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Posted at 5:04 PM ET, 01/ 8/2011

What does the Gabrielle Giffords shooting mean?

By Stephen Stromberg

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) is alive after being shot Saturday, and her doctors are optimistic about recovery. Given that alleged assailant Jared Laughner apparently shot her through the head, this is incredible -- even though this good news is marred by the death of a young child who was also at the scene.

For the moment, the reality in which this was an assassination attempt by an unhinged ideologue exists only in the imaginations of the outraged. But the Internet is already finding a lot of material to work with.

Giffords favored comprehensive immigration reform in a state known for its sharp anti-immigration policy. She voted for health-care reform, after which her office was vandalized. Sarah Palin targeted her -- remember the crosshairs controversy? -- in the 2010 election cycle, in which Giffords beat her Tea Party candidate by only a single percentage point.

A friend and former Capitol Hill aide called me Saturday afternoon with fury in his voice as he described what every liberal -- and probably many others -- in America is currently thinking: This is the consequence of the right's sometimes martial anti-government rhetoric. This is the Second Amendment remedy.

This is all premature, and it demonstrates the capacity of instant news to imply conclusions in the absence of facts. At this point, even if the shooter turns out not to have been politically inspired, this event will snap anyone watching politics back into worrying about the possible consequences of the hyperbole and half-truth that politicians, pressure groups and their supporters sometimes use.

Regardless of the shooter's motive, also expect to hear about how the assailant shot Giffords using a pistol with an extended magazine in the context of increasingly lax gun laws. The Capitol Police has already warned lawmakers to take precautions, and the question of whether members of Congress should have security details will come up. Some will question whether resources should be diverted from fighting foreign terrorism to combating domestic terrorism.

As the speculation continues, it's now impossible to avoid contemplating what this could mean. If this shooting was politically motivated, it's a dual tragedy. It's an attack on ten human beings, wounded or dead. And it's an assault on among the most fundamental mores in any democratic society -- the notion that men and women of good will can assemble, speak reasonably and take positions based on the force of argument, not on threat or brutality. Given the bare horror of the death and maiming, motive almost doesn't seem to matter. But I still hope this wasn't about health care or immigration or the federal government. That would be a new low in America's recent political culture.

By Stephen Stromberg  | January 8, 2011; 5:04 PM ET
Categories:  Stromberg  | Tags:  Stephen Stromberg  
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Next: Moment of silence

Comments

The perp is a total nutcase, of course. But the fact such people exist is precisely why right wing commentators such as Mama G should throttle back on the hate rhetoric.

Posted by: fzdybel | January 8, 2011 5:47 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats created a similar map with shooting targets and the heading "Target Strategy". For some reason I don't see that posted in any of these liberal blogs.

Posted by: NotADemocrat | January 8, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

The end Sarah Palin's political career: Just reading the comments of many of her supporters in her Facebook page makes a human want to puke.

Many cheered.

Posted by: Mighty7 | January 8, 2011 5:53 PM | Report abuse

I guess this was part of the "Second Amendment Solutions" Sharon Angle talked about. It's time to take on these domestic terrorists and treat them as they deserve.

Posted by: bizecology | January 8, 2011 5:56 PM | Report abuse

NotADemocrat: Really? Where? Can you find a link? An image? Because the Democratic party is not the one with a fringe wing filled with gun totting nutbags calling for "second ammendment solution".

Interesting that all libertarians are pointing to the fact he has listed "The Communist Manifesto" in his list of favorite books but ALL failed to mention he also has "We The Living" listed, a book by Aye Rand that is a "Libertarian Manifesto" against communism. Or the fact the guy was a strict constitutionalist who hated the Democrats and refused to accept payment with money because it was not backed up by gold or silver...ALL the very foundation of their movement and ALL commonly found in conservative and Tea Party rhetoric, NEVER in a Democratic party.

Posted by: Mighty7 | January 8, 2011 6:00 PM | Report abuse

@NotaDemocrat, there is a big difference between targeting districts and targeting people. That is the point many rationale, Independents and moderate Republicans are making about Palin, Limbaugh, Beck and others. Thugs like you justify anything, including violence, if it meets your needs and the rest of us are fed up. I wish people like you would stop immediately trying to find the equivalent of "they do it too" when responding to legitimate criticism of actions like this. What happened to being the party of personal responsibility and law and order? If it turns out that the rhetoric of Palin et al is responsible, they should take responsibility and adjust their actions to better suit the Bible (they obviously haven't ever really read)that they are always shoving down our throats or on to the walls of our public buildings.

Posted by: Moderate4USA | January 8, 2011 6:01 PM | Report abuse

The far-right nut-jobs who haunt the comments here and elsewhere are falling all over themselves in the effort to tag the shooter as some lone nut with no ideology. Sorry Glen Beck fans, Jared Loughner has left a trail of Beck talking points right along with his paranoid ranting. Own it Tea Partiers. This is your life.

Posted by: valeoftheoaks | January 8, 2011 6:04 PM | Report abuse

@bizecology - you're partially right. Let's treat them like traitors instead though. I say it's time to return to the phrase "This is America, love it or leave it." If Palin, Beck, Limbaugh think America is such a terrible place, they should go someplace they'd be comfortable with political violence and theocracy, where they execute gays and keep women home-bound...like Iran. They'd like Iran. They have beheadings there...

Posted by: Moderate4USA | January 8, 2011 6:08 PM | Report abuse

It means nothing. The guy was a schizophrenic, probably in the midst of a psychotic break. If there is any message, it is that our treatment of the mentally ill is getting worse every year.

Here is his youtube channel:

http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10

Posted by: porovaara | January 8, 2011 6:12 PM | Report abuse

This latest shooting tragedy in Tucson reflects two things.
1. Those who live by the gun die by the gun. America (in its psyche), lives by the gun.
2. This tragedy is what happens when reactionary forces indulge in hate filled bigoted rhetoric to advance their deranged selfish vindictive agendas.

It is time that reasonable and respected men like Congressmen Ron Paul blew the whistle on those who would advance Corporate agendas that deliberately exploit the crazy bigots that exist in every society.
Stuart NZ

Posted by: schmoepooh | January 8, 2011 6:27 PM | Report abuse

Betcha anything his TV is set on the Faux News channel.

Posted by: csears | January 8, 2011 6:32 PM | Report abuse

It is time to read the Second Amendment:

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

The context deals with two purposes: a regulated Militia and the security of a free state.

It does not say: "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

One must ask if the right to bear arms is contingent on those arms being available for use in a well regulated militia. One must remember that when this amendment was drafted there were no standing armies and that is why it exists. Today, there is a standing army (defence force) and there is the National Guard, therefore, there is no justification for the holding of arms. But if there is then there is nothing to stop legislatures from strictly regulating their use so that they may only be used in a well regulated militia (ie the dominant use). If they are held for other reasons (ie subservient use) then they can be banned.

Americans often ignore the context of the second amendment and the words "the right to bear arms" by excising the introduction which is a controlling qualification (a contingency).

Further, this Amendment is badly written because it is ambiguous but the construction that I have put on it counters the idea that the right to bear arms is unchallengeable.

America is a violent nation (internally and externally) and I doubt that the courts are willing to bite the bullet by putting a construction on all of its words.

Posted by: robertjames1 | January 8, 2011 6:52 PM | Report abuse

They're saying she was not the real target;
the Federal Judge was the target and he died.
In any case the shooter was mentally ill;
normal people don't do stuff like that.

Posted by: ohioan | January 8, 2011 7:02 PM | Report abuse

valeoftheoaks wrote:
The far-right nut-jobs who haunt the comments here and elsewhere are falling all over themselves in the effort to tag the shooter as some lone nut with no ideology. Sorry Glen Beck fans, Jared Loughner has left a trail of Beck talking points right along with his paranoid ranting. Own it Tea Partiers. This is your life.
=============
Sorry but they guys' Myspace page tells a different story. He was a pro communism/socialism atheist who had a problem with the constitution and democracy. He listed his favorite books as the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. Not exactly the most compatible of ideologies but both are the antithesis democracy. Doesn't exactly fit the tea party profile. In fact, on the surface, it would be a profile more fitting of a left wing extremist. In reality the guy is probably mentally ill and not part of any conspiracy from either side.

Posted by: gravitysucks | January 8, 2011 7:03 PM | Report abuse

It was Arizona Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle who called for "second amendment solutions if Democrats win". I certainly never heard anyone on the Left talking like that!

Posted by: thomasmc1957 | January 8, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

what this means is that the rightwing kill meme to assassinate your opponents is beginning to have effect... this nuts line of defense seems to be the constitution made him do it

Posted by: longwalksinparis | January 8, 2011 7:15 PM | Report abuse

I see that within minutes of this latest Christian Republican murders Sarah Palin removed death threats from her web site, and I see that Jesse Kelly is lawyering-up in case his death threats get him indicted as an accessory to these murders:

http://www.elmerfudd.us/jesse-kelly-kills-2-more.jpg

Typical Christian Republicanism. Rush Limbaugh, Bill O'Reilly, Saral Palin, Ann Coulter, Jesse Kelly, they all egg on their right wing terrorist supporters to go out and murder Americans, and when the people they ehip up with their theofascist hate speech murder people, they step back, raise their hands, and say "woah! we didn't kill anybody."

Get a copy of that screen capture above. The Palin domestic terrorist and her handlers as well as Jesse Kelly don't want you to see what was on their web sites before they murdered another 6 innocent Americans.

Posted by: DamOTclese | January 8, 2011 7:17 PM | Report abuse

It doesn't matter whether it was politically motivated. The incitement was there. The Tea Party has blood on their hands. And I doubt it will affect any of these people. They will deny any connection, pretend to sympathize and do it again because this is where they are headed.

Posted by: chris_holte | January 8, 2011 7:20 PM | Report abuse

Premature? You want desperately to delay the reckoning, but the reckoning is here, now. Sarah Palin issued a hit request against an elected official, and the hit request was carried out. You don't get to withdraw your hit request and pretend you never made it.

Posted by: james0tucson | January 8, 2011 7:23 PM | Report abuse

just heard two conservatives at work laugh about this... you bastards really are EVIL

Posted by: longwalksinparis | January 8, 2011 7:24 PM | Report abuse

Saw this from an MSNBC article...
---
"A 22-year-old woman in Arizona, Caitie Parker, claimed on her Twitter feed that she went to high school and college with the gunman, and was in a band with him. She described his politics in the past as "left wing, quite liberal, & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy." She also described him as having a lot of friends "until he got alcohol poisoning in '06" and dropped out of school. "Mainly loner very philosophical."
---
Typical media and left wing nut is to blame it on the "Tea partiers" and it turns out the be one of their own.

Posted by: GiveMeThat | January 8, 2011 7:30 PM | Report abuse

this guy was just the person the rightwing wants for their randomnized
political killings... to strike fear and terror into those of us that want a more just world... don't let these terrorists succeed

Posted by: longwalksinparis | January 8, 2011 7:33 PM | Report abuse

The Congresswoman is a Conservative Democrat....

...a "Bluedog"

The shooter is described as "liberal"

The Dailykos left has been openly harsh about Bluedogs since before the election.....

"Dem Blue Dogs obstructionists set to bear brunt of losses"

....just saying.......

Lotta hate on the left

Posted by: georgedixon1 | January 8, 2011 7:34 PM | Report abuse

Is it just a random act of violence against random people? Is it just all a coincidence? Or maybe it's not at all random... Senseless violence, yes, but not so in the perpetrator's mind.
watch this video and see Gaby Giffords talks about Palin's poster:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R7046bo92a4

Posted by: stepover12 | January 8, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse


This shooting could mean that Sista Sarah and a whole bunch of "inciters" might have shot THEMSELVES in the foot.

***

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | January 8, 2011 7:37 PM | Report abuse

read this guys ramblings and you have the rightwing everyman... hey conservatives this guy is YOU

Posted by: longwalksinparis | January 8, 2011 7:39 PM | Report abuse

Oh what a "mighty" God we serve. Praise God for his wonderful grace with our congresswoman and the others. It is so sad but truth be told that some of the blame for this unnecessary violence goes to nutty politicans like Palin and many of the so called Tea Baggers. Palin is said to have posted symbols that could represent fire arms on the map that covers Rep Gabby's district. Rep Gabby was shown on a prior newscast mentioning this very thing to Palin and others like her. Republicans and Tea Baggers you must be careful of your rhetoric because we have mentally challenge people that take it to heart of what they "think" you are saying. Please stop, including FIX News they must also carrying this unfortunate incidence to heart the way they report lies and twist facts; their audience will always include folks where their elevators do NOT go all the way to the top and they are NOT the sharpess knife in the drawer. We are a better nation and must learn how to respectfully disagree and no one should be taking matters into their hand at this gun level. So Palin your speech about RELOADING, we have a question for you: HOW DO YOU FEEL TODAY ABOUT RELOADING. Boehner you cannot stand up in the PEOPLES' HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES and say to all congress that our president is a US Citizen - hello Boehner since you luck out to become the Speaker. Boehner it is this kind of silence that contributes to folks that are NOT dealing with a ull deck. So we expect you to live up to your title or pass it back to Pelosi.

Posted by: netstoy | January 8, 2011 7:40 PM | Report abuse

This shooting could mean that Sista Sarah and a whole bunch of "inciters" might have shot THEMSELVES in the foot.

***

Posted by: Evenfoolsarerightsometimes | January 8, 2011 7:43 PM | Report abuse

Fortunately the shooter is turning out to be a total nut case, someone not capable of an intentional political action.
But the emotional assumptions by so many that this was a politically motivated slaughter make clear the country's rancid attitudes.
If we use this event to deepen the anger and hatred of political opponents instead of seeing it as exposing the need to work together to solve problems, we deserve every bad thing that will happen to us all.

Posted by: f-jsachs | January 8, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

and don't forget tim mcveigh was a republican

Posted by: longwalksinparis | January 8, 2011 7:46 PM | Report abuse

Get real here. The shooters youtube video spouted the same pseudo-constitutional gibberish seen nightly on Glen Beck and spouted by most tea-partiers. The right has to "man up" and take responsibility for their rhetoric. Thsi is what you get when you resort to massive demagoguery to win an election.

Posted by: hdimig | January 8, 2011 7:51 PM | Report abuse

'Why' matters not; death and injuries matters.

Posted by: snowyphile | January 8, 2011 7:52 PM | Report abuse

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, they certainly weren't thinking about a 22 year old, holding a 9mm Glock walking in a shopping mall.

Posted by: AverageJane | January 8, 2011 7:59 PM | Report abuse

Why do members of Congress deserve security details? They should show us that if ordinary citizens should presumably have no fears because of their votes in regard to gun laws, neither should they.
Giving them extra security would indicate the laws have put citizens in danger, while their rhetoric would say otherwise, that freer availability of guns makes us safer. Let them carry their own assault rifles.

Posted by: linguine33 | January 8, 2011 8:04 PM | Report abuse

Had handguns not been available this would not have occurred. The question: how do the insane acquire weapons? Plato's Republic has at its beginning the notion that keeping weapons away from those who are crazy is a good thing.

Posted by: Martial | January 8, 2011 8:10 PM | Report abuse

When the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment, they certainly weren't thinking about a 22 year old, holding a 9mm Glock walking in a shopping mall.

Posted by: AverageJane | January 8, 2011 8:13 PM | Report abuse

Also, there was the article on Daily Kos written on Wed Jun 25, 2008 titled 2010 will be primary season by kos which stated that "As we've seen these past couple of weeks, we've got a problem in our caucus --while we have been busy stocking up on more Democrats, fact is the good ones are being swamped by the bad ones." It went on further to say later in the article that "Who to primary? Well, I'd argue that we can narrow the target list by looking at those Democrats who sold out the Constitution last week. I've bolded members of the Blue Dogs for added emphasis."
One of the names listed was Giffords, Gabrielle (AZ-08)
It also went on to say "Not all of these people will get or even deserve primaries, but this vote certainly puts a bulls eye on their district."
Remember this was on Daily Kos and notice the words "target list and bulls eye on their district." that the author chose to use in this article.

Posted by: msmith440068 | January 8, 2011 8:14 PM | Report abuse

I guess the Bi#@& Palin is happy now, she has been stirring up the nut jobs for more than two years now.

Posted by: dogsofdeep2000 | January 8, 2011 8:19 PM | Report abuse

Stop fooling yourselves people we all know who is the blame for this nut job, PALIN!! BECK!!

Posted by: dogsofdeep2000 | January 8, 2011 8:25 PM | Report abuse

If (as it seems) the shooter is a way, way, way, way-out-of touch idealist, this won't be the first time that a person out of touch with reality shot a Congressman.

Rep. Allard Lowenstein was shot by his own protege, Dennis Sweeney, who had protested the Vietnam War and was a civil rights activist.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dennis_Sweeney

Posted by: dumbreddown | January 8, 2011 8:32 PM | Report abuse

"Don't RETREAT conservatives, RELOAD!"

-- Sarah Palin, on that same website where she targeted Giffords

Ah, to be a Republican and never have to take responsibility for one's utterances. Almost like being a child again.

Posted by: B2O2 | January 8, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

"This is the Second Amendment remedy," indeed. This is left wing propaganda. There is no evidence whatever that the shooter was anything more than a nut case. But, agitate away. Let no crisis go to waste. People increasingly see through your nonsense, as evidenced by the events of last November.

Posted by: cwejohnson | January 8, 2011 8:33 PM | Report abuse

Whatever it is, it''s terrorism, and if you can't admit that, then tell me what freedom the shooter was fighting for and then explain why it was worth the fatalities.

Posted by: DaveinNorthridge | January 8, 2011 8:38 PM | Report abuse

There's a direct connection between the constant din of crosshairs, reload, all the other kill off your enemy themes, and people taking action on the basis of that constant din. A variant of Henry II talking about Thomas Becket, "is there no one who will rid me of this troublesome priest." Just talking, right? But there are always people around who will resonate.

Posted by: lstrauss2 | January 8, 2011 8:42 PM | Report abuse

It appears from limited information that the shooter is a schizophrenic. Naturally, under the U.S. Constitution, he has a RIGHT to bear arms as part of a well-ordered militia in one of the several States. That means he can legally go out to buy a gun, fill out the necessary paperwork in which lies that he is neither a criminal nor insane and get his weapon with the extry-large magazine to hold ammunition. With that gun he can go out and kill indiscriminately, with special attention paid to a politician who, though right wing for a Democrat, doesn't hew to Tea Party extremism. Meanwhile, Fox News, it employees and favorite politicians continue to stir up violent action among the mentally deranged for fun and profit.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 8, 2011 8:43 PM | Report abuse

You cannot sow hatred of your political opponents without expecting hate to be visited upon them. Cross hairs on a politicians district, advice to "Reload", supporting secessionism, calling the opponents Nazis or Marxists or un American, questioning the President's citizenship, inciting the mob by calling the opponents traitors then standing by as one in the mob shouts, "Kill him!", calling black Congressmen the "N" word and spitting on one. The list goes on.

This has been the record of the radical right Republican party. This can easily lead the unbalanced to commit acts of violence. And what the GOP has sown was reaped in Arizona.

Posted by: kcbob | January 8, 2011 8:49 PM | Report abuse

You republican are all the same S#$# talking do nothing for the working class. PALIN put this womans name and location on her target map, oh but that has nothing to do with this. If he was so crazy he would have just shot anyone there he walked up to her and put the gun to her head.

Posted by: dogsofdeep2000 | January 8, 2011 8:52 PM | Report abuse

This tragedy is a prime example of why there should be tighter gun laws.

Posted by: vicknair | January 8, 2011 8:54 PM | Report abuse

If the shooter was a lefty, why did Palin pull down her web site?

You don't have to hide anything unless you have something to hide - Teabagger Catch Phrase

Posted by: areyousaying | January 8, 2011 9:09 PM | Report abuse

Seems like people are quick to forget that there are left-wing wack jobs out there too. Remember that guy that held up the Discovery Building in Silver Spring, MD? He upset that Discovery wasn't advocating enough for the environment and that the world does not need humans. Does that mean that we should blame environmentalists and left-wing politicians for his violence? No. Neither should you blame the Tea Party or right wing politicians either. By the same logic in this same supposition the author begins with, you would have to blame Islam for the attacks on 9/11, which is wrong too.

Extremists like this and the one at the Discovery Building justify their actions with beliefs and attitudes, but most likely there is an undercurrent that drives people to violent crime. Regardless of whether this is politically motivated, there are numerous psychological factors that cause a thing like this to happen. Unfortunately with the losses liberals took in November, they just don't care, and they'll use this as a rallying cry.

My prayers are with Rep. Giffords and her family, and I hope that she makes a full recovery.

Posted by: cfabbri | January 8, 2011 9:10 PM | Report abuse

Bin Ladin has won.

Posted by: areyousaying | January 8, 2011 9:11 PM | Report abuse

@robertjames1 - there is more than one way to read the 2nd ammendment.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

You say "The context deals with two purposes: a regulated Militia and the security of a free state." Which is sort of correct. It actually deals with (a) the security needs of a free state; & (b) the rights of the people to keep and bear arms.

You also say "It does not say: "The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."" Which is incorrect. It clearly says that. Your point that it is not the only thing that it says should be obvious to all.

It is the case that the 2nd amendment addresses the notion of a well regulated Militia, but perhaps you might consider another way to interpret their intent. At the time of the writing of the Constitution, there was a great deal of concern about checks and balances. In this case, it is a distinct possibility that the intent is to ensure that the Militia (which is acknowledged as being necessary for the security of a free state) is regulated by the presence of weaponry in the hands of the people. This may not be your read of it ( clearly from your comments it wasn't ) but I do hope that you can at least acknowledge that it is one possible interpretation.

In my mind this incident is not really about the 2nd Amendment as there have been many assassinations ( and attempted assassinations ) in countries with far more restrictive policies on gun ownership by citizens.

Posted by: AlexHorovitz | January 8, 2011 9:19 PM | Report abuse

It matters quite a bit.

There is a significant political movement in this country advocating that its follows resort to the bullet if they can't win by the ballot. They advocated it right here, with guns and targets, against this very Congresswoman.

If you incite violence, you are responsible when even a tiny minority of your audience decides to take you up on it.

And it is the duty of every moral person to denounce such incitements to violence.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 8, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

The number of firearms, not to mention the access to firearms, leads to admittedly isolated, but lethal incidents such as the one that just occurred in Arizona.

There is no logical reason why a apparently disturbed individual, such as the one who perpetrated this horrible incident, should ever have access to firearms. The NRA, with all its' paranoid hue and cry over the supposed conspiracy to confiscate all firearms in the US, knows that with all the weaponry afloat in the country, there is no earthly way that "law abiding citizens" will ever lose their possession of both rifles and handguns.

Posted by: MillPond2 | January 8, 2011 9:22 PM | Report abuse

Given the age and delusional ramblings of the shooter, could be an undiagnosed schizophrenic.

Posted by: newsraptor | January 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

It matters quite a bit.

There is a significant political movement in this country advocating that its followers resort to the bullet if they can't win by the ballot. They advocated it right here, with guns and targets, against this very Congresswoman.

If you incite violence, you are responsible when even a tiny minority of your audience decides to take you up on it.

And it is the duty of every moral person to denounce such incitements to violence.

Posted by: Itzajob | January 8, 2011 9:23 PM | Report abuse

" the notion that men and women of good will can assemble, speak reasonably and take positions based on the force of argument, not on threat or brutality"

except when the men, women and children are Iraqis...in this case, taking positions is based on the force of your army and the brutality by which it can destroy the lives of others in order to bring them into submission.

Spare us these double-standards and these empty slogans that amount to propaganda.

This is not a new low in American's political culture.

American's political culture is rooted in violence and drenched with innocent people blood, napalm bombs, white phosphorous, nuclear bombs and agent orange.

Over half a million dead civilians in Iraq.

Posted by: AbuNawas | January 8, 2011 9:25 PM | Report abuse

This is a logical outcome of the extreme hyperbolic rhetoric that has become a mainstay of the tea party movement -- claims that Obama and the Democrats are trying to destroy the nation, assertions that left-of-center members of Congress are guilty of unAmerican activities and beliefs, commentaries equating progressivism with communism or Marxism, and inflammatory calls to "take back the country" and resort to "Second Amendment remedies" will only serve to boil the blood and embolden the irrational thinking of a handful of the most fervent supporters of Angle, Palin, Beck, Bachmann, Brewer, et al.

Posted by: labman57 | January 8, 2011 9:28 PM | Report abuse

A horrible tragedy no matter what the mental state or politics of the shooter are. Too early for all the facts, but it is understandable that many want to blame the inflammatory rhetoric of the loud-mouths on the Right. Also understandable that many on the right want to put distance between their beliefs and the actions of this murderer, especially if he was not answering the call for Second Amendment 'remedies'. Maybe we will know more in a few days or so. Almost without a doubt, however, there will be no apology or acceptance of responsibility from any political operative if and when the full truth is known. That is the real tragedy in our society, too few with integrity.

Posted by: wilsonjmichael | January 8, 2011 9:29 PM | Report abuse

The shooting is not about health care or immigration or the federal government. It and all other shootings in this gun-crazed country that I love dearly are about the unfettered access to guns by any man, woman, or child anywhere who has an itch to kill or who is just having a bad day and somehow blames you or me or the person behind the tree instead of themselves. This gun-related mayhem will never end under current laws and political conditions, and anyone who has given this any serious thought knows this is true. On a note of personal irony, this morning I received an unsolicited membership card in the mail from the National Rifle Association, one of the most shameful and despicable organizations and purveyors of death on earth. That my name somehow got on its namelist is truly terrifying. Unfortunately, my trash won't be picked up for two more days.

Posted by: alvinwright | January 8, 2011 9:31 PM | Report abuse

Crazy things happen. Only politicians,pundits, and interest groups looking to take advantage of a tragedy try to look for meaning in it.

Posted by: moebius22 | January 8, 2011 9:32 PM | Report abuse

The guy was clearly a nut, but the violent GOP-Tea Party sanctioned rhetoric appears to have provided the nut with both a target and a sense of license that what he was doing was OK.

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse

The murderer is identified as a right wing Christian Republican who was egged-on by Sarah Palin and Jesse Kelly, both of whom called for the murder of the Congresswoman he tried to murder. Within minutes of the murders, Palin removed some of her death threats from her web site, including a picture of her "enemies" with crosshairs on them, including the Congresswoman. Now Republinazi Christofascist Jesse Kelly is lawyering-up, expecting to be an accessory to these murders.

NotSoOldHippy 7 minutes ago NotSoOldHippy 7 minutes ago
-----------------------------------------------
The murderer "is identified," by whom?? Which "Christian Church" did he attend??
I think, if you're smart, you're Lawyering up, too.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | January 8, 2011 9:44 PM | Report abuse

With respect to the left-right thing: I have often noticed that on the extreme left or perhaps I should say on the left fringe you hear the exact same paranoid theories as you hear on the right. You hear about the trilateral commission and other obsessions of the Birchers. I don't have any problem with believing that this kid, as a young confused rebel, sucked up TP propaganda despite a vaguely leftish political orientation.
I would point out that his apparent obsession with grammar (despite lacking any particular grasp of it) is a clear sign of psychosis.

Posted by: scientist1 | January 8, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Y'all (the right wing blogosphere, inc. THE Sarah) have been working up to this for months. Now ya (as do the rest of us) got to live wth the results.

Posted by: trh123 | January 8, 2011 9:51 PM | Report abuse

Ms. Giffords was also among a group of Democratic House candidates who were featured on the Web site of Sarah Palin’s political action committee with cross hairs over their districts, a fact that disturbed Ms. Giffords at the time.

“We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Ms. Giffords said last March. “But the thing is the way that she has it depicted has the cross hairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there’s consequences to that.”

Posted by: HughBriss | January 8, 2011 9:53 PM | Report abuse

"A friend and former Capitol Hill aide called me Saturday afternoon with fury in his voice as he described what every liberal -- and probably many others -- in America is currently thinking: This is the consequence of the right's sometimes martial anti-government rhetoric. This is the Second Amendment remedy."

So a liberal tries to kill a liberal, and it's the fault of the Tea Party?

And let me guess: the solution is more liberal ideas, like gun control, right?

It's scary how twisted, hypocritical, and delusional the left is today. Just like your friend Jared, the flag-burning admirer of the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf.

Posted by: diesel_skins_ | January 8, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

The Democrats created a similar map with shooting targets and the heading "Target Strategy". For some reason I don't see that posted in any of these liberal blogs.

Posted by: NotADemocrat
------------------------------------------
I'm a Democrat, get email from every liberal candidate and blog out there, and I've never seen nor heard of such a thing. I need proof from you before I'm going to believe it.

Posted by: MNUSA | January 8, 2011 9:55 PM | Report abuse

Have some of you lost your minds? This is not Palin's fault or anyone else, EXCEPT THE SHOOTER. It's called responsibility. One person made a choice; a nut case for sure but it's his fault. What the hell is wrong with you people? I'm not a Palin "fan" but wake up America, get your heads out of the sand.

Posted by: kdk1960 | January 8, 2011 9:58 PM | Report abuse

Fox News is pretty disgusting.

Look what they managed to get into two paragraphs of the lead story on the shooting death of 6 people and the wounding of the Representative and 11 others:

"Giffords, known as a fiscally conservative Democrat and gun rights advocate, underwent surgery at the University of Arizona Medical Center."

Then later on, same story:

"Giffords, a gun rights advocate, was first elected to Congress in 2006, when she rode a wave of Democratic victories. However, she separated herself from most in her caucus when she criticized President Obama last summer for not sending more National Guard members to the U.S.-Mexico border."

Why don't they just write:

"Giffords, who would have strongly favored gun ownership by the man who shot her."

Posted by: 54465446 | January 8, 2011 10:03 PM | Report abuse

It was Arizona Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle who called for "second amendment solutions if Democrats win". I certainly never heard anyone on the Left talking like that!

Posted by: thomasmc1957

==========================================

"If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun"

"We’re going to punish our enemies."
-Barak Obama

Just sayin'

Posted by: bbface21 | January 8, 2011 10:09 PM | Report abuse

As the author notes, it's premature to determine if this was some form of domestic terror. Early indications seem to indicate the shooter was a deeply disturbed individual and not some sort of self styled revolutionary.

This is a good reminder to all the hate spewers on the right and left, that in spite of our differences, we are all human and deserve the dignity and rights accorded to us all. Nothing justifies this kind of violence.

My prayers are with the Giffords and hope for a full recovery of Rep Giffords.

Posted by: RichmondGiant | January 8, 2011 10:11 PM | Report abuse

This was not about immigration or health care. The liberal media is trying to politicize this sad situation. It is this kind of divisive politicizing which build up hate.
I read the shooter's writing posted online. He is a guy who does not believe in God. He believe in nothing. His thought patterns have some logic but is outside reality

Posted by: fencer1 | January 8, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

[@ 9:55 PM on January 8, 2011 diesel_skins_ Posted: "A friend and former Capitol Hill aide called me Saturday afternoon with fury in his voice..."]
= = = = = = =
Yeah, just goes to show how far these 'furious voiced' people have driven US away from the REAL FREE AND OPEN SOCIETY envisioned by OUR founders (and what they profess to want, and so readily abandon at a moment's notice), when every crisis is an excuse to run farther from, push harder against, and alienate common sense from\in the public discourse.

Posted by: FreeNomore | January 8, 2011 10:12 PM | Report abuse

The guy was clearly a nut, but the violent GOP-Tea Party sanctioned rhetoric appears to have provided the nut with both a target and a sense of license that what he was doing was OK.

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------------Show me two lines of "Violent, Tea-Party Rhetoric." Show me the Tea-Partiers, responsible for those two lines. Be specific.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | January 8, 2011 10:20 PM | Report abuse

[@ 9:55 PM on January 8, 2011 diesel_skins_ Posted: "A friend and former Capitol Hill aide called me Saturday afternoon with fury in his voice..."]
= = = = = = =
Yeah, just goes to show how far these 'furious voiced' people have driven US away from the REAL FREE AND OPEN SOCIETY envisioned by OUR founders (and what they profess to want, and so readily abandon at a moment's notice), when every crisis is an excuse to run farther from, push harder against, and alienate common sense from\in the public discourse.

Posted by: FreeNomore

/////////////////////////////

Another point of view is that most people see something morally wrong with murder and get upset when it happens.

It's even easier to understand the concept when it involves a colleague or a friend.

As a side note, the Framers weren't big fans of political assassinations or vigilante justice. There's a reason that they explicitly stated non-violent solutions for modifying the structure of government (and the Constitution itself).

A lot of wingnuts think that they are describing the U.S. Constitution when they invoke states rights, and a federal authority that is subordinate to state authority. In reality they are describing the ARTICLES OF CONFEDERATION -- a document that the Constitution itself replaced. So much for caring about the Framer's "intentions".

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2011 10:26 PM | Report abuse

One should not be surprised that a Democrat was targeted for assassination, but rather more Democrats have not been targeted for assassination.
Listen to any right wing radio show. Right wing djs are borderline psychotics spewing hatred to borderline psychotics.

Posted by: fishman2 | January 8, 2011 10:28 PM | Report abuse

Oh please. Even the sherif blamed the rightwing nuts on the airways. Who are you kidding with your 'premature' nonsense.

Posted by: dogsbestfriend | January 8, 2011 10:33 PM | Report abuse

[@ 10:11 PM on January 8, 2011 RichmondGiant Posted: "...it's premature...indications...dignity and rights...My prayers..."]
= = = = = = =
Good words, pretty much, but could have written all night and left out the 'the hate spewers on the right and left' gobbledegook. Everybody knows y'all want to suddenly be Wright in the middle whenever something like this occurs. Problem is the the Jack***Wagon riders from the Wright Wing of the Despisemocrat Party, the ABMSNBDNCNNPBSR Public-Private, Government-Media Complex @ the moveon.ogre belfry have given all the Presidents Mice, upside down glasses that keeps them seeing, hearing, and saying just what the Kevorkians of the World order want US to hear. They hold others to a virtual standard, kept in their Ego Lock-Box, and are the real core of the problem in this country. they are easily led around by their keyword trigger chip, and could be the next terrorist...think back to when the President (and some congress people) called out SEIU and the ACORN crazies to show up at a Wall Street Executive's house, screaming and intimidating, all the while they and the whole bunch of the responsible parties looked on diss-passionately, as if they had nothing to do with it.

Posted by: FreeNomore | January 8, 2011 10:36 PM | Report abuse

Why are so many of you in the MSM afraid to call attention to reality. WORDS matter; WORDS BULLY; WORDS incite. We wonder why there is so much bullying among our young citizens. Look at the people in politics who get the most attention: Palin, Angle, Bachman...of "don't retreat," reload, of "second amendment solutions", of "armed and dangerous". On Hate Radio, the likes of Limbaugh is legitimized by Brian Williams; Beck is excuse because he's an entertainer.
What is wrong with you? Why are intelligent, decent human beings so afraid of calling out violent rhetoric as dangerous bullying that speaks to the unstable and the angry.
Come on, media, do your jobs.

Posted by: Jjcsplace | January 8, 2011 10:48 PM | Report abuse

I suppose if you're a Republican it doesn't matter. It just means there is more than one way to win an election.

Posted by: SarahBB | January 8, 2011 10:50 PM | Report abuse

Bizarre how? These are the same messages from Sarah Idiot and Rush Obese.

Mission Accomplished!!! Another Scumbag Coward with a Gun.

The National Right to Annihilate (NRA) and the Guns Owned Party (GOP) are Domestic Terrorist Organizations and they should be RICOed and shutdown but with the Guns Owned Party's support nothing will happen but the continued flooding of the streets with guns. Only Criminals and Cowards worship guns. These Psycho Cowards and Criminals worshipping Guns need to be stopped.

The Pee Party aka The Hate Party is full of Sick Wacko Psychos urinating Hate, Bigotry, Ignorance and Stupidity throughout America while worshipping their Guns..

500 Million Guns on the streets makes no one safe. Execute all the dangerous violent criminals and all sex offenders and everyone will be safer.

Posted by: mawt | January 8, 2011 11:11 PM | Report abuse

I think he's just a nut job. Then again, I think all the tea partiers are nut jobs, so there you go.

Posted by: dmblum | January 8, 2011 11:12 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should go to prison for this. Posting a website with Gabrielle Giffords in the crosshairs of a gunsight is an open incitement for some nutcase like this shooter to open fire. It's not only irresponsible, IMO it's criminally culpable.

Posted by: bradk1 | January 8, 2011 11:17 PM | Report abuse

"It is time to read the Second Amendment:
A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
The context deals with two purposes: a regulated Militia and the security of a free state.
It does not say: The right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.
One must ask if the right to bear arms is contingent on those arms being available for use in a well regulated militia. One must remember that when this amendment was drafted there were no standing armies and that is why it exists. Today, there is a standing army (defence force) and there is the National Guard, therefore, there is no justification for the holding of arms. But if there is then there is nothing to stop legislatures from strictly regulating their use so that they may only be used in a well regulated militia (ie the dominant use). If they are held for other reasons (ie subservient use) then they can be banned.
Americans often ignore the context of the second amendment and the words "the right to bear arms" by excising the introduction which is a controlling qualification (a contingency).
Further, this Amendment is badly written because it is ambiguous but the construction that I have put on it counters the idea that the right to bear arms is unchallengeable.
America is a violent nation (internally and externally) and I doubt that the courts are willing to bite the bullet by putting a construction on all of its words.
Posted by: robertjames1 | January 8, 2011 6:52 PM |"
What a way to take everything out of context! The reasoning behind the 2nd Amendment was explained by many of the Founders as private citizens holding firearms and ammunition so as to deny any government the same opportunities as the British Government exercised over the American Colonies. It was the "sword over the head" of a government tempted toward monarchy or socialism.
And this has NOTHING to do with why a crackpot shot these people. But you folks will use this crisis and not let it go to waste, yes?

Posted by: Mike-theOriginal | January 8, 2011 11:18 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should go to prison for this. Posting a website with Gabrielle Giffords in the crosshairs of a gunsight is an open incitement for some ideologically motivated nutcase to open fire. Palin's role in this is not only politically irresponsible and morally reprehensible, it's criminally culpable.

Posted by: bradk1 | January 8, 2011 11:19 PM | Report abuse

Uhm, if he was a liberal, then why did he have a gun? Isn't gun control one of the liberal ideals that conservatives love to hate them for? I don't know if this horrible crime was politically motivated, but as a generalization it seems unlikely to me that someone with political ideals that include anti-war, pro gay marriage, anti gun sentiments would target a politician who shared his ideals of peace, love, and acceptance with a gun violence. That makes about as much sense as Sarah Palin throwing away her guns and attending a pro gay marriage rally.

Posted by: CAC2 | January 8, 2011 11:30 PM | Report abuse

The suspension of voting next week is a good start. I would next like to see Boehner, Cantor, Pelosi and Obama call for a one-month moratorium on the violent rhetoric and a review of the Arizona gun laws that allowed this guy to bring a weapon to a supermarket in the first place.

Posted by: DemoDevil | January 8, 2011 11:34 PM | Report abuse

Should Ms. Giffords be incapacitated for a long period of time while she fully recovers, I would like to see Jan Brewer appoint a like-minded Democrat to serve in her place, and not send a signal that shootings are a way to carry out change.

Posted by: DemoDevil | January 8, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

"A Bush appointed judge is dead, mission accomplished"-Bill Ayers

Posted by: RadicalLibsRmurderers | January 8, 2011 11:48 PM | Report abuse

Remember how Clinton's murder of all those people at Waco and Ruby Ridge brought us Tim McVeigh? Tyrants breed radicals.

Posted by: carlbatey | January 8, 2011 11:49 PM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should go to prison for this. Posting a website with Gabrielle Giffords in the crosshairs of a gunsight is an open incitement for some ideologically motivated nutcase to open fire. Palin's role in this is not only politically irresponsible and morally reprehensible, it's criminally culpable.

Posted by: bradk1

///////////////////

Palin's actions make her morally reprehensible -- and almost certainly end any national political aspirations -- but you'd need to demonstrate a more direct line in order to demonstrate criminal culpability (e.g. actual involvement in planning of a specific incident at a specific time against a specific individual or group of people rather than just some generalized sanctioning of violent rhetoric).

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2011 11:50 PM | Report abuse

Well, since the alleged shooter is still alive and now in custody, I would assume he will be asked about his motivations in his interrogation with the police. If the police share this with the media, we may know once and for all if he was politically motivated.

Meanwhile, some people will make the connection that this tragedy was precipitated by the ever increasing hate and viotrol spreading fast across the airwaves (cable tv talk shows) during the past two years. That new organization called No Labels may actually get more support. Their philosophy is based in understanding and kindness. Perhaps their call for more civility and less partisan sniping will be taken more seriously now.

Posted by: TheNervousCat | January 8, 2011 11:54 PM | Report abuse

"A Bush appointed judge is dead, mission accomplished"-Bill Ayers

Posted by: RadicalLibsRmurderers
_____________________________________


Please provide evidence the Ayers actually said that.

Posted by: ablum1 | January 8, 2011 11:56 PM | Report abuse

The guy was clearly a nut, but the violent GOP-Tea Party sanctioned rhetoric appears to have provided the nut with both a target and a sense of license that what he was doing was OK.

Posted by: JPRS | January 8, 2011 9:41 PM | Report abuse
-----------------------------------------------
Perhaps, it was "not" a Right-Winger who influenced this Jared Loughner. Perhaps,he was inspired by the words of O'bama??
After all, the Congresswoman, is more Conservative than half the Republicans.
Read on;

Obama: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun”
... Nutter, and Sen. Bob Casey, Barack Obama said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. ... Search for:
www.politicususa.com/en/Obama-Phil
---------------
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | January 9, 2011 12:01 AM | Report abuse

If you watch Hardball with Chris Matthews on Monday, I bet he'll have something to say about political motivations. He's been talking about people bringing guns to Tea Party rallies and other events. He even had a one hour documentary on the rise of the New Right.

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/3036697/vp/37742996#37742996

Posted by: TheNervousCat | January 9, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

The "Professional Left" is already frothing at the mouth in trying to attribute this shooting to the Tea Party/Right Wing/Republicans, regardless of the fact that no motive has yet be uncovered. I watched in disbelief as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann not only assigned blame to ALL OF THE ABOVE on the right, but demanded they accept this blame and repudiate any and all of their "hate Speech," specifically naming names.

I just have to wonder ...

If the assassin had been a Muslim, would the Left decry Islam the way Olbermann and his ilk are now disparaging Conservative political beliefs? Would they demand all Muslims repudiate their beliefs and those who espouse any kind of Muslim belief? Would they have called for action from law enforcement to prosecute Muslims or demanded Congress pass laws to close Islamic institutions.

If the assassin had been an illegal alien, would the Left have demanded all people here illegally be purged form this country? Would they have demanded Congress enforce border security and call for pro-immigration groups to repudiate their call for open borders and amnesty?

Of course, we all know the answer to these questions. Perhaps, just maybe, the Pro Lefties might want to do a little introspection and see how their own vitriolic words and actions have contributed to the hostile political environment that they're now assigning to everyone else, but themselves.

Posted by: braunt | January 9, 2011 12:07 AM | Report abuse

"Perhaps this is political?" Perhaps? She was a Congresswoman, and not a random act of violence. This was an assassination / assassination attempt, and the media is cowardly for referring to it as anything but a politically motivated assassination attempt.

Further, the rantings of this murderer are no different in content than the rantings of Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, or even Ron Paul (all the monetary gold standard blather). And it's complete non-sense that tea-party leadership are now trying to pretend that this guy acted completely alone (without any evidence of such), and that the vitriol spoken by themselves has nothing to do with the violence that occurred as a result. The tea party leadership are no better than the radical Muslim clerics they condemn as terrorists.

On Fox News, (which surprisingly had lot of early information on the case), they were quick to say "he acted alone", and that "this is the work of a clearly insane madman, working alone" and all sorts of other nonsense trying to distance themselves from the event.


Posted by: beersquirrel | January 9, 2011 12:13 AM | Report abuse

The "Professional Left" is already frothing at the mouth in trying to attribute this shooting to the Tea Party/Right Wing/Republicans, regardless of the fact that no motive has yet be uncovered. I watched in disbelief as MSNBC host Keith Olbermann not only assigned blame to ALL OF THE ABOVE on the right, but demanded they accept this blame and repudiate any and all of their "hate Speech," specifically naming names.

I just have to wonder ...

If the assassin had been a Muslim, would the Left decry Islam the way Olbermann and his ilk are now disparaging Conservative political beliefs? Would they demand all Muslims repudiate their beliefs and those who espouse any kind of Muslim belief? Would they have called for action from law enforcement to prosecute Muslims or demanded Congress pass laws to close Islamic institutions.

If the assassin had been an illegal alien, would the Left have demanded all people here illegally be purged form this country? Would they have demanded Congress enforce border security and call for pro-immigration groups to repudiate their call for open borders and amnesty?

Of course, we all know the answer to these questions. Perhaps, just maybe, the Pro Lefties might want to do a little introspection and see how their own vitriolic words and actions have contributed to the hostile political environment that they're now assigning to everyone else, but themselves.

Posted by: braunt | January 9, 2011 12:16 AM | Report abuse

Bizarre how? These are the same messages from Sarah Idiot and Rush Obese.

Mission Accomplished!!! Another Scumbag Coward with a Gun.

The National Right to Annihilate (NRA) and the Guns Owned Party (GOP) are Domestic Terrorist Organizations and they should be RICOed and shutdown but with the Guns Owned Party's support nothing will happen but the continued flooding of the streets with guns. Only Criminals and Cowards worship guns. These Psycho Cowards and Criminals worshipping Guns need to be stopped.

The Pee Party aka The Hate Party is full of Sick Wacko Psychos urinating Hate, Bigotry, Ignorance and Stupidity throughout America while worshipping their Guns..

500 Million Guns on the streets makes no one safe. Execute all the dangerous violent criminals and all sex offenders and everyone will be safer.

Posted by: mawt | January 8, 2011 11:11 PM | Report
-----------------------------------------------
You won "me" over, with your last paragraph. As a proud NRA member,Tea-Party Member, Republican, who won't even make a "left" turn, in traffic.
I agree with you, on executing Murderers.
I'm less convinced on extreme punishment of sex offenders. I'd vote to hang, or kill Violent Rapists, who're found guilty.
But, we need not spend a lot of money to execute Jared Loughner. Just give me a one pound rock, and hold him still until I get the first blow in, I'll finish him off. I can save the State of Arizona a lot of money.
Dennis

Posted by: Shadowsmgc | January 9, 2011 12:20 AM | Report abuse

The other thing insane about fox news' coverage of this - is their emphasis on Giffords views - implying that because she was a moderate democrat, it wasn't OK to shoot her, but if she had been say, more liberal, we should be celebrating.

Posted by: beersquirrel | January 9, 2011 12:23 AM | Report abuse

The other thing insane about fox news' coverage of this - is their emphasis on Giffords views - implying that because she was a moderate democrat, it wasn't OK to shoot her, but if she had been say, more liberal, we should be celebrating.

Posted by: beersquirrel

Guess those comments went right over your head. If she had been a leftist, she wouldn't have been shot. GOT IT DORK?

Posted by: RadicalLibsRmurderers | January 9, 2011 12:27 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin should go to prison for this. Posting a website with Gabrielle Giffords in the crosshairs of a gunsight is an open incitement for some nutcase like this shooter to open fire. It's not only irresponsible, IMO it's criminally culpable.

Posted by: bradk1

========================================

Shouldn't there be at the very least be any kind of link between what Palin said or done or approved and the motives of the suspect?

I got that notion watching a Law and Order episode once.

Posted by: bbface21 | January 9, 2011 12:53 AM | Report abuse

Wow, your article sure suggests this is the work of the right side of the political spectrum. Yet a classmate of the shooter says his policies were distinctly to the left. http://twitter.com/caitieparker

So how do you run through that litany of how the right is to blame with a straight face?

This is a tragedy, and pointing fingers diminishes it to mere partisan fodder.

Posted by: sailingaway1 | January 9, 2011 1:56 AM | Report abuse

I am disappointed that the press seems too hesitant to fully investigate the tea party's affiliations with state militias. The tea party and the Libertarians intend to overthrow the US Government and preserve state sovereignty. People can laugh, belittle them, and say "it can't happen here" but with our lax gun laws, it CAN happen here. This is way beyond political rhetoric as played out on mainstream media, folks. These are secret organizations that are growing in numbers. Check out background information on ALL of the Patriot groups, their credos, and the forced reading of the Constitution in Congress takes on new meaning. There were over 40 death rates against members of congress who voted for the health care bill. Do you honestly think the director of the FBI would be heading the investigation into this shooting if there is not something brewing here? Please, members of the press, take this seriously and do your job.

Posted by: gmrenson | January 9, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

For those who question the use of such targeting tactics by Palin, consider these uses from the Left that have been documented by conservative bloggers:
http://rhymeswithright.mu.nu/archives/300085.php
http://patterico.com/2011/01/08/markos-blames-palin-for-giffords-shooting-but-theres-just-one-problem-daily-kos-put-a-bulls-eye-on-giffords-too/

Oops! The Left putting targets on congressmen -- including Giffords herself! And in the case of DailyKos, only two days before the shooting Giffords was declared "dead" for failing to support Pelosi.

But what is particularly shocking and disturbing to this American is the dichotomy of responses. On the Right, I have seen nothing but prayers for the victims and condemnation of the shooting. On the Left, I have primarily seen attempts to place blame on opponents (with no supporting evidence) and calls to criminalize dissent from the Left's agenda and imprison voices on the Right who they are attempting to blame for the actions of a madman. That speaks volumes about where the real problem in American political discourse lies.

By the way, I can't help but think that if the shooter had been named "Ibrahim bin Muhammad" we would have seen a very different reaction from the left and the media. In that case, we would be hearing that we cannot blame Islam or its teachings, and would have been urged to remember that most Muslims are peaceful. there would have been no leftwing demands for Islamic leaders to be rounded up and imprisoned, like we have seen calls for the imprisonment of conservatives on this thread. Ditto if the Congresswoman had been shot by an illegal alien.

Posted by: RhymesWithRight | January 9, 2011 9:41 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin and others opened themselves up for the rash of criticism by using targets and inciting violence to solve our political problems. It matters not that the shooter was or was not a right wing activist. What matters is that violence was promoted by certain politicians on the right, and now we have this sad, horrible shooting. If you are going to advocate violence, then be prepared for the accusation of promoting it when it happens. You should have expected this reaction from those who don't support your radical views.

Posted by: insightinc | January 9, 2011 10:16 AM | Report abuse

Does our president have any responsibility for this tragedy because he insisted that you should "punish your enemies"? Absolutely not! Yet we will read and hear those who are willing to exploit this tragedy for political advantage.They are no better than the shooter since their commonality is to destroy other people!

Posted by: bowspray | January 9, 2011 10:50 AM | Report abuse

Bowspray, you say:

"Yet we will read and hear those who are willing to exploit this tragedy for political advantage.They are no better than the shooter since their commonality is to destroy other people!"

Sarah Palin had crosshairs over Rep. Giffords face and suggested that she be targeted. You cannot wiggle out of this fact. This is the "second amendment solution." Rep. Gifford is a democrat. How is it unfair to connect these dots?

Because I dare criticize the radical right, you suggest I am no better than the shooter??? Get real. How offensive.

Posted by: insightinc | January 9, 2011 11:05 AM | Report abuse

Here's a quote to remember: "We need to realize that the rhetoric, and the firing people up and ... for example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, the way she has it depicted, we're in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they've got to realize that there are consequences to that action..." - Gabrielle Giffords, March 2010

If Palin herself didn't think the cross-hairs link was an implicit threat and likely to inspire unbalanced people to murder, then why did Palin take the cross hairs map down immediately following the shooting?

Palin, Beck, O'Reilly and the others who continuously whip up the armed lunatics and then claim no responsibility are turning America into a nation ruled by fear and assassination politics. It's that simple, Stephen, and excusing it just encourages more of the same.

Posted by: SageThrasher | January 9, 2011 11:06 AM | Report abuse

SageThrasher:

Good point about Sarah Palin's taking down the crosshairs. Thank you for the quote from Rep. Giffords.

A better response from the radical right would be to apologize for advocating the violence that may have contributed to this horrible incident. How about some introspection instead of denial?

Posted by: insightinc | January 9, 2011 11:12 AM | Report abuse

The contemplation by the media is a major part of the problem. They are opinions from self-important opinion writers who thrive on political discourse and could care less about the consequences.

Here's what the incident taught us: If there are warning signs that someone is unbalanced, don't ignore them. Get help.

Posted by: bethg1841 | January 9, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Bethg1841:

I agree that the media inflame public opinion. I think the incident taught us to be careful about what we encourage people to do.

Posted by: insightinc | January 9, 2011 12:56 PM | Report abuse

Leftists and Democrats want us to focus on the (alleged) “right's sometimes martial anti-government rhetoric" after the tragedy yesterday. Maybe they should start with President Obama. He's clearly the worst offender.
http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/did-barack-obama-cause-the-shootings-yesterday-in-tucson

** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

If Leftists really want to consider the atmosphere of violent language, they should start at the White House.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 1:17 PM | Report abuse

[MNUSA whined: "I'm a Democrat, get email from every liberal candidate and blog out there, and I've never seen nor heard of such a thing (Democrat target maps). I need proof from you before I'm going to believe it."]

Here ya' go. Feel the Leftist hate target rage.
http://www.verumserum.com/?p=13647

[Source: Democratic Leadership Committee website]

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Brace yourself: The satanic Westboro cult will protest at little Christina’s funeral.
http://hillbuzz.org/2011/01/09/brace-yourselves-democrat-fred-phelps-and-westboro-hate-group-announce-plans-to-picket-9-year-old-shooting-victim-christina-greenes-funeral-a-new-low-for-democrat-hate-groups/

“The Left does some truly despicable things in this world, but this is a new low for Democrats. Former three-time Democrat gubernatorial candidate Fred Phelps Jr. (commonly called just “Fred Phelps”) and his Westboro Hate Group have announced plans to disrupt the funeral of 9 year-old shooting victim Christina Greene.”

/spit

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 1:26 PM | Report abuse

Look. It was inevitable that the class war between Americans and the RRRs (Rich Republican Right-wingers) and their dupes would escalate. I didn't think it would happen quite so soon, and frankly, I figured one of the many Americans who had served his country in the military and watched the RRRs take his job and house would fire the first shot.

But so it goes. TeaPs and loonietarians, you talked a weak-minded fellow traveler into shooting a Congresswoman you had previously threatened, stalked, harassed and "targeted." And now, as traitorous cowards are wont to do, you want your creature's acts blamed on your opposition.

Posted by: roblimo | January 9, 2011 1:31 PM | Report abuse

UFB! Democrats are using Giffords’ shooting... for fundraising!
http://biggovernment.com/wthuston/2011/01/09/unbelievable-democrat-group-using-giffords-shooting-for-fundraiser/?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter&utm_campaign=Feed%3A+BigGovernment+%28Big+Government%29&utm_content=Twitter

/crass

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

@roblimo: In the last 24 hours, LEFTISTS HAVE LOST THEIR MINDS.

If you try (in your fever-adled brains) to hold the TEA Party or Palin (even remotely) responsible for yesterday’s atrocity... then you must hold President Hussein responsible whenever anyone in this country brings a gun to a knife fight and shoots someone. PERIOD. Your own logic will be at work.

Let me repeat, Leftists: YOU HAVE LOST YOUR FRICKIN' MINDS.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

Democrats are politically exploiting the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords by attacking Sarah Palin for setting up a list of "targeted" Democrat members of Congress last year.

They conveniently forget that defeated Democrat Congressman Harry Mitchell did the same thing to JD Hayworth (R-AZ) a few years ago (right there in Arizona), running a campaign ad featuring JD Hayworth in the crosshairs of a rifle.
http://www.intellectualconservative.com/2011/01/09/sarah-palin-democrats-forget-they-put-jd-hayworth-in-crosshairs/

Own the political hate-mongering, Leftists.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 9, 2011 2:11 PM | Report abuse

to all,

fwiw, it is NOT "teabaggers", "Palin fans" and/or Republicans who have repeatedly filled my email addresses & office phone answering machines with FILTH, racist remarks/slurs & many DEATH threats.
(fyi, many people here on "PP" know who i am "in real life".)

instead, it is those "wunnerful, wunnerful & so very marvlous" LEFTISTS & DIMocRAT extremist lunatics, who are MEAN-spirited, filled with HATE/prejudice, dangerously "NUTS" & are the most virulent of RACISTS.

just my opinion.

yours, TN46
coordinator, CCTPP

Posted by: texasnative46 | January 9, 2011 3:33 PM | Report abuse

The U.S. Marshals Service should be immediately dispatched by the Attorney General to provide protective services to members of Congress when they make scheduled in advance public appearances there.

This could be accomplished by deputizing the numerous retired law enforcement officers out there who would be glad to make a couple of extra bucks a couple of days a month.

Posted by: john_bruckner | January 9, 2011 5:38 PM | Report abuse

McCain brought Palin to the civilized lower 48. Palin brought violence.

Jared Loughner– 1st Degree Murders
Sarah Palin
Rupert Murdoch
Sean Hanity
Bill O'Reilly
Glenn Beck
Rush Limbaugh

Dick Army-2nd Degree Murders
Michele Bachmann
John Boehner
John McCain
Joe Wilson

This is the dirty dozen that has blood on their hands and a reload mentality that will shape our future political landscape.

Posted by: nateminor | January 9, 2011 7:08 PM | Report abuse

It means that there are a tremendous number of very stupid, very dopey people in the US who are inspired to violence by a small group of even dopier forms of life.

Posted by: staussfamily | January 9, 2011 8:11 PM | Report abuse

The tragedy in AZ has little to do with the commentary response. The rants here are mostly angry Liberals upset about the mid-terms expressing their ire at the Tea Party by singling out Sarah Palin.

All conservative response has been compassionate and concerned. Leftists will leverage this to keep the political nonsense going but the House will do it's duty.

Posted by: 2012frank | January 9, 2011 11:41 PM | Report abuse

He was rejected by the military and kicked out of community college. Many people who came in contact with him say that he had seriously problems. He had several incidents with the police and campus security. Yet he was able to walk into a gun store and purchase a semi-automatic weapon after a near instantaneous 'background' check. What exactly do they check? Apparently not much.

Posted by: randysbailin | January 10, 2011 7:38 AM | Report abuse

I doubt that I am alone amongst readers in having heard or received circulating emails from right wing zealots who are convinced that President Obama is part of a sinister conspiracy bent on turning the U.S. into a socialist/Islamic police state in which resisting Christians will be herded into concentration camps already secretly under construction. They say this in all seriousness. One wonders what strange virus has destroyed their grasp of reality.

Posted by: donaldsurr | January 10, 2011 8:13 AM | Report abuse

And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not
warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of
resistance? Let them take arms. The remedy is to set them right as
to the facts, pardon and pacify them. What signify a few lives lost
in a century or two? The tree of liberty must be refreshed from
time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants.
It is its natural manure." -Thomas Jefferson.

Posted by: wz08mk | January 10, 2011 8:18 AM | Report abuse

The simplest way to see this is the likely the correct way. A disturbed man acted out on his paranoia and delusions. As for the politics, the Right is howling that they have nothing to do with it, and the Left is howling that they did. Simple.

Posted by: Puller58 | January 10, 2011 8:29 AM | Report abuse

Phrases Like "Second Amendment Solution" and "Its time to Water the Tree of Liberty with Blood.” Knows no ideology, but do validate the actions of the Insane whether or not they lean Left or Right or no way at all.
When you can understand that, you realize just how dangerous these type phrases are when bandied about lightly to promote any agenda.

Posted by: notthatdum | January 10, 2011 8:42 AM | Report abuse

It means that if the U.S. had Canadian Laws governing "Hate Speech" and "Hate Propaganda" Sen. McCain would be serving a five year prison sentance as well as many "Tea Party" members and those that sponsor hate comments on the internet news media. If you doubt it, google Canadian Hate Laws. This Gifford lady shooting was fueled by Right-Wing and Talk Radio hate talk. For a decade the U.S. "news" has pumped out hate masquerading as "news", hate everybody, religious hate, race hate, hate Iraq, Iran, Venezuela, Cuba, N.Korea, Russia, China -- is there anyone other than our foreign puppet , quisling governments that we aren't told to hate ?

Posted by: kunosoura | January 10, 2011 9:22 AM | Report abuse

So notthatdum what are you saying? That we should keep our mouths shut. If that's the case, why are you blogging? I'm just quoting Jefferson. Last I saw, Congress' approval rating was the worst ever - 13%. It looks to me that Jefferson is right. Our public servants would be best served if they were public servants and did their job - act in the best interests of Main Street and not in the best interests of Wall Street and K Street. At a 13% approval rating 7 out of 8 Americans feel they are not being duly represented and that breeds a lot of anger and disgust. They had better start putting America first instead of shoving a lot of objected to legislation down our throats to line the coffers of the special interests on Wall St and K Street.

Posted by: wz08mk | January 10, 2011 9:29 AM | Report abuse

Keith Olbermann,blamed Sarah Palin's rhetoric, saying that if she did not "repudiate her own part… in amplifying violence and violent imagery in American politics, she must be dismissed from politics."

This from a angry man of the Left ? AFTER an angry man of the Left – has tried to murder a conservative pro-gun, border-security-friendly Democrat ?

Unbelievable.

The assassin was a nutcase and a Jew-hater. His favorite books Marx’s Communist manifesto and Mein Kampf (think National Socialism). The New York Times identified him as a Leftist. He could have been a welcome guest at William Ayers home !

Yet posters here like Olbermann – themselves haters of all things Christian and conservative – are blaming the Tea Party ? Sarah Palin ?

Unbelievable.

800 leftists arrested at this summers G20 for violence so common-place at leftist rallies as to barely get mention in the American press... A thousand peaceful Tea Party rallies… and the Palin-hating Left is still spouting angry rhetoric ? and blaming the Right ?

Unbelievable.

Posted by: pvilso24 | January 10, 2011 9:37 AM | Report abuse

My goodness, people, take a look at these posts. There appears to be an abundance of Cracker Jack psychiatrists diagnosing the opposition. Are not these postings against any other political figure as inflammatory as those being accused?

These posts attach the term “nut case” to anyone whom disagrees with them. It is a grossly misused slang. What is most difficult for a rational person to comprehend is that a mentally ill individual does not have the ability to reason and function in the mainstream. The emotions are extreme, as are actions. Through no choosing of their own, they may have been born with the disorder.

Time and again, we have had incidents of violence in schools, malls, the postal service, private industry, etc. These were far from politically motivated. At the core of these incidents is our inability to identify and seek treatment for the mentally ill. A coordinated effort is totally lacking in our system. These incidents will continue by whatever means as long as our mental health system (or lack of) is failing all of us.

The gravity of this incident has politicians looking to salvage their own butts through more security measures. And this seems appropriate in the short term because of copycats. But we need to look further than the bandage.

With proper diagnosis and treatment, the mentally ill can lead normal and productive lives. We are not only letting ourselves down by not addressing mental illness, but we are also demeaning the lives of those that are ill through no choice of their own. Now is a time for a concerted effort at all levels of government to address mental illness. That would include education of the public, training of educators, law enforcement, the justice system, much better means of diagnosis and treatment, and meaningful coordination of all of these facets. We would all be beneficiaries.

Posted by: pepineagles | January 10, 2011 9:44 AM | Report abuse

There is this sort of misleading neutralism citing the "heated political rhetoric."

It isn't the left, the moderates or democrats in specific that have infused their followers with the adrenal-rush of violence and warfare against the nation's government: to wit, "Gather your Armies" Don't retreat, RELOAD!" "second-amendment remedies" allusions to pit-bulls, gun-sights targeting political adversaries,mama grizzly bears, venomous snakes warning "don't tread on me" all the way to secessation from the union. It isn't the liberals or the moderates that are commemorating the last time there was secessation, followed by armed-insurrection that resulted in more dead Americans than in all the was we've ever fought.

But, Rhetoric is just that- words. However, on the right side of the spectrum we've been treated to a senate candidate hosting an event where his supporters held down a female critique by placing his foot on her head, and an insistent journalist was taken away in hand-cuffs for "asking questions." We've all seen both the racist signs and the automatic weapons at their political rallies- what is there comparable coming from the other side of the spectrum?

The right and its apologists (or better, their propagandists) are desperately trying to equate the outrage on the left (outrage against all, and more; that I have cited above) with their cozying up to, incitiment of and manipulation of the most divisive, extreme and dangerous elements in our society. But it isn't us on the left that are forming militias to kill federal and local autorities, it isn't democrats that are flying planes loaded with incendary material into Government tax-offices, and it isn't us shooting congresswomen with whom we disagree.

Posted by: interactidiomas | January 10, 2011 10:11 AM | Report abuse

One only needs to review the comments posted here to clearly see that vitriol and hate speech is obviously not the sacrosanct domain of the right.
I have never heard more frothing hatred from any pundit or politician than that of Keith Olbermann. Period.
As well, it goes without saying that this is a disgraceful hijacking of the narrative for political ends - the very thing oft criticized by the left, toward the right.

Posted by: jay_thompson | January 10, 2011 10:17 AM | Report abuse

The desire for advancement and the lengths members of political Parties are willing to go to achieve such should scare the pants off us. Common sense should bring us to recognition that there's something wrong with this picture along with our folly of allowing public officials to become so beholden to large campaign donors.
Nothing, either great or calamitous, occurs without great participation by we the many, even if our greatest participation is a failure to react, and we must begin participating better.

Posted by: reenie10 | January 10, 2011 11:04 AM | Report abuse

It seems to me that this young man's parents should have recognized his state of mind long ago before he committed this terrible act.They are responsible for not getting him the help he so desperately needed.Since he was still living with them,they surely must have noticed his condition.This is a terrible tragedy and was certainly politically motivated.Even Sarah Palin realized this or she would not have removed the offending map from her website immediately after rhis incident.The other tragedy is that a person such as this(Palin)came so close to being elected to the second highest office in the land.People,we have come a long,long way down.Please stop listening to talk radio and television,start thinking for yourselves.

Posted by: nannieturner | January 10, 2011 11:10 AM | Report abuse

Sarah Palin is not to blame for an attempted assassination which passed at once into a senseless atrocity. I say so as one left of center in politics & religion.

She has nonetheless taken a fatal wound by tying into the reckless rhetoric of armed violence which EVEN OBAMA has used -- if one blogger's citation above is correct.

bbface 21 quotes:
"If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun"
"We’re going to punish our enemies."
-Barak Obama

The is quite as bad, as reckless & foolish, as anything Sarah Palin has said.

Yet Ms. Giffords herself complained of being targeted by Palin, who did say those further things about RELOADING -- rhetoric dangerously unsettling for the (presumed) schizophrenic who shot his Representative & went on spraying the crowd with bullets.

The result will be that NO Republican elders & powers will risk it with Palin, regardless of her "charisma."

PS Why schizophrenia? The term bestowed by Eugen Bleuler in whose clinic CG Jung was trained. Earlier called "dementia praecox," a madness to which especially the young are susceptible.

Posted by: gusonweb | January 10, 2011 11:18 AM | Report abuse

Please-this is not the fault of a vast, right wing conspiracy or Sarah Palin's fault or talk radios fault or can it be blamed on FOX. The shooter is a nut-case, we have had them before and we will have them in the future. When attempts were made on Reagan and Ford, and McKinley, Garfield and Lincoln were killed it was not the fault of the NYT, NPR, PBS or CNN. Kennedy's assasination also cannot be blamed on the right wing. Stromberg's attempt to blame the right is utterly rediculous and shows that he is in favor of heated rhetoric when it is his opinion.

Posted by: judyandnorm | January 10, 2011 11:21 AM | Report abuse

SageThrasher:
A better response from the radical right would be to apologize for advocating the violence that may have contributed to this horrible incident. How about some introspection instead of denial?
_________
Name one from the "radical right" that "advocated violence." This bunk, easily debunked. The only radical right ever advocating violence were Americans during the Revolutionary War. Remember them? They were considered radical by the George III and his nation of colonialists. Other than them, I cannot name ANY. And if you are fair, neither can you. Hundreds of Tea Party meetings across the country were peaceful over the last two years. Who could you be referring to, if not them?

Posted by: jay_thompson | January 10, 2011 11:25 AM | Report abuse

After listening to America's far right commentators, one could become convinced that Marxist-Leninists have taken control of the U.S. Government and routinely imprison people for talking outside the boundaries of Political Correctness. The Conservative Mind functions best when it perceives a mortal threat. Then it swings into action with assault weapons, or in an earlier, more genteel time, the House Committee on Un-American Activities. Are you now or have you ever been? Comrade, who are your associates and fellow travelers? Name everyone that you suspect of being a Communist. Today, left leaning sensible people are routinely excoriated for being unpatriotic and anti-business. Nancy Pelosi never advocated shooting proto-fascists for their misguided, evidence-free opinions. But the right wing hated, oh do they hate, Nancy Pelosi. Why she tried to reform the Health Insurance industry to make fair the way it treats the people who benefit from insurance. Sacrilege! Apostasy! It's a Government Takeover of Health Care! We Conservatives will end up paying some Welfare Queen's hospital bill. Plus, Health Insurance reform is a Job-Killer! Blah. Blah. Blah. See. If you live in Kansas, where Big Business has practically wiped out the family farm and any residual factory jobs, the inhabitants are Friends of Big Business. Somewhat like the Stockholm Syndrome. Learn to love and depend on your captors. Otherwise there will be a Government takeover of your religion. Then you'll be sent to Hell when you die. And you can sit in a flaming pool of petrol down there blaming Liberals for that.

Posted by: BlueTwo1 | January 10, 2011 11:34 AM | Report abuse

Do you think this nut cares about any gun laws? He just murdered 6 people.

"Regardless of the shooter's motive, also expect to hear about how the assailant shot Giffords using a pistol with an extended magazine in the context of increasingly lax gun laws."

My father used to tell me that laws and locks were for honest people. This guy would have found a way no matter what, he is out of his mind. Why wasn't he treated for mental illness. Why wasn't he highlighted as a danger when the school threw him out? Look for the real reason, he is nuts.

Posted by: staterighter | January 10, 2011 11:37 AM | Report abuse

PS
After KaddafiDelendaEst above, with his startling array of Obama quotations, I would even say that in apportioning blame for the violent tone of American politics, we might just as well start at the top.

Very worth while to look back at Obama's cited remarks by Kaddafi just to put things in perspective.

Those of us who were hoping for Obama to show some fight didn't expect him to get down to the street level.

Posted by: gusonweb | January 10, 2011 11:40 AM | Report abuse

Plainly, what we have here in the Giffords tragedy is a spiritual problem with political dimensions.

I doubt that thrashing around, chasing the usual and obvious suspects, has any action that will satisfy.

Do we need a day of prayer and fasting?
Prayers for Gabrielle Giffords and her community –
Prayers for guidance as to what we can and should do, personally, to save us and our neighbors from the dark despair and alienation that makes such tragedy possible-
Prayers for the wisdom and strength to do all that is ours to do, on time, every time.

For me the fasting starts right now and I am amazed by the change that came with that certainty.

Posted by: Russell_P_Davis | January 10, 2011 11:42 AM | Report abuse

In the interest of full disclosure, I am a lifelong Democrat and a licensed psychotherapist. Having said that, I wish to contribute the following. Many on the left have suggested forcefully that perhaps it is time to take a step back and recognize that our words have consequences. Of course they mostly refer to Sarah Palin, Sharon Angel and others on the right. Those on the right, mostly through FOXNEWS, protest that it is not only unfair to blame the actions of one obviously deranged man on words spoken by a politician.

What is important to recongize is that boths sides are correct. We need to take a look at how we demonize eachother and the language we use in a winner take all political climate. Those with whom we disagree are opponents and not enemies.

It is equally important to dismiss out of hand any claim that an individual who was clearly exhibiting the disorganized thought and personality changes associated with the onset of schizophrenia, was somehow motivated to kill by words spoken in a free society.

So lets not point fingers. Lets recognize that the only thing that could have stopped this was someone intervening in this guys life and helping him get treatment. But lets take this opportunity to remember the words of Abraham Lincoln

"“We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory will swell when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature.”

Posted by: wsm82470 | January 10, 2011 11:47 AM | Report abuse

PPS
Reading yet again through several of these many postings, one thing is obvious to me:

We are going to see, in America, the emergence of a New & Different political scene. Very fast.

(a) Palin is out. (b) Obama is out. (c) Hillary hasn't a chance.

Amazing.

Posted by: gusonweb | January 10, 2011 12:20 PM | Report abuse

It is quite evident that Democrats, Liberals, and the Left think that it is quite appropriate to spout hate, contempt, and encourage violence about the other side while trying to legitimize and minimize thier equally as offensive and violent behavior and rhetoric. The Left and Democrats proudly called for the assassination Of GeorgeW Bush on numerous occasions, even going so far to be writing plays about it, they called him a war criminal, a Nazi, Hitler, and worse. The left waxes rhapsodically about how great people like Bill Ayers abd Bernadette Dorn are, people who bombed and killed many people and remain unapologetic and wish they had done more: Ayers even dedicated his book to Sirhan Sirhan. The Presidents own Reverend Wright, where he sat for 20 years, is reknowned as a virulent and violent racist yet the Left and Democrats say nothing. Democrats have called the American People "enemies, Taliban, Nazis and the Left cheers. In San Jose CA, people had their pets killed and placed next to their Bush/Cheney campaign signs during past elections yet the Left says nothing and quietly cheers as did Muslims after 9-11. It was a Liberal who held hostages at The Discovery Channel; it is Liberals who kill scientists who they disagree with, it is Liberals who broke in the home of the UC Chancellor and tried to kill him, it is Liberals who populate the Earth Liberation Front, The Animal Liberation Front, and other terrorist organizations. It is Liberals who form anarchist groups such as Action Coalition, Answer Now, By Any Means Necessary and many others who commit thousands of acts of violence against America and the Left cheers and tries to legitimize their hate. One could spend years cataloging the violence, hate, and transgressions of the left as well as the hypocrisy. Nancy Pelosi and the Democrats were proudly the Party Of No, and willfully obstructed Congress, refused to present any plan or work in any sense of Bi-Partisanship during the 2006-08 years (Read Louis Perry Bacon Jr's TIME Magazine article in August 2006 to refresh your memory if you have "conveniently forgotten") Yet the Left villifies and shows their hate for their fellow citizens who acted in exactly the same fashion. Itis time to confront the Left, Democrats, and Liberals with their hypocrisy, hate, and worse, and demand change and a reversion to a more civilized society. Somehow I don't think they will be up to the challenge.

Posted by: kjp1 | January 10, 2011 1:38 PM | Report abuse

There is a well thought out theory about the shooting of Congresswoman Giffords in Tucson, Arizona. All the details point to a Republican plot to injure, but not kill, this Democrat. The elaborate plan was to wipe out her intellectual capacity and then welcome her into the Republican party, where she would still stand out as superior in intellect to her Republican colleagues (think Wally Herger, Joe Barton, Steve King, Gohmert and, oh, so many more).

Posted by: merhoff | January 10, 2011 1:42 PM | Report abuse

Understanding the ill conceived conventional wisdom that 1) there is no right or wrong 2) that all blame must be split down the middle and equally divided - just like in Kindergarten. 3) that after a tragedy - all past ills must be artificially forgotten - Kumbaya time ! - "can't we all just get along?"

Understanding all of this - and having watched the hate filled rhetoric spew for years now - It's easy to say:

The Tea Party has blood all over their hands.

Wash all you like - it's still there.

And I won't suspend all intelligence and entertain your notion that YOUR BOY was a Gold Standard, End the Fed, End Fed-Med, bring down the government & kill Democratic Leaders 'Liberal' - because that's RUBBISH.

The blood is on YOUR hands.

Posted by: PulSamsara | January 11, 2011 5:08 PM | Report abuse

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