mental stability of Loughner from mild mental problems to advanced schizophrenia. Everyone has an opinion that Loughner exhibited signs of mental problems during high school but nothing was every reported.
Jon Stewart, too, has an opinion which I think is very good, thoughtful and measured.
Jon feels that how or why this happened is not as important as learning and taking something from the incident that would help us all as we move forward.
At the moment everyone is coming together and there seems to be a kinder, gentler atmosphere in Washington and, indeed, around the country. The tone needs to be changed in the political arena whether or not it directly caused the shooting in Tuscon.
If people need to disagree, and it would appear that they do, they should be able to disagree without being disagreeable.
It is not lost on anyone that just prior to her being shot Representative Gabriella Giffords was reading the First Amendment about Freedom of Speech.
Bad things happen to good people so let us all hope that some change in the tenor of politics can come from this situation no matter how it was caused.