The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

The Independent Voice of Southern Methodist University Since 1915

The Daily Campus

SMU professor Susanne Scholz in the West Bank in 2018.
SMU professor to return to campus after being trapped in Gaza for 12 years
Sara Hummadi, Video Editor • May 18, 2024
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Tuscon shooting displays best, worst of United States

Like all Americans, I was saddened to hear of the shooting in Tucson, Ariz. two weeks ago.

The more I learned, the more I didn’t understand. How could one lonely, pathetic gunman hurt so many good and able citizens? What could drive a young man, only 22 years old, to commit such an atrocity? How can there be such evil in the world?

In the days following the attack, I was disgusted by the irresponsible hate spewed by politicians and pundits. Partisans like Paul Krugman of The New York Times and Keith Olbermann of MSNBC wasted no time in blaming their ideological opponents for the deaths in Tucson.

There was—and is—no evidence that Jared Loughner, the accused shooter, had any political motivation.

But facts have never stood in the way of fearmongering, and for some time after the shooting, our national discourse was hijacked by a disgusting dispute as to who was to blame, as if there can be any rational explanation for the actions of someone as ill as Loughner appears to be.

I felt sick.

Six people were dead, the country was hurt and confused, and all that our representatives in the media and in government could do was point fingers at one another.

Surely, America hadn’t become so crass.

Then, last Wednesday, our true statesmen emerged to uncover the best of the American soul. Members of Congress, led by John Boehner, put aside their differences, crossed the aisle, and vowed to do better. And Barack Obama, the most gifted political orator of our times, mustered all his rhetorical gifts to eulogize the fallen and bring hope to a damaged nation.

Collectively, we mourned.

I saw the very worst and the very best of my country during those troubled days. Next to the dignity of Obama and Boehner, hacks like Krugman and Olbermann seemed petty and immaterial. The nation had transcended its divisions. It had matured overnight.

Although nothing can fill the holes left by the departed, we can all take comfort in the fact that, when confronted with terrible evil, America stood up and fulfilled the promise of a great nation, united.

Nathaniel French is a senior theater major. He can be reached for comment at [email protected].

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