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Lack of privacy turns survivor to victim

By Michael Margavitch, Columnist

On Jan. 8, 2011, a tragic event took place in Tucson, Arizona. During an open meeting that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding with members of her constituency in a Casas Adobes supermarket parking lot, deranged gunman Jared Lee Loughner opened fire. Six were killed and 14 others were injured.

One of the critically injured was Giffords; shot in the head at point blank range. Miraculously, she survived. She was the target of Loughner, who had harbored dislike for Giffords after she failed to give a satisfactory answer to his seemingly nonsensical question at a "Congress on Your Corner" event in a Tucson mall on Aug. 25, 2007. Giffords is still in the hospital and recovering.

Succeeding this tragic occurrence was an endless amount of coverage of this "Tragedy in Tuscon." Every day there were constant updates on the progress of Giffords. Additionally, pundits from every single cable news channels gave their two cents. They remarked that the aftermath of this tragedy should be a more "United" States, with politics being marked by civility instead of being marked by negativity. Sarah Palin, never one to shy from giving her opinion, condemned these pundits by making controversial "blood libel" remarks in a video she made that addressed the tragedy.

Worst of all, however, is the fact that Giffords' astronaut and space shuttle commander husband, Mark E. Kelly, constantly has cameras in his face. In various news interviews, Kelly constantly has to discuss the tragedy and how it affects him. It is insane how the media outlets have harassed this representative and her husband. A photograph was taken of Kelly holding the hand of his wife while they were watching the State of the Union Address. Besides part of her arm, the wounded Representative was left out of the photo. At least the media has given this woman some privacy.

Privacy is something that is sometimes a necessity to all people. When people are deeply affected by a tragedy, this need for privacy is significantly heightened. I am sure that the victims and the family of these victims do not appreciate the constant documentation of their struggle. The publicity adds more of a strain rather than giving assistance to the victim.

Yes, they find support through these outlets while they are going through an unfortunate period in their life. However, when constant unneeded analysis of the situation is contributed, it is not of comfort to the family. It rubs salt in the wounds and constantly reminds them of something that they want to forget. We should let the victim or their families recover in privacy and allow them to try to move on with their lives.

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