Two Thoughts on the Shootings in Arizona

Two things strike me at this point, a couple of weeks out from the horrific shootings in Tucson, Arizona.

First, when you deal with unspeakable tragedy, don’t say the first thing that pops in your head. Even if you’re just moments from the event itself and someone shoves a microphone in your face, take at least a few seconds to reflect. Separate your gut, instinctive response from what you really know is the best thing, right thing, and worthy thing to say.

Second, don’t believe for a minute that we live in a culture and society that is unusually hostile in its political dialogue and discourse. “Uncivil” is the word thrown around now. Wrong, wrong, wrong. American political life has perpetually included very severe words, terms, and symbols. Nothing new, nothing to freak out about.