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Tragedy Strikes in Tucson

  • By David Barron
Daves_colorThe tragic incident in Tucson, Ariz. makes us all think about our feelings. Sometimes people have “violent” feelings, when they encounter people or organizations with whom they strongly disagree.

All you need is a minor chemical imbalance in the brain and some people carry out their threats. Every neighborhood – yes even yours – has a person who is a “tickingtime bomb,” just ready to explode in violence. All they need is a minor insult, a disagreement, and a political statement to set them off.

My wife hates it when I honk at another driver who offends my version of traffic rules with his driving. I have calmed my honking horn responses a bit. I too, am worried that they will respond with a gun in their hand.

Every once in a while a person will come with a complaint before a local city council meeting. By the time they get to the council they have been frustrated in resolving their problem. It can be a minor issue, such as not being able to park in front of their house, or getting a parking ticket on street cleaning day.

If you expand this picture to national issues, you wind up with people who are angry at federal and state governments, and the officials who run our government. National issues, such as weapons bans, health care, unemployment, home foreclosures can, and do, light the fires on some people.

We have more than 400 people in Congress and even more in our state legislatures. We want access to them to talk to them, shake their hands and to challenge their positions.

The other day at Assemblyman Mike Eng’s swearing in, there were numerous public officials. These included Congresswoman Judy Chu, state Controller John Chiang, state Supreme Court Justice Carlos Moreno, along with state senators and assemblypersons.
There was obvious increase security visible in the crowd of several hundred people.

We can afford it for a special event, but can we afford it for every “meet and greet” event scheduled by an elected official?

These legislators are away all week long in Sacramento or Washington D.C. and schedule public appearances on Friday nights and throughout the weekends. They are so busy meeting with constituents that they usually have a staff person designated as their “scheduler.”

Until feelings begin to cool off, I think you will see some security precautions in place whenever a high level public official makes an appearance. First of all, there will be visible law enforcement in place to discourage any attempts. There will also be some “invisible” lawmen to check out the crowd. There probably will be more advanced security planning for larger events.

As a result, it probably be more costly, and more difficult to shake the hand of a local public official.

What can we as individuals do about it? Not much, except to keep cool, use common sense and remember that we are not always right. It is important to listen to what others have to say, whether you think they are right or wrong or have some kind of an evil motive.

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