There was an assassination attempt today on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) that left her and 12 others injured and killed 6 people including an aide, a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl. Jared Loughner, a 22 year old military reject, has been arrested and will surely be charged with murder, attempted murder and a variety of other charges. It appears that he acted alone, according to investigators. There’s no evidence at this time that this attack was political, but let’s not kid ourselves here. Like many other Democrats, Giffords was threatened when health-care reform was passed in March 2010. When asked if she had any enemies, Giffords’ father said “Yeah, the whole Tea Party.”
This attack does have the marks of Sarah Palin written all over it. Sarah Palin literally targeted Rep. Giffords on her SARAHPAC web site, showing a map of the United States with gun sights locating 20 districts where Democrats held congressional offices. After the assassination attempt, the site was taken down. Palin is well known for her irresponsible and reckless statements. All she needed was for some unstable lunatic with a gun to read into her rhetoric. It happened today in Arizona.
We can’t blame anybody but the shooter for the attack in Tucson. He was the one with the gun and mindset. Full responsibility belongs to him.
But, our politicians must stop the hate mongering on anybody that disagrees with them. Nothing good can come from it. It can only add fuel to the fire burning inside some unstable lunatic with a gun. Some of the comments we’ve heard from our elected leaders have been uncalled for. For instance….
Sarah Palin: “Shoot with accuracy. Aim high and remember it takes blood, sweat and tears to win.”
Sarah Palin: “Don’t retreat… Instead reload.”
Sharron Angle: “I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”
Michele Bachmann: “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue.”
Michele Bachmann: “Thomas Jefferson told us, ‘Having a revolution every now and then is a good thing’ and the people, We the People are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country.”
We deserve to have honest, mature, discussions and debates over the issues. The angry political rhetoric must cease, starting now.
When Rep. Giffords learned about the gun sight map targeting her district, this is what she said:
“Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action.”
How can we not be haunted by this?
Update (1/9/2011 at 11:00am EST): Law enforcement in Tucson has increased the number of those shot to 20.