I have looked at this photo all day long.
It's Christina Taylor Green... The 9-year old who died in a crazy man's shooting spree yesterday in Arizona.
Her mother talked to someone at ABC news this morning and called her daughter, "a beautiful girl, inside and out." I started to cry. I have ached for Christina's parents all day long. I had 9-year olds once. I never imagined they would not be safe at a public event with an adult friend along.
I have also looked at this photo quite a bit today.
It's Gabriel Zimmerman... The 30-year old legislative aide to Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He also died yesterday at the event in Tucson that he reportedly had planned. I have a 26-year old in my life who is like a son to me. He is the chief of staff for a Texas legislator and likely will be attending many events like this with his boss in the upcoming days of the Texas legislative session. I cannot let myself believe that a young man interested in making the world a better place, one piece of legislation at a time, could die doing this job.
I have also studied this face today.
It's Jared Lee Loughner... The 22-year old suspected shooter in the terrifying incident that left six dead yesterday morning at a US Congressional representative's meeting with constituents on that street corner in Tucson, Arizona.
My sons are in their 20s. A determined search of the web could probably turn up photos of them making goofy faces into a camera. Some of their friends wear hats like this, and glasses like this, and attend community college, and wander around a bit trying to find their way(s) in this world. And while I am not even hinting at linking any sane young person I know with the psychoses that now frame the person who is reported to be Jared Lee Loughner - I am saying the man...who is really still just a boy...has a mother. I hope she loves him. Can you imagine what her day has been like today?
I will let others ponder the dysfunctional landscape of fear and trembling that political pundits and crazy preachers and poorly informed rally goers have created in this country. There will be many over the next few weeks who lament the implications of lax gun laws and crosshairs on maps and the social psychology behind group support of statements like "if ballots don't work, bullets will."
I am going to cry for mothers.
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