• Two courageous Arizonans choose the path less traveled
    posted by Julie Erfle at 9 January, 4:10 PM  0 
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    As a political blogger, it would behoove me to begin my first post of the year with high hopes for what could be accomplished in Arizona’s legislature and in Congress. I should speak of political resolutions and ways citizens can become more involved in the process. I should do this, and maybe I will… another day. Today, however, I digress.

    Today, I write about courage. Not the kind that happens in a moment’s notice when someone around you is in dire need and you rush to that person’s aide. That type of help is noble and needed and recognized as a courageous act. But the courage I want to recognize is the kind it takes to speak out when you know you will be attacked and when remaining silent isn’t just the easiest thing to do but the safest as well.

    This is the courage I see in people like Roxanna Green and Gabrielle Giffords, two women who shared a major tragedy but from differing perspectives. One almost lost her life and is left with the scars, both physical and emotional, of a bullet that traveled through her brain. The other is left with the emptiness of a life cut short, a daughter murdered haphazardly by a sick individual.

    These women were enveloped by the sympathies of an outraged nation. They were honored and embraced by Republicans and Democrats alike. But today, many in this country will no longer look at them with compassionate eyes or write about them with glowing words. Today, their motives are questioned, their character attacked.

    Why? Because they dared to question the status quo. They dared to ask why. They dared to challenge this nation and ask for a serious conversation about violence in America and the possibility that gun control could help prevent tragedies like theirs.

    For this, they are scorned. For a conversation, a question, a plea for answers.

    And we wonder why Congress cannot solve this nation’s problems? We wonder why the big issues of the day are pushed to the brink of a cliff and left for the next set of lawmakers and the next election?

    We don’t have to agree with Roxanna Green or Gabrielle Giffords. But what will it hurt to listen, respectfully, to what they have to say?

    It’s easy to accept the sympathy of others. It takes courage to step outside of that safety net and put your self and your beliefs front and center on a national stage, knowing powerful people will condemn you.

    That’s real courage. And that’s what we need more of in this country, from both our leaders and our citizens.

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    Julie Erfle

    Post Author: Julie Erfle

    Bio: The story behind this blog begins in 2007 when, on an ordinary September morning, my world was unexpectedly smashed to pieces. A drugged-up gang banger with multiple arrests and outstanding warrants crossed my husband’s path. As my husband and his partner attempted to arrest him, he pulled a gun and shot my husband twice in the back of the head. The murder of a Phoenix police officer is big news. Bigger still is the fact that this happened at the hands of a previously deported illegal immigrant in a border state rife with contentious immigration battles. As I listened to the politicians and pundits spin my husband’s death to further their interests, my journalism background came into focus and I found myself doing my own research into the causes and possible solutions to our nation’s immigration problems. I also gained an awareness of what it was like to be on the opposite side of the lens. I had been a member of the media, and now my family was the subject of the story. When I went public with my views on immigration, I was drawn even further into the political web of Arizona politics, and though I shied away for a time, I felt I could no longer be silent. And so I created this blog, my editorial on the challenges facing our state and our nation. My expectation is that it will be used as a source of reasoned debate to elevate our discussions in a thoughtful and informed manner while seeking solutions to complex problems. I hope the differing opinions expressed by myself and others will both challenge and motivate individuals to work for the greater good.

    Website: http://politicsuncuffed.com/

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