Marathon Life

Sunday, January 09, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords shooting and health care

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords
Yesterday I was horrified to find out that Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot at a routine congressional event in her district. I normally don't like to write about political events, but I felt it was necessary to document something like this. 

When I read the news online I immediately turned on CNN. I first was trying to figure out just how bad the shooting was. I didn't see the initial reports that said Giffords died, but then I saw other news that she was in surgery. A bullet had gone completely through her head! Miraculously she is alive and responsive to commands. The doctors are very optimistic about her recovery. The dead included a 9-year old girl. John Roll, chief judge of the U.S. District Court of Arizona, and Gabe Zimmerman, Gifford's director of community outreach. 

The violence in this country is ridiculous and unnecessary. Obviously this was politically motivated since Giffords voted for health care reform and other progressive issues in a very Republican state. The shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, killed 6 people in all and supposedly has ties to anti-Semitic and immigration groups. Supposedly there is a 50-something white guy involved too. It doesn't surprise me at all that Loughner didn't act alone. How could a 22-year old orchestrate something like this? It upsets me that at normal political events we will now have to be extra cautious for crazed shooters. I often attend political events like gay rallies and other speeches. Do I have to wear a bulletproof vest now? What is happening to our country?

Arizona is a hot spot for many politically divisive issues including the controversial illegal immigration law passed last year that lets police officers detain anyone they suspect being in the country illegally. Hispanics are a big target of this law. If you don't have immigration documents on you it is considered a crime. Also, in 2008 AZ voters banned gay marriage by a margin of 62 percent. What?! It guess it truly sucks to be gay or Hispanic in AZ and I feel for my gay friends in AZ like Nirit who have to deal with all those ignorant, uncultured people.

It appears Sarah Palin, her supporters and the Tea Party movement have inadvertently fueled this fire for the attacks. I had no idea Palin had posted this map (on the left) back in March of last year. She specifically named Giffords as one of the lawmakers she wanted unseated in the November mid-term elections. According to CBS news, the map features crosshairs images to show the Democratic districts she targeted. She even wrote on Twitter, "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!"

What the fuck is wrong with people? We are at war with each other in this country. Democrats against Republicans. It's almost like a civil war really. Just take the Democratic parts of the East Coast, the West and small sections of the Midwest and pit those sections against the entire South and the rest of the Midwest.

I'm glad we have health care reform. Our country needed it. So many people are uninsured (over 46 million) and many lives become ruined after unexpected medical emergencies. These poor people are forever burdened with debt, all because this country can't figure out how to finance a comprehensive public health care system. I would be happy to pay more in taxes so that every American can be covered with a policy. For some reason Republicans believe universal heath care will bankrupt America. I would really like to hear another alternative. It comes down to selfishness. They just don't want to give anything away and help people in need. I am outraged that the Republicans want to repeal the health care law. It's not going to happen.


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posted by Anthony at 11:53 PM


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