Arizona Shooting – It’s Sad and I’m Exhausted
January 10, 2011
(ChattahBox Op/Ed News) – It’s sad and I’m exhausted. Didn’t we just do this the other day? Wasn’t there another mass murder committed by some nutjob with a gun and wasn’t he the only one to blame? I don’t know. Maybe it was a week or two weeks or maybe it’s just that so many people are murdered by handguns in our country that they seem to blend together.
Gunshots rang out in Tucson, Az. Six Americans lay dead including a nine year old little girl who was there because she had an interest in politics. A US Congress woman is in the hospital with a tunnel in her brain caused by the bullet of a deranged young man. She warned us this might happen.It’s sad and I’m exhausted.
We’re all outraged by this violence but some are rushing to cover their tracks. While most people see this massacre as a the end result of right wing hysterical politics, the right in turn is running for cover and doing what they do best. Which, is to blame the left. So, let me get this straight, Gabrielle Giffords a Democrat is fighting for her life in an Arizona hospital, thirteen others were shot and six lay dead and it’s the left’s fault. Please tell me how? Did Democrats support the repeal of gun safety laws which allowed the killer to legally purchase his gun with extended round magazines? Ten round magazines apparently aren’t large enough for target shooting, so the right pushed for that law to be repealed. And it’s the lefts fault for inflaming the political rhetoric night and day with violent and apocalyptic speech. Sarah Palin and her gun sight/cross hair graphics encouraging her followers to ‘take them out”, “don’t retreat, reload”. Sharon Angle in Nevada warning of “2nd amendment remedies” if the Tea Party doesn’t get their way”. Glenn Beck on many occasions has talked about killing someone on his tv and radio shows as has Neil Bortz and Mark Levin. It doesn’t stop with them. It’s right wing protesters openly carrying guns to President Obama’s speeches. Honestly, what message do they think that sends? The right has used violent revolutionary language ever since Obama was elected president. Day and night their message is heard. For most of us the language is sad but does not move us to take action. For some, particularly on the extreme fringe or mentally unstable it is a call to arms, literally.
Of course the right wants us to believe that the tragedy was about one lone gunman and that they had no part in the death of a young girl. Nobody wants the public to think them guilty of such heinous crimes. But they are guilty. And it’s not just the extreme right that’s guilty. It’s all Republicans who didn’t speak out against such rhetoric and it’s the leadership in particular who bear some responsibility. Their silence was as much an affirmation of violent inducing speech as if they said the words themselves.
True, they did not pull the trigger. True, it’s still unclear what motive this gunman had for murdering and maiming innocent people. But I can assure you that Democrats had very little to do with allowing the sale of those extended magazines and I can assure that no one in their right mind can blame Democrats for murderous speech. The Republicans and the extreme right which they so openly support can not say those things.
I do not have enough pages here to write about every single instance of right wing induced threat or of violent act, so I will list only a few. If you want more jump on google.com they won’t be hard to find.
During the presidential campaign the Secrect Service attributed an uptick in threats against candidate Obama to Sarah Palin’s increasingly violent rhetoric. Crowds came to see her and yelled “kill him” or “terrorist” when Obama’s name was uttered.
After months of railing against several liberal think tanks a Glenn Beck devotee was arrested with armed weapons as he was enroute to murder those who worked there. Three Pittsburgh police officers were murdered by one of his followers. A man in Idaho was arrested with homemade bombs, who inspired him? Glenn Beck of course.
In 2009 the Dept. Homeland Security released a report of a dramatic increase of violence and threats by right wing activists. Guess who they support?
Honestly I could go on and on. The Internet is full of these stories. But what’s the point? If you’re at all a fair minded person who reads these types of articles you already know that. If you’re a closed minded right winger and have somehow come across this piece you’ll denounce it without thought.
So yes, I’m sad and I’m exhausted. This won’t be the end of gun violence. The dead are forever gone and the wounded forever scarred. The right sees no part in their own complicity and the left seem powerless to change the cycle of hate and violence. In the end though, I’ll keep trying. I’ll continue to write about needless violence and hate filled speech. Sooner or later we will come to our senses or senseless murder will continue.