Tucson’s great tragedy took place in January 2011 when Jared Loughner acted on his detailed plan to shoot Representative Gabrielle Giffords. He wounded her, a dozen others, and killed six, including a federal judge and 9-year-old Christina-Taylor Green. If it wasn’t for heroes like Daniel Hernandez, who held Giffords in his arms and tended to her wounds, and retired Army Col. Bill Badger, who wrestled Loughner to the ground, it would have been worse.
Loughner studied, stalked by acting with precise timing and prepared for his assult armed like a commando. The pre-meditated facts made no difference when he faced a judge who unbelievably pronounced him unfit to stand trial. The victims and the people of the entire area felt the judicial system had somehow failed them. All we needed at the time was a confession to get "old fashioned" justice and the death penalty for this massacre.
The media had prepared us for the day with the death penalty off the table; Loughner now stood there, now admitting his guilt to 19 of the counts against him. During his time in psychiatric care he said he considered himself a failure for not killing Giffords. There it is, not even remorse for his actions. The senseless killings will always haunt the victims. The pain and loss suffered by all close to the event are incalculable; the lives of the victim’s families will never be the same. It’s easy for the press to say; now the healing can begin but the rest of us are stuck paying for a lifetime of room and board.
On Tuesday Gabby Gifford’s via her retired astronaut husband Kelly said, “We don't speak for all of the victims or their families, but Gabby and I are satisfied with this plea agreement.” U.S. Rep Ron Barber, who has taken Giffords seat in Congress, said the plea agreement “was certain and just.” In the plea agreement Loughner’s been ordered pay restitution of up to $19 million, $1 million to each of the victims. He also must forfeit any money earned from selling his story.
This may provide some solace for the victim’s families but a life’s sentence is a lifetime of expense to taxpayers. This plea is not the way for America to stop these senseless killings. Individuals that resort to this kind of action, like Colorado and now Wisconsin need to have a deterrent to take the thought out of their mind.