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Anger and the Tucson Shootings

It feels more than a little ironic to me that living in Tucson, Arizona and with the recent tragedy that occurred here (with our local Congresswoman being shot at along with 19 others), while our monthly topic in Women on the Verge is “Angry Woman Quiet Woman”.


It feels more than a little ironic, that I typically don't “feel” very angry, very often. But witnessing the array of emotions I have been experiencing since the shootings, I am wondering if the real question for me is, “what does anger really look like for me?”


Raging is not my thing, so, I was confused by my symptoms. I was expecting myself to act in a stereotypical way to vent anger, which I guess, in looking back, I never have. Did this 22 year old kid taking the lives of 6 people, including a 9 year child make me angry? Yes. I felt very angry about it. But the way I demonstrated it confused me. Having the glaring light of our theme, made me watch myself in a way that I would not ordinarily do and this is what I found and perhaps I am not alone.


I felt angry about the following things (these are my things, so don't worry if you disagree).:

  1. Our mental health system is so badly in need of attention, that a person who is obviously in need of help was able to go into a store and buy an automatic weapon and ammunition with no red flags of warning. We need to put our people first, so an insane person is not overlooked or ignored.

  2. Gun control laws in the state of Arizona are out of control. Even as a vegetarian, I would not take away someone's right to bear arms, but does a person really need a gun to go into a grocery store? Didn't someone else already kill those chickens for you, so all you have to do is buy them? Leave your gun in the car when the only thing left to hunt is people, is what I think.

  3. I have been afraid of something like this happening since the 2008 election, when people would show up at political events (right here in Arizona) armed. Should people be allowed to go to a political event with a gun? I don't think so. Too volatile an environment.

  4. I felt deeply, deeply angry about a 9 year old child getting shot and dying. She didn't do anything to deserve this, and neither did her family.

  5. I felt angry that Gabby Giffords was only trying to be here for her constituents, and this is the pay back she gets. She was doing the right thing, and the outcome was horrifying.

  6. I felt heartbroken because as I watched the national news with Tucson's mountains in the background, I kept thinking, look how beautiful our town is... how could such an ugly event happen here?

My symptoms from all of these angry things were as follows:


  1. I felt powerless

  2. I cried - a lot

  3. I felt heartbroken


I can see why anger sometimes has been confused for sadness or frustration for me. Maybe even hormonal (gasp!). However, I now know, that my anger while, it may not be loud, it is deep, and I must respect it.


I respected my anger by first acknowledging it, then doing specific yoga sets to address it. According to my yoga practice, “If you can feel it, you can heal it.” So, I have been practicing, and working my way towards healing and most of all – being grateful. Most people are not lunatics. Most people are good. I am grateful to the majority.


I believe that everything happens for a reason, and sometimes it takes a horrible tragedy like this to make people stop and realize that what we're doing right now - it's not working. What do you think that we can do to change the environment that we are living in the US? What do you think needs to be done so that more innocent people aren't being murdered on the street while doing the right thing?

Ana Lewis

AnaLewis · 2658 days ago
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  •  DawnRRivers: 
    I have a sort of formulaic set of ideas about anger and that's what helps me to deal with it. To me, anger is your body's way of telling you that you have been injured in some way (boundary violated, rights trampled, etc.). So, when I feel angry, I want to identify the injury I've suffered and who was responsible, so that I can let that person know that I don't want them to do that anymore.

    Not so easy when the person who made you angry is a twentysomething lunatic who is already in police custody.

    In this case, though, there are other people who bear responsibility. Those people include the politicians and the pundits and the journalists who have been letting them getting away with it all for the sake of "objectivity."

    Politics has never been a particularly cordial spectator sport. What is different now, IMHO, is the degree to which power-hungry and dishonest politicians, reluctant to campaign on the merits on their positions, instead seek to convince their potential supporters that their political opponents are not just wrong on the issues but are DANGEROUS and EVIL.

    The idea that two equally smart and equally well-meaning individuals can take a look at a set of facts and disagree on their conclusions seems to have disappeared from public discourse. At the same time, the political reality of this moment has politicians increasingly hailing from or kowtowing to the most dangerous lunatic fringes of their respective parties. That makes effective bipartisan governance and true statesmanship impossible and it turns the whole thing into the Super Bowl on Capitol Hill, all day, every day.

    (I guess I'm angry, too.)
     2654 days ago 
    0 points
  •  Elle: 
    I was speechless when I first heard about this tragedy at the week-end. We've been talking about a lot about it at home. I fail to understand what some politicians and their followers believe and how they have expressed themselves. I'm pretty sure a similar situation in the UK, although impossible as our politics and regulations are very different, would have resulted in a resignation and a grovelling apology.
    So sad!
    It is no excuse saying this person is crazy, politicians still bear the responsibility of their sayings
    The wrong words heard by an already deranged person can have a devastating effect. I mean this in general and not just in regard to this particular case.
    All the best to you and your community. I hope time, goodwill and common sense will heal the wounds.

    P.S. I've not been particularly well since the week before Christmas. I'm working on it, trying to regain some strength.
    Big hugs
     2658 days ago 
    0 points
Anger and the Tucson Shootings