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Statement on the Tragedy in Arizona

posted Jan 10, 2011, 8:48 PM by Nick Camlin
1/10/2011 - County Board Member Nick Camlin released this statement on the 1/8/2011 tragedy in Tucson, Arizona, involving members of the government and local constituents.

As an American, I was deeply saddened by the tragedy in Tucson over the weekend. As a public servant I felt very bad for the Congresswoman, the Judge and their families. But what brought me to tears was hearing about the nine year old girl who was shot and killed. Christina Taylor Green.  Though I never knew her, I wept over her loss, perhaps because her loss is America’s loss.

The young people of this nation, like Christina, are our future. This young lady was born on that most horrific of days, September 11, 2001. While the smoke billowed from ground zero, she was born to this world with endless potential. Much of the news articles talk about her as someone interested in serving her fellow peers, like being elected to the student council and attending that event on Saturday to see how our representative government works. Christina may well have been someone to change our world for the better, making for a brighter future. But all that was taken from her, taken from America, when she was caught up in an act of violence likely motivated by political rage.

As I have recently gotten into the business, I have found that too many people in politics care more about self-service and political fighting than serving our public’s interests. It has been disheartening to me to see this firsthand, and now to see it lead to a violent act has made me question why I would want to be involved in this when I could do better for myself.  Even though you can be born with endless potential, it is still a cruel place in need of guardians of the future so that dangerous and hateful rhetoric doesn’t culminate into the loss of life’s potentials. It is my intention to be such a guardian of the future. I have a nine year old sister, Carlee, who I have been bringing with me to several of my political functions, introducing her to the extraordinary people I’ve met, and teaching her how to connect with and lead others. After I took the oath of office last month, I let Carlee sit in my County Board seat, hoping to impress upon her the enormity of the call to service.

Young people, like Christina Taylor Green and Carlee Camlin, are the reason I am committed to raising the standard of public service, because I believe strongly in cultivating new leaders with compassionate consciences who will engage in the positive political discourse we deserve. Please, let’s prevent the Tucson tragedy from repeating itself somewhere else, and do as a wise man once suggested: “love your enemies, and pray for your persecutors,” rather than hate them and incite violence against them—the old ways aren’t working.

Nick Camlin, Member of the County Board

Rock Island County, District 15