Weâ€™ve seen two demonstrations of extraordinary courage by two ordinary women in the past month.
In December, Ginger LIttleton, who had escaped, put herself back in to harmâ€™s way to try to save her colleagues. With a purse as her only weapon, she attempted to knock the gun out of the hand of a man who was threatening the Panama City School Board of which Littleton is a member. That scenario ended without the loss of any innocent life.
This past Saturday in Tucson, the outcome was not so positive, although the bravery demonstrated by Patricia Maisch was no less admirable, in fact perhaps more so because people around her had already been shot and killed when she took a fresh ammunition clip from the hands of shooter, Jared Loughner.
Unfortunately, Patricia Maisch used the ensuing publicity and media attention to go on a rant about how she believes the rhetoric of the Republican Party was responsible for Loughnerâ€™s murderous spree. How disappointing that someone who showed such courage would use that moment to do exactly what sheâ€™s accusing the â€œother sideâ€ of doingâ€¦ratcheting up the dialog by making accusations at each other.
I wish Ms. Maisch well and hope that she recovers quickly from what will undoubtedly be reactions of post traumatic stress. I also hope that when she comes out on the other side of this experience, she will not find it necessary to polarize or politicize the event, which was clearly the act of a mentally unbalanced person and not of a rhetoric-driven ideologue.