The three best opinion pieces about the killings in Tucson that I’ve read thus far are:
- James Fallows, The Cloudy Logic of ‘Political’ Shootings
- Ross Douthat, United in Horror
- David Brooks, The Politicized Mind
I thought tonight’s speech by President Obama at the memorial service in Tucson was pretty darn good.
But what we can’t do is use this tragedy as one more occasion to turn on one another. As we discuss these issues, let each of us do so with a good dose of humility. Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy, and remind ourselves of all the ways our hopes and dreams are bound together.
The loss of these wonderful people should make every one of us strive to be better in our private lives – to be better friends and neighbors, co-workers and parents. And if, as has been discussed in recent days, their deaths help usher in more civility in our public discourse, let’s remember that it is not because a simple lack of civility caused this tragedy, but rather because only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation, in a way that would make them proud.
Yes, we can be better.