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President's Ponderings: Arizona Shooting and Grief
 

By Edward Luttrell - President's Ponderings Blog (1/11/11)

  JANUARY 13, 2011 --

The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others is a terrible crime which appears to have been the doing of one mentally unstable person. Knowing Grange members, I expect that all the victims and their families are being prayed for by our members in every state.

I am disgusted with a few politicians and some political commentators for their actions. Attempts to use this tragedy to attack political opponents or to further political agendas are despicable at best. These actions are great examples of either stupidity or of cold-hearted partisanship.

In 2008, we lost one of our National Grange officers to death suddenly. While it wasn’t a violent act, it was a shock to all. I saw members gather in Granges and remember John and his service to our organization, even when they had never met him personally. There was an outpouring of grief and prayers for his family. No one suggested that we use our time for anything other than remembering John and comforting his family. We were united in that moment. Every community organization that I am familiar with responds to death and crime in the same manner.

Maybe some of those in public life should look at all the positive examples of how Americans deal with tragedy and loss. I know that I have no intention of ever voting for someone or listening to anyone who uses moments of tragedy to further their own goals and agendas. Remember that life is about the people in our life not things or an agenda.

This terrible shooting in Arizona will undoubtedly create debate about dealing with mentally ill people, gun laws, and even free speech, but those debates should be starting next week, after many of the facts have been gathered, not while the shock of the crime is still fresh and the families have only begun to realize their loss.

My prayers go out to every person who has been touched by this horrible crime.

 
 
 
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