Reader finds Friday’s political cartoon to be offensive and tasteless

-A A +A

I am writing to express my disgust and disappointment in the editorial cartoon that the Monitor chose to run on Friday.  
It has been less than a week after the shootings in Tucson, with Rep. Giffords still in critical condition and several other victims still hospitalized.  
In this context, to depict “The Left” — whatever that means — as a “madman, firing indiscriminately” at unspecified victims while there are actual victims of an actual shooting rampage is nauseating.  
I grew up in Tucson, where my mom still lives, and Gabe Zimmerman was a friend of hers.
This tragedy involved real people who were killed or wounded, not abstract ideas.  Perhaps in Augusta, GA, where the cartoon originated, Tucson is seen as some far-off Wild West town, but in Los Alamos there are many people with personal connections to Tucson for whom this is all too real.  
President Obama, in his address at the memorial service in Tucson, said:
“[D]ebating what might be done to prevent such tragedies in the future is an essential ingredient in our exercise of self-government.  
But at a time when our discourse has become so sharply polarized — at a time when we are far too eager to lay the blame for all that ails the world at the feet of those who happen to think differently than we do — it’s important for us to pause for a moment and make sure that we’re talking with each other in a way that heals, not in a way that wounds.”
According to the cartoonist, this debating is the moral equivalent of indiscriminately firing a weapon at people.
This is clearly not expressing an idea in a way that heals, and by choosing to publish this cartoon, the Monitor has chosen to promote discourse that wounds.
I urge you to issue an apology to all your readers who may have been hurt by this cartoon and to think a bit harder when choosing editorial cartoons in the future.

Chandra Savage Marsden
Los Alamos

Editor’s note: The point of the cartoon that appeared in Friday’s Los Alamos Monitor was that within minutes of the Tucson shooting, the left was blaming the right for the tragedy.