Tucson’s Heroes, And Why I’m Not a Citizen Journalist

There’s a reason citizen journalists and those who blog in their underwear about politics can’t hold a candle to trained reporters.

When it comes to news, I can only blog about what I hear (in my last post, I blogged about how Congresswoman Gabriel Giffords was reported to be dead). A real reporter should, ideally, have some training in the reporting and ethics of news; should have access to AP wire feeds; should occasionally read articles in the Columbia Journalism Review; and in general, know how to report. That’s why we need investigative journalists, not just amateur news bloggers!!

That said, it’s really strange to be living in Tucson, Arizona now; and I say this as a person who is sensitive to the collective.

I think when I first heard the news of the shooting, I became immediately aware that it would be an international incident and that it would also, likely, be a real watershed moment in the history of this country. Seriously. While mass shootings happen several times a year in this country, attempted assassinations of a members of Congress do not. This incident has the power to make us a better people, a better nation. I wonder if it will. I’m a bit of a cynic about Americans; which is too bad, as I am one. This whole thing could make our political system worse. But hopefully not.

I’ve spent the last 48 hours listening to the news. Local news, mostly; Tucson is a small town at heart. I was pleased to learn that it took 38 minutes from the time of the shooting to get the most grievously injured victims to the OR (operating room) at this city’s only trauma center. I was also really happy to see older Americans–white-haired, likely retired–interviewed on TV because they were the amazing individuals who jumped on the shooter and brought him to the ground and took his gun. Not young, beefy, virile men but older Americans.

I love any story in which people who are victimized by a cruel turn of events turn into the victors. I know that no one would want to be the victorious hero in such a terrible, horrifying circumstance such as this past weekend’s shooting; but, it’s lucky that there were heroes, and that they were just average folks who did something remarkable. I find it, personally, very inspiring; and I guess like many Americans I look at it as a glimmer of hope in a dark, dark time.

Thank you.

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