Local Students Reflect On AZ Shooting

PITTSBURGH (KDKA) — As the nation paused to remember the victims of this weekend’s deadly shooting in Arizona, some local students reflected on the tragedy and learned a lesson in democracy.

Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords remains in intensive care following the Tuscon shooting rampage that claimed the lives of six people, including Federal Judge John Roll, who was a Pittsburgh native.

While President Barack Obama led the nation in a moment of silence, the 1400 students at Taylor Allderdice High School in Squirrel Hill paused to remember the lives lost.

Teachers told KDKA that some students came to school today a number of questions; but the toughest question for them to answer is why the gunman opened fire.

While some believe the shooting is the result of political discourse, history teacher Paul Schaltenbrand said he thinks it’s important to try to learn from the tragedy.

Schaltenbrand says the values of this country’s democracy should not be challenged or changed because of the actions of just one person.

“You can’t control somebody’s reaction to this degree and sometimes these things need to be worked out,” Schaltenbrand added, “and a limit on that would be a limit on democracy, which would be a really, really bad outcome.”

Flags will fly at half staff at city and federal buildings for the remainder of the week and administrators at Allderdice say they will be doing the same.

Meanwhile, prosecutors have charged Jared Loughner, 22, with attempted assassination of a member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to kill a federal employee.

CBS News correspondent Bob Orr reports that Loughner has not offered any motivation for the attack.

  • Brother Rhaan Wilkes

    I’m quite sure that vitriolic and incendiary rhetoric were not the hallmarks of democracy. Freedom of speech is not freedom of hatred and profanity. Would such comments be spoken before the presence of God, and be acceptable?

  • Dave

    This shooting was caused by a man with a psychiatric disorder. It had nothing to do with what you think is vitriolic and incendiary rhetoric. And yes, freedom of speech does protect profanity and porn and hateful comments and burning the flag ,etc.

  • Brother Rhaan Wilkes

    Point taken Sir. But is it not written, “Out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaks?” And is it not true, that the power of life and death are in the tongue? Again, you did not address my question. “Would such rhetoric be deemed acceptable before God?” After all, this is the nation whose motto is, “In God we trust.” Righteousness exalts a nation, but sin is a reproach to any people. Hatred is a sin. So are you espousing license to sin with our mouths?

  • Dave

    What or whose rhetoric are we discussing?

  • politics/relgion

    I though that one of the great things about the US is how we don’t have to base anything on how god would find it acceptable… we don’t sin, we break laws… and one of our laws is pretty clear on Freedom of Speech… I do agree though that Daily Kos never should have posted a map targeting Rep. Giffords and her district in 2008…. nor should the DNC in 2004… problem is, they have every right to… and I would die to protect that right… regardless of what god thinks… yes, I served.

  • Brother Rhaan Wilkes

    “Regardless of what God thinks?” Whew, this discourse is over.

  • Politics/religion

    It never started… am I not free to have my own beliefs, or not have any?

  • Luvs Sweets

    Yeah, so was the lunatic gunman. The talking heads on Fox News care only about ratings and their own greed. If a few innocent lives are taken…what do they care and (obviosulY0 what do most of you conservative christians with all your values care. Very little…it would seem.

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