Times of tragedy are hardly the time for straight-forward, blunt acknowledgements. They are times of compassion and grieving. Unfortunately they are also times we tend to lose sight of our senses, and there are always those ready to prey on us.
That's exactly what the liberty stealing control types on the left have sought to do in the wake of Arizona. They have proposed everything from gun control legislation, Congressional access restrictions, speech regulations, talk radio bans, Fairness Doctrine.and on and on and on.
In light of that, we must respond with bluntness and honesty. Liberty is dangerous sometimes, and the only alternative to that risk is oppression. Dr. Alan Keyes explained it this way:
Participation in public life requires courage. Sometimes it means going unarmed as a diplomat into war zones with no protection except a promise of safe conduct that may or may not have reached all the combatants in the field. Sometimes it means plunging into a sea of people as a candidate, despite the nasty missives and barely disguised threats of violence it's hard for most political figures to avoid. Since the earliest era of their independence, true statesmen have counseled the American people against thinking that we can eliminate the danger involved in the political process "by destroying the liberty which is essential to its existence" (James Madison, Federalist No. 10). In the affairs of a free people there is no substitute for courage.
As we prayerfully react to the grievous events in Arizona, we should thank God that now, as in the past, among Americans there is no shortage of such courage. From the spiritual courage of the congressional aide who encouraged Rep. Giffords to hold on to life, to the courage of those who tackled and subdued the perpetrator, the extraordinary qualities of America's hardy humanity prevailed against the shroud of death. Will our elected representatives take their cue from such Americans, rather than from the bad counsel of their personal fears or factional ambitions?
No laws, however restrictive, will ever make liberty safe or easy. Leaders who act as if they will are either deceiving themselves about liberty or lying to us about their real intentions. Like other sources of powerful energy (fire, electricity, the atom) freedom has enormous destructive potential. The key to preserving liberty, therefore, lies "not in our stars but in ourselves" (Julius Caesar, Act I, Scene ii): that we remain hardy enough to face the risks; brave enough to react against the dangers; and determined despite our fears to live out the expectation of our constitutional heritage, so that by word and deed we teach new generations to do likewise. (But except we restore respect for the authority of the Creator God who made us free, can we really hope to remain so?)
Keyes is exactly right. We must question the intention of those who would tell us anything different.