Civil discourse getting worse?

On the scene of the January 8th Mass Shooting in Tucson.

Civil discourse getting worse?

CREATED Sep. 10, 2012

Reporter: Alexis Fernandez

TUCSON (KGUN9-TV) - It’s been nearly two years since Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupink shed light on "civil discourse".

His statements came on the morning of the mass January 8th shooting that left six dead and 13 injured including congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords.

“This has become the U.S. that most of us did not grow up in,” said Sheriff Dupnik at a press conference on the morning of the shooting.

Shortly after, the University of Arizona felt it needed to do something, so it created a non-partisan institute to focus on civility.

“Americans who come together to talk with their congressman should feel safe and should be able to engage with each other in a robust disagreement and have no fear for their safety,” said Dr. Carolyn Lukensmeyer, executive director with the National Institute for Civil Discourse.

We asked her why it's gotten worse.

“The big issues facing our country, we're not making any progress on them,” she said.

She says because congress isn't addressing issues such as the deficit, Americans are upset.

“Americans see that as a direct result of hyper partisanship and gridlock has stopped positive action,” she said.

So what is the institute doing about it?

“The institute’s role is to bring public demand on the members of congress, the members of legislature and city councils to hold most important the issues facing the nation or the community,” she said. “That should be more important to them than their ideology.”

Bottom line, it says, it's about respect no matter what your political differences are.

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