Kozachik brings partisans together to talk Tucson tragedy

Three years ago today, tragedy struck the Tucson community. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who was faithful to her constituents, was meeting with them on a normal sunny day for a “Congress On Your Corner” event at the Safeway on Ina and Oracle.

A very disturbed young Pima Community College student started shooting everyone in sight. While the obsessive focus of the mentally ill man was Giffords, six people lost their lives, including a nine-year old girl, and many more were injured.

The good people of Tucson and across the nation were devastated. At the same time, politicians exploited the tragedy for their own political purposes.

Yesterday, on January 7th, 2014, City Council member Steve Kozachik brought a partisan group of elected officials and city leaders to remember the event and prevent such an event in the future. The panel included Clarke Romans, Peter Ambler, Lisa Kiser, Jeannette Murray, Mayor Rothschild, Sheriff Dupnik, Chief of Police Villasenor, and of course Kozachik.

Stephen Brigham a Director at UA Health Networks, started the event off on a truly bipartisan basis by concentrating on the memorial and the plans for it going forward. He remarked, “We went from a tragedy to an opportunity to have a different type of conversation with each other… And remember, these tragedies are not always about guns, not always about mental health. They are about any form of tragedy, but they have common features. The community always wants to be defined not by the tragedy, but by their response.”

January8memorial.org is where citizens can go to donate and get involved with supporting the memorial.

Then the viewing of “Living for 32,” a movie about a survivor of the Virginia Tech shootings, and his crusade to get stricter background checks and ban larger capacity magazines. A moving film designed to force the viewer to become emotionally involved and form only one conclusion:  guns must go.

The desired effect was evident during the discussion portion of the event, when one resident said, “They need to stop gun shows… It’s a band aid approach.”

The majority of panelist paid lip service to only wanting to tighten background checks and limit clip capacity. The audience, perhaps under the influence of the film, seemed to want more.

Melinda Carroll remarked, “I am very concerned about gun violence and the lax gun laws in this country… Sadly, on a federal level it would be nice if we had some laws like banning assault weapons, the big guns. But I don’t know if that is going to happen and that is why I appeared tonight because I’m not sure how hindered Arizona is with the laws that we can’t limit gun violence.”

Steve Kozachik tried to reach a bipartisan approach by concentrating on issues such as mental health, suicide prevention, and targeting straw buyers.

However, Sheriff Dupnik, who on that tragic day three years ago, condemned Tucson as the Mecca of hate and bigotry, fed partisan hate and bigotry again. On the issue of his proposed clip capacity law, he said, “The legislator didn’t react in a favorable way… The word that we got back was from some of the leaders was tell those people down in Tucson to stop whining and that’s the state of politics in guns.”

When the tragedy struck three years ago, there was no differentiating between people, and this day should be completely absent of such divisiveness. We all mourn for the lost, support the victims, and have hope that Tucson’s future will be devoid of anything ever like this again. On this day the inclusiveness of the phrase, “together we thrive” should be our motto.

On this day, let us all remember our lost:

U.S. District Judge John McCarthy Roll, 63.

Gabriel Zimmerman, Giffords’ director of communications, 30.

Christina Taylor Green a member of her school student council, 9.

Dorwin Stoddard a community pastor, 76.

Dorthy Morris, 76.

Phyllis Scheck, 79.

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  1. I’m surprised they let Dupnik out to speak again to the public. Aside from the mayhem caused by a madman, Mr. Dupnik caused the next greatest wound to the psyche of this community. The man should be barred from public speaking. He hurts rather than heals. He doesn’t lead or provide assurance that the situation is under control of trusted authorities…he uses his position to cause deep divisions in the our town.

  2. Condolences to the families of those who were killed and to those who were injured that day. I was at my local infamous Safeway this evening, glad for no media coverage and just a normal evening. So much of the focus since this event has been on gun control. What real progress has been made to address the problem of identifying criminally mentally ill people like Loughner and Lanza? Fifty years of the “War on Poverty” and we still have the poor. We probably have 20,000 laws outlawing the illegal use, purchase, sale, storage, and transport of guns and ammo, and probably 200,000 laws against the sins prohibited by the Ten Commandments but yet we still have crime and grievous sins against humanity.

    • Great comments. I guess gun control is an easy subject to bring up and gun owners are an easy target because the left envisions gun owners as knuckle-dragging Neanderthals but you and I know that’s far from factual. Conversely mental health gets the short end of the stick because we don’t want to ruffle any feathers by indicating that someone might be a little unbalanced. It’s a ridiculous notion that the right to own a weapon is trumped by a potentially dangerous individual’s right to go about daily life as a time bomb.

  3. Tucson City Council and the left seem to all agree and think they rule the world. Funny, if they really wanted to do something, why not start with making something of the City of Tucson? Quit spending taxpayer money on yourselves and the crazy ideas you come up with and do something for the people of Tucson. It is a mess. Last thing I read in the Sunday Daily Star was TCC was loaded with all sorts of rodents. That will attract plenty of outside people wanting to come to Tucson.

  4. Quote of the day by Roger Ailes-Fox News

    “I hired Sarah Palin to **** off the people that wanted her dead.”

    The hate from the left is deafening. And now that hatred of Bush and the Iraq war is costing Iraqi’s their lives from terrorist attacks by Al Queda.

    This belongs to O and HRC…neither one is qualified. They are only lawyers. One of which does not understand the USC, yet taught it at a prestigious college.

    Form a line for tuition refunds to the left…

  5. Why don’t you just tell all the democrats at the meeting to remember the disgusting things they said and continued to say that were all lies. Did Dupnik apologize form saying it was a right wind conservative that did this? He’s about as worthless a leader as we have. He must be missing boat in CA about now. Pick your replacement and let’s get you out of the news and any public forum.

  6. mental illness is mental illness – Loughner was nuts – they knew it for a long time and did nothing – and if they were called they would do nothing for he had done nothing – so the solution is “no one has a gun” so the NUTS GUY WON’T GET ONE????!!!!! Stupidity with intent, the worst possible type. The current laws are plenty strict – there is ample law at present – Anti-gun law does not work ; Chicago – D.C. – Mexico – criminals will continue to acquire and use them – it’s what they do. And another day went by with Millions of guns and owners doing nothing with illegal with their legal weapons… imagine that. But then what do “FACTS” have to do with propaganda.

  7. Amy Loughner described her son’s run-ins with authorities, use of marijuana and cocaine and increasingly erratic behavior. She said a drug test turned up negative. Randy Loughner said his son became more and more difficult, and it was a challenge to have a rational conversation: “I tried to talk to him. But you can’t, he wouldn’t let you. … Lost, lost, and just didn’t want to communicate with me no more.” Randy Loughner said his son “just doesn’t seem right lately.”

    Why didn’t Kasputnik suggest that AZ legalize marijuana?

    Obama needs to make sure that Dennis Rodman can not own a gun. How about it Holder?

  8. When are these wining lib’s going to ever understand that the gun laws in this country are plenty strict! The criminal is already precluded from purchasing guns yet they get them whenever they want. They don’t buy them at gun stores, they buy them illegally! Look at Washington DC, Chicago, they have the strictest gun control laws and the most violent crime. Lastly, what does implementing stricter gun laws have to do with mental health issues? The sicko could have drove a car into that crowd and killed more people. Lets outlaw cars too idiots!

  9. Ignorance reigns

    “Sadly on a federal level it would be nice if we had some laws like banning assault weapons, the big guns.”

    I guess the writer can’t understand that there’s nothing “big” about AR-15’s, AR-22’s. They’re about as “big” as a winchester 22 magnum, but not quite.

    Maybe she also believes her husband is 10″.

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