Monday, January 10, 2011

Christina Taylor-Green

Is this beautiful little girl the face of America today? As a Canadian, I have never been able to understand America's love affair with guns. In the ranking of murders by firearms, America is fourth in the world, behind South Africa, Colombia and Thailand, followed by the Philippines and Mexico. Great company to keep. Canada, sadly, is moving up the list and is now number 14. We always seem to emulate our American cousins. Americans quote the Second Amendment and say it's their constitutional right to "bear arms". In any case, from my understanding of it, the Second Amendment was not originally written in the context that it is taken today. And what about this little girl's right to a peaceful assembly. She was at a political rally on Saturday because she had been an "A" student in school, and she was rewarded for this by being invited to the rally. She had taken an interest in politics. Little did she know she would pay with her life.

After she died, her parents and her brother were permitted to spend some time with her to say goodbye. I cannot imagine something like this happening to either Marigold or Phinnaeus. It is beyond my imagination.

The young man who did this is now famous, his face plastered all over the news websites. Is there someone else out there plotting the same thing? Will this be the last time something like this happens? What do you think...?

Rest in peace, Christina. I hope there is a Heaven, and you're off chasing butterflies.

21 comments:

Inconsequential Man said...

I echo those sentiments, I too struggle to understand this unbreakable bond between America and fire arms. Yet, proper gun control is only ever looked at in the immediate aftermath of a massacre such as this before being put on the back burner until the next time.

Kimberly said...

Its not a love affair with guns. Drugs kill people - do we have a love affair with drugs? People kill people with their bare hands, knives, cars, poison - are those considered love affairs?

The guy was bad - not the gun. He could have easily gotten a grenade or some other type of bomb gadget and done the same thing.

Should everything be banned that can cause death? Wouldn't that be most everything?

People are bad & some can't be helped or stopped. Not to say this isn't a tragic event because it most certainly is. I hope she is in Heaven too.

Charles Gramlich said...

I don't mind some gun control types of laws as long as law abiding citizens can still have them. I have several guns. I do a lot of target shooing and enjoy it. I take my son and have taught very carefully how to handle a gun. But folks messed up like this one can do a lot of damage with one.

heartinsanfrancisco said...

How do you say goodbye to your child? It's out of the natural order of things to outlive your own child, and I cannot imagine anything worse.

I am American but I deplore the widespread use of guns and was ready to move to Canada last summer when it became legal to carry concealed weapons in our national parks. Absolutely no good can come of that.

The events in Arizona make me terribly sad. We seem to be devolving as a people, and the bad guys are winning more and more.

Indian Pundit said...

My understanding is that this love of guns is intrinsically linked to FEAR.

Need to have guns is one of the ways by which a population tries to "escape" from fear.

Constant fear-mongering (by govt. and media) makes people frightened...and a frightened people can be controlled better.

For example , need to have guns , support for laws violating civil liberties ,support for insane military budgets , support for war..all of these are linked to FEAR!

Owen said...

I would weigh in to say that it certainly does appear that America has a sick relationship with guns, and that the easy availability of guns and ammunition is a big part of the problem.

Sure, bricks, hammers, bows and arrows, knives, forks, etc, can be used to kill people; but guns make it incredibly easy to kill a large number of people all at once. Did you ever see a mass murder carried out with bricks or with bows and arrows ? No. It is always the same sick story repeating itself over and over... mentally unbalanced or otherwise vicious, barbaric, person got a gun and killed X number of people. It is far too easy for this scenario to happen.

Target shooters and hunters and NRA members all yell bloody murder when anyone proposes limits and laws to increase gun control. They pull out all the handy slogans like, "If guns are outlawed only outlaws will have guns", etc, but at the end of the day, these mass public murders are nearly always caused by someone who was easily able to buy the gun and the ammo.

Maybe some of the folks who always stand up to say that guns are not the problem would sing a different tune if it was one of their own kids who was gunned down. Or maybe not... maybe for some people the possibility of having their own children easily murdered by a gun is a risk worth taking when held up against their sacred right to own guns, as many guns as they like.

IMHO far tougher gun laws are needed in America making it far harder for people to get guns and ammunition, and far tougher penalties for any gun related offence. (which is a very un-patriotic, un-American thing to say, I know,...)

Arizona does have capital punishment... I, for one, hope it will be applied in this case.

As a footnote to this, I heard that in the wake of this shooting Sarah Palin had taken off her website her list of Democratic party representatives which was under a map of the US with telescopic rifle sight crosshair images on the states they came from. Gabrielle Giffords was on that list. Food for thought...

See those images at :

http://the8thdimension.blogspot.com/2011/01/from-sarah-palins-website.html

Single and Sane said...

I don't understand America's love affair with guns either, although many of my friends have licenses to carry concealed weapons. I can't stop to think about how many people in a grocery store, or mall, or even church have guns under their coats. I know many of them think they're going to be heroes if something happens, but I suspect they would just make a bad situation worse. I don't care how good a shot they think they are - few of them have any business carrying a gun in public.

Christina was a beautiful child, and her parents have been incredible as they have shared her story with us in the last few days. My heart breaks for them and for all the others who lost loved ones Saturday morning, and for those who are still in the hospital.

Alicia said...

I agree with Owen and I do think America has a love affair with guns. And it is too easy to get them unfortunately. My heart goes out to all the families that have suffered in this tragedy but especially to the parents of this sweet little girl.

jojo said...

This little beautiful-innocent girl will be the face of tragedy but unfortunately it won't change a thing. After all "it's our right," right?

The Bug said...

I had an argument with my boss about the "guns don't kill people" argument. How about the argument that if there aren't guns they won't be able to kill with them? Sure they might have to work harder, but it's so easy to get a gun & just pull that trigger - much easier than making a bomb or using a knife.

DJan said...

The kind of gun that the shooter had is a Glock, which is only used to kill people through rapid firing. Gail Collins wrote a column on the New York Times that said it all for me. I hope everyone will read it, both for and against gun control.

Pauline said...

I don't believe guns are manufactured merely for the "pleasure of target shooting." They're meant for killing - does it matter whether you kill a deer or an intruder or an innocent bystander? In the end, they're all dead. Our "love affair with guns" is more a love affair with power, with passion, and with our deranged idea that we can kill ideas by killing those who think them. There's something exciting about violence - look at the way violent TV show, videos, and games are promoted. More recently, political rhetoric and the non-stop talking heads seem to be promoting a climate of them-vs-us.

I've heard the argument that what these people are saying cannot be considered influential enough to cause an incident like the one in Tucson - so why bother to say that as a defense if no one is influenced by mere words?

susie said...

While I can't say that I am for gun control (after all police called out on domestic disputes know to stay away from the kitchen because that's where the knives are....are we going to make laws to control knives too?)
what happened in Arizona is a tragedy caused by one man. Every time something like this happens, it is caused by a single man (or woman).
Someone with no respect for life. Someone who thinks he will be a hero or martyr for some cause. What are these people thinking?
Or are they not capable of thinking? Or are they listening to demons in their heads? Seems like there are more and more out of control people in the world. Is this something new, or have we just loosened the 'rules' so much that there aren't any now?

Whatever it is, controlling guns will not prevent it. There will always be some other means of killing people, and it will escalate into larger and larger death tolls.

When you blame the guns, the retoric (sp), and not the person pulling the trigger, you are absolving him of the responsibility of his actions.

We live in an anything goes, and do whatever pleases you and damn the consequences to anyone else age. When that is fixed, the 'gun problem' will be fixed.

TomCat said...

Josie, I think the death of this little girl is the most tragic aspect of this whole sordid affair. While I would welcome some sensible gun control, the problem goes beyond a love affair with guns. It's a love affair between the extreme right and violence. FYI, your comment at PP was incorrect. Loughner is not a registered Democrat. That lie started with Jan Brewer's Secretary of State, trying to deflect blame from Arizona Republicans for the climate of hatred they have encouraged. According to both the Arizona Daily Sun and the Washington Post, he was a registered Independent. One of my readers left you links at PP.

lgsquirrel said...

Hearts mentioned that it is now legal to carry concealed weapons in USA's national parks. I remember reading about that and was dumbfounded. Why would you want to allow concealed weapons there. If I was a Park ranger, I'd quit straightaway.

And Jo, I thought you might be comforted that as fsr as total homicide per 100,000 pax, USA is actually in 46th place and 78th for Canada.

JeannetteLS said...

I wonder sometimes why it is that people can become So violently passionate about their supposed second amendment rights, but not much care about other amendment rights. I should not get started. I tend to believe that my beloved country becomes less civilized with every passing decade--automatic weapons deregulation, decreasing accessibility to health care on an equal basis, regressive taxation. Greed and instant gratification seem to me to be the ruling motivators among so many. As for this horrible situation in Arizona? I think people with fragile personalities, who do walk that line with mental illness are Far more impressionable than others, and if the voices they hear--real or otherwise--encourage killing? It should not be so damned easy to buy automatic weapons here, PERIOD. I mourn what is happening. He wanted to make his point, and make it BIG and make it IMMEDIATELY. The one only can with an automatic weapon or a bomb. We are becoming an increasingly violent people and I wish I knew how we could stop. I am sorry. I clearly do not write rationally on this subject. Thank you, Jo, though, For bringing it up. Some of us are in mourning in more ways than one down here.

Mean Mama said...

I was waiting for this to happen. I'm shocked actually that the Tea Party has not killed high profile Democrats already or fired randomly into democratic rallies before now. They have already shown up on the steps of our capital to spit on Congressmen and women and call them "niggers." All the while stating they are patriots and denouncing their own President. They have already brought guns into town hall meetings and threatened the Representatives at those meetings. I know that the Tea Party has done some violent things like throw rocks through the windows of representatives here in my home state of Washington and one actually threatened to hang our beloved Senator Patty Murray. I'm sorry to say where my shock level is. It is shameful that there are people like this in our country under the guise of "patriots." The Tea Party are not patriots. They are TERRORISTS. They are probably laughing right now that Democrats are dead, and that a Democratic office holder is in the hospital fighting for her life. They are probably saying that this the price they are paying for being liberals, or that God is speaking through them--that Jesus wants liberals dead. I would not doubt that they see this poor young girl's death as God's will, and there is one less future Democratic feminist on the rise. The Tea Party is the scourge of our nation, and every last one of them are uneducated,dangerous and backward.

Grandma Yellow Hair said...

Jo
Thank you for doing this post. My heart breaks for all those involved and especially this little precious angels family.
So so sad and I wish I could say it will never happen again but we all know it will.
Very very heartbreaking
Maggie

Louise said...

It's tragic that one person destroyed or damaged so many lives. He had no business owning a gun, so maybe better screening could be implemented to keep guns out of the hands of unstable people. To "Mean Mama"...I understand the need to vent, but why spew out such hatred towards the Tea Party or the Right, who had nothing to do with this incident? To me, YOUR language is frightening.

Mia said...

I haven't heard much about this but I think your point about RSA and Columbia is out of date. Both have decreased violent crimes in recent years.

But the Philippines is a good example. Gun ownership is rare there yet shootings are common. Switzerland has the 3rd highest gun ownership in the world but shootings are incredibly rare.

It's probably more to do with culture than anything else. Settling differences with violence never crosses the minds of some people. You can hit a Chinese person with your car and he'll apologise to you. Americans turn to violence if somebody honks their horn.

Whatever the reason for this event in Arizona I doubt political rhetoric will solve anything.

Deedee said...

Jo, You are exactly right - a love affair with guns- killing machines is really what they are. America's gun lobby has all of us in a strangle-hold. I don't believe the founding fathers could have imagined the violence and insanity of our modern world, and I do not think they would agree with machine guns and assault weapons being available to everyone. There is no other purpose for these weapons, other than killing human beings. Those of us with common sense have to speak up and keep fighting for gun control. I believe Indian Pundit is also correct.. the gun culture is a culture of fear.