Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Tucson Tragedy – Jumping to Conclusions

Written : Jan. 11, 2011

Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) was the most famous of the victims of the shooting rampage, which occurred on Jan. 8, 2011 in Pima County, Arizona. I hope she – and all the other survivors - make a swift and complete recovery. My prayers go out to all those wounded, and I wish to convey my heart-felt condolences to the families of the murdered victims. This was a senseless tragedy, but not everyone thought so shortly after it occurred. It’s a shame that so many placed blame right away, adding fuel to the tense national political climate.

Markos Moulitsas, founder of the left-wing Daily Kos blog site, tweeted the following, just over two hours after the tragedy, "Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin." Liberal Paul Krugman blamed conservative rhetoric about three hours after Giffords had been shot. He posted, “We don’t have proof yet that this was political [implying a crazy conservative shot a liberal], but the odds are that it was.” But it turns out it wasn’t. The alleged shooter, Jared Loughner, was described later as a left-wing pothead. (Conservatives are not pointing fingers, by the way.) However, Pima County’s Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, prematurely implied that right-wing hate speech was to blame for this shooting. But it wasn’t. Loughner, it turns out, was a disturbed individual, someone not interested in politics. Why do liberals always jump to blame conservatives in similar matters? Why can’t they wait to see what motivates people?

For a long time politicians have used rhetoric and metaphor to enhance their chances in elections. Googling “target republicans” returns almost 16 thousand hits. Try “republicans in the crosshairs,” and you get 31,800 hits. Leave out the quotes and you get many more. Yet, Democrats have said (and mainstream media reporters have implied, and liberals Kathy Griffin and Jane Fonda have tweeted) that Gov. Sarah Palin (R-AK) is responsible for the Tucson murders by creating a map of districts ‘targeted’ for Republican victory in the last election. Their problem is that images of cross-hairs appeared on her map. One of those districts belonged to Ms. Giffords. Palin did not mean that any Democrats were targets for assassination; they were merely important districts for Republicans to win. How ultra-sensitive we have become!

I wish my liberal friends would realize they are ratcheting up the rhetoric when they suggest that conservatives are to blame. In 2006, a debate over trying President Bush and Vice President Cheney for war crimes was big in the old media. At least one movie was made depicting Bush’s fictional assassination, and t-shirts were made with “Kill Bush” in prominent, bold letters. Protesters carried signs, which said, “Bush, the only dope worth shooting.” Posters were made showing his decapitated head with blood dripping from his neck. How do you think that made his supporters feel? Was that not too extreme? President Obama said, "If they [the Republicans] bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun," in 2008. He added fuel to the fire in 2010 by saying the Republicans were hostage takers and by telling Hispanic voters to vote against their ‘enemies.’ Although both sides are to blame, liberals have peddled this kind of rhetoric more than conservatives. Just listen to Randi Rhodes and Ed Schultz on progressive-talk radio!

Concerning the tragedy in Tucson, liberals will bring up the second amendment, the right to bear arms, and they’ll say something like, “This incident illustrates why we have to ban guns.” But it’s a smoke screen. The real issue is how we treat mental illness when we see it. How do we decide who is mentally ill, and when? Guns don’t kill people, people kill people and we need to formulate a method for identifying potential madmen. There’s a way to do it without making it into a Salem witch-hunt. This is something America will have to deal with, and soon.

For more information about Mark A. Cohen, see The Castle Rock, CO Gathering Place, Writer of the Month for Nov. 2010


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Keywords: Conservatism, Conservative blog, politics, political, Mark Cohen, Mark A. Cohen, From The Left to the Right, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, Tucson Tragedy, Markos Moulitsas, Jared Loughner, Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, Sarah Palin, Randi Rhodes, Ed Schultz

Keyword Phrases: "Conservatism", "Conservative", "blog", "politics", "political", "Mark Cohen", "Mark A. Cohen", "From The Left to the Right ", “Rep. Gabrielle Giffords”, “Tucson Tragedy”, “Markos Moulitsas”, “Jared Loughner”, “Sheriff Clarence Dupnik”, “Sarah Palin”, “Randi Rhodes”, “Ed Schultz"

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