Thoughts on the Tragedy in Tucson

As we all have probably heard by now, yesterday morning, while holding a town hall event in her district, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was shot in an act of senseless violence. After she fell, the assassin turned his semi-automatic on others, including a Federal judge, a congressional aide, and a nine-year-old girl, all of whom are now dead.

By some miracle, Congresswoman Giffords is still alive, albeit barely holding on. The tragedy is far too great to adequately put into words, one that touches us all, and one that I myself have admittedly shed tears over.

Congresswoman Giffords was (and, God willing, will continue to be) an individual who embodied the best of our nation. She was a brilliant, strong woman, a person who was adored by everyone with whom she encountered, and whose life story ought to serve as an inspirational model for all women in our nation, especially our female friends in MYD. I hope and pray that this tragedy does not serve as a deterrent for young women throughout our nation to continue to strive to be the best they can possibly be and run for political office, following in Rep. Giffords’ heroic and fearless footsteps.

Continued on the flip…

In the wake of this unspeakable tragedy, many will question how this gravely immoral, horrific crime came to happen. Many will feel the need to ask deeply moral questions, like why people do the things they do, as well as why it always seems like the best among us are the first to go.  How could we live in a world governed by an all-powerful, all-loving, and all-knowing God, and yet there still exist such blatant acts of evil? Is there any moral sense of justice in this world, or is everything just meaningless, senseless, and chaotic?

These are questions for which I myself have no answer, but I will say this: there will come a day, hopefully not for eighty or ninety years from now, when all of us will be lying on our deathbeds, looking back on what we did with our lives. Will we look back on our lives and say with confidence that our time here on earth meant something; that we dedicated ourselves to helping others and making our communities better, more humane places? Or will we be forced to take a cold, hard look in the mirror and admit that we had chances but reneged on the moral commitments we have to our fellow citizens, to our fellow man, and to our nation?

We all have the power to do tremendously morally good things, things that will live on for far longer than our ephemeral bodies, things that will be remembered for hundreds of years. The question is, will we summon the strength of Gabby Giffords and act on our capacity to be morally good beings, or will we instead allow our fears to get the best of us, and accept the world as it is? Congresswoman Giffords looked at how she wanted her life to be, and chose the former. She chose to dedicate herself to her Tucson community and to her nation, and let us take the weekend to thank her for her service so far and pray she will be able to return to Washington and continue working to make the world a better place.