A Sad Day In America

The Democratic Road categorically denounces and rejects the attack upon Congressman Steve Scalise, (R-LA) and the four others who were gunned down by this senseless act in Alexandria, Virginia. Violence, in whatever form, is never the solution to our political problems or disagreements. We are reminded of that day on January 8, 2011, in Tucson, Arizona, when Congresswoman Gabby Giffords (D-AZ was shot in the head, along with 17 other victims, six of whom died. This is yet another sad day in the USA and our hearts, thoughts, and prayers go out to the Congressman, his family, his constituents, and to everyone effected by this horrific tragedy.

Mahatma Gandhi was the father of peaceful, non-violent protest who rejected violence,

“Because it perpetuates hatred. When it appears to do ‘good’, the good is only temporary and cannot do any good in the long run. A true nonviolence activist accepts violence on himself without inflicting it on another. This is heroism.”

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., an American hero, lived and like Gandhi, died following in his footsteps. Dr. King was inspired by Gandhi, using his example as,

“The guiding light of our technique of nonviolent social change.”

No matter what differences arise between us or are our perceived ideologies, be they on taxes, healthcare, environmental policy, or matters of war and peace, we must realize that we are all Americans focusing on the things that bind us together, instead of on that which divides us into extreme positions. Hate and the promotion of violence, even in jest by by comics such as Bill Maher or by Kathy Griffin, are not antidotes for the poisoned political table we find ourselves seated at today.

The gun violence continues all over our country with another workplace shooting at a UPS facility in San Francisco, CA. Our citizens continue to be at risk in our places of work, in our schools, at the movies, and now add to that list members of Congress preparing for a baseball game early in the morning at a public park. We will leave for another day the question as to whether Congress will finally be motivated to do something intended to take the types of weapons out of public hands, that are always used by the perpetrators in these mass casualty situations.

Let us call this incident what it is and what so many incidents that have preceded it have been. These are the acts of terrorists. It does not matter if they are perpetrated by Muslims acting  out under a perverted interpretation of Islam, or by a White supremacist who blames people of color for their own failures as human beings, or by political extremists who take matters into there own hands, with some sort of misguided purpose of setting the county on what they believe is a better path. The bullets so carelessly spent care not about the politics.

In a uncharacteristic show of commonality, Speaker of the House Paul Ryan (R-WI), and MInority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-CA) both took to the floor of the House of Representatives to express support for their fallen colleagues and the other victims.  Mike Doyle, (D-PA), the manager of the Democratic House baseball team, publicly extended an invitation to the Republican House team to dine with their Democratic colleagues at the Democratic Club, which Doyle said was a place that most of his Republican colleagues probably have never entered. The manager of the Republican House team, Joe Barton, (R-TX), graciously confirmed that his team accepted the invitation during a joint press conference. So do not be misled by those who say that we have reached critical mass, and that those of us calling for calm and unity is in some way an endorsement of 45th President and the despicable agenda of the Republican Party.

The Alexandria shooting will not stop the baseball game between the House Democrats and the House  Republicans, as it will go on as scheduled. Attendance will probably be at a record level, and perhaps the county and the world will be treated to a rare public showing of American Unity. We can only hope that on this sad day in the USA, we may have passed a tipping point, when our elected leaders begin to travel a more Democratic Road towards real solutions for the numerous problems that we collectively face.

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