After The Shooting The Shadow

(1 pm. – promoted by DDadmin)

I woke up this morning with a profound sadness.

The worst part of yesterday’s shootings seems to me to be the death of the 9-year old girl.  She was apparently at the Congresswoman’s political event at the Safeway because she had been elected to an elementary school student council.  She might have been inspired to meet an actual Congresswoman.

All of the deaths and the many serious injuries lie like a heavy brick on my heart.

The many analyses of why these shootings happened began too soon for me.  They started immediately after the echo of the last bullet was drowned out by the agony of the victims and the Medevac helicopters.  They  continue today with renewed force.  And increased monotony.  They will ebb and flow for the next few days. It’s not necessary to enumerate these here.  There are many different ideas but the central idea seems to that there is something very wrong, and that’s what caused this to happen.

We have come to expect from these discussions the fixing of blame and righteous recrimination and finger pointing.  And also the scrubbing of web pages and the editing of previous statements and the making of pronouncements.  The reactions are all terribly predictable. I don’t expect anyone who did not actually pull the trigger to take any responsibility for these deaths and injuries.  And I expect that the actual shooter to have a defense as well.  This prepares a fertile ground for continued blame and justification.  And arguments.  And shouting.  And more of the same.  And more violence.

This brings me directly to the Shadow.  My Shadow.  Jung’s definition and explanation might be relevant, but what I am drawn to this morning is far less academic.  I’m drawn to how Loughner lives inside me.  My internal Loughner.  Or put another way, the aspects of my personhood that I dislike, that I am afraid of, that I have shunned and hidden, that I do not reveal, that I keep secret.  I am drawn to the aspects of myself that I consider horrid and ugly and deformed and despicable.  This morning I find that these weigh heavy on my chest. I think this is what today requires my attention.

For example, I ask, where in me does the deranged, incoherent, violent Loughner live?  Where in me is a person who writes such bizarre Youtubes?  Where in me is the person who carries and uses a concealed weapon so devastatingly?  So coldly?  Where is my seething but covert anger at apparent authority?  Where is my belief in illusory, mysterious, demented magical thinking nonsense?  And where does my persistent blaming of others for all of my pain reside?

These are hard questions.  It is very hard to look at this ugliness.  But my view is that this is what needs attention.  Today.  It needs to be looked at.  And it needs to be acknowledged.  And even harder, it needs to be honored for why it is there and what it has done for me.

I would like us to ask ourselves these tough questions and to begin to attend to them. Otherwise, I fear, embarking on an impersonal, academic analysis of yesterday’s tragedy might amount to our again disowning our ugliness, our pushing it into the darkness, and our unintentionally creating the conditions that will surely make it happen again.


simulposted at The Dream Antilles    


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  1. Thank you for reading.

    • Diane G on January 9, 2011 at 6:05 pm

    I have both monsters and angels in me – I have pointed and used a gun to save my own life.

    There are those who I consider mass-murdering psychopaths whose blood I would love to see in the streets, though I would never act on that thought. (cheney-bush etal)

    Yet as I feel for that little girl, why does the public not mourn all the 9 yr old girls killed in Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Gaza, on the streets of Detroit and Killadelphia every day??

    The world makes little sense to me some days.

    Others? No sense at all….

    • Xanthe on January 9, 2011 at 7:29 pm

    and are now examining your soul, as many of us are.

    I feel the same – but I trust my better self.  On the other hand, sometimes it occurs to me it’s a good thing I don’t have any firearms around here.

    • RiaD on January 9, 2011 at 7:37 pm

    you are imho asking exactly the right questions

    or maybe i think that because these are ones i’m asking myself.


    (a comment i made elsewhere this morning that i think fits here)

    a couple of things i want to point out…

    the media is trying to paint this guy as a weirdo freak.. “pot smoking loner” “tried to enlist but was rejected for undisclosed reasons”  “lived with his parents and kept to himself. He was often seen walking his dog, almost always wearing a hooded sweat shirt and listening to his iPod”

    i’m a pot-smoking loner. my boy (at 30) often walks listening to ipod with a hoodie on.

    many many people are rejected by military.


    i’m NOT saying this guy is innocent.

    not at all.

    but be aware of what the media is doing: making ordinary look fearful.

    are we to be afraid of everyone walking a dog wearing a hoodie?

    High school classmate: “floating through life” and “doing his own thing.” “He smoked pot, I don’t know how regularly. And he wasn’t too keen on religion, from what I could tell,”

    nothing could describe me better!

    Someone who took a math class with him said he was: “obviously very disturbed.” “He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,”

    did she have a previous problem with this guy?

    i’m just saying please think as you read these articles

    there is always more to the story.

    & they are trying to paint fear on this with a broad brush.

    i’d be honoured if you would consider crossposting this to my wee-tiny blog

  2. the dark in all of us, is best rejected, recognized yes, but for what it is and why it is?   We all contain it, but were capable of restraining it.  I see it in myself in others I know it’s there but I know that it isn’t anything I can compromise with or allow to overpower the light that is required.  Pushing it down out of fear empowers it but so does giving it equivalency with the light. Recognition of a shadow of the darkness is important, our society has turned the daytime dark, armed it to the hilt and called ‘it the world as we find it’. A dangerous violent vicious place inside and out, not ‘found’ but created by the shadows we cast and claim are freedom, justice, security and God. Our society has picked up the mantle of hatred, violence and cruelty and made it the law of our land.  

    Just as every cop is a criminal

    And all the sinners saints

    As heads is tails

    Just call me Lucifer

    ‘Cause I’m in need of some restraint

    So if you meet me

    Have some courtesy

    Have some sympathy, have some taste

    Use all your well-learned politesse

    Or I’ll lay your soul to waste, mmm yeah


    • Edger on January 9, 2011 at 9:19 pm

    From Rebecca Kelley at The Examiner:

    The six people who died in the attack on Congresswoman Giffords:

    Christina-Taylor Green

    Born on September 11, 2001, she was one of 50 babies featured in ” Faces of Hope: Babies Born on 9/11.”  She had just been elected to the student council and was interested in government, her uncle told KTAR in Phoenix.

    Christina was also involved in ballet, Little League baseball and her church.

    Her grandfather, former major-league pitcher Dallas Green, was the Philadelphia Phillies’ team manager when they won the World Series in 1980.

    She recently received her first Holy Communion at St. Odilia’s Catholic Church on Tucson’s northwest wide, Catholic Diocese of Tucson officials said.

    U.S. District Judge John M. Roll

    Roll, 63, was heading home after a trip to church and the store before stopping to visit briefly with Giffords at an event she was holding for constituents at a northwest-side Tucson Safeway.

    Named Arizona’s chief federal judge in 2006, Roll won wide acclaim for a career as a respected jurist and as a leader who had pushed to beef up the court’s strained bench to handle a growing number of border crime-related cases.

    “I have never met a more sincere … fair-minded, brilliant federal judge or any judge for that matter in my whole life,” Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said.

    Roll was a Pennsylvania native who got his law degree from the University of Virginia. He is survived by his wife, Maureen, three sons, and five grandchildren.

    Gabe Zimmerman                                

    Giffords’ 30-year-old communications outreach director was engaged to be married, the Arizona Republic reported. He had worked for Giffords in her Tucson district since 2007.

    “We serve who walks into our office and we don’t even ask what party they belong to,” Zimmerman told the Tucson Citizen in 2007.

    Dorwin Stoddard

    The 76-year-old retiree was described as a jack of all trades by Mike Nowak, the couple’s minister at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ, told the Arizona Daily Star. Stoddard’s wife, Mavanell, was shot in the leg but is expected to recover, the Star reported.

    Stoddard, who performed maintenance work at the church, and his wife spent summers traveling, friends told the Star. The couple visited all 50 states and 28 foreign countries, they said.

    Other victims

    Police said Dorthy Morris, 76, and Phyllis Schneck, 79, were also killed in the shooting.

    • Edger on January 9, 2011 at 10:36 pm

    on this at reddit (I posted links there for you):

    • It’s great to see an article talking about that girl without trying to gain political points.
    • I think this article is the best commentary I have read so far regarding the shooting.
    • In the scramble to prove whether Laughner is right or left wing, influenced by Palin or someone else, the real horror of this rampage has been drowned out. This article goes a long way to correcting that. Thanks for posting this. I hope it moves its way up the pages so maybe the discussion should be what it ought to be.
  3. Quantum physics states that thought has the ability to manipulate the state of reality of particles. Quantum theory also has as a basic premise a multiverse, with a near infinite number of realities (Stephen Hawkings recently stated that each and every boson [the “newest” smallest particle in the universe, lol] has a distinct history, iow, a seperate reality) Many different spiritual disciplines say much the same, and go further to say that the physical reality each of us experiences is unique to us on an individual basis, and are the results of our thoughts.

    In relating to the shooting, I have to think about what repressed thought of mine is helping to produce the reality which includes such violent and senseless acts….

    No answers, just questions… for myself.  

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