Grief…It is natural for humans to feel deep pain and sorrow when grief occurs. Grief causes devastation and kills a part of any human’s heart; it also brings crucial changes to the community where it arises. In the following paper grief caused by shooting in Casas Adobes, Arizona on January 8 2011 will be taken into consideration. The paper aims to discuss some areas and practices that affect people facing community grief. Considering the sad events to take place while shooting massacre in Arizona and their impact on the community it becomes evident that in terms of the impact of grief caused by violence people in the community who have survived it tries to support the afflicted ones, express their compassion towards them and offer practical ways to avoid such sad events in the future to protect the community.
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Grief is a feeling of intense emotional pain and devastation that can affect its victims in different ways. Grief causes personal and social bereavement that will take much time to be overcome and will still leave its painful trace in the human soul. When facing grief people think about its reasons and are especially affected if they know that grief has happened out of human causes, for example, violence like shooting. People ask over and over again: “Why?” The reasons why shooting happens and what stands behind the actions of those who commit such violent acts seem to be hidden far away from the perception of normal people. It is very hard to understand what can motivate a young person from a decent family to come to a public place to shoot peaceful people gathered in the public place for peaceful purposes. Grief caused by violence is certainly more intense than the one caused by other reasons like natural disasters for example. When it comes to violence it is simply very difficult to understand how the same human being with the same heart, thinking abilities, and feelings may act so violent against fellow humans. This violence could have never happened if the one who caused it would have been stopped by either the other people or by one’s resolution. This acknowledgment is the most painful about violence-caused grief.
Even the most touching and heartfelt words of comfort do not eliminate all the despair and pain by the victims of shootings who are affected directly and their families. When such tragedy arises all the people in the affected community feel despair and pain. They are terrified as no one knows what may happen with them tomorrow. Community requires justice and proper punishment for the one committing the crime. One of the cruelest shooting violence happened in the United States on January 8, 2011. That sad day Jared Lee Loughner, a 22-year old man committed a terrible crime shooting peaceful people at the supermarket parking area. Thirteen people were injured by gunfire, six died. A famous politician US Representative Gabrielle Giffords was severely injured and survived miraculously. The witness says about what happened this day:
The event was very informal. Giffords had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20 or 30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Giffords in the head first. (Quinn, 2011).
These sad events had a very serious response within the local and global community. First of all, people expressed their condolences to the victims. They also offered their practical help to those who survived post-traumatic stress and initiated the law company against free guns sales. A police officer from Tucson Chris Cole said: “This kind of thing just doesn’t happen in Tucson.”Jan Brewer, Arizona Governor, spoke about the event as “senseless and cruel violence”. House Speaker John Boehner spoke about his concerns in this way: “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society” (Lacey, 2011).
People were very upset and could not understand why all that happened. Local inhabitants just could not believe that Giffords might have enemies. Kelly Canady explains “She’s one of those people who remember you. She always spoke to me by my first name. She loved everybody. She was one of the main reasons I will stay involved in politics” (Chernenkoff, 2011).
The global community also became very agitated with the shooting on January 8, 2011. Senator John McCain said:
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I am horrified by the violent attack on Representative Gabrielle Giffords and many other innocent people by a wicked person who has no sense of justice or compassion. I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and the repose of the souls of the dead, and comfort for their families. Whoever did this, whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country, and the human race? (Lacey, 2011).
John A. Boehner added: “I am horrified by the senseless attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and members of her staff. An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve”. President Obama described the event as an “unspeakable tragedy” with “a senseless and terrible violence” which never occurred “in a free society” (Lacey, 2011). Many politicians from other countries expressed their condolences. Among them are the Foreign Affairs Minister from Canada Lawrence Cannon, Spanish Prime Minister José Luis Zapatero, British Prime Minister David Cameron, and Cuba’s leader Fidel Castro.
However, the event not only caused numerous discussions in the community but people were also motivated to act to prevent future acts of violence. The very serious issue which was addressed in the new light after the shooting in Arizona is the access to guns. Patricia Maisch one of the victims of the shooting in Tucson gave a testimony to support the Fix Gun Checks Act. She said:
I am here to remember the names of those we lost. But my primary mission today is to remind all of you that Tucson is yet another extremely tragic example of what is at stake every time a gun falls — or is placed — in the wrong hands (Phelps, 2011).
Reflecting on the facts that have been mentioned so far it should be stated that when grief-stricken on the reason of violence people within the community tend to be affected with some practices and areas. First of all, they are affected by the desire to understand the reasons for the cruel violent acts to take place within the community. They want to know what could have been done to avoid the sad event and how to prevent such cruel actions in the future. People also try to help the victims of violence; they try to show emotional and practical support to the afflicted ones. As the community wants to have no such violence in the future its active members also try to create a legislative basis that will guarantee protection from violence such as forbidding the free sale of weapons.
Chernenkoff, K. (2011). Six months after Tucson shooting, White House readies gun control stance. Fox News. Web.
Lacey, M., and Herszenhorn, D. M. (2011). In attack’s wake, political repercussions. The New York Times.
Phelps, J. (2011). Tucson shooting survivors urge congress to act on gun laws. ABS News.
Quinn, B., and Gallagher, P. (2011). US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot as six die in Arizona massacre. The Guardian.