While We Wonder

Sudhama Ranganathan

After the awful events of this past Saturday, January 8, 2011, to hear some people speaking in a way meant to restore calm and faith in the system has brought the right effect at the right time. When any thirteen people are shot it is terrible. When they are innocent it only adds to a collective sense of sadness and disbelief. From 9 – yr. old Christina-Taylor Green to 79- yr. old Phyllis Schneck all these were losses which will forever impact those they loved and those that loved them.

A lot of our attention is focused on what the motivations of the shooter could be. In these times of heightened awareness and terrorism plus the additional highly charged political rhetoric, that’s only natural especially when a sitting US Senator that was the target. People want to know why. All the answers still are not clear. It’s certain he was troubled, unstable and held certain political views and beliefs which were simply not founded in reality.

We know he had had an argument with his father that morning and his family was concerned for him. We know one of his favorite books was Adolf Hitler’s Mein Kampf and that a High School friend described him as a political radical. From his own online postings he labeled himself as a terrorist, but his best friend said he didn’t take sides politically either left or right. (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/2011_Tucson_shooting)

We do know he held a grudge against the politician for failing to answer the very odd question he asked her once of “How do you know words mean anything?” That would obviously seem more of a question for a professor of philosophy or English than of a Senator. Apparently he was obsessed with some strange political ideologue spreading the belief the government controls us through grammar and taxes. (http://gawker.com/5729241/why-was-jared-loughner-obsessed-with-grammar)

How the other bits of facts connect just invites speculation right now. No one truly knows. He was deranged and held extremely odd political views. Of course, that is not what matters most to those affected by the mass shooting. All the wondering and speculation will not really help their loss and pain.

While we wonder about the killer the family of nine year old Christina-Taylor Green has lost their little girl. She wanted to be a politician when she grew up and was known for helping people. She was involved in activities at school like dancing, singing and gymnastics. Her eleven year old brother will no longer have his little sister, playmate and swimming partner. Her parents will no longer have their daughter. (http://www.dailyrecord.com/article/20110110/UPDATES01/301100014/Christina-Taylor-Green-grandchild-of-former-MLB-manager-...)

While we wonder about the motivations of Loughner a community misses good hearted Dorwin Stoddard. He was shot while protecting his wife Mavy from gunshots that Saturday. He was a construction worker previous to retiring and had been actively involved in church. He regularly volunteered for construction projects at his church Mountain Avenue Church of Christ. (http://www.myfoxphoenix.com/dpp/news/bio-dorwin-stoddard-1-11-2011)

While we wonder about the acts of a deranged and misguided young man we think about the friends and loved ones of the grounded and solid seventy six year old Dorothy “Dot” Morris. She was a retired homemaker and secretary from Arizona. She married her high school sweetheart George Morris. He himself is a grounded and solid former Marine and retired airline pilot and one of the wounded. He was also wounded when he tried to protect his wife by throwing his body across hers during the gunfire. He is recovering. (http://www.azcentral.com/photo/News/Other/17603/442537)

While we wonder about the strange young man’s motivations we are also reminded of the more important things in life. We are reminded of the power of family ties. We are reminded of the importance of friends and of doing good work for our communities and beyond. We are reminded of the significance of friendship and forming close bonds. We are reminded of just how precious life is even at times like this in such dark, low moments along our collective paths.

To read about my inspiration for this article go to www.lawsuitagainstuconn.com.