The President orders flags flown at half staff in memory of Colorado shooting victims
It's hard not to see the hand of politics in this, but there were some soldiers among the dead and wounded so even if you can't get past Obama's cynicism, accept the fact that flying the flags at half staff honors everyone who lost their lives.
As a mark of respect for the victims of the senseless acts of violence perpetrated on July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colorado, by the authority vested in me as President of the United States by the Constitution and the laws of the United States of America, I hereby order that the flag of the United States shall be flown at half-staff at the White House and upon all public buildings and grounds, at all military posts and naval stations, and on all naval vessels of the Federal Government in the District of Columbia and throughout the United States and its Territories and possessions until sunset, July 25, 2012. I also direct that the flag shall be flown at half-staff for the same length of time at all United States embassies, legations, consular offices, and other facilities abroad, including all military facilities and naval vessels and stations.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this twentieth day of July, in the year of our Lord two thousand twelve, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and thirty-seventh.
The only thing that really concerns me is the question of whether lowering the flag to half staff is the right message we as a people should be sending about this rampage. One point of view is that this was a tragedy and the scope of the suffering demands special recognition by the country.
But was it really a "tragedy?" From the point of view of the loved ones of the lost and injured, yes -- it was a personal tragedy. But as a nation, what do we want to say about this barbaric madness? These mass shootings are becoming all too common and asking "why" is getting to be an uncomfortable question. Wall to wall coverage on the cable nets, the internet exploding, everyone everywhere with an opinion -- at what point does this saturation media actually encourage the next loner who hears voices to act? Or does it?
It is unobjectionable for the president to issue this proclamation. But I wish we'd take a hard look as a nation at these attacks and try to understand why they happen.