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Intro: "Let us grieve the slain and wounded in Tucson, and pray for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, targeted for assassination by a clearly unbalanced young man. Rep. Giffords was shot as she made herself available to citizens exercising the most basic of rights: 'to peaceably assemble' and petition their representative. The heinous act has generated a good debate about the connection between the rhetoric of violence and violence itself."

Flowers at the Arizona Capitol building commemorate the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, 01/11/11. (photo: Michael Reynolds)
Flowers at the Arizona Capitol building commemorate the attack on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, 01/11/11. (photo: Michael Reynolds)



Hate Speech in Arizona

By Rev. Jesse Jackson, Reader Supported News

11 January 11



Petition: Congressional Action on Political Violence Advocacy


et us grieve the slain and wounded in Tucson, and pray for Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, targeted for assassination by a clearly unbalanced young man. Rep. Giffords was shot as she made herself available to citizens exercising the most basic of rights: "to peaceably assemble" and petition their representative.

The heinous act has generated a good debate about the connection between the rhetoric of violence and violence itself. As we approach the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King, this reminds me not just of Dr. King's assassination, but also of his response to the violence wreaked upon black citizens in the South seeking to assemble peaceably.

In Alabama, for example, Gov. George Wallace cynically fanned racist fires with his rhetoric and actions, denouncing outside agitators, calling on Alabamans to "stand up for segregation" and decrying the "frightful example of oppression of the rights, privileges and sovereignty of this state by ... the federal government."

Civil rights leaders warned that Wallace's rhetoric was like fuel poured upon the kindling of anger and fear caused by blacks demanding their rights. Three months after he stood in the door at the University of Alabama, a bomb planted by Klansmen at Birmingham's 16th Street Baptist Church killed four children. One day later, King stated the simple truth: "The governor said things and did things which caused these people to feel that they were aided and abetted by the highest officer in the state. The murders of yesterday stand as blood on the hands of Gov. Wallace."

It wasn't that Wallace condoned violence, and he surely did not want the lives of four little girls snuffed out. But King argued that you can't simply walk away from the consequences of your actions. Wallace's inflammatory rhetoric and reckless actions fanned the flames of anger and fear of the back-alley racists.

There is no evidence that Jared Loughner, the alleged gunman in Tucson, was a member of a right-wing hate group. He was clearly a young man whose mind was unraveling. But it is exactly the mentally unstable who are most likely to be influenced by an atmosphere filled with hate and murderous rhetoric.

In Arizona, the kindling was there. The economy has been hit hard by the financial collapse, with employment opportunities for young people particularly limited. With families losing jobs or homes, fear and depression are inevitable. Add to this a venomous, racially charged debate on immigration and health care reform, as well as some of the worst gun-control laws in the country.

Arizona's conservative governor and legislature made it legal for anyone over 21 to carry a concealed weapon without a permit. After an instant background check, Loughner was able to buy over the counter a semiautomatic Glock 9mm gun with a 30 bullet magazine.

As Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik stated, Arizona has become "a Mecca for prejudice and bigotry," a cauldron of Tea Party anger, right-wing hate groups and anti-immigrant posturing.

Giffords' life was threatened, her office vandalized. Her Tea Party Republican opponent had invited supporters to "remove her from office" and "shoot a fully automatic M16" with him at a campaign rally.

Giffords was demonized as a traitor, a communist, a fascist, a job killer. The congresswoman was distressed when Sarah Palin's PAC targeted her district by putting it in the crosshairs of a gun site on Palin's Web page. In next-door Nevada, Republican Senate candidate Sharron Angle suggested that frustrated voters might have to take up "Second Amendment remedies."

Extreme statements are, as many have stated, as protected under the First Amendment as any speech. And vitriolic rhetoric in American politics can be traced back to the earliest days of the republic. But that doesn't mean there are no consequences.

With rights come responsibilities. In Alabama, King stated what everyone knew to be true: that the extreme rhetoric and actions of Wallace were like setting the woods on fire.

Let us defend every person's right to speech, to fierce and independent expression. But let us not fail to challenge those who exercise those rights irresponsibly, particularly those with megaphones like public leaders or media stars. In the hotbed of politics, we expect them to set an example, not to light a match.

 

Comments   

We are concerned about a recent drift towards vitriol in the RSN Reader comments section. There is a fine line between moderation and censorship. No one likes a harsh or confrontational forum atmosphere. At the same time everyone wants to be able to express themselves freely. We'll start by encouraging good judgment. If that doesn't work we'll have to ramp up the moderation.

General guidelines: Avoid personal attacks on other forum members; Avoid remarks that are ethnically derogatory; Do not advocate violence, or any illegal activity.

Remember that making the world better begins with responsible action.

- The RSN Team

 
-79 # charsjcca 2011-01-11 21:23
Jared Loughner has a right to have his personhood respected. When someone who lokely has never spoken to him begin to assassinate his character it is time to draw the line in the sand. Who is competent to judge another human? Hold fast to the notion that restraint of tongue and pen is called being personally responsible. America needs more personal responsibility and less bad mouthing of others.
 
 
+24 # George D 2011-01-11 22:19
Quoting charsjcca:
Jared Loughner has a right to have his personhood respected. When someone who lokely has never spoken to him begin to assassinate his character it is time to draw the line in the sand. Who is competent to judge another human? Hold fast to the notion that restraint of tongue and pen is called being personally responsible. America needs more personal responsibility and less bad mouthing of others.


Anyone with common decency and a grasp of right and wrong knows that murder is the worst crime against another human being that anyone can inflict. Respect his personhood? Are you for real? "Respect" is not a term to use with this young man or with the people that helped to trigger him.
 
 
-23 # TommyD1of11 2011-01-12 07:27
Loughner is insane. No one "helped trigger him" just as Jody Foster didn't trigger Hinkly to shoot Reagan. Every national politician, both Left, Right and in between has and should continue to use military analogies. Such language is often ideal for explaining strategies and tactics. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, et al have all used them (remember LBJ’s “War on Poverty”. Such language also gives passion … “fight the good fight” … “defeat the forces of evil” … “hate hate”, etc.
 
 
+19 # A. Edward Cullin 2011-01-12 08:24
Quoting TommyD1of11:
Loughner is insane. No one "helped trigger him" just as Jody Foster didn't trigger Hinkly to shoot Reagan. Every national politician, both Left, Right and in between has and should continue to use military analogies. Such language is often ideal for explaining strategies and tactics. Obama, Reid, Pelosi, JFK, RFK, Martin Luther King, et al have all used them (remember LBJ’s “War on Poverty”. Such language also gives passion … “fight the good fight” … “defeat the forces of evil” … “hate hate”, etc.

Symbols and rhetoric have consequences. Sarah Palin could just have easily used a check mark to list the districts she felt the Republicans should "concentrate their efforts to unseat the incumbent."
 
 
+1 # genierae 2011-01-12 11:31
George D: Every human being deserves to be treated with respect, no matter what they've done. If Jared Loughner had been respected instead of rejected, he might have gotten the help that he so desperately needed. If you take the time to read the articles on his past, you will find that every person he came into contact with, even adult professionals, failed him. It should have been obvious that he was not functioning in a normal way, and that his mental state was getting worse, but instead of helping him, they ridiculed him and pushed him away. It may have been Jared Loughner who pulled the trigger last Saturday, but it was the people who refused to help him, that abandoned him to his fate. Where was their compassion when he needed it?
 
 
-10 # forparity 2011-01-11 23:01
Loughenr has lost all rights in my view. Almost time for the "death panel" review.
 
 
+6 # Matthew Unfried 2011-01-11 23:06
That, um, gentleman disturbs me very deeply as a both Libertarian and Constitutionali st. I am also animatedly liberal, with a small L, too. Anyone that reminds me of Anthony Hopkins in 'Silence of the Lambs' should go see a shrink, but I would never agree that we should curtail the rights of the whole if we are just worried about a few loose cannons.

I pray for all of us (and I'm not religious).
 
 
+27 # othermother 2011-01-12 02:11
Please bear in mind that the assassinations in this episode were carried out by Mr Loughner. He put himself on Myspace, youtube, etc., and Rev Jackson is entitled to draw conclusions from his postings and from the testimony of Loughner's friends and classmates. To say that his mind was unravelling is hardly character assassination.
 
 
+12 # Suzy 2011-01-12 06:34
Dear charsjcca,
When someone takes action that leads to the death of other people, innocents, they loose their right to respect of any kind. They have the right to be tried by a jury of peers and by their maker, but they certainly have invited public comment on their person as well as their actions. It was Mr. Loughner who made the judgement. "Assassinate" his character? Interesting choice of words.
 
 
+4 # genierae 2011-01-12 11:36
And so you think that mentally insane people are responsible for their actions? If he had been given the medicine that he needed, this would not have happened. He got NO help from anyone.
 
 
+3 # TommyD1of11 2011-01-12 07:20
Charsjcca, you are the poster child for why MORAL RELATIVISM is dangerous. In your world view, there can be no evil, nothing is either right or wrong.
 
 
+4 # Melody Johnson 2011-01-12 09:04
wtf?
 
 
+1 # claddagh49 2011-01-14 05:13
You speak as though you know Jared Loughner personally. You don't think his personal friends who did know him and knew he was unstable didn't try to help him? Please! Jared Loughner obviously had a personal vendetta against Ms Giffords. He decided to act on his vendetta. People who are sane are able to restrain what they say, they think about what they say before they say and do things that could harm others. Loughner obviously was not sane! People like Loughner can be influenced by people who say things that are wrong, the assult on another's character as you have put it. People like the Glenn Becks, and the Rush Limbaugh's of our society, the fact they are paid millions to spew hate appalls me. People who are already unstable feed on these kind of sick remarks they spew, people who think they are funny or agree with them, I have to wonder about their characters. So, yes, we need to stop bad mouthing, especially people who don't deserve to be bad mouthed. Jared has a right to a trial by jury, but to be respected? Sorry, not after the horror he caused.
 
 
+64 # George D 2011-01-11 22:01
Rev. Jackson is correct, as he adds his voice to the many that have said the same thing. But like sheep to the slaughter, we continue to use "codes" instead of truth. We continue to "tone down" instead of state plainly.
Make no mistake; Though people keep saying it was her "District" that was targeted by Palin, that is clearly not the truth. Had it been her "district" the label would have said "District X" under those targets; Not a NAME. Those are NAMES under those cross-hairs; Names of REAL PEOPLE, and it's about time people make a point of stating so.

Palin is a guilty as Manson was. He killed nobody but incited unbalanced people to do so. Let's get real and for once I agree with the right wingers comment; Let's stop trying to be "politically correct" on this one. There's too much at stake to do anything but state the obvious truth and pounce on the liars as they refuse to acknowledge their part in this and try to spin it as something that it is not.
 
 
-16 # TommyD1of11 2011-01-12 07:53
Loughner became obsessed with Gifford’s back in 2007 and planned his assassination long before he and most other Americans had ever heard of Palin.

George, YOUR attempt to connect any politician to the acts of this mad man are, by your standards, a form of hate speech.

If some idiot kills Palin tomorrow, couldn't we argue that you, sir, are just as "guilty as Mason" of inciting the killer.

Manson ran a mind control, hippie commune camp where everybody lived together, eat together and sleep (f_cked) together.

How can you be so irresponsible in turning this horrible tragedy into an excuse to attack someone with whose philosophies you obviously don’t agree.

You’re being very hateful and inflammatory.

Shame on you.
 
 
-21 # TommyD1of11 2011-01-12 07:53
Let's blame the DNC. The also had their map with bullseyes on targeted GOP congressmen.

Let's blame Obama. He said "they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun".
 
 
+12 # wisdom 2011-01-12 11:28
Quoting TommyD1of11:
Let's blame the DNC. The also had their map with bullseyes on targeted GOP congressmen.

Let's blame Obama. He said "they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun".

When Obama mentioned that, is aiming at the Republicans, or is he talking about Al Quaida and other terrorists? You tried to pull a fast one, just like Beck, Limbaugh, O' Reilly and other crazy conservatives. It does not work. You have been revealed!!
 
 
+13 # Lesabre 2011-01-12 08:57
I agree with you George. I've listened to much commentary by right and left pundants on the shooting and they ALL are ignoring or dancing around the elephant in the room RUPERT MURDOCH. I travel a lot and I can't go anywhere without listening to Murdoch's Right Wing big mouth personalities blasting hate, lies and half truths on almost every station on the dial. Even the religious programs have people doing the same slanted commentary and lies for the right wing cause. I believe the constant drum beating by the Murdoch media is actually the real cause of these disturbed people getting violent, and the politicians and people like Palin allow these disturbed people the delusion of being justified in violent action. They just can't control the hate and emotion that has filled their mind. I am so so upset with the media situation that I really wish I could do something about it, but I can't and value life (mine and others as well) too much to fly off the handle. It was under the G.W. Bush regime that the FCC was deregulated so that Murdoch (a non U.S. citizen) could own so much media in this country and now, every station in the country is broadcasting lsssistssssseni ng to the right wing hate 24/7. My own town Of Louisville Ky. has no less than 32 radio Murdoch stations broadcasting in this area, plus the TV stations. Something needs to be done.
 
 
+26 # Oldwolf 2011-01-11 22:18
As a Canadian I weep for the beautiful United States of America.
The Grand experiment is failing.
Once again human aspirations for Utopia are foiled by the forces of greed and avarice.
 
 
+6 # Glen 2011-01-12 15:17
It never fails, does it Oldwolf. The only thing different is how rapidly the U.S. failed, as compared to past societies. Thank you for your kind words.

Greed. Avarice. Violence.
 
 
+20 # Cabbagehead 2011-01-11 22:26
charsjcca misses the point of this calm perspective offered by Rev. Jackson. Mr. Loughner is seen as a "clearly unbalanced young man" in hundreds of comments on the Internet and letters to editors. It may be that he will survive long enough to make clear his thinking that led to the killings. There is a time for judgment under law. Rev. Jackson, given every opportunity, has not demonized the suspect. The horrible act is what characterizes the actor in this event. To see Rev. Jackson's comments as "bad mouthing" is a distorted interpretation of one of the most reasoned comments to be seen on this bizarre tragedy. Please think it through, charsjcca.
 
 
-30 # forparity 2011-01-11 22:30
Oh bull..

Sheriff Dupnik:"If you're in law enforcement and you're not a right-winger you get all kinds of heat from the right-wing nuts."

Dupnik calls SB 1070 'racist,disgust ing, unnecessary."

That's a bit inflamatory, ya think?

Dubnik is a Dem.& been a guest on the left's "Democracy Now,"and on Tavis Smiley's PBS show, providing slim evidence to support their leftist agenda in pushing for open borders-against the will of the people.

He hates the AZ bill. Fine-that's his right. However, let's put that in perspective-OK?

Dem activist Dupnik is in a fringe minority.

2010 The Az law.

A nat'l polling by Pew Research(safe to say that they are liberal) found that:

73% backed a measure req people to produce docs verifying their legal status if police ask for them,

..67% approve of allowing police to detain anyone who cannot verify that they are in the country legally.

The two most contentious pieces of the AZ bill have broad public support.

The maj support the rule of law & this law. He, on the other hand, as sheriff, does not; in fact, here, he promises not to enforce the law.

Dupnik laid out his position; doesn't intend to inforce the laws which he was elected to enforce. Where's the media demanding he be recalled?

(;~/ gary
 
 
+12 # DaveW. 2011-01-12 12:08
forparity, Slavery, the suppression of women's right's, the slaughter and "Reservationing " of Native-American s, the crushing of early twentieth century labor rights (which we now almost universally take for granted), the Chinese Exclusion Act of 1882, The Tydings/Mcduff act which stripped citizenship rights from Filipino-Americ ans (basically because they had the audacity to "consort" with white women), the Mexican-America n war with it's cries of "Manifest Destiny" (whilst unscrupulous land speculators used every imaginable trick to cheat Hispanics out of land that many had lived on for generations, the internment of Japanese-Americ ans during WW11 whose only crime was to "look" like the enemy and which after years of investigations "not one" single conviction came about. Shall I go on? The point is that all of these infractions, both brought to bear by "legal" means and moral lapses were "supported" by a majority of the people. Hitler had the support of a "majority" of his people. Miscegenation laws (legal obstacles to interracial marriage) were on the books of many states well past the mid-way point of the last century. They had, in many areas, widespread "public support." Forget Right or Left. Hate speech IS incendiary. History bears this out. Everyone engaging in it needs to be reminded, once again, of the simple concept of knowing the difference between right and wrong.
 
 
+3 # AndreM5 2011-01-12 15:37
You might be able to assemble a cogent argument if you got the right law that the Sheriff was referring to. He is against the "anyone can carry at any time" gun law.
 
 
-29 # forparity 2011-01-11 22:34
Rev -- it's anti-illegal immigrant, not anti-immigrant posturing.

It's as Candidate Obama promised: to: improve border security, send the illegal immigrants to the back of the line, to pay a fine, to make them learn English, and to wait their turn to get back in. Obama also promised, in conclusion that, "we can once again be a nation of laws and a nation of immigrants. That's what I intend to do as president of the United States."
It's as the Father of Earth Day insisted: , the late Sen. Gaylord Nelson; in favor of major immigration reductions to save the environment.

Besides most of the public calls for leaders to be killed, come from pundits and journalists on the left - not the right, including sitting democratic congressmen.

They, if anybody, need to be held accountable.
 
 
+17 # phaedrasblink 2011-01-12 07:49
"Most of the public calls for leaders to be killed, come from pundits and journalists on the left — not the right."

This is a very strange comment. It wasn't a Republican representative shot by a person struggling with their sanity, who found solace in the words of Democratic public figures who suggested the solution to their problem was to pick up a gun to remove "faggot lovers" and "baby killers" from office.

Can you please provide evidence to support your claim? In other words, can you provide links to articles with direct quotes from "pundits, journalists and sitting democratic congressman" saying this?

My experience over the last decade has been as follows: after 9/11 the Republican Party, with Bush at the head of it, called for war. This fired up the entire GOP. Anybody who disagreed was in the way. In order to get into Iraq, Bush needed a lot of help from news stations like FOX to do two things: create "Osama Hussein" and silence or drown out anybody who disagreed by creating a volatile environment where name-calling was valued over dialogue. If you didn't agree with the right (regardless of where you stood politically), you were "unAmerican." I remember this vividly. All of this. It was deeply disturbing to witness. Might became right. This got us where we are today.
 
 
-16 # forparity 2011-01-12 09:28
You mean like the sitting Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa, who called for the candidate for Gov in Fl:

"Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."

You mean the calls to kill Cheney and Bush? Look, that started long before even the 2000 election - and was constant during his term.

The movie about assasinating a sitting US Pres. (imagine one like that about Obama??)

Names associated w such. Schulz, Maher, Mike Malloy (often). The DailyKos and Huffington Post commenters breath it - and about half my friends are comfortable with it.

Of course when it comes to simple hate speech and smearing of others children, there is no comparison - the left just can't help itself.. it flows off the tongue and the pen.

I'd wonder if Rush (I don't listen to him - so I don't know) ever said anything approaching this from Sean Penn, being interviewed on CBS, that those who criticize him, he hopes that they died screaming in pain from rectal cancer.

Sweet, isn't it? Following that, he's all over the national news media - they just love it.. that's not raising the loud vitriol level.
 
 
+12 # jim del norte 2011-01-12 00:50
Of course Jesse Jackson is right on all counts here. And Loughner must be judged and an example must be made of it. He may be mixed-up, even criminally insane (though I doubt it), but he's above all full of hate and that hate comes from somewhere, from a certain political culture that he didn't invent.
 
 
+20 # george sebouhian 2011-01-12 01:19
I agree that the public has no training in judging the mind-set of another, and therefore should refrain from taking a position that the court will be responsible for.

On the other hand, kudos to Jesse Jackson for speaking the truth about inflammatory rhetoric.
 
 
+10 # Don DeBar 2011-01-12 03:15
From Cynthia McKinney - a MUST read!

http://www.facebook.com/notes/cynthia-mckinney/us-shooting-causes-political-stir/483284621138

I will begin by expressing all the necessary condolences and the general outrage that I think many people feel about what happened yesterday (referring to the shopping center shooting). But certainly as a former member of congress who received many death threats and who received bomb threats - this is something that has gone to an extreme.

This act was certainly extremist and it was definitely considered as terrorism if you happened to have been there and the chilling effect it might have on others. But I do just want to also stress (as a parallel issue) as we continue to bury young black men, who are victims of state terrorism in the form of police officers who run roughshod and randomly throughout the black community, that this kind of violence is not anything new. It's just new when it comes to this particular community at this particular level...
 
 
-16 # lnason@umassd.edu 2011-01-12 04:31
Jackson's claim that overheated rhetoric makes violence more likely can be tested in the real world.

If his claim were true, Venezuela, which tolerates almost no anti-government rhetoric, would have less violence than the US where everyone is entitled to vent their most outrageous sentiments. But Venezuela has one of the highest crime rates in the Americas and Chavez recently even had to suppress coverage of murders by making it illegal to print morgue pictures or disseminate statistics on murders.

The sad fact is that unbalanced people might grasp at anything in the environment to fuel their fantasies. If it weren't politics, it would be hair styles or poetry or rock music. We should not allow the inevitable tragedies that result from schizophrenics acting out into surrendering our rights to free expression without strong evidence that such surrender would be effective.

Lee Nason
New Bedford, Massachusetts
 
 
+15 # doctoretty 2011-01-12 07:41
There is sociological research available that shows the impact of the power of suggestion (Werther Effect) on suicide and homicide rates. The association between media and violence is not as random as you suggest.
 
 
+7 # DaveW. 2011-01-12 14:04
Lee Nason, "Jackson's claim that overheated rhetoric makes violence more likely can be tested in the real world."
We have "tested" it sir. Adolph Hitler "inflamed" first a country then brought the rest of the world into a conflagration that killed millions. His "principle" weapon as he "amassed" his followers were WORDS! Was all of Germany "unbalanced" during the 1920's and 30's? Hair styles, poetry and rock music generally don't incite people to the level of discourse we're seeing in our country right now. Time to get out the history book sir. Bold actions, whether for mankind's benefit or his downfall, often begin with bold words.
 
 
+7 # Uppity Woman 2011-01-12 14:15
No one is seriously suggesting that anyone give up their first amendment rights. What I see that is being suggested (and reasonably, I might add) is that people who hold a megaphone, whether it be an electronic megaphone in a crowd or a money megaphone on the airwaves, can drown out the speech of those who do not possess megaphones, and so have a greater responsibility to use their magnified speech responsibly. This is just common sense, and the talk about rights is just deflection from the real issue, which is about responsibility.

Anyone who thinks the current climate of political vitriol is unconnected to the latest violence in Tucson, is incredibly naive, or disingenuous. No one has suggested that the vitriol from the right wing is directly responsible, but to say there is no effect is equally laughable. These folks constantly make me uncomfortable, so I know that we are all affected, one way or another, and to greater and lesser extents.
 
 
+17 # Realist 2011-01-12 06:36
All"rights" have imitations. Shouting "Fire" in a crowded theater is not exercising freedom of speech. By the same token, putting cross-hairs in a political district is inciting to violence, and that too is not covered by freedom of speech. If Sarah Palin does dot take personal responsibility for her actions of inciting to violence, then she further shows who she really is., an irresponsible, loud mouth, for whom we have John McCain to thank. Without him she'd still be unknown, except in Alaska. Whatever was he thinking?
 
 
+8 # Aygen 2011-01-12 07:09
January 12
Jared Loughner is a nobody. A patsy for right wing rhethoric. The guilty ones are right wing Republicans, redneck nutcases, Sarah "pea brain Palin" and her backers, Tea Party members and sympathisers, rightwing TV, radio and press commentators,gr eedy/seedy/croo ked capitalists, religious nutcases, antisemites, the American Rifle Association, greedy, crooked, seedy capitalists. There is a very dangerous climate of violence, hate and prejudice in America like I've never seen before in America. That is a very bad. Its a good thing I don't live there anymore. omen.
Aygen
Istanbul
 
 
+3 # Lesabre 2011-01-12 09:06
Yes Yes I agree. Somehow we need to get out politicans to speak up like you have and quit dancing around the truth...
 
 
+3 # genierae 2011-01-12 13:01
Aygen: Name-calling doesn't help anything. Jared Loughner is a very sick, lost human being who got help from NO ONE. If one person in his life had ever shown him compassion; if he had been treated with the proper medication; if he lived in a place where the NRA didn't have more rights than he does; if he lived in a world where violence wasn't worshiped; this horrific event would not have happened.
 
 
+9 # Roy Arthur Swanson 2011-01-12 07:25
When Bush lied, people died; when Palin takes aim, it is the same.
 
 
+4 # wisdom 2011-01-12 19:35
Quoting Roy Arthur Swanson:
When Bush lied, people died; when Palin takes aim, it is the same.

I have a better one:
When Palin takes aim, its to kill!
 
 
+7 # dr.david 2011-01-12 07:54
I am no fan of Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann, Glen Beck, Rush Limbaugh, or the lunatics among their supporters, but I am concerned that it is unfair and exploitative to associate their politics or their "rhetoric" too closely with the insane act of a delusional paranoid schizophrenic. On the other hand, I do believe that it is highly relevant to focus on a culture that allows such maniacs to purchase guns so freely in this country, especially in Arizona. Let us therefore focus our outrage less on any particular political party and more on striving for more rational gun control.
 
 
+9 # Lesabre 2011-01-12 09:03
You don't get it. The broadcast blowhards are beating the drum and filling everyone with tension. I am filled with tension because of what they say, but, I'm not going to fly off the handle. Disturbed people listen to this hate rheortic on The Murdoch stations and feel the need to act, then the (so called) politicans of the right step up and deliver a few coh choice statements like " we need a second ammendment remedy" and wa-la--these disturbed people feel justified with theuir tension and and feel like it is OK to take action.
 
 
+8 # Nanci 2011-01-12 08:57
Thank you, Rev. Jackson!

EVERY ACTION HAS AN EQUAL AND OPPOSITE REACTION - Einstein
Regardless of color of skin, gender, ethnicity, creed, socio economic status, north or south, and 'red or blue', we are all PEOPLE, and WE are ALL ultimately responsible for our moral compass at every level.

The Arizona tragedy is another MAJOR wake-up call! When adults bully other adults, kids mimic and in turn bully other kids. How many more bully related child suicides will it take before we WAKE-UP and act like mature adults? How many more violent acts from desperate youth with histories of being severely bullied and alienated for being 'different' will it take before we demand that ALL children in need of mental health services be provided?

Research statistics show that the MAJORITY of US children in need of mental health services continue to slip through the cracks. Experts say that we must recognize their early cries for help if we are to provide them healthful interventions and opportunities to better lives.

The PROBLEM is complex. We the people, need to stand up and think twice before being dumbed down, drugged down and swayed by clever spin with manipulations of fear, guilt and shame.
 
 
+3 # Gene Herman 2011-01-12 09:05
What/why does a twentytwo year old want to shoot/kill as many people as he can...including little children...I don't think he learned this in school.
What ever happened to civil discourse...so last century, eh?
 
 
+5 # DrAnne 2011-01-12 10:14
The "Right" to "Free" Speech is necessarily accompanied by "Responsibility " - most seem to forget about that difficult latter concept.

That responsibility includes to not add to an overall toxic climate that exists today. We have seen the amplification effects of the: internet, 24-hour "talking boxes", abolishment of the fairness doctrine, free access to ever more potent killing contraptions, difficulties in gaining access to competent mental health care, and other factors contribute to this climate. The horrific tragedy in Tucson was an extreme "weather" incident, and defies any short, snappy explanations in these forums.

But at least can't we all not keep adding to the poisonous brew? Bro's where da luv?
 
 
+3 # atdreams 2011-01-12 12:01
Well finely we get comments from the other side of reason, I was beginning to think that RSN was only going to have preachers to the choir.
 
 
+2 # genierae 2011-01-12 13:07
Thank you Jesse Jackson. I appreciate all the good work that you have done for so many years. We can always count on your wisdom and good counsel. I wish you all the best!
 

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