Obama Tries to Distance Himself From Hateful Loons on Left
President Barack Obama called on the nation to resist the temptation to assign blame for a shooting rampage here that may never fully be explained, but to emerge from the tragedy a more thoughtful, civil nation.
President Obama spoke at the memorial service Wednesday in Tucson
Concluding a memorial service for the victims of Saturday’s violence, Mr. Obama urged: “Rather than pointing fingers or assigning blame, let us use this occasion to expand our moral imaginations, to listen to each other more carefully, to sharpen our instincts for empathy.”
…The president’s emotionally charged address capped days of debate about whether the nation’s heated political rhetoric played a role in inciting the violence. Mr. Obama addressed the point, saying incivility did not cause the tragedy of Tucson. But, he added that “only a more civil and honest public discourse can help us face up to our challenges as a nation.”
“At a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who think differently than we do,” the president said, “it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we are talking with each other in a way that heals, not a way that wounds.”
The nationally televised speech, delivered to more than 14,000 in the university arena and almost as many in an overflow area, was an opportunity for the president to connect with a hurting nation…
…While some Americans are debating gun safety laws, the adequacy of mental health services and other possible factors in the incident, Mr. Obama said, “the truth is that none of us can know exactly what triggered this vicious attack.”
Also Wednesday, Ms. Giffords’s colleagues in the U.S. House of Representatives held an extensive session of floor remarks honoring her and other victims, including a member of Ms Giffords’ staff who was killed.