Worded by Jon Stewart January 10, 2011: "How do you make sense of these types of senseless situations?, is really
the question that seems to be on everybody's mind, and I don't know if there is a way to make sense of this sort of thing.
As I watch the political pundit world, many are reflecting and grieving and trying to figure things out. But it is definitely true
that others are working feverishly to find the tid bit or two that will exonerate their side from blame or implicate the other,
and watching that is as predictable I think as it is dispiriting. Did the toxic political environment cause this? - a graphic image
here - an ill timed comment - violent rhetoric - those types of things? I have no (.) idea! You know, we live in a complex
ecosystem of influences and motivations and I wouldn't blame our political rhetoric any more than I would blame heavy metal
music for Columbine. And by the way, that is coming from somebody who truly hates our political environment: it is toxic, it
is unproductive, but to say that that is what has caused this or that the people in that are responsible for this, I just don't
think that you can do it. Boy would it be nice to be able to draw a straight line of causation from this horror to something
tangible. Because then we could convince ourselves that if we just stop this, the horrors will end. You know, to have the
feeling, however fleeting, that this type of event can be prevented forever, but its hard not to feel like it can't. You know,
you cannot outsmart crazy. You don't know what a troubled mind will get caught on. Crazy always seems to find a way - it
always has. Which is not to suggest that resistance is futile. (...). And I do think it is important for us to watch our rhetoric.
I do think it is a worthwhile goal not to conflate our political opponents with enemies. If for no other reason than to draw a
better distinction between the manifestos of paranoid madmen and what passes for acceptable, political and pundit speak.
You know, it would be really nice, if the ramblings of crazy people didn't in any way resemble how we actually talk to each
other on TV. Lets at least make troubled individuals easier to spot. To see good people like this hurt, it is so grievous and
it causes me such sadness. But again, I refuse to give in to that feeling of despair. There is light in this situation. I urge
everyone, read up about those who were hurt and or killed in this shooting. You will be comforted by just how much
anonymous goodness there really is in the world. You read about these people and you realize that people you don't even
know, that you have never met, are leading lives of real dignity and goodness and you hear about crazy, but it is rarer than
you think. (...). If there is real solace in this, I think it is that for all the hyperbole and the vitriol that has become a part of
our political process, when the reality of that rhetoric, when actions match the disturbing nature of words, we haven't lost
our capacity to be horrified. And please god let us hope that we never do. Let us hope that we never become numb to what
real horror, what the real blood of patriots looks like when it's spilt. Maybe it helps us to remember to match our rhetoric
with reality more often. Because the reality of dangerous rhetoric is, I think even those that speak hyperbolically, I think all
of them tonight would absolutely recoil and say: (...) that is not the picture of what we were discussing or what we were
talking about and I have to remember that there is a reality to that situation that we can't approach verbally. Because
someone or something will shatter our world again and wouldn't it be ashamed if we didn't take this opportunity and the
loss of these incredible people and the pain that their loved ones are going through right now, wouldn't it be ashamed if we
didn't take that moment to make sure that the world that we are creating now, that will ultimately be shattered again by a
moment of lunacy, wouldn't it be ashamed if that world wasn't better than the one we previously lost?"