Let me get this straight . . .
If a wacko with a gun goes on a rampage that leaves 6 dead and 14 injured it is not his or her fault . . . it’s the fault of talk radio (read: conservative talk radio)??
Alleged shooter Jared Lee Loughner didn’t walk up to Arizona Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords outside a grocery store and pulled the trigger – leaving Giffords in a medically induced coma with a bullet hole in her head, and 6 dead – including a district court judge, and a nine-year old girl.
(Palin herself is taking heat for a graphic that was posted on her website that showed swing districts across the county she and the Tea Party movement were targeting to take over. The districts were noted by the use of gun cross hairs. Giffords’ district was one of the districts noted on the graphic.)
Honestly, how absurd is that?
This one 22-year old kid – with a “shanty” in his back yard with a shrine consisting of skulls and shrunken fruit is to blame. From all accounts, Loughner is/was not stable. He wasn’t a war vet – as some news outlets reported early after the shooting on Saturday. No, in fact, he was never admitted into the armed forces because he failed a drug test.
He was kicked out of his local community college due to his behavior and for rants that scared the faculty and his school mates. There is now evidence that Loughner had a thing for Giffords as far back as 2007 – long before Palin and the Tea Party movement started.
However, none of that has stopped the political rhetoric from being spewed.
Even before the crime scene was cleaned up, Sherriff Clarence Dupnik was working under the assumption that Loughner acted out because of the conversative political rhetoric and thus, the news media picked up on it, ran, and never looked back for any evidence of the sort.
Now, because it is what they do, politicians are trying to cash in on the tragedy.
Rep. Brad Sherman (D-CA) stated on Fox News: “Whether [political rhetoric] caused what happened in Tucson or not, it’ll cause the next tragedy.”
MSNBC host, Chris Matthews basically said that radio talkers Mark Levin and Michael Savage were “complicate” in the shooting.
Vermont Senator, Bernie Sanders, sent out the following after the shooting:
Given the recent tragedy in Arizona, as well as the start of the new Congress, I wanted to take this opportunity to share a few words with political friends in Vermont and throughout the country. I also want to thank the very many supporters who have begun contributing online to my 2012 reelection campaign at http://www.bernie.org. There is no question but that the Republican Party, big money corporate interests and right-wing organizations will vigorously oppose me. Your financial support now and in the future is much appreciated.
What should be understood is that the violence, and threats of violence against Democrats in Arizona, was not limited to Gabrielle Giffords. Raul Grijalva, an old friend of mine and one of the most progressive members in the House, was forced to close his district office this summer when someone shot a bullet through his office window. Another Democratic elected official in Arizona, recently defeated Congressman Harry Mitchell, suspended town meetings in his district because of the threatening phone calls that he received (Mitchell was also in the cross-hairs on the Palin map). And Judge John Roll, who was shot to death at the Giffords event, had received numerous threatening calls and death threats in 2009. In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?
MSNBC host Keith Olbermann:
If Sarah Palin, whose website, put and today scrubbed, bulls eye targets on twenty representatives including Gabby Giffords, does not repudiate today her own part, however tangential, in amplifying violence and violent imagery in American politics she must dismissed from politics. She must be repudiate by the members of her own party, and if they fail to do so, each one of them must be judged to have silently defended this tactic that today proved so awfully foretelling.
All of this, without one shred of evidence that the shooter with a gun was influenced by anything other this his own crazy thoughts. In fact, some former classmates and friends have described the shooter as “quite liberal” and a “left-wing pothead.” Furthermore, the Wall Street Journal reported that Loughner complained to a friend about how he was treated by Giffords at an event several years ago.
No body knows what set Loughner off. It could have been a hangnail, or he stubbed his toe, or he saw a balloon pop. Unfortunately for the left-wing talking heads, there is no evidence that the shooter was brain washed into the shooting by conserative talking points/rhetoric.