On Saturday (Jan. 8) we Arizonans experienced a collective swelling of the heart as news rolled in about the slain and injured in Tucson. Dutiful servants to Arizona and America, along with several informed citizens who were taking part in a wholly American tradition of staying in close contact with their lawmakers, were gunned down by a madman and a fool.
Regardless of the outcome for Congresswoman Giffords and others in the coming day and weeks, we all had our dreaded "9/11 Moment," in which we will be able to tell our children and grandchildren exactly where we were when we first heard the news of this darkest of tragedies.
I think we all dreadfully expected a few ill-mannered and chronically bitter political opportunists to turn our day of crisis into a platform for misplaced blame and immature calculations about our society as a whole based on the crazed cowardice of one evil man. However, I believe that few, if any of us, thought that such repugnant words would come from the man designated to oversee this investigation and represent our state in this time of mourning. Setting fire to any credibility he once had, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik wasted no time, or police investigational resources, in coming to his exceedingly absent-minded conclusion that this event was the result of talk radio and some television programs. He went on to say that Arizona has become the "Capital" or the "Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."