By CJ Guion

In the wake of the Tucson, Arizona shootings a couple of weeks ago, former Governor of Alaska Sarah Palin has been under fire for an image, which she previously posted on Facebook featuring cross-hairs on the district of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords.

Giffords was shot by a gunmen during a public meeting with constituents on January 8, 2011. The map, which appeared on Facebook in March 2010, detailed 20 democratic districts, which voted for the health care bill  previously held by Republicans in 2008. In addition to the map the former governor strategically placed a quote “Don’t Retreat, Instead Reload.” Following the shooting, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik surprised many viewers on television when he made a plea for political figures to tone down the words they choose to use during speeches and campaigns. Arizona has been a state that has faced much criticism in the past couple of years from several decisions that have been made, primarily the tough immigration law SB 1070 that was passed in April of 2010. However, many officials believe that politics was not a driving factor of the actions of the gunmen, but one must ask if American citizens and leaders sometime take political affiliations too seriously?

One of the biggest issues on the table this very moment in the United States is bullying. Many students around the world from lower level grades all the way up to college are taking their own lives after being victims of bullying. What message are we sending to the youth of tomorrow when we have the leaders of the nation acting in the same immature matters which we are trying to fix in the public school system? The kids of tomorrow watch and listen to everything that they hear in their households and things that we say can have a serious impact on the way in which they view the world.  At the end of the day, the leaders, which are chosen to serve in our political offices, are there to debate political agendas and not further personal vendettas. While there is the right in America to be able to say what we want, we also have a brain which tells us that there are some words which should never be spoken. The truth of the matter is that everyone in this country can’t take words for just that. Every person is not stable enough to know that political figures are not encouraging them to actually reload their guns and take action in their own hands. Sometimes the things we say hurt more than things we do. For every action there is a reaction. Sometimes the reaction is violence. In some cases it appears that there are people who genuinely hate politicians of opposing sides. Not only do they seem to disagree with their views on issues, they appear to hate them as people. We must learn how to keep our differences of opinions at just that. We must realize that the words which we utter from our mouth sometimes come at a cost.

If we continue to accept violent speech and violent actions the cycle will continue to hinder us for years to come and it will become a never ending cycle. It seems that the only time we find the time to unite as a country is when tragedy strikes. We come together for a couple of weeks and then we go back to our individuals lives as if nothing ever happened until the next one.