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BREAKING: Rep. Gabrielle Giffords Shot at Campaign Event in Tuscon

NPR is reporting that Rep. Giffords and 6 others have died. Reports indicate a lone gunman, in custody, fired 15-20 shots at a campaign event. Way too early to know what happened, but it is a dark, sad day for us all.

UPDATE: Reuters is reporting that Rep. Giffords is still alive and in surgery via Twitter.

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John Evans

When will some politicians finally realize that hate speech like, “second Amendment solutions” and putting crosshairs on Rep. Giffords’ district has consequences ? Given all the hate directed against government employees in the last campaign, I fear that this sort of terrorism will only become more prevalent. What a sick and disgusting perversion of our political life we are currently experiencing!

Peter Sperry

I still remember the Welfare Reform debates that lasted from 1980 to 2000 during which Republicans were accused of stealing food from the mouths of children and actual enactment of legislation in 1996 was attacked on the floor of Congress as “a second holocaust”. In 1998 a crazed gunman stormed the Capitol, killing two police officers before being brought down at the door of the Republican leadership office. I do not recall conservatives trying to claim the gunman’s action had been motivated by the highly hostile food stealing second holocaust rhetoric.

The first step in making our political life less hostile, disgusting and perverted might be to refrain from accusing those whose views we do not share of being accomplices to murder.

Ed Albetski

@Peter – the problem is that mentally disturbed people cannot rationally handle fiery political rhetoric. And while I understand your example, I’ve never heard liberal political commentators advise their listeners to “Reload!”

I think the talking heads on both sides of the issues need to step back and re-evaluate how their speech might be acted upon by folks who really don’t have a grasp on what “hypothetical” means. I think we all have to start being “cool” about this. We all have to be a bunch of little “Fonzies”

Peter Sperry

@Ed — First, my point is that accusing people of beinng accessories to muder is very fiery political rhetoric, as were the accusations of causing a second holocaust by voting for welfare reform. Also if you have not heard liberal political ommentators using violant words, try reading Daily Kos, My DD or just about any floor statement by Congressman Clyburn (who made the 2nd holocaust reference).

I am simply saying that knee jerk accusations trying to tie Sarah Palin and tea party activists to this incident are every bit as hateful as the statements they condemn. This morning we are learning the shooter had at least as many liberal influences as conservative and was described as a “leftie” in highschool and college. Some conservatives have tried to link his actions to the post on Kos that Giffords was “dead” to them. Conservatives who try to make these linkages are just as misguided as leftists attacking the tea party.

Nut cases will always be with us. It is wrong to try and tie them to any particular political movement without clear and convincing evidence, which is completely lacking in this case.

Ed Albetski

Fair enough, Peter. We seem to agree, the rhetoric needs to be scaled down across the board.

I don’t think anyone (sane, that is) would actually accuse any party of deliberately inciting this or any other violent action. I just think we all need to turn down the volume on the debate. Some folks listening in may not understand it is just passionate speech and not a real call to arms.

John Evans

Could someone please point out where anyone here accused anyone of being an accomplice to murder ? All sane persons should be able to agree that politicians need to realize that hate speech has consequences. I’d love to see some examples of liberal politicians putting crosshairs on the districts of those they disagree with, while calling for ” Second Amendment solutions “,and ” time to reload” . Methinks some doth protest too much.


Was watching Meet the Press this morning and was good to see some civility and everyone in agreeance about the need to watch the tone.

John Evans

By the way, Congresswoman Giffords herself said almost the exact same thing I did in my original post. Here is a direct quote from her, ‘”We’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list,” Giffords said at the time. “The way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize there are consequences to that action.”.

John Evans

There is an excellent article by James Fallows in The Atlantic today. here is an excerpt that sums it up nicely, ” … the political tone of an era can have some bearing on violent events. The Jonestown/Ryan and Fromme/Ford shootings had no detectable source in deeper political disagreements of that era. But the anti-JFK hate-rhetoric in Dallas before his visit was so intense that for decades people debated whether the city was somehow “responsible” for the killing. (Even given that Lee Harvey Oswald was an outlier in all ways.)

That’s the further political ramification here. We don’t know why the Tucson killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan, we’ll never “understand.” But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, including SarahPac’s famous bulls-eye map of 20 Congressional targets to be removed — including Rep. Giffords. It is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be. At a minimum, it will be harder for anyone to talk — on rallies, on cable TV, in ads — about “eliminating” opponents, or to bring rifles to political meetings, or to say “don’t retreat, reload.”


Reminds me a little of the VA Tech killer. It’s really hard as there is just a certain amount of craziness that happens in this world and that’s sad.

The tricky part I struggle with is each horrible situation highlights a large problem. VA Tech highlights number of unstable college kids who aren’t getting proper care. But in the end the trick at end is how to respond in the correct amount to in the end which is 1 horrendous event and 1 crazy person….

Peter Sperry

Tony Harnden has a article in the Telegraph today which provides some British prospective on the situation. His final sentence summarizes things very well.

“This is a time for sombre reflection and a calming (rather than an escalation) of rhetoric. Sadly, however, some see it as another opportunity to score political points and vilify those they hate.”


John Evans

Wow. Apparently to some it is controversial to even suggest that the overheated rhetoric of the past two years ought to be toned down. This excerpt from Joan Walsh’s column sums the situation up well,
“There’s no evidence tying Loughner to any of the right-wing rhetoric used against Giffords, but it would be crazy not to notice that such rhetoric has already claimed victims, and will almost certainly continue to. I’ll never apologize for suggesting that Bill O’Reilly’s crusade against Dr. George Tiller – and his dozens of segments labeling him “Tiller the Babykiller” – might have created the context in which Tiller was murdered in May 2009. It shocked me watching cable news all day Saturday that almost no one talked about anti-tax nut Joe Stack flying his plane into an Austin IRS building as the Tea Party’s anti-tax crusade took off, or Glenn Beck fan Byron Williams driving into San Francisco locked and loaded to shoot up the obscure left-wing Tides Foundation, which Beck had repeatedly railed against on Fox.”
Speech has consequences-this is undeniable. Deflection and demurrals ought to have no place in this discussion.



Our former deputy director (Az. Dept. of Environmental Quality) is the assistant U.S. Attorney representing the federal goverment! Glad Patrick (Cunningham) is on the case!!