Printed letters, Jan. 20, 2011

After reading Rick Wagner’s column titled, “U.S. political rhetoric has often pushed bad taste, not insurrection,” I found myself agreeing with some parts and disagreeing with other parts.

I do think that the actions of an “unhinged maniac” were the key reason for the horrible attack on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others that led to six deaths and many injuries. Saying that it’s directly connected with inflammatory language is irresponsible. They are two different things and an emotionally unstable person will act in ways that defy logic and civility.

But to say that inflammatory language (that implies violence, harm or damage to another person) has no connection at all to the events in Tucson is equally irresponsible.

Inflammatory language helps our society to be insensitive to the dangers of violence. We see this in movies, video games, news reporting, toys and many other parts of our society. To say there’s nothing wrong with using gun sights to identify people we disagree with politically when we are taught not to point a gun at anyone, loaded or not, unless we plan to shoot them, makes no sense to me at all. We need to begin to be a little more careful with the language that we use.

I also don’t care whether the source is liberal or conservative. The use of violent images in our language is not acceptable to me by anyone.

My Christian faith tells me that love is the standard and violent images have no responsible place in what my faith should be as a Christian. I’m well aware that religion is filled with violence, but I challenge anyone to suggest that those times of violence in religion have been the high points of our faith.

The title on Wagner’s column reminds me that political rhetoric was what the fathers of our country used that brought about the Revolutionary War.

Words do matter. They can cause great encouragement and strength or they can be very destructive and damaging. When will we learn to have different ideas and still be respectful? I long for that day, soon.

GARY HADDOCK Grand Junction

Let’s look to ourselves to improve discourse

In an editorial, The Daily Sentinel said that after the tragic attack on innocent people in Tucson, it has been inundated with correspondence from all sides of the political spectrum, with most blaming the other side. This has made me think a lot about something my wise mother often said to me when I was a kid and trying to figure out what was truth and what was not.

She said that people will believe of you things that they themselves would do. I found that to be very true as I went through life. Those who were mean themselves were always quick to credit others with thoughts that were similar to their own, whereas the non-mean thinkers had trouble even imagining that others would do what they never would have thought of doing themselves.

From what I’ve heard about Gabrielle Giffords, she was one of the non-mean thinkers. She didn’t at all deserve the treatment she got. Neither did the other victims, especially a 9-year-old child. So let’s knock off this trying to assign blame to others and take a look into our own souls to see where we might improve in our discourse. Lord knows it needs improvement.

M.E. JOHNSON

Eckert

Hospital staff made difficult time bearable

My wife and I want to take a moment to commend the St. Mary’s surgical staff, pediatrics unit team and Dr. Mary Beth Deering for the exceptional and compassionate care each and every one extended to my daughter, who recently had surgery at St. Mary’s Hospital.

She was well cared for before, during and after the painful procedure. Her needs were met promptly and professionally and her family were made to feel welcome in helping her through this. The nursing staff in the peds unit are amazing!

We think the world of all of you. God bless each and every one of you.

STEVE HENDERSON

Grand Junction



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