12.18.2012 0

A National Tragedy

Photo Credit: WhiteHouse.gov

By Rick Manning — Our nation faces a national conversation about violence and what to do about it.  The events in Newtown, Connecticut are seared across our national consciousness, and it would be hard to find anyone who is sentient who doesn’t go into this Christmas with a heavier heart than before.

There is nothing wrong with this soul searching.  However, what are wrong are the standard knee-jerk responses offered up by those seeking political advantage out of tragedy.

President Barack H. Obama’s Newtown address asked, “Are we prepared to say that such violence visited on our children year after year is somehow the price of our freedom?”

This question reveals that Obama is not interested in a real conversation about what happened in Newtown, but rather that he has decided what needs to be done regardless of facts.

This willingness by Obama, California Senator Dianne Feinstein and the hordes of political fundraisers who are already sending out waves of direct mail fundraisers featuring Newtown is part of the sickness that afflicts our nation in too many ways.

Problems and tragedies are not to be solved, but instead to be used to try to gain an upper hand in the political death match that envelops Washington, D.C.

When Obama was elected, people on both sides of the aisle hoped that he would bring a new relationship between the left and the right.  A relationship where people could discuss issues outside of gotcha politics to try to shape solutions that would lead America to a better place.

Now, rather than rising to the occasion, Obama showed once again that he is not a leader, interested in leading the nation in a real conversation, but is nothing more than a base political opportunist.

The nation deserved better out of the President, but sadly, he could not resist inserting a few lines in his otherwise perfect pitch speech that set the stage for a political fight against those he perceives to be his enemies.  It is a shame that he showed himself to be once again ill-equipped to lead a nation through a period of healing.

The course chosen by Obama and those of his ilk is dependent upon ripping the scab off of the wound to keep it fresh, rather than allowing healing to occur.

Personally, I pray for those families that lost loved ones that they are able to make sense out of the senselessness of this tragedy.

I pray that they will find forgiveness in their hearts for the young man who brought this misery into their lives.

And I pray that they find forgiveness for those who treated and raised this young man, for those who attempted to help someone whose tortured soul led him to commit this atrocity.

Our nation needs a national conversation, but it should not be on whether people should own firearms, or have anything to do with guns.  It should be on what, if anything, can be done to help people with mental health problems co-exist in our world without stigmatism, while keeping the rest of us safe.

As our nation deals with the tragedy in Newtown, let’s hope our politicians focus upon trying to get at root causes rather than falling back to the polemics of past political battles.  America should demand nothing less.

Rick Manning is the communications director of Americans for Limited Government.

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