In the wake of the senseless tragedy that played out in Aurora, Colorado on Friday, President Obama spent three hours yesterday with the wounded and victims' families this weekend, offering words of support and comfort. Although the climate in the country overall has been rather contentious and political leading up to the fall election, Obama made the point that he had come to meet with those affected "not so much as president [but] as a father and as a husband."
He elaborated, "I confessed to them that while words are always inadequate in these kinds of situations, my main task is to be a representative of the entire country and to let them know that we think about them each and every day." Given the frazzling 24-hour news cycle that has been spitting out countless details on the accused shooter James Holmes, we could all stand to follow his example and turn our attention away from the alleged gunman and toward the victims.
After meeting with some of the wounded and members of victims' families at the University of Colorado Hospital, the President told reporters:
Although the perpetrator of this evil act has received a lot of attention over the last couple of days, that attention will fade away, and in the end, after he has felt the full force of our justice system, what will be remembered are the good people who were impacted by this tragedy.
Sounds like Obama is truly supporting the efforts of Jordan Ghawi, the brother of Jessica Ghawi who died in the shooting. The two met during Obama's Colorado visit and Ghawi later tweeted that the president had agreed to support him in his effort to keep the focus on the victims and not on Holmes -- even going so far as to promise not to mention the accused shooter's name. As far as I'm concerned, there's no better route for dealing with this nightmare than that.
Of course we want to know why and how. But getting caught up in all these sensationalistic details makes for further misery. At this point, it just seems like it would be more productive and respectful for Americans to zero in on the affected families and doing what we can to promote healing as a nation.
Here is Obama's statement to the press after his visit ...
How you do you feel about how Obama has addressed the tragedy and its victims?
Image via The White House/Flickr