Ever since President Obama took office, the right has incorporated violent rhetoric in their message. The Reps and tea party activists have "targeted" the opposition, they have suggested the use of "second ammendment" solutions. They have stated their intent to "take out" an opposition candidate. Any # of right wing political candidates at all levels used guns and targets - often human silhouette type targets, not just bullseyes - and language suggestive of violence against their oponents. Right wing TV - FOX, that is - has lauded the hits on medical people involved in abortions. Right wingnut radio dipsticks have made much more baldly violent threats against the left. Ann Coulter has accused all Democrats and anyone politically to the left of Atilla the Hun as being traitors.
The characterization of Obama, the Dems and the left in general as anti-american, as socialists, as communists, as fascists has fed the flames. Those who appeared at political rallies armed to the teeth reinforced the notion that violence was not only acceptable, but perhaps desired.
All these people can shrug and claim having no responsibility for todays massacre, but they ARE responsible. They know full well that there is and will always be a fringe element - on both extremes of the political spectrum - who are just crazy enough, just disaffected enough, just prone to violence enough to pick up the gauntlet and start shooting.
Ironically, among the worst of them are Sarah Palin, Michelle Bachmann and Sharon Angle - the idiot triumvirate! Those three and all the others who make it a practice to use violent language and evoke violent images when speaking of their political opponents MUST accept responsibility and they MUST remove such allusions from their rhetoric in the future. They cannot be allowed to protest their innocence, but rather, must be held accountable by the public and, perhaps, ultimately, by the courts. To paraphrase the sheriff in Tucson who said in his statement earlier today in reference to the radio and TV pundits and pols' use of violent language - "It might be free speech, but it has consequences." Indeed it does.
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