Time to tone down violent rhetoric

Published 8:16 pm Monday, January 10, 2011

We are in a crisis! A crisis is a crucial turning point. It is a certain change in a situation that causes pain and frustration.

During such times all sense of normalcy is lost. Such a radical change upsets the entire atmosphere and the fabric of society. The trauma of the event, whether it is spiritual, economical, social, or political, is usually unexpected and upsets equilibrium.

No one goes looking for a crisis and may be unaware of the actual crisis itself until they see the effects. On Saturday, Jan. 8, as the news of the violent act against Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others invaded the airwaves, America witnessed how terrible the crisis has become. When political leaders can no longer meet with their constituents without crosshairs on their backs, nine year old little girls have their futures violently snatched away, and husbands can no longer attend an event with their wives without taking a slug, we must admit we are in a crisis.

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In our attempt to arrive at a conclusion on why this happened we must cautiously view the culture of violence in which we live. To move past this horrendous act and not deal with our culture of violence that led a young man to resort to gunfire would be disingenuous and irresponsible.

For too long, we have irresponsibly called on the First Amendment of the Constitution of the United States. Time and time again, violent political rhetoric runs rampantly through the airwaves with no regard to consequences. Healthy debate is good; but when debates are centered on the motives and integrity of leaders, it becomes dangerous.

While we are blessed to have freedom of speech, we must remember that this freedom has implications that accompany the words of which we utter.

As adults we must realize that we cannot use violent language on a daily basis and expect our children to practice nonviolence. Political shots are taken every day at those whose perspectives differ from the norm.

If America desires to continue to be the most revered democracy in the world, we must change our thinking and modify our conversation. By taking these simple measures our nations can reap great benefits which will highlight the beauty of our magnificent democracy.

We know that only an individual can kill another but we must ask ourselves if our words contribute or motivate such vicious attacks. In order to end the violence that is perpetrated in our community and throughout America, we must begin with self.

We must take responsibility by toning down the violent rhetoric and instead live out the values and principles that our great nation was founded upon.