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Palin ‘Target’ Graphic in Perspective

Steven Taylor has already posted on the now-infamous Palin “Target” Graphic, in which the  Gabriel Gifford’s congressional district was depicted in crosshairs of “20 House Democrats from districts we carried in 2008 voted for the health care bill” and proclaiming with “IT’S TIME TO TAKE A STAND.”

As horrendous as this looks in hindsight, with Giffords fighting for her life and six others, including a federal judge and a 9-year-old girl, dead, the fact of the matter, as Alex Massie points out, “Palin’s poster was only a souped-up version of a campaign trope that both parties have been happy to employ in the past.”   He points us to a posting from John Sexton from last March showing similar graphics employed by the moderate Democratic Leadership Council and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee.

The DLC one appeared in the December 13, 2004 edition of Blueprint Magazine:

The article by Will Marshall is perfectly benign campaign strategizing.  But it has targets on Republican-held states that Bush won by less than 10 points in 2004.   It’s called “Targeting Strategy.”   It says, in all caps, “BEHIND ENEMY LINES.”    (And, incidentally, it turned out to be rather prescient, as Barack Obama indeed won several of these states in 2008.)

The DCCC one is from February 23, 2010:

Clicking on the targets reveals this:

So far as I know, neither of the above Democratic graphics led to any shooting sprees.  Then again, there’s no current evidence that yesterday’s shooter was inspired by the Palin graphic, either.  Neither Alex nor I are Palin fans, by any stretch of the imagination.   But she’s simply not culpable in yesterday’s outrage.

Alex gets it exactly right:

While you cannot legislate for lunatics there’s also little need to give them any encouragement. But the more we learn about Jared Loughner the more it seems probable – at this stage – that he’s the kind of mentally unstable person who neither needed nor took any inspiration from Palin or the Tea Party or anything other than powerful fantasies that were his own creation.

And this too is normal. Political violence of this type is almost definitionally unhinged but it’s striking how rare it turns out to be the case that the perpetrators can be fitted into one neat political profile or another. And even when they can their targets are frequently so at odds with the meaning of their supposed “philosophy” that trying to “make sense” of such matters becomes an even more frustrating task.

Anyway, we may think these are unusually turbulent times, fanned by unusual quantities of cheap and phoney populism, scaremongering and hysteria but this is not in fact the case. ‘Twas almost ever thus. Remember McKinley and Garfield too. The paranoid style has rarely lacked followers and, just as significantly, the centre has also always had a healthy paranoia of its own. Sometimes, as is the case today or in the aftermath of any other act of grim violence, this will seem unusually plausible. Most of the time, however, the scare stories about a new era of Militiamen or whatever are seriously over-cooked. The temper of these American  times – despite what you will read everywhere today and tomorrow – is not unusually rebarbative or even uncommonly obtuse. (What might be said, mind you, is that the level of rhetoric is out of proportion to the stakes involved in the political game these days.)

The fact of the matter is that a country of 300 million people cannot help but be generously larded with oddballs, freaks, paranoids and assorted other nutters. Couple that with the American genius for self-realization and you soon begin to wonder why there isn’t more politically-themed violence than is actually the case.

I have actually been wondering that for quite some time.  I’m just thankful that incidents like yesterday’s remain rare and shocking.

UPDATE:   In a posting titled “The Cloudy Logic of ‘Political’ Shootings,” James Fallows takes us on a historical tour showing “how rarely the ‘politics’ of an assassination (or attempt) match up cleanly with the main issues for which a public figure has stood.”  Sirhan Sirhan (Robert Kennedy), Arthur Bremer (George Wallace attempt), John Hinckley (Ronald Reagan attempt), Squeaky Fromme (Gerald Ford attempt), and those who killed McKinley and Garfield and tried to kill Truman all chose targets who seemingly had nothing to do with their own agenda.

Oddly, given that buildup, he then concludes:

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.”

Now, I’ve been condemning this absurd rhetoric — and even the shouting at the townhall meetings and the like — for years.  I think ratcheting down the rhetoric several notches would be quite helpful.  Not because it’s likely to lead to violence, but because it’s unhealthy for our democracy to overexaggerate our differences and to treat our fellow countrymen who happen to disagree with us as if they were enemies.

And, yes, I think bringing rifles to political rallies and using the language of revolution to describe opposition to relatively minor changes to the tax code is absurd.  But it’s not because I think these people are actually likely to go out and shoot somebody but rather because it demeans those who fought and died in our actual wars.

While I disagree with Barack Obama on a host of issues, and even think his policy agenda is in the direction of marginally diminishing our freedom, he’s the legitimately elected president of these United States, not a tyrant. As such, the way to stop him is to muster public opposition to his policies (check), elect more Republicans to the Congress (check), and recruit an able candidate with a positive agenda to defeat him at the ballot box in 2012 (work in progress).

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About James Joyner
James Joyner is the publisher of Outside the Beltway, an associate professor of security studies at the Marine Corps Command and Staff College, and a nonresident senior fellow at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. He has a PhD in political science from The University of Alabama. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter.

Comments

  1. Jeff says:

    very even handed and informative … good jobs guys …

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  2. jwest says:

    (This comment was just posted on the previous thread, but it might be more relevant here as people are assuming Giffords’ politics were the object of Loughner’s anger.)

    According to the NY Times, Loughner shot Judge Roll first.

    “Ms. Giffords had been talking to a couple about Medicare and reimbursements, and Judge Roll had just walked up to her and shouted “Hi,” when the gunman, wearing sunglasses and perhaps a hood of some sort, approached and shot the judge, Mr. Kimble said. “Everyone hit the ground,” he said. “It was so shocking.”

    If this is accurate, it would appear he was the primary target of this radical liberal’s anger, not Congresswoman Giffords. Even crazy assassins tend to take out the most important (to them) target first.

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  3. john personna says:

    It wasn’t just the graphic though, was it James?

    The reaction to the graphic grew out of the growing zeitgeist. That included people wearing guns to political rallies. That included “reload” language. It included a burst in gun sales as conservatives feared Obama(*). It included that weird scene were Senator McCain tried to walk back and calm the woman so frightened. We had the weird “second amendment solutions line.”

    So while you are technically correct that this graphic isn’t totally different (it is different though), I think you shortchange us, by not really putting it in the political perspective.

    Look, no one reasonable is going to blame Palin or conservatives for this, but I think some of us are reasonable is disliking this:

    – first we were told we could not complain about violent imagery, because no one would take it seriously

    – then we were told we were told we could not complain about violent imagery, because (a) “everyone does it” (false) or “this was just a nut” (exactly the point)

    * – Gun sales surge after Obama’s election

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  4. john personna says:

    Shorter: the fact that you did not address “reload” says that you really didn’t want to look at the whole thing at once.

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  5. [...] (James Joyner): See “Palin ‘Target’ Graphic in Perspective” for historical context and further discussion. FILED UNDER: Crime, Quick Picks, Steven [...]

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  6. Brummagem Joe says:

    Nice bit of rationalisation Jim. The problem of course is that Palin’s cross hairs map and the rhetoric she surrounded it with is only one brick in the wall of extremist political activism. Every day, as that sheriff in Tucson pointed out, we have rabble rousers on talk radio or cable shows implicitly inciting violence either by word or appearing in nazi uniforms etc. These guys are essentially doing it for profit but they know their market. Unfortunately, as you know as well as I do, there are plenty of politicians on the right who picked up on this sort of imagery to further arouse their followers. Meanwhile the leadership have by and large looked the other way. The fact is this country is full of nuts, many states of which AZ is in the forefront make access to guns easy, so when you have a climate of totally over the top political rhetoric , there’s a fair chance this sort of thing is going to happen. Conservatives know this which is why they are massively on defense over this incident just as they were over McVeigh back in the early 90’s. There’s a history of political violence in this country. Back in the early 70’s it was the far left who were often the source of it but today it’s the far right. Hopefully this event is going to cause some rethinking but I’m not optimistic and rationalisations of what was clearly unfortunate imagery by Palin which Giffard herself warned would have consequences is part of the reason why.

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  7. Pug says:

    this radical liberal’s anger..

    Wonder why a “radical liberal” would target a Democrat who voted for the health care bill and the dream act, two major right-wing boogeymen?

    Comments like that are dumb by definition.

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  8. James Joyner says:

    @john p:

    Why would I address the “reload” issue in a post about a graphic that doesn’t use that word?

    I address the larger context via the longish Alex Massie excerpt at the end of the post. We have cycles of elevated political rhetoric periodically. We’re in one of them.

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  9. john personna says:

    “Why would I address the “reload” issue in a post about a graphic that doesn’t use that word?”

    Very telling.

    To make it clear though, is this about yesterday’s tragedy in the American context, or is this specifically about one graphic, one day, disconnected?

    As Joe says, seeking to disconnect it looks like rationalization.

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  10. rodney dill says:

    “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun,” – Barack Obama, 6/14/2008

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  11. john personna says:

    Put another way, if this graph were the only thing anyone could name as “violent imagery” they would look pretty silly. No question.

    That this is not the only thing is kinda the point.

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  12. Brummagem Joe says:

    “If this is accurate, it would appear he was the primary target of this radical liberal’s anger, not Congresswoman Giffords.”

    Another reason why I’m not optimistic.

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  13. john personna says:

    Good find rodney, that’s the kind of thing that should be left out of politics.

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  14. Pug says:

    We have cycles of elevated political rhetoric periodically

    We’ve also had a few cycles of elevated political violence and assassination. The year 1968 ring a bell?

    Lee Harvey Oswald, Arthur Bremmer, Sirhan Sirhan. These were all loner nuts too.

    Irresponsible rhetoric about “second ammendment solutions” and “reloading” don’t help. Especially from those seeking high office.

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  15. steve says:

    “I have actually been wondering that for quite some time. I’m just thankful that incidents like yesterday’s remain rare and shocking.”

    Me too. The outrage machines work non-stop. We have been in a fairly virulent cycle where losing an election was portrayed as tyranny. Where small increases in taxes were portrayed as socialism/communism/fascism. Where the opposition is portrayed as hating America.

    I would like to think that the rhetoric will be turned down a bit now, but I think it unlikely. It is a full time job for hundreds, if not thousands, of people. Individual blowhards make millions. Keeping the base riled up is a given in modern politics.

    Steve

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  16. Pug says:

    James, what happens next time somebody shows up at a politcal rally with a gun strapped to his hip?

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  17. Brummagem Joe says:

    “James, what happens next time somebody shows up at a politcal rally with a gun strapped to his hip?”

    It doesn’t have to be strapped to his hip in AZ. Concealed firearms are legal in the state.

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  18. john personna says:

    I think when James fully integrates these two new sentences he’ll have the answer:

    I think ratcheting down the rhetoric several notches would be quite helpful. Not because it’s likely to lead to violence, but because it’s unhealthy for our democracy to overexaggerate our differences and to treat our fellow countrymen who happen to disagree with us as if they were enemies.

    Why exactly is it unhealthy? In part because yes, it can lead to violence.

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  19. Jeff says:

    Those colored round things? They’re targets, not gun-sites, you disingenuous dipstick.

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  20. Bigfoot says:

    If the gunman had turned out to be a muslim, a lot of people who now seem willing to blame Tea Partiers and right-wing talk show rhetoric for Loughner’s actions (despite a lack of evidence, so far, that he was in any way motivated by these) would be admonishing us against blaming muslims in general, and would searching for any motive other than islamic teachings that could be used to explain the shootings, even if the shooter had a website full of statements praising islam and condemning infidels.

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  21. john personna says:

    There may be a few odd people who are blaming Tea Partiers in general, Bigfoot. I have no problem saying those people are wrong. In fact, the more they think is “is” the Tea Party the more likely they are on the crazy scale themselves.

    What I’m saying was that the violent imagery was a mistake, and should have been taken on earlier. Not even because of this. Because, as James says, we saw it as a bad idea before this even happened.

    The Tea Party can make their message without the gun metaphors, and they can turn back people who show up with guns to peaceful political rallies.

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  22. Dave says:

    Why would I address the “reload” issue in a post about a graphic that doesn’t use that word?

    James — As I understand it, the “Don’t retreat, RELOAD” phrase was used by Palin in a tweet directing people to the map with congressional districts under crosshairs. That’s why the two are related.

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  23. Brummagem Joe says:

    Bigfoot says:
    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 09:14
    “If the gunman had turned out to be a muslim, a lot of people who now seem willing to blame Tea Partiers and right-wing talk show rhetoric for Loughner’s actions”

    There would also be a lot of people, demanding that the muslim religion be banned and all muslim non citizens deported. And au contraire there is some evidence that this guy was motivated by violent anti government sentiments which are a central plank of much right wing rhetoric. But top marks for creativity in the rationalisation department.

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  24. Michael says:

    James — As I understand it, the “Don’t retreat, RELOAD” phrase was used by Palin in a tweet directing people to the map with congressional districts under crosshairs. That’s why the two are related.

    Indeed. The tweet in question has since been removed, but someone took a screenshot of it: http://www.mobypicture.com/user/jfraseruk/view/8445294

    Her Facebook page prominently featured the graphic in question at the time.

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  25. Jeremy says:

    Jared Lee Loner (whoops, “Loughner”) is practically a walking stereotype.

    He’s a rorschach inkblot and you guys fell for it.

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  26. HelloWorld says:

    Ummm…you do know the difference between a target and rifle scope I take it? I think a target is appropriate, but a rifle scope certainly is not…or are you just trying to provide cover for people who say and do stupid things?

    Just face it – the rifle scope is sending a tongue and check message. The right needs tp admit its in poor taste, stop the rhetoric and lets move on.

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  27. jwest says:

    Pug,

    How typically liberal of you to make statements that have no bearing in fact and defy logic.

    Every ounce of speculation concerning Loughner being associated with the Tea Party or influenced by right wing media is just that – speculation. The only first-person accounts we have by people who actually knew Loughner point to the fact he was radically left wing……

    “As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy,” the former classmate, Caitie Parker, wrote in a series of Twitter feeds Saturday. “I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.”
    “He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was ‘stupid & unintelligent,’ ” she wrote.
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09shooter.html?hp=&pagewanted=all

    This, coupled with the fact that Loughner shot a Republican federal judge first should make even the dullest liberal stop and think before jumping on the MSNBC bandwagon blaming the right for this tragedy.

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  28. PJ says:

    “…with the fact that Loughner shot a Republican federal judge first”

    Because that judge had received death threats and was given extra protection because of rulings that the left hated? Like anti-abortion? No, he didn’t.

    Or did he receive death threats because he let illegal immigrants sue a ranch owner? Yes, he did.

    I bet he once was accused of being a RINO, and that there should have been better litmus tests to pick conservative judges….

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  29. The Other Ed says:

    I think you also have to take into account concurrent statements this fall like Sharon Angle’s “Second Amendment remedies” and by Gifford’s Tea party opponent in November; Jesse Kelly’s campaign event language said “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M15 with Jesse Kelly”.

    Now I don’t think that the shooter is anything more than a profoundly unbalanced individual but I think our political leaders have to take into account the effect that their extreme language may have on the less stable members of the society.

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  30. Brummagem Joe says:

    “This, coupled with the fact that Loughner shot a Republican federal judge first should make even the dullest liberal stop ”

    He wasn’t a “Republican” federal judge. He may have been appointed by G. H. W. Bush (usually derided as a RINO by the far right) but when he was appointed to the federal bench the politics are supposed to be left behind. He had also been the subject of right wing death threats after certifying a class action suit by illegal immigrants. There’s obviously unlikely to be any connection between Loughner and the tea party. But it’s fairly obvious he shares the same deep resentments against goverment (which is why the victim’s father spoke as he did) and it wasn’t a Republican he shot was it (the Tucson police are in no doubt that Giffard was the target). Another straight A in the rationalisation department.

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  31. Pug says:

    How typically liberal of you to make statements that have no bearing in fact and defy logic

    Maybe you should explain briefly what the hell you are talking about.

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  32. HelloWorld says:

    Pug –

    You sound uninformed. The Tea Party can’t step away from this. The following statements are directly from his “last words”. They can be mapped directly to Tea Pary positions. Also, he listed his favorit book as Animal Farm (not Mien Kempf as I keep hearing this morning on meet the press).

    “read the United States of America’s Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.”

    “reading the second United States Constitution, I can’t trust the current government because of the ratifications”

    “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!”

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  33. rodney dill says:

    Those colored round things? They’re targets, not gun-sites, you disingenuous dipstick.

    In scanning the posts and comments I must’ve missed who calls them gun-sites (a noun laden with firearm rhetoric potential) versus targets (a noun laden with firearm rhetoric potential).

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  34. rodney dill says:

    Maybe Palin should use a small snarling Grizzly bear icon at each of the sites she wants the Tea Party to focus on. Then surely politicians will be safe as no one will think to attack with a gun, as all the radical whack jobs will be out trying to tame bears for that purpose.

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  35. I’d point out that even the graphics aren’t equivalent. Note that everyone but Palin’s show a bullseye, not a targetting reticle.

    The others all depict the thing being shot at, and what’s more a thing being shot at that creates a context (target shooting) that’s inherently non violent.

    Palin’s, on the other hand, shows the thing doing the shooting and leaves the desired target up to implication.

    And as other’s point out, this graphic didn’t exist in isolation; it was part of a constant string of references by tea party advocates to violent revolution.

    Now does this mean Palin is to blame for anyone who would start engaging in actual violence? No. But she has been frequently irresponsible in her word choice and is also, like many politicians, willing to pander to those who do advocate violence.

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  36. PD Shaw says:

    The guy is clearly going to be declared to have a psychotic disorder in the coming weeks or months.

    How do you describe people who use his disease to advance their own agenda, whether it’s about drugs, religion, politics or the media?

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  37. Michelle says:

    jwest, the gunman didn’t shot the judge first, he shot the congresswoman first. Eyewitnesses have stated this again and again.

    Stop spreading this idea that the judge was shot first. You have taken that quote out of context.

    Just stop.

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  38. An Interested Party says:

    “How do you describe people who use his disease to advance their own agenda, whether it’s about drugs, religion, politics or the media?”

    Indeed…any effort by anyone to paint him as some sort of representative of the left or the right would appear to be ridiculous as he seems to be mentally unbalanced…at the same time, it isn’t inappropriate to talk about toning down the political rhetoric on all sides, whether it be graphics of crosshairs or talk of “reloading”…

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  39. PD Shaw says:

    Interesting that someone would think toning down the rhetoric can be accomplished by accusing a person, group or idealogy with some degree of complicity in murder.

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  40. anjin-san says:

    > but I think our political leaders have to take into account the effect that their extreme language may have on the less stable members of the society.

    As well as TV & radio show hosts. A lot of the stuff on Glenn Beck could easily feed directly into the delusional thinking of someone with paranoia, and the people who make the show have to know this.

    As for Palin, she does have a history of making highly inflammatory statements starting with “palling around with terrorists”.

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  41. HelloWorld says:

    This guys is crazy, obviously, but if you truly want to understand where someone is coming from (so you can understand and stop it in other people – and how society can trigger it) its important you study it with an empty mind. This Jared guy starts off his essay with various simple statements using the Socratic Method of logic. I think he does this to assist the reader in understanding his political philosophy. Early on he is making statements like “People need sleep, I am a person, therefor Jarad needs sleep”. Later on he is using the same method to display the way he has devised his political philosophy – “If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land and laws from a revolution then the revolutionary’s from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.” This is the kind of stuff we have been hearing from a lot of Tea Partiers….

    “”The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”. A good example of this in his mind might be the fact that the republicans have named a bill to be voted on next week “The Repeal the Job Killing Health Care Law Act”. This is the point where he assumes other people are not reasonable enough to see through the rhetoric, and it displays some arrogance, and paranoia. This is the kind of person who will be influenced by radical groups.

    Don’t get me wrong – I agree with Tea Partyers on a lot of points, but as long as we do have free speech and can vote, and express our views they should not be using symbols or words that imply its time for revolution or they will have to answer for the actions of a mad-man that shares some of those views.

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  42. Axel Edgren says:

    “Interesting that someone would think toning down the rhetoric can be accomplished by accusing a person, group or idealogy with some degree of complicity in murder.”

    Complicity? No, of course not.

    An insane republican scumbag calling abortion murder isn’t causing bombing of clinics. A rabid homophobe doesn’t cause homphobic harassment.

    *But these kind of republicans are not very careful and they increase the chances that violence will happen.*

    There are no dualities – no states of “innocence” vs. “guilt”. But the fact is that republicans are saying things about Obama and democrats that are dangerous in combination with unhinged individuals. There are no left-wing Palins, Bachmanns or Becks.

    In other words, stop acting resentfully and whiny, PD Shaw. Your feelings are stupid and you should be ashamed over them.

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  43. PD Shaw says:

    “In other words, stop acting resentfully and whiny, PD Shaw. Your feelings are stupid and you should be ashamed over them.”

    Consider myself chastened by the voices of polite moderation, crying out for an elevation of the national discourse.

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  44. Rock says:

    What goes around comes around.

    ** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
    ** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
    ** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    ** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
    ** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
    ** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
    ** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
    ** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
    ** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

    http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/did-barack-obama-cause-the-shootings-yesterday-in-tucson/

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  45. [...] put much better than I have here, thanks @joethedough. « Phone [...]

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  46. MarkedMan says:

    Since this is James’ post, for the record, my impression from hanging out here is that, however much I may disagree with some of his conservative positions, James has constantly decried the over the top political rhetoric.

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  47. mattt says:

    Most of my own reaction has already been posted: The DLCC used a bullseye while Palin used a rifle scope, an important difference. And the Palin/Tea Party gun imagery comes in the context of “Second Amendment remedies,” “Reload,” and “Dems are coming for your guns!” The use of targeting imagery by the party that generally favors gun control just is not the same thing.

    That said – while I’m curious to hear about this “second person of interest” it sounds for now that the assassin was more wacko than activist. But, by his writings and posts it seems certain that he identified with the gold bug / conspiracist fringe of the right wing, and that his views and nuttiness must have been known to some more rational actors in that movement. Why didn’t they come forward? I hope Steve King investigates this failure to alert authorities to the threat, while he investigates American muslims.

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  48. rodney dill says:

    The others all depict the thing being shot at, and what’s more a thing being shot at that creates a context (target shooting) that’s inherently non violent.

    Palin’s, on the other hand, shows the thing doing the shooting [Point of interest: The crosshairs or sites or scope don't actually any do shooting. Even range finders (inherently non-violent) not attached to guns have them.] and leaves the desired target up to implication.

    I guess this means we’ll need another government Czar (a noun laden with heavy handed autocratic ruler rhetoric potential) to determine which firearm related nouns with some violent rhetoric potential are allowable and which are not.

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  49. anjin-san says:

    > James has constantly decried the over the top political rhetoric

    Yes he has. Such as Palin’s statement the other day that Obama is “hell-bent on weakening America”…

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  50. rodney dill says:

    Axel Edgren, You seem to be responding to quotes, that I can’t find in the post text or comments. Are they in some of the links? I wouldn’t want to think you are misquoting something.

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  51. anjin-san says:

    A Palin aid was on the radio this morning explaining that the icons on the map were not crosshairs but were in fact “surveyors marks”. Palin herself is on record referring to them as “bullseyes”

    http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/palin-aide-crosshairs-on-target-list-not-actually-gun-sights.php?ref=fpb

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  52. What I want to see:

    Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner speak before the nation TOGETHER and say, “Enough is enough. We’re better than this.”

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  53. michael reynolds says:

    So far we don’t have proof of any connection between right wing rhetoric and this guy’s actions.
    There are clearly similarities in theme. But I think attempts to draw dotted lines from Palin to Loughner are premature and possibly just factually wrong. We’ll see.

    What is undeniable is that we have a lot of creeps like Palin and Glen Beck using violent political rhetoric to make money. The right wing has long had a gun fetish, and people trying to draw parallels to Obama’s rhetoric are dishonest. It is the right wing that talks incessantly about guns. It is the right wing talking in extreme terms about losing the country and needing to water the tree of liberty etc…

    It is the right wing that enables mentally unbalanced individuals to purchase guns and ammunition. It’s the right wing that defends lovely little toys like extended clips. So, to those trying to equate right wing rhetoric and left wing rhetoric: you’re being dishonest.

    That dire, violent, angry, gun-centric rhetoric appeals to people ranging from mere cranks to rage-o-holics to racists to outright loons. It’s intended to appeal to those people. I don’t think it’s intended to foment violence, it’s intended to foment fantasies of violence. It’s intended to offer the weak and the weak of mind a rush of power, a sense of out-sized importance. And of course it’s intended to empty their pockets for the benefit of Ms. Palin and Mr. Beck.

    However. If Mr. Loughner is schizophrenic it will be very difficult to connect this despicable rhetoric to his actions. Unless there’s some evidence that Sarah Palin cozied up to him and said, “Listen up, crazy fella, those voices in your head want you to kill that woman,” we’re going to have a very tough case to make. And again, there may be zero connection.

    But I would say this: if Loughner turns out to be sane, and especially if he is part of some conspiracy involving another person, then the math will change.

    In any event, whether this atrocity is or is not connected to Palin or anyone else on the loudmouth far right, this should be a wake-up call to stop the fetishizing of guns, stop the apocalyptic lies, stop the dog-whistle racism, stop the violent language. Because their culpability and credibility now rest on Loughner’s DVR, his web browser’s history, and a psychiatrist’s examination. Not a good position to be in.

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  54. Rock says:

    One veteran Democratic operative, who blames overheated rhetoric for the shooting, said President Barack Obama should carefully but forcefully do what his predecessor did. “They need to deftly pin this on the tea partiers,” said the Democrat. “Just like the Clinton White House deftly pinned the Oklahoma City bombing on the militia and anti-government people.”

    http://www.politico.com/news/stories/0111/47294_Page2.html

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  55. Brummagem Joe says:

    Having read the litany of conservative rationalisations above, of which this probably takes the prize for grotesqueness:

    Rock says:
    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 11:49
    http://gatewaypundit.rightnetwork.com/2011/01/did-barack-obama-cause-the-shootings-yesterday-in-tucson/

    And also having done a quick surf of the various comments from Republicans on news sites, I don’t think my pessimism about the far right learning anything from this is particularly ill founded. Do you?

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  56. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***An insane republican scumbag calling abortion murder***Abortion is murder idiot, it’s what happens when you purposely end the life of a human being because of the dumb $hit you have been taught, premeditated taking of life for your own selfish reasoning!

    JUST LIKE WHAT THIS IDIOT DID.

    UNBELIVEBLE…..

    .

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  57. Nilap says:

    So… Palin uses sniper rifles and the Democrats us bows and arrows? That’s what the graphic suggests to me.

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  58. Rock says:

    Yes, the right learned from the left to never let a crisis go to waste. They also learned that there is no limit to the depths that the left will sink to blame others for their putrid bile. It’s like mud wrestling with pig – the pig loves it but you will get filthy in the process. Especially since the right doesn’t have the stomach or gonads to wrestle in mud.

    Has the left learned anything from this? Yes they have: repeat the lies long enough and it will be accepted soon enough as truth.

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  59. ponce says:

    Very banal rationalizations.

    What does this even mean:

    “While you cannot legislate for lunatics ”

    Did the N.R.A. bribe enough politicians that is now legal for insane people to walk into a gun store and buy a weapon?

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  60. Janis Gore says:

    Well, by gosh, you’re all wrong according to the commenter at this Wal Street Journal article:

    http://blogs.wsj.com/washwire/2011/01/09/boehner-public-service-comes-with-risk/

    “Steve wrote:
    .Democrats play this dangerous game and this is how it ends. With their Pelosi, and their Ayers and their deficits, and their foreign allies like Chavez, their first amendment abolition crowd and their “deam and pass” mob. They hate this country because they love only themselves. They never take the blame for thier actions. Gifford is their fault but they are too dense to see that Ideas Have Consequences. Somehow they think they are above it all. They are cowards who pretend to be brave. If they were brave they would stop all of their vitriol and posturing. That Government who they love to shake in everyone’s faces will find them one day and when it does, they better run.”
    .

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  61. Janis Gore says:

    If the damn Democrats would just lay down, psychotics wouldn’t be running around murdering little girls and old women.

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  62. steve says:

    I hope that when this dies down a bit, there could be a more serious discussion about the potential for overheated rhetoric to lead to violence. I think this quote from Driehaus in the Taibbi article is pertinent.

    “Driehaus is quick to point out that he doesn’t think Boehner meant to urge anyone to violence. “But it’s not about what he intended — it’s about how the least rational person in my district takes it. We run into some crazy people in this line of work.””

    http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/matt-taibbi-the-crying-shame-of-john-boehner-20110105?page=4

    Steve

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  63. [...] Joyner has already done an excellent job of showing that the hand-wringing over Palin’s “targeted districts” map is pretty silly when you consider that it’s a concept that has been used in political fundraising for [...]

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  64. Axel Edgren says:

    “Abortion is murder idiot, it’s what happens when you purposely end the life of a human being because of the dumb $hit you have been taught, premeditated taking of life for your own selfish reasoning!”

    A zygote is not a human being, and a seed is not a flower. There is a spectrum, and the US outlaws abortions after a certain time limit to make sure that what is being aborted has not gestated long enough to be a human.

    You are an emotional nitwit and the next time I want to hear from you about anything, I’ll let you know.

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  65. [...] James Joyner also takes on the left’s attack on “crosshair” graphics, pointing out that Democrats have [...]

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  66. Angry Sixpack says:

    Here are some interesting comments from our Dear Leader representing the peaceful Left:

    ** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
    ** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
    ** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    ** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
    ** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
    ** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
    ** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
    ** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
    ** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

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  67. george says:

    “But I would say this: if Loughner turns out to be sane, and especially if he is part of some conspiracy involving another person, then the math will change.”

    Yup, this really hinges on this. If he’s sane and part of a conspiracy then there’s a real political issue. If he’s insane then this is just one of those tragedies that happens (though the issue of why so many insane people are left to fend for themselves on the street is a real issue), and only news because it happened to a high profile person. There’s a lot of speculation based on almost no information – people are using it to voice their beliefs, instead of their thoughts.

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  68. george says:

    “Ummm…you do know the difference between a target and rifle scope I take it? I think a target is appropriate, but a rifle scope certainly is not…or are you just trying to provide cover for people who say and do stupid things?”

    The difference is in angels dancing on the heads of pins territory – most people won’t differentiate between the two. I know I don’t see any difference – targets are typically used for firearms and bows, either of which kills nicely. If there’s a problem with imagery its with both, or perhaps with a population that doesn’t understand metaphor? Do you really believe that Obama was suggesting his voters literally bring guns?

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  69. [...] say that she owes some kind of apology for a political ad that, as James Joyner noted this morning, merely mimics ones that we’ve seen from other groups in the past. It would have been better to just stay silent, but that doesn’t seem to be possible for the [...]

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  70. HelloWorld says:

    george –

    “Do you really believe that Obama was suggesting his voters literally bring guns?”

    I think Obama had a poor choice of words as well. Suppose someone had brought a gun and shot someone…do you think he would still be president???

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  71. Brummagem Joe says:

    When far right conservatives are reduced to arguing that the most routine cliches of speechmaking that have been uttered by Democratic or Republican politicians for years constitute invocations to go out and murder people then they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel. It’s a measure of just how exposed they know they are by these events. They’re welcome to continue because anyone with a grain of commonsense understands the difference between these sort of metaphors and the ceaseless hate speech we’ve heard from right wing talkers on cable and radio not to mention their imitators in political office. What I find most disturbing is not the sort of nonsense you hear from strange people like angry sixpack, but that obviously intelligent people like Joyner and Mataconis try to rationalize it all away because they are basically married to a certain set of dogmatic beliefs and they realize only too well that the country finds this sort of violence repellent. I’ve never found intellectual sclerosis particularly appealing from when I was arguing with communist fellow students in the sixties so it’s depressing to see it manifested in 2011 by guys who should know better. Finis.

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  72. [...] Here are the images they have produced: [...]

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  73. 2CAVTrooper says:

    “Brummagem Joe says:
    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 09:28
    And au contraire there is some evidence that this guy was motivated by violent anti government sentiments which are a central plank of much right wing rhetoric. But top marks for creativity in the rationalisation department.”

    Really? So when did 0bama’s friend and mentor bill ayers become a right winger?

    Oh and lets not forget the 8 years that those of you on the left would orgasm over the though of assassinating President Bush, as well as the wish to bring harm to Governor Palin and her family ever since it was announced that she was going to be RINO Juan McLame’s running mate.

    But yeah only the “right wing” practices violence.

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  74. 2CAVTrooper says:

    “Brummagem Joe says:
    Sunday, January 9, 2011 at 15:48
    When far right conservatives are reduced to arguing that the most routine cliches of speechmaking that have been uttered by Democratic or Republican politicians for years constitute invocations to go out and murder people then they are really scraping the bottom of the barrel.”

    Spoken like a true expert on scraping barrels.

    The left scrapes the bottom of the barrel everytime they try and pin the blame on everyone but themselves.

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  75. jwest says:

    Michelle,

    I’m sorry you had to wait so long for me to correct you.

    According to the NY Times (which you’ll probably claim is under the influence of “mind control” by Rupert Murdock and FOX) Judge Roll was shot first.

    “Ms. Giffords had been talking to a couple about Medicare and reimbursements, and Judge Roll had just walked up to her and shouted “Hi,” when the gunman, wearing sunglasses and perhaps a hood of some sort, approached and shot the judge, Mr. Kimble said. “Everyone hit the ground,” he said. “It was so shocking.”
    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/09/us/politics/09giffords.html?ref=us

    Of course, a liberal reading this paragraph may interpret it to mean that Loughner shot Rep. Giffords prior to Judge Roll, but somehow she was still able to carry on her Medicare conversation until the judge was shot.

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  76. john personna says:

    jwest, it’s kind of crazy to hang so much on who was shot first. it might have just been where people were standing. maybe he was in the way.

    tell me, was he pre-announced as an attendee?

    I don’t see Roll on this announcement

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  77. TBogg says:

    Nice job of taking an incident and stripping it of all context, James. When you take something and put it in a vacuum, you don’t have to deal with those messy details like the “reload” tweet.

    Well played.

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  78. john personna says:

    TBogg, “please die” might not be the best graphic for your message.

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  79. [...] Palin ‘Target’ Graphic in Perspective (outsidethebeltway.com) [...]

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  80. Jim Peel says:

    It would seem that the USGS is using gunsights for indicating “principal points”.

    See here http://egsc.usgs.gov/isb/pubs/booklets/symbols/ page 2 unbder CONTROL DATA AND MONUMENTS. Using this cross hair symbol is not unusual for marking principal points in cartography (mapping), just as Palin did. Of course, it sounds much better to the Liberal mind to call them gunsights.

    However, you will find nowhere in cartography the bullseye symbol used on the Democrat maps along with accompanying arrows. Aren’t they what you shoot at the targeted bullseye?

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  81. john personna says:

    Here’s a scary bullseye for you, Jim

    http://www.kaboodle.com/reviews/bulls-eye-bean-bag-toss

    (and note that Sarah’s cross-hairs might have been ignored if they had not been introduced with “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD”)

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  82. Michael says:

    It would seem that the USGS is using gunsights for indicating “principal points”.

    Not quite, the USGS uses a hollow circle and the lines don’t extend past the edge of the circle. Palin’s map uses a shaded circle with the lines extending beyond the edge which is commonly (though not consistently) used for a crosshair. With symbols, especially scientific ones like the USGS is using, those small differences matter.

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  83. Jim Peel says:

    Didnt a 9 year old boy die too?

    Under the Leftist mantra of equality and inclusiveness, yeah.

    In real life, no.

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  84. athiest hater says:

    I expect Hussein’s approval rating to tank below 40% this week.

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  85. Jim Peel says:

    Was this bit on Craig Kilborn’s show funny?

    http://www.thesmokinggun.com/documents/crime/kilborn-cbs-target-bush-0

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  86. matt says:

    I expect you to continue to be wrong in life… But enjoy your delusions anyway (who am I to deprive you of what little joy there is in your existence).

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  87. G.A.Phillips says:

    ***A zygote is not a human being, and a seed is not a flower. There is a spectrum, and the US outlaws abortions after a certain time limit to make sure that what is being aborted has not gestated long enough to be a human.**** this innocence is all you got?

    Dude is comparing seeds to millions of murdered babies.

    ***You are an emotional nitwit and the next time I want to hear from you about anything, I’ll let you know***

    lol OK, let me know….

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  88. athiest hater says:

    Extreme hate-filled left-wing rhetoric:

    •“If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” Barack Obama in July 2008

    •“I want you to argue with them and get in their face!” Barack Obama, September 2008

    •“Here’s the problem: It’s almost like they’ve got — they’ve got a bomb strapped to them and they’ve got their hand on the trigger. You don’t want them to blow up. But you’ve got to kind of talk them, ease that finger off the trigger.” Barack Obama on banks, March 2009

    •“I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!” Barack Obama on ACORN Mobs, March 2010

    •“We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.” Barack Obama on the private sector, June 2010

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  89. george says:

    “I think Obama had a poor choice of words as well. Suppose someone had brought a gun and shot someone…do you think he would still be president???”

    I hope so, he was elected to preside over an intelligent, informed electorate, not to parse every sentence in case it sets off some insane person in a population of 300 million.

    Both parties seem to think the majority of the population is composed of idiots who can’t think for themselves, who can’t recognize the difference between a metaphor and a literal command, and who therefore have to be protected from themselves. I’d argue that most people know the difference very well. The exceptions are the small percentage who have serious mental issues … and they should be taken care of by the state instead of being left to do the best they can on the street.

    Having some reasonable gun control, so such people can’t get whatever weapons they want, would be nice too.

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  90. Taloowah says:

    Even before Giffords was gunned down, do you think Sarah would have Todd kick me out of her book signing if she saw that I was wearing a t-shirt of her face with a “surveyor’s symbol” over it? .
    .
    We ALL know the answer to that, You betcha!

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  91. Sophie says:

    “….Lee Harvey Oswald, Arthur Bremmer, Sirhan Sirhan. These were all loner nuts too….”

    No, they weren’t. Oswald was an open Communist, and participated in many radical groups in his time. He was by no means a loner. Sirhan Sirhan was a Palestinian nationalist, shooting RFK was intended to bring attention to his cause. His was a consciously political assassination.

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  92. narciso says:

    I don’t know how the media can be so blind,well actually I do, but when her effigy was hung in West Hollywood, two winters back, well that’s just a protest to Prop 8, then this happened; just two months later;

    http://www.examiner.com/crime-in-norfolk/why-did-the-press-ignore-the-firebombing-of-sarah-palin-s-church

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  93. sam says:

    Narc, google ‘palin church fire’ — it was covered: New York Times, Washington Post, CNN, Fox News, Christian Science Monitor, Associated Press, Denver Post, USA Today, etc, etc, etc.

    What is your point in referencing the false claim in the Examiner story?

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  94. Jim Peel says:

    At least Palin’s church fire actually happened unlike the Black church burnings Clinton referred to when he was president.

    “In our country during the ’50s and ’60s, black churches were burned to intimidate civil rights workers. I have vivid and painful memories of black churches being burned in my own state when I was a child.”

    It turned out that Clinton’s “vivid and painful memories” were vivid and painful fabrications.

    He later changed his “vivid and painful memories” of Black churches burning to “… there were burnings of some black community buildings …”.

    The Little Rock media could find no record of any Arkansas black churches being burned during the fight for civil rights in the South. The state historian and leaders of several black organizations, disputed Clinton’s “vivid and painful memories” of church burnings in Arkansas. They could not find any either.

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  95. Jim Peel says:

    Apparently, this freak was fixated on Giffords for three years, long before the Palin graphic came out but well within the time frame for the Daily Kos graphic (2008) and the Dem bullseye graphic (2009). Did the other two prime the pump and Palin’s graphic pulled the handle? Was he acclimated by the other two?

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  96. Jim Peel says:

    SOURCE: http://www.foxnews.com/politics/2011/01/10/scary-world-jared-loughner-dems-target-political-speech/

    The Scary World of Jared Loughner; Dems Target Political Speech

    By Chris Stirewalt

    Published January 10, 2011 | FoxNews.com

    Grammar Fixation Drove Shooting Suspect

    “How do you know words mean anything?”

    — Question asked by Jared Loughner of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., at their first meeting at a 2007 “Congress on Your Corner” event. Loughner’s high-school friend Alex Montanaro told the Wall Street Journal that Loughner became “aggravated” because she ignored his question.

    A clearer picture is developing of the suspect in the shooting rampage aimed at Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., and the image is of a deeply unstable young man who fixated on the congresswoman over a three-year period.

    While many on the left are looking for a way to place Loughner on the political right in a bid to gain political advantage from the carnage, he seems to have been a true loner whose interests and fixations don’t meet any conventional political definition.

    Loughner’s rants, recorded online and by friends and classmates, have to do with some things that might be associated with the right, like his call for a return to the gold standard, some things that might be associated with the left, like his anger over the dissemination of Bibles by the U.S. Army, and some things that are not associated with anything, like his grammar obsession and a mathematical tic that seems to involve prime numbers.

    [more]

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  97. Jim Peel says:

    By the by, the words “don’t retreat, reload,” — erroneously posted here as “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD” — was from a twitter tweet by Palin which had nothing to do with the graphic. They are two separate entities; and the words appear NOWHERE on the graphic. To see the uncropped image go here: http://i.imgur.com/RNx56.jpg

    Now THAT’S perspective and context, not just something melded in the mind of someone who is trying to place blame on someone they despise.

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  98. Dems de Breaks says:

    I blame Rupert Murdoch, Fox News, and his propaganda machine (which includes Sarah Palin and Michelle Bachmann) for creating an environment in this country where the idea to shoot a Congressional Representative even occured to this young man. Why did he not go into a school or a post office or a McDonald’s? I would bet money it’s because of the poisonous war Fox and the Tea Party are waging in his district…the same district my son lives in, by the way.

    So the Democrats also put out two archery-target graphics? That’s so lame. What I ask is, did the DLC or DCC have a best-selling book on the shelves and a contract with Fox News to be an on-air personality? Did the DLC or DCC have a daughter on Dancing with the Stars? Did the DLC or DCC have a tour bus that drove around to sold-out venues? Did the DLC or DCC run for Vice-president? How many people actually SAW the The DLC graphic that appeared in the December 13, 2004 edition of Blueprint Magazine? BTW, Blueprint Magazine is a now-defunct magazine with a limited (obviously) distribution targeted at urban singles. I’ve also never heard of the DCC graphic, and I’m an officer in my state’s Democratic party. Palin’s graphic was viewed by millions before the AZ incident even occurred.

    Here are some things every American should think about in connection with Fox News and their propaganda machine:
    6. To be perceived, propaganda must evoke the interest of an audience and must be transmitted through an attention-getting communications medium.
    7. Credibility alone must determine whether propaganda output should be true or false.
    12. Propaganda may be facilitated by leaders with prestige.
    14. Propaganda must label events and people with distinctive phrases or slogans.
    16. Propaganda to the home front must create an optimum anxiety level.
    18. Propaganda must facilitate the displacement of aggression by specifying the targets for hatred.

    Those are items from Joseph Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda that helped propel his boss to power in 1930s Germany. Take a look at the size of Rupert Murdoch’s world-wide propaganda machine. It makes Goebbels’ look like a Matchbox car at the Indy 500.

    What every Tea Partier should ask themself is why a network owned by an Australian billionaire, whose second largest stockholder is a Muslim Saudi prince, is so interested in manipulating the political landscape of the United States? And why are they using the talking points (Fox News “personalities” routinely practice all 19 points) of Joseph Goebbels’ Principles of Propaganda to do it?

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  99. Michael says:

    By the by, the words “don’t retreat, reload,” — erroneously posted here as “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD” — was from a twitter tweet by Palin which had nothing to do with the graphic.

    As has been mentioned already on this threat, the tweet in question was the one directing people to the graphic in questions, so they are related.

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  100. Jim Peel says:

    Dems de Breaks,

    So you conveniently forget that left wingers have done far worse. One shot and killed a sitting president and another sot and killed a presidential candidate.

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  101. Jim Peel says:

    I can’t believe how desperate the Left is in this country. You attack those you fear the most and make up lies to further your agenda.

    Have you seen the phony web pages that have been created trying to link Loughner with Sarah Palin and the Tea Party? They couldn’t even get the spelling — LAughner instead of LOughner — correct. Now THAT is desperation.

    That is the problem with the Left. They can’t stand on their own principles. They have to try to destroy the principles of others to falsely elevate themselves.

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  102. Jim Peel says:

    Michael,

    As has been mentioned already on this threat (sic), the tweet in question was the one directing people to the graphic in questions (sic), so they are related.

    Do you have an independent source for that claim? If you do not then you are prevaricating.

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  103. Jim Peel says:

    Here is what the tweet said:

    Michael,

    I decided to do the footwork for you. Here is the contents of the tweet:

    Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” Pls see my Facebook page.
    9:31 AM Mar 23rd, 2010 via OpenBeak
    Retweeted by 100+ people

    You see any reference to the graphic?

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  104. Jim Peel says:

    By the by. My apologies to all because the text is exactly as john personna stated in his post “Don’t Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!” My error.

    J

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  105. Jim Peel says:

    See here for the entire text of Palin’s facebook posting that didn’t reference the graphic either. No mention of retreating, reloading, or anything else firearms related.

    http://www.facebook.com/notes/sarah-palin/dont-get-demoralized-get-organized-take-back-the-20/373854973434

    Keep throwing the mud. Some of it might actually eventually stick.

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  106. Michael says:

    You see any reference to the graphic?

    Yeah, here:

    Pls see my Facebook page

    See here for the entire text of Palin’s facebook posting that didn’t reference the graphic either.

    You mean the graphic at the bottom of the text? That graphic? The graphic on that page, wasn’t referenced on that page? Did you not even bother to scroll down?

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  107. Cheryl Beck says:

    Cherry picking through the rhetoric as means to absolve those who’ve been using gun culture to push their political agenda isn’t very productive. Next.

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  108. george says:

    “Cherry picking through the rhetoric as means to absolve those who’ve been using gun culture to push their political agenda isn’t very productive. Next.”

    I agree, and I wish both sides would stop cherry picking. The old “its okay when we do it, but when the other side does more or less the same thing its evil” thing is funny at first, but is getting old. Which is why the number of people who bother voting is dropping – both sides are perceived as being the same. Maybe they’re not, but they’re both so busy trying to mask the differences by arguing that tiny differences are significant that people have lost interest. This kind of stuff is the modern equivalence of arguing about how many angels can dance on the head of a pin.

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  109. Jim Peel says:

    Michael,

    An invitation to the facebook page is not a reference to the graphic no matter how much you wish it to be true.

    As to the facebook page, where in the text is there ANY reference to the graphic which appears on that page?

    Yes, I saw the graphic on that page. I did not have to scroll down to see it. It was there plain as day. What I said was that her posting — that would be the text she POSTED — did not reference the graphic.

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  110. Jim Peel says:

    Cheryl,

    “Cherry picking through the rhetoric as means to absolve those who’ve been using gun culture to push their political agenda isn’t very productive.”

    You mean the left wing Brady Bunch who’ve been using gun culture to push their political agenda?

    Left wing president Clinton who instituted the Assault Weapons Ban using gun culture to push his political agenda?

    Left wing Chuck Schumer who’s been using gun culture to push his political agenda?

    Left wing Carolyn McCarthy who’s been using gun culture to push her political agenda?

    Ya need more? I’ve got lots of them.

    That’s what Left wingers do. They use the gun culture to push their political agenda usually with an eye toward taking them away. Mao: “Power comes from the muzzle of a gun.”

    Castro: “The revolution is over. Why do we need guns? Turn them in.”

    How did that work out for those people?

    The truth is that whoever holds a monopoly on firearms will hold a monopoly on firearms violence. Is that what you want for this country? The government to hold a monopoly on firearms? You want the United States to go the way of Red China, and other countries, where the people were slaughtered by the millions by those who held a monopoly on firearms?

    Firearms in the hands of the people is the best and surest way to assure their freedom. Firearms only in the hands of the government is the best and surest way to assure their enslavement.

    There are dozens of examples throughout history where disarmed peoples have been slaughtered; but, after all, it can’t happen her can it? That’s what they were saying in Germany in 1939.

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  111. Michael says:

    As to the facebook page, where in the text is there ANY reference to the graphic which appears on that page?

    What I said was that her posting — that would be the text she POSTED — did not reference the graphic.

    Are you f-ing kidding me? You can’t possibly be serious. The text and graphic are part of the same F-ing NOTE!

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  112. Jim Peel says:

    I have read your POST and I am responding with my POST and regardless of your wish that it be true it is not. Her POST did not reference the graphic.

    You do understand that the page to which I directed you is a NEW page that has been put up since the shooting don’t you? Read the comments and you will see that none of them are over 2 hours old. They reference the shooting that had not occurred when she posted her comment or the appearance of the graphic.

    It is a new page that shows the post and the graphic together. Do you have ANYTHING that shows the ORIGINAL page with her post in its entirety?

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  113. Jim Peel says:

    Okay. My apology. I went to her notes and backtracked to March 23, ,2010 and there is a link to “View full note” which takes you back to the page with the posting and the graphic.

    In the English slaughtering vernacular of recent times — My Bad.

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  114. Michael says:

    In the English slaughtering vernacular of recent times — My Bad.

    Accepted.

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  115. An Interested Party says:

    “The truth is that whoever holds a monopoly on firearms will hold a monopoly on firearms violence. Is that what you want for this country? The government to hold a monopoly on firearms? You want the United States to go the way of Red China, and other countries, where the people were slaughtered by the millions by those who held a monopoly on firearms?

    There are dozens of examples throughout history where disarmed peoples have been slaughtered; but, after all, it can’t happen her can it? That’s what they were saying in Germany in 1939.”

    Oh my, that all sounds a tad paranoid…possibly in the same territory as Loughner…

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  116. Jim Peel says:

    Actually, history supports my contention. Power corrupts and absolute power corrupts absolutely.

    I am glad that you are comfortable that the people who are now speaking of the restriction of free speech as too costly, and who wish to eliminate simple cartographic symbols, would be benevolent in an unrestrained political environment.

    You are aware, I assume, that the people you are willing to turn yourself over to are the same ones who already seek to control every aspect of your life. Light bulbs. Toilets. Television. What next?

    Churchill said that an appeaser throws everyone else to the lions hoping that he will be the last one eaten. If you believe that you will be one of the “chosen”, you ignore history. Appeasement will get you nowhere but a place you do not want to find yourself.

    Look up the Night of the Long Knives and see what happened to the chosen.

    As for comparing me to that fruit loop; it was a bad ad hominem. You really have to get more creative. I am from the post WWII era where we still remember what happened when people like you held us back from entering the war earlier. They were appeasers too.

    When you have never lived it, you have no idea about how bad it can be. Strike up a conversation with some immigrants from Poland, Russia, Romania, Czechoslovakia, Cuba, Red China, Yugoslavia, or wartime Germany. They will tell you stories that you will not believe. Not because they are unbelievable; but because you will choose not to believe them.

    I once had a delightful conversation with a woman who played in the Berlin Symphony Orchestra during Hitler’s reign. They played a command performance for Hitler. She, and many others, didn’t want to do it but she said “What do you do? You play for Hitler. Otherwise …” she shrugged. “People disappeared.”

    I leave you with this. Those who forget, or ignore, history are doomed to repeat it.

    I remember. Don’t forget that.

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  117. Michael says:

    Oh, you should have just stopped at “My Bad”….

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  118. Jim Peel says:

    Someday, when you live it …

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  119. Jim Peel says:

    A voice of reason whether you like him or not.

    http://www.therightscoop.com/oreilly-slams-merchants-of-hate-for-blaming-the-right-for-shooting

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  120. Jim Peel says:

    If Palin is to blame for these murders, is not Al Gore responsible for the deaths caused by the Unabomber? After all, they found Gore’s book on ecology in Kazinski’s hovel when they caught him. Ted Kaczynski was an ecological nutcase who murdered people in the name of ecology.

    Gore’s book stated that the Earth’s population has to be reduced to 2 billion people. That would require the elimination of ~ 4 billion people. Wasn’t Ted Kaczynski simply doing Gore’s bidding? He was a Leftist. Gore is a Leftist. So we must blame the rhetoric of the Left for the crimes of Ted Kaczynski — right?

    The answer to all of the above is no, and Hell no — in that order. It is easy to blame someone else for the actions of another; but I do not do that. While those who want to blame others for the actions of Loughner, and see people only as groups, I see only the individual and hold that individual to the standards of the law for his individual crime.

    We just had a woman convicted and sentenced to prison for the crime of murder. She attempted to blame her bad childhood, and sexual abuse, on the crime. She murdered a child — her child.

    It has become a standard in this country to blame the other guy, our childhood, or sexual abuse for our actions. I have always taken responsibility for my actions. I didn’t have a great childhood; but I have never used it as an excuse for my actions.

    People who blame others for their actions, or the actions of others, are damaged goods. They need to get themselves a good dose of reality and see things for what they truly are instead of always taking the easy way out.

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  121. Jim Peel says:

    By the by. Does anyone here know what this nut meant by “conscience dreaming”?

    Perhaps he was dreaming that he didn’t have one or he really meant “conscious dreaming” also known as daydreaming.

    So was he someone who talked himself out of having a conscience or was he a modern day Walter Mitty?

    pocketa … pocketa … pocketa

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  122. Jim Peel says:

    If he was a Righty, why did he take out a conservative democrat? She was pro-firearm, voted against Pelosi as Speaker, she was conservative on taxation and spending, wanted a tough border policy, and criticized the federal government’s unwillingness to act on immigration.

    Why her?.

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  123. Jim Peel says:

    If you want to blame someone …

    http://thechollajumps.wordpress.com/2011/01/09/jared-loughner-is-a-product-of-sheriff-dupniks-office/

    Partially confirmed here:

    http://www.reuters.com/article/idUSN0824904120110109

    Dupnik is on the offensive because, if these allegations are true, he was using nepotism to keep Loughner’s mother in her job.

    Time will tell on this one. Put it in your memory banks for further consideration.

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  124. Jim Peel says:

    OOPS! You Lefties are going to have to find another way to smear Palin. The news is in.

    This from the ultra right wing Washington Post.

    http://voices.washingtonpost.com/thefix/house/jared-lee-loughner-was-a-regis.html

    Posted at 5:28 PM ET, 01/10/2011
    Jared Lee Loughner was a registered independent, didn’t vote in 2010 election
    By Chris Cillizza

    Suspected Tucson gunman Jared Lee Loughner registered as an independent voter in Arizona in the fall of 2006, according to the Pima County Registrar of Voters.

    Loughner registered to vote on Sept. 29, 2006, identifying himself as an independent. Records show he voted in the 2006 and 2008 elections but is current listed as “inactive” on the state’s voter roles — meaning that he did not vote in November.

    The political affiliations of Loughner, who is being charged by state and federal authorities with the shooting of Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) as well as 19 other victims outside a Tucson grocery store on Saturday, have become the subject of a white-hot partisan debate in recent days.

    In the immediate aftermath of the shooting, liberals sought to paint Loughner as an anti-government, tea party conservative. Conservatives retorted that Loughner lacked anything close to a coherent political philosophy — a case strengthened by subsequent glimpses into his personal life that suggests someone struggling with mental illness.

    Loughner’s decision to affiliate as an independent rather than a Republican or Democrat would seem to affirm the sense that while he targeted Giffords in the attack, it was not a decision born of a set of deeply held political beliefs that fit neatly into either party.

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  125. [...] And let’s drag Sarah Palin into this while we’re at it. A political map on her website used rifle-scope symbols to “target” Democrats for election defeat in 2010. Sounds bad. But then you look at a similar strategy map drawn up by Democrats. It used bull’s-eye targets, according to Outside the Beltway. [...]

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  126. [...] James Joyner has a fine post in which he puts one of the communications that has been sharply criticised into perspective. In the post, too, he notes a puzzling post by James Fallows which to my eye portrays itself as a critique of pat explanations for violence by people with complicated and irrational motives while suggesting just such a pat explanation in its peroration. [...]

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  127. An Interested Party says:

    “If Palin is to blame for these murders…”

    No one around here is claiming that…

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  128. Mrwatchy says:

    I don’t see anyone posing this simple inverse rationale: can any sane person say that gun-referencing speech such as Palin’s—and the heated angry speech which is overwhelmingly the proud possession of right wing radio—helps to calm individuals prone to actual violent actions, such as schizophrenic or paranoid-delusional cases? It’s not remotely rational to say so, though I can almost hear straw-man rationalizations forming to figure out something, anything, to counter such a polemic.
    Of course angry speech is meant to incite, no question. What if tomorrow all conservative radio hosts began demanding liberal blood, such as radio Hutu radio hosts did for Tutsi blood in Rwanda in 1994? Of course there would be blood, without doubt, that very day. Could conservative radio then still deny that the tone of their speech has no consequence?
    Clearly, obviously, public speech has consequence, repercussions and a kindling effect. Conservative radio tries to push the limits of civil discourse off the cliff every day. What they’re really doing is trying to find the limits of deniability while still monetizing the polarizing effect of their trade.

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  129. Nate says:

    Actually the so called “cross-hairs” look more like cross-hair targets than the cross-hairs in a scope, many targets use that image as the main graphic on the paper, it is designed to help practice grouping shots and is very helpful in sighting in a rifle, much more so than the traditional bullseye type target.

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  130. Jim Peel says:

    Mrwatchy,

    heated angry speech which is overwhelmingly the proud possession of right wing radio

    Then you haven’t listed to Randi Rhoades.

    Remember when she fell on her face, drunk, and lied that she was mugged and beaten? http://urbangrounds.com/2007/10/randi-rhodes-falls-down/

    Then Jon Elliot claimed on-air:

    “Is this an attempt by the right-wing, hate machine to silence one of our own? Are we threatening them? Are they afraid that we’re winning? Are they trying to silence intimidate us?”

    Remember when she called Hillary Clinton a “F—ing whore” on-air; and rather than apologize she decided to leave Air America? http://hanlonsrazor.wordpress.com/2008/04/10/randi-rhoades-gone-from-air-america/

    And then there’s Mike Malloy, a left wing nutjob who was formerly on Air America but has moved on.

    He accused Dick Cheney of engineering 9/11. Hear him in his own words, in his own voice:

    http://www.breitbart.tv/hate-radio-left-wing-host-accuses-dick-cheney-of-engineering-911/

    Then there is Louis Farrakhan when he said this:

    “The White Right is trying to set Barack Obama up to be assassinated.” He adds, “There are Christians praying for God to kill Barack Obama.” Farrakhan also complained, “Now they got him with a mustache looking like Hitler,”

    There are numerous pictures online and which were photographed at anti-Bush rallies which depict him as Hitler.

    http://www.zombietime.com/zomblog/?p=612

    How about the right Rev. Al Sharpton? Remember Freddy’s Fashion Mart? Because of his rhetoric at speeches in front of Freddy’s a Black man entered the establishment, ordered all of the Blacks to leave and then murdered seven people and killed himself by setting the place afire. During one of Sharpton’s speeches someone in the crowd shouted “We’re going to burn and loot the Jews.” In his speeches, Sharpton referred to the Jews as “White interlopers”.

    http://www.jewishpost.com/archives/news/massacre-at-freddys-in-harlem-fire-fueled-by-anti-semitism-kills-8.html

    How about the late, and unlamented, Khalid Abdul Muhammad. At a speech at Kean College he referred to Jews as “bloodsuckers,” called for the genocide of white people, and demeaned both Pope John Paul II and homosexuals.

    Hear him in his own words, in his own voice:

    http://www.metacafe.com/watch/456363/khallid_muhammads_speech_kill_the_white_man/

    No hate there, now, is there.

    Anyone got anything like that on Rush, Palin, O’Reilly, or Hannity?

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  131. Jim Peel says:

    The cross hairs are typically used on maps — Palin’s graphic is a map — and as registration points in the printing industry. They are also used as datum points in drafting and also as reference points for photo reduction of printed circuit board artwork.

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  132. Michael says:

    The cross hairs are typically used on maps — Palin’s graphic is a map

    Can we just drop this silly line of defense? They were intentional allusions to guns. I know it, you know it, Sarah Palin knows it. The only reason to continue trying to pretend they are anything other than that is to tacitly admit that if they were gun related it would somehow make Palin more responsible for what happened in Arizona.

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  133. Jim Peel says:

    As I said before, if Palin is responsible for these deaths for a simple graphic, then Al Gore is responsible for the deaths of those killed by the Unabomber; and the Beatles are responsible for the deaths of Leno and Rosemary LaBianco and six other people including Sharon Tate.

    If a simple graphic can cause six murders then a 432 page book can cause them too.

    If a simple graphic can cause six murders then the lyrics of a song, proven in court and documented in the book “Helter Skelter”>/i>, have to be attached to the Beatles. They caused those eight deaths.

    I’ll concede your point, for the sake of argument. They are firearm scope cross hairs.

    Now, defend Al Gore and the Beatles against the same type of stupid accusation as you are making against Sarah Palin. Good luck.

    By the way, I have already posted that I do not believe any of the above because if I did I would be demonstrating my stupidity and gullibility.

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  134. Michael says:

    Now, defend Al Gore and the Beatles against the same type of stupid accusation as you are making against Sarah Palin. Good luck.

    I haven’t read Al Gore’s book, but I’m assuming he didn’t use bomb analogies when encouraging people to take action. Helter Skelter wasn’t any kind of encouragement to action, and it didn’t contain any kind of analogies to violence.

    The problem is saying “Look at this gun, isn’t it nice? Isn’t it Patriotic?. Oh and by the way you should be doing something to stop those politicians who are destroying our country.” in the rhetoric.

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  135. Jim Peel says:

    You have a source for that or even anything close to that?

    You did, after all enclose it in quotes.

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  136. Michael says:

    Those were scare quotes.

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  137. Jim Peel says:

    Was this hateful rhetoric?

    SOURCE

    “That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida, Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.”
    –Ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa Scranton Times, October 23, 2010 about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott.

    Why wasn’t he brought on the carpet for his hateful rhetoric and firearms references?

    Because he is a democrat.

    SOURCE

    Kerry was asked whether he couldn’t have “killed two birds with one stone” by visiting New Hampshire. He responded with a mild joke about assassinating the president: “I could have gone to 1600 Pennsylvania and killed the real bird with one stone.”
    –John Kerry 2004

    So he jokes about stoning George Bush, the sitting president, to death.

    Why wasn’t he brought on the carpet for his hateful rhetoric?

    Because he is a democrat.

    SOURCE

    “If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them.”
    — Joe Biden Vice President of the United States 10-05-2010

    Why wasn’t he brought on the carpet for his hateful rhetoric?

    Because he is a democrat.

    SOURCE

    I’m thinking to myself if we were in other countries, we would all, right now, all of us together, . . . would go down to Washington and we would stone [Republican U.S. Representative] Henry Hyde to death! We would stone him to death! Wait! . . . Shut up! No, shut up! I’m not finished. We would stone Henry Hyde to death, and we would go to their homes and we’d kill their wives and their children. We would kill their families.
    — Alec Baldwin “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” December 12, 1998

    Why wasn’t he brought on the carpet for his hateful rhetoric? Why wasn’t he interviewed by the Secret service?

    Because he is a liberal democrat.

    You need more? I’ve got more.

    I do not remember Rush, Hannity, Palin, O’Reilly, et al ever saying anything about shooting, strangling, or stoning anyone to death.

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  138. Michael says:

    Ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa Scranton Times, October 23, 2010 about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott.

    I’ve never heard of Rep. Kanjorski before, nor have I heard this quote before, and I live in Florida. You want me to denounce it now? No problem, it’s a horrible thing to say and completely unacceptable. Why wasn’t there a media outrage? Probably because, like me, nobody had every heard or this guy or his statement outside a very small media market.

    John Kerry 2004

    This actually appears to have been said in 2006. I found as much of a transcript as I could, and it’s pretty clear that the “real bird” was winning the presidency in 2004, not the person occupying the office in 2006. He was saying “If I had won the presidency in 2004, these other issues [they had been discussing] would have been moot”.

    Joe Biden Vice President of the United States 10-05-2010

    Yes, another stupid statement by Joe Biden. Why no media outrage? Possibly because there aren’t enough hours in the day to cover every stupid statement made by Joe Biden. Also, it wasn’t make in the context of encouraging others to take action.

    Alec Baldwin “Late Night with Conan O’Brien” December 12, 1998

    Alec Baldwin? Really? You couldn’t find any other actual politicians? You couldn’t have just stopped the post at 3 quotes? Alec Baldwin is not a leader of anything, he isn’t seeking to be the leader of anything, he has fans not supporters. Nobody’s volunteering their time, or donating their money, to help Alec Baldwin further his politics.

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  139. Sorry James but you’re comparing apples with pears. Palin’s graphics are crosshairs like those you find on a rifle which actually shoot bullets.

    The one’s used on other examples you give are the kind of target used in thousands of graphics the world over with an outer circle with an inner point. Yes they suggest something being aimed at but in a far less aggressive manner than that of aiming a firearm.

    From outside the US this conversation you’re having in the US seems quite redundant. Many politicians and media pundits of the right have been denigrating the opposition in such an aggressive manner it doesn’t take a genius to work out that some idiot somewhere would take the insults literally and start hurting people.

    The crosshairs were a mistake. Palin is over.

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  140. Michael says:

    Palin is over.

    Oh if only. But no, this will only solidify the minority who already support her, and may win over some of those who didn’t previously but think the criticisms have been unfair. Ultimately, Palin is famous because of things like this, and she has the supporters she has in large part because she is famous and does things like this. I don’t see this changing her place in the GOP pantheon in the slightest.

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  141. Jim Peel says:

    Michael,

    Agreed. That “minority” may be aq bit larger than you think.

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  142. Jim Peel says:

    Of course I could find more politicians saying hateful stuff. Those same politicians now want everything to be roses and light; but just for the other guys. Baldwin is a big democrat supporter. I thought we were talking hateful rhetoric from the right and seeing what the left has been doing but getting away with. So if the hateful rhetoric that counts can only come from politicians then we can’t include non-politicians like Baldwin, Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, and Beck.

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  143. Michael says:

    That “minority” may be aq bit larger than you think.

    Maybe, but all indications are that it’s not.

    I thought we were talking hateful rhetoric from the right and seeing what the left has been doing but getting away with.

    You thought wrong then, I never focused on “the right”, I only ever focused on 3 incidents, Palin’s map, Angle’s “second amendment remedies” and Kelly’s M16 shooting event. Now, while all three people are indeed from “the right”, these items also very clearly associate guns with encouraging political opposition, which is the part I find troubling.

    So if the hateful rhetoric that counts can only come from politicians then we can’t include non-politicians like Baldwin, Rush, Hannity, O’Reilly, and Beck.

    I, at least, didn’t mention them. Though I don’t agree that non-politicians should be ignored. If any of them associates guns or other violence with encouragements towards political opposition, I would have a problem with it. But one also has to consider whether or not they are viewed as leaders. I’d say that Rush* and Beck could be considered leaders, not so much O’Reilly, Hannity or Baldwin (any of them).

    * Rush more so in the past, he seems to have mostly lost the mantle to people like Beck and Palin.

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  144. Jim Peel says:

    You thought wrong then, I never focused on “the right”, I only ever focused on 3 incidents, Palin’s map, Angle’s “second amendment remedies” and Kelly’s M16 shooting event. Now, while all three people are indeed from “the right”, these items also very clearly associate guns with encouraging political opposition, which is the part I find troubling.

    Just because someone shoots a firearm at a paper target dopes not mean they are looking to shoot it at a human target. Firearms are just plain fun to shoot. Being an engineering designer I appreciate the form, fit, and function of firearms. Just because I go out and shoot does not mean that I am bent on harming another human being.

    Numerous politicians, left and right, have offered firearm giveaways as raffle prizes to raise campaign funds. this is nothing new. that does not mean they are for the killing of humans because they give away a firearm.

    Palin’s map is an inanimate object that no one has yet to prove was ever viewed by the shooter.

    I do agree that Angle’s rhetoric was over the top. HOWEVER … firearms were never placed in the BoR for the purposes of duck hunting. They were placed there as a guarantee that the people would always have the means to throw off a tyrannical government. Look where the firearms have been removed from the hands of the citizenry and you will see governments that are out of control and clamping down more and more on its citizens. That includes Great Britain. Have you seen some of the things they pass for laws there and how they affect their citizenry?

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  145. Michael says:

    Just because someone shoots a firearm at a paper target dopes not mean they are looking to shoot it at a human target. Firearms are just plain fun to shoot.

    The event was using the activity of shooting as a means of encouraging opposition to Giffords. This wasn’t shooting for shooting’s sake.

    Numerous politicians, left and right, have offered firearm giveaways as raffle prizes to raise campaign funds.

    Really? Seems an odd raffle prize, but okay. The question remains, was the use of the gun associated with political opposition, or was it just a gun because that’s the kind of thing the people donating would like to win.

    They were placed there as a guarantee that the people would always have the means to throw off a tyrannical government.

    And also to defend a Republican one, should they be called on to do so.

    Look where the firearms have been removed from the hands of the citizenry and you will see governments that are out of control and clamping down more and more on its citizens. That includes Great Britain.

    Yes, those poor oppressed Brits. Living under the tyranny of Gordon Brown must be horrible.

    Have you seen some of the things they pass for laws there and how they affect their citizenry?

    Yes, have you seen the people rioting about them being overly oppressive or curtailing liberty? Because I haven’t. In fact, the recent riots over there have been because the population didn’t think the central government was doing enough.

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  146. Michael says:

    It seems my knowledge of British politics is a bit stale, the good people of England have thrown out the tyrant Brown in favor of David Cameron. No doubt the use of private firearms was necessary to unseat such a repressive government.

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  147. The recent riots in London are to do with a central govt. insisting on austerity and obliging students to pay for their education, instead of taking money from the bankers who caused the mess. Anyway, I digress.

    It baffles me that people in the US are still going on about throwing off tyranical governments with the firearms they have in their homes. How chaotic would that be? Pilling out into the street with a mind-blowing assortment of weaponry and wildly differing firearms training. The carnage would be terrifying and in no way as heroic as the perfectly correct actions of George Washington et al.

    Have you seen some of the things ‘we’ pass for laws? Like what, making sure that if people get ill they get looked after, or that if people lose their jobs there’s a basic level of state support so that they don’t fall out of society and become an underclass.

    It has to be said, many of the laws of your fair nation are rather off-piste, like firearm ownership. Guns are fine, unless people get angry or mad, then they’re not fine at all. Sadly there’s no way of legislating to preventing guns falling into the hands of people who are in some way imbalanced and dangerous – aside from limiting and strictly licensing gun ownership to those who can justify ownership.

    And before anyone says it, that is not petty state control. It is keeping your citizenry safe from harm.

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  148. kenny says:

    Hey Pug, no one knows, at this point, what motivated Jared Loughner, but one thing is clear. Those who actually knew the guy, have stated that he was crazy and he was a liberal.

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  149. A ‘murderous liberal’ is a contradiction in terms. The point is crazy people are crazy, whatever they were or thought before they became crazy is not relevant.

    All this talk of what he was or wasn’t like and if it was his own mind or the comments of others which motivated him is obscuring the elephant in the room. Gun laws permit almost anyone to buy high powered hand guns.

    If the US laws were tighter this killing spree would not have happened. Admittedly, we occasionally we have people go on killing sprees here in the UK but it’s very rare simply because hardly anyone owns guns and mentally ill people can’t got buy one on a whim.

    Yet it seems that banning guns is a toxic political issue in the US, so bound up with the American idea of individual freedom, that it’s defended with immense vigor in the face of innocent people being killed – regularly.

    That’s a sad situation for a great nation to find itself in.

    And what is a pug?

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  150. [...] the way so many House Republicans and some Conservative Senators and Governors recently have.  A much calmer, more-illuminating Conservative retort to Palin’s attackers was offered by James Joyner on Outside the [...]

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  151. [...] video games; now the anti-Federal Government “Tea Party” and Mayor Palin’s “target map” is the tenuous culprit.  Shortly after the Columbine massacre Chris Rock addressed these [...]

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  152. Jim Peel says:

    No doubt the use of private firearms was necessary to unseat such a repressive government.

    No, the peaceful transition of powers continues, at least for now. Note that the uprisings of certain aspects of the citizenry are getting more frequent as the socialist paradise continues to crumble. The Bobbies now have firearms because of the gang and Islamic problems there. In fact, when the Prince’s car was attacked a couple of weeks ago the police escorting the car stated that they were close to opening fire on the attackers.

    We shall see.

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  153. To correct your point Jim, only some of the ‘bobbies’ have firearms and those special units do not patrol the streets with firearms just in case. These special units exist to protect specific locations; government and royal buildings, major airports and such. The reason we have these armed Police is not because of ‘gang and Islamic problems’, moreover, they came into existence to respond the actions of armed and organised criminal gangs (not simply ‘gangs’) and the IRA.

    Some of the Police present when Charles and Camilla were attacked may have considered used their firearms but we’ll never know as the link you’ve cited was from an ex-Police officer who wasn’t actually there. A pundit, and we all know pundits can say anything they want with impunity. However, had a dangerous but unarmed protester been shot dead by a police officer on a London street the ramifications would have been significant for British society.

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  154. Jim Peel says:

    It baffles me that people in the US are still going on about throwing off tyranical governments with the firearms they have in their homes. How chaotic would that be? Pilling out into the street with a mind-blowing assortment of weaponry and wildly differing firearms training. The carnage would be terrifying and in no way as heroic as the perfectly correct actions of George Washington et al.

    At least we have the means if the time ever comes. What will you use to throw off a tyrannical government?

    They did a study some years ago on what would happen if there were an armed uprising in the United States. The study found that for the first nine to twelve months the revolutionaries would get the crap kicked out of them. After that, the study showed the government falling within the next eighteen months.

    You discount the fact that there are many highly skilled and trained military retirees who could lead their people, form cadres, and fight a skilled uprising. Government studies have even “found” that ex-military present the greatest threat to an out of control government.

    As to the differing firearms, you should read this very interesting article.

    And then there was the Liberator pistol of WWII.

    Have you seen some of the things ‘we’ pass for laws? Like what, making sure that if people get ill they get looked after, or that if people lose their jobs there’s a basic level of state support so that they don’t fall out of society and become an underclass.

    How about your offensive weapons laws which have disarmed your entire citizenry and outlawed self defense? Remember Tony Martin? After he got out of jail the authorities posted signs at his farm warning those who would come there to rob him of the danger Martin presented. Your homes are now open to vandalism and if you deign to defend your home you will be sent to prison.

    From THIS ARTICLE:

    In December 2002, Lord Woolf, the Lord Chief Justice in England and Wales, issued guidelines stating that burglars committing first or second offences should be spared jail. Lord Irvine of Laird, then Lord Chancellor, concurred.

    In February this year, United Nations crime statistics revealed that a British home is almost twice as likely to be burgled as an American one and three times as likely to be burgled as a French one.

    The law, however, believes it is perfectly reasonable for a career criminal such as Fearon to sue Martin for £15,000 damages or to be released from prison after serving only five-and-a-half months of an 18-month sentence for heroin dealing.

    So even the United Nations says you are a nation of victims waiting to be victimized.

    The video monitoring of your subjects, the laws which deem your umbrella an “offensive weapon” if you try to use it to defend yourself from ruffians. All of this takes a toll on your liberty.

    It has to be said, many of the laws of your fair nation are rather off-piste, like firearm ownership. Guns are fine, unless people get angry or mad, then they’re not fine at all. Sadly there’s no way of legislating to preventing guns falling into the hands of people who are in some way imbalanced and dangerous – aside from limiting and strictly licensing gun ownership to those who can justify ownership.

    Yes, you have to be far more creative in your murders. Remember John Christie? The movie 10 Rillington Place? Your government executed an innocent man in that one while the murderer continued his methodical inventive crimes. I could cite other talented British murderers. My name, Peel, might give you some insight as to why I know so much about the Brits.

    And then there’s this from The Daily Mail:

    Now mugging is worse in London than in Harlem

    And this from the Evening Standard:

    One in four children is falling victim to crime

    And before anyone says it, that is not petty state control. It is keeping your citizenry safe from harm.

    Yes, Utopia is coming where no one ever gets sick and no one ever dies. If you but simply give up all of your liberties and freedoms to the government Utopia will be realized.

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  155. Jim Peel says:

    Paul Hamilton,

    If the US laws were tighter this killing spree would not have happened. Admittedly, we occasionally we have people go on killing sprees here in the UK but it’s very rare simply because hardly anyone owns guns and mentally ill people can’t got buy one on a whim.

    Interesting. It seems that the police in Britain now carry firearms to defend against the gangs which have firearms. Look at the number of firearms that still make their way to Britain. It’s an island and they still can’t keep them out.

    From the BBC:

    Who supplies the guns on our streets?

    This from The Independent:
    Up to 4m guns in UK and police are losing the battle

    You are right. If firearms were to be outlawed the perpetrators would simply take up alternative means to commit their crimes — like yours have. Over there, everything is an offensive weapon. Your right to defend yourself against hooligans and ruffians has been negated. One in four Brits has been mugged and London is now more dangerous than New Your City. See my previous post for some details.

    Yet it seems that banning guns is a toxic political issue in the US, so bound up with the American idea of individual freedom, that it’s defended with immense vigor in the face of innocent people being killed – regularly.

    That’s a sad situation for a great nation to find itself in.

    The right to own firearms is enshrined in the Supreme Law of the Land — The Constitution and Bill of Rights.

    And what is a pug?

    A small, ugly, black and tan dog resembling a bulldog.

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  156. Jim Peel says:

    These special units exist to protect specific locations; government and royal buildings, major airports and such. The reason we have these armed Police is not because of ‘gang and Islamic problems’, moreover, they came into existence to respond the actions of armed and organised criminal gangs (not simply ‘gangs’) and the IRA.

    However, had a dangerous but unarmed protester been shot dead by a police officer on a London street the ramifications would have been significant for British society.

    What were the ramifications of this?

    Man Shot Dead by British Police Was Innocent Brazilian Citizen

    >blockquote>LONDON, July 23 — The man shot dead by police in front of terrified passengers inside a subway car Friday was an innocent Brazilian bystander mistaken for a suspect in the abortive bomb attacks the day before, police officials acknowledged Saturday.

    They gave chase fearing the man was preparing to attack a train, police officials said. The officers pushed him to the floor of the car and shot him five times in the head at close range, according to witnesses, who gave searing accounts broadcast on television and radio. Under guidelines adopted in recent years, officers are advised to shoot suspected suicide bombers in the head to prevent them from setting off explosives.

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  157. Jim Peel says:

    I wish we could edit these posts for typing errors.

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  158. You’re attempting to bounce the argument back on me by selectively picking pieces of data from an assortment of publications over a pretty long period of time. The BBC link you cite includes the comments which say it is both difficult to obtain firearms in the UK but also if ‘there’s a will there’s a way’. What does citing such a piece prove? Not much, it looks good on a web page for sure but it’s hardly debate is it?

    My right to defend myself against “hooligans and ruffians” (are you victorian sir?) has not been negated by my lack of firearms as I’ve never had the right to bear arms. We let a few trained sane people have guns, and then some criminals get them too, but they don’t get used much and that’s a fact.

    Stating that gun ownership is enshrined in the constitution proves nothing other than a willingness to live by a law which is well over 200 years old. Tell me if I’m wrong but that law, or right, or whatever you wish to call it, was intended to protect you from us (the British). Do you think the founding fathers would have approved of the idea of that same law putting guns in the hands of the mentally ill?

    Ok, so they’d probably have killed the mentally ill for being witches but really. Gun ownership on the scale that it is in the US is actually harming your own society. Of course other objects can be used as weapons but it has to be said that guns are pretty much best practice if you want to cause lots of bloodshed in a short period of time. Try conducting a killing spree with a knife, dog or chair and you won’t get far.

    That’s why the law here pretty much works. Police don’t have guns because most (not all but most) criminals don’t have guns. And criminals don’t feel the need to tool-up because they know that neither the police or homeowners are likely to start shooting at them. Homeowners (that’s potential mugging victims to you) are vulnerable but far more likely to get hurt using a toaster than by some gun toting crim. All because guns are not widely owned.

    Now, of course you can ignore me, and my argument, think of me as a liberal and carry on supporting gun ownership. But with that you’re going to have to accept that the killing will go on and on forever and one day someone might shoot you. Had you been British, or pretty much from anywhere else in the developed world you’d have just had to put up with being mugged and get over it without exchanging bullets.

    Oh, and I’m not a pug, even if that was meant kindly.

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  159. Jim Peel says:

    You’re attempting to bounce the argument back on me by selectively picking pieces of data from an assortment of publications over a pretty long period of time. The BBC link you cite includes the comments which say it is both difficult to obtain firearms in the UK but also if ‘there’s a will there’s a way’. What does citing such a piece prove? Not much, it looks good on a web page for sure but it’s hardly debate is it?

    Citing facts which are presented on a web page does not not negate their factual nature simply they appear on a webpage. I consider the BBC, Independent, Daily Mail, and Telegraph to be reliable sources in your country. Are you saying that they are not reliable sources or do they simply become so because the information has been repeated on a web page?

    My right to defend myself against “hooligans and ruffians” (are you victorian sir?) has not been negated by my lack of firearms as I’ve never had the right to bear arms. We let a few trained sane people have guns, and then some criminals get them too, but they don’t get used much and that’s a fact.

    Sorry. Hooligans and ruffians are the words that your own press uses to describe ne’er do wells.

    The trained sane people who have firearms are the ones you need to watch the most. There is a saying: Who will protect us from those who protect us? The unfortunate fact is that those who hold a monopoly on firearms will also hold a monopoly on firearms violence and misuse.

    Stating that gun ownership is enshrined in the constitution proves nothing other than a willingness to live by a law which is well over 200 years old. Tell me if I’m wrong but that law, or right, or whatever you wish to call it, was intended to protect you from us (the British). Do you think the founding fathers would have approved of the idea of that same law putting guns in the hands of the mentally ill?

    Because a law is of a certain age does not negate its meaning or effect. It is only by changing the law through lawful means that the law gains or loses whatever power it may hold. Our Supreme Court of the United states (SCotUS) found in very recent times that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects the right of individuals to keep and bear firearms.

    Also remember that the constitution, and all of its amendments, are the Supreme Law of the Land.

    The Constitution and Bill of Rights (BoR) were ratified in 1787; and by that time you good fellows had already made your way back home.

    The Second Amendment was to provide the citizenry with the means to shuck off the next tyrannical government; because they knew that over time governments become corrupted and tyrannical.

    By the by. Up until the early part of the twentieth century, your people were trusted to have firearms. It was about then that the “good idea” of restricting them came about.

    Are you aware that at the beginning of WWII there was a call for arms from your country to ours. They begged us for firearms because you they didn’t have enough to arm the coast watchers or civil patrol, etc. We sent them to you by the thousands. People sent their daddy’s and grand daddy’s hunting rifles, shotguns, and pistols. After the war these firearms, many of them valuable antiques, were collected and destroyed. I believe they were dumped in the Channel.

    If you are interested, here is the webpage of the United States National Archives, Library of Congress. It makes some interesting reading, especially the Declaration of Independence. It seems you fellows were not such a nice lot.

    Ok, so they’d probably have killed the mentally ill for being witches but really. Gun ownership on the scale that it is in the US is actually harming your own society. Of course other objects can be used as weapons but it has to be said that guns are pretty much best practice if you want to cause lots of bloodshed in a short period of time. Try conducting a killing spree with a knife, dog or chair and you won’t get far.

    Actually, it was proven that a person with a Samurai sword could inflict far more damage in a crowd environment than a firearm. For one, you don’t have to reload a Samurai sword. Secondly, the weapon is silent so before the crowd could be alerted the perpetrator could cut a wide swath through them without the outlying people being alerted as they would by a gunshot.

    That’s why the law here pretty much works. Police don’t have guns because most (not all but most) criminals don’t have guns. And criminals don’t feel the need to tool-up because they know that neither the police or homeowners are likely to start shooting at them. Homeowners (that’s potential mugging victims to you) are vulnerable but far more likely to get hurt using a toaster than by some gun toting crim. All because guns are not widely owned.

    Muggings usually happen outside the home. If you will review, the link stated that the British are far more likely to be burgled than other notable countries in Europe.

    The number of “hot” burglaries, those in which the resident is in attendance, are far greater in your country than in ours. The reason for this is because your burglars know that you are not allowed to defend your home. Nothing in your home is legal for use to defend your home because as soon as you wield it it becomes an “offensive weapon”.

    Now, of course you can ignore me, and my argument, think of me as a liberal and carry on supporting gun ownership. But with that you’re going to have to accept that the killing will go on and on forever and one day someone might shoot you. Had you been British, or pretty much from anywhere else in the developed world you’d have just had to put up with being mugged and get over it without exchanging bullets.

    I won’t ignore you, I don’t place labels on people of whom I know nothing about, and I will, indeed continue to espouse and defend firearms ownership. Your argument is perfectly valid — there. It is not valid here.

    Yes, the killing will go on forever just as it has for eons — since Cain killed Abel. The fact is that I do not have to allow myself to be killed by any means whether it be by a firearm or a cricket bat. A firearm is notably the best defensive weapon available. It far outweighs any other weapon ever available.

    Here in America we have what is called the parachute theory. “It is better to have one and not need it than to need one and not have it.”

    The sad thing is that in a defensive situation wherein a firearm might fall fortuitously into your possession, you would not know what to do with it unless you have been in the military. The perpetrator could simply walk up and take it from you because you would lack the knowledge to utilize it. I hope you never find yourself in that unenviable position.

    Nearly every Brit ex patriot that I have met has stated that one of the first things they did upon becoming an American citizen was to buy a firearm. They state that the reason they have such a desire is because they were restricted from ownership in their home country.

    Oh, and I’m not a pug, even if that was meant kindly.

    Likely, it was not. I don’t call names as it clouds the debate and demonstrates that the person has run out of arguments.

    Be well,

    J

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