Ashli Babbitt served in the Air Force.
Yesterday, she was famously shot while storming the U.S. Capitol.
Now she is dead.
On social media, many were celebrating Babbitt’s death. I hate that. I’m sure I would have disliked much about Babbitt, but she leaves behind family, friends, people who cared and people who are hurting. Just because you know someone like Ashli Babbitt doesn’t mean you share her beliefs and convictions. Even if you don’t care about someone’s death, you can think about those left behind who are crushed.
I want to know Ashli Babbitt’s path. I want to know how one loves America enough to enlist in the armed services, then 1 1/2 decades later, decide the ideal option is to attempt to break into the U.S. Capitol. I want to know what she was watching on TV. I want to know who she was listening to on the radio. I want to know if she had QAnon ties; if she was devoted to the preachings of Limbaugh and Hannity.
I want to know if there was a moment—perhaps a singular moment—that flipped a switch.
Scrolling through Ashli Babbitt’s Twitter feed, I see much not to like. She was a conspiracy theorist; a Trump loyalist; a woman who seemed to genuinely believe it was the world v. MAGA—and she was full MAGA.
Now, a veteran who tried to destroy a piece of the government is dead.
I would not have liked Ashli Babbitt.
But it is, unambiguously, a tragedy.