COLUMBIA, SC (WIS) - The tragic shootings that took place recently in Tucson have the nation reeling. There's been a lot of dialogue about whether or not this random violence was a side effect of some of the overheated political rhetoric we've become accustomed to during the past few months.
It seems civil discourse has become much less civil as political divisiveness has increased. Political pundits, cable news talk show hosts, and everyday politicians have engaged in some pretty irresponsible political rhetoric which some say has lead to threats, ugly slurs and yes, even violent attacks.
It will be some time until it's determined just what drove Jared Loughner, who clearly had psychological problems, to gun down 19 people, so we must not rush to judgement. But this incident has definitely caused us as a nation to take stock and reflect on what makes us a union, not what divides us.
We live in a country of free speech, but with that privilege comes responsibility and good judgement. Seeing how this incident has stunned and galvanized us as a nation should inspire us all to come together as citizens that respect one another's ideas and opinions even when we strongly disagree.
That's my perspective…and you are free to express yours.