Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Rhetoric can’t pull a trigger |

Vail Daily columnist Richard Carnes: Rhetoric can’t pull a trigger

It is black, or it is white.

The issue of who is to blame for the tragedy in Tucson is only gray if one wishes to differentiate levels of responsibility and if so, from the onset shows a desire to influence public opinion a particular direction, most likely your own, while pointing damning culpability toward perceived enemies such as those with differing opinions.

But simply put, either the psycho pulling the Tucson trigger is 100 percent guilty, or we are all — every single one of us — guilty to the same degree for allowing society to create such a monster.

I’ll take door No. 1, thank you very much. I feel no more guilt for this lunatic Loughner and his actions than I do for Rossi Moreau and his schizophrenic trigger-pulling back in November of 2009.

All the rhetoric in the world, whether from one extreme or another or anywhere in between, becomes completely irrelevant the moment a trigger is pulled.The screaming projectile remains the exclusive ownership of the pathological nut case who believed sending the slug into another human being would somehow make a difference.

Sadly, that difference always has been, and always will be, negative.

But blaming his parents, his friends, his teachers, his music, his deity of choice or even Sarah Palin for pulling the trigger makes as much sense as blaming Jodie Foster for the actions of John Hinckley Jr.

What a ridiculous and narcissistic waste of time.

Basic human common decency demands responsibility lay with the finger attached to the hand attached to the body containing the brain that said, “Pull!” with the remorseless result being six individuals murdered in cold blood and hundreds of others scarred for life.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is reality.

Right or wrong, good or bad, left or right, nothing matters more at that moment than the cognitive acceptance of reality, and the real consequences that immediately follow.

And while on the subject of human decency, please give credit to medical science and the doctors and nurses for Congresswoman Gifford’s amazing recovery so far. To imply some type of divine intervention — a miracle — for her progress is a tremendous insult to the family members of Christina Green (the 9-year-old little girl born on Sept. 11, 2001) and the other five families who spent last week burying their loved ones because of this senseless tragedy.

They do not need nor deserve daily reminders of their heartbreaking loss, especially ones implying some perverse justification or rationalization of why some survived and their particular family members remained to be slaughtered.

Ultimate blame and responsibility belongs squarely upon the shoulders of the merciless monster who loaded, pointed and then fired the weapon with malicious intent.

Those pointing fingers at one another should be ashamed.

Richard Carnes of Edwards writes weekly. He can be reached at Comment on

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