Sunday, January 09, 2011

Thoughts on Today's Shooting

Today's shooting of Congresswoman Giffords is a senseless act, perhaps incited by the rabid hatred bandied about in politics these days. I wish we could move past hate. But, since that seems impossible, I wish people who support the thinking that we can address our problems by shooting people would own their responsibility for creating an environment where someone takes things to this extreme.

I'm not suggesting that every politically conservative person thinks this is a good thing. I am saying that continual references to shooting people, which is the purview of the ultra right-wing as best I can tell, encourages a more violent society.

Talking about "targeting" people in political campaigns can be taken literally by some mentally unstable people. If you're talking that way you must accept some responsibility for an environment that encourages the thought that it's appropriate to shoot those we disagree with. It does nothing to add to civility and discourse in government.

Lest you think I'm just making it up, this was on Sarah Palin's website, supporting the Tea Party candidate, while putting gun sights on Giffords. Of course it has now been removed.

You cannot support people who put gun sight targets over candidates they don't agree with, and pretend like you're not involved. You're involved. When you publicly support any individual or group where things like this are deemed appropriate, you're giving tacit approval of the mentality that if someone disagrees with you it's okay to "target" them with a gun.

Did Palin pull the trigger? Of course not. Did the average Tea Party person pull the trigger? No. But, is the metaphor of shooting people an appropriate one in politics? No, absolutely not. And you shouldn't support anyone who uses it. Period.

I was shocked when I saw this graphic used months ago. This isn't about issues or conservative/liberal, and it's not about guns and the right to own them. I probably have more experience with guns than 90% of the people who blather on incessantly about how important it is that they have the right to own guns. This is about not shooting people - or encouraging others to shoot people - you don't happen to agree with.


sigerson said...

And perhaps more to the point: What can we do about keeping mentally unstable people from getting guns?

Patsy Terrell said...

Apparently the gun was purchased legally in November. So what we're doing isn't working.

lillie said...

I so agree with ever word you wrote. My feeling precisely! What really blows my mind is that Sarah Palin claims to be a devout Christian, as to many of her followers. I simply do not understand this brand of Christianity and it is not my concept of what it means to be a Christian. It's SICK!