I’m willing to say that this rampage in
Arizona had little or nothing to do with any comments by Alaska’s Sarah Palin or Idaho’s Butch Otter or ’s Robert Lowry, all who have been caught making references to using gun violence against opponents. What I will say is that those kinds of comments whether in front of a casual crowd or in a formal announcement are crass, classless, and demonstrate antisocial behavior. Making jokes about gun violence is not funny and it is not cute to make gun violence metaphors in discussing political agendas. Saturday’s shootings hopefully demonstrate that and if I am wrong I wonder who is laughing now. Is Sarah Palin who suggested that her supporters reload after Laura Schlessinger became unhinged and needlessly repeated the word nigger to a black radio caller laughing? Is Florida Idaho governor Butch Otter who once suggested that permits to hunt Obama would sell well in laughing? Is Robert Lowry who scrawled the initials of his opponent next to the gun target he was shooting at during his unsuccessful congressional campaign laughing? Idaho
Anger and frustration are normal components on the spectrum of human emotions. They are not unique, but when one’s anger gets to the point of wishing violence and death on other people it is a sign that elective politics should wait until that anger is under control.
But that’s just me. I was raised to never EVER point even an unloaded gun at another person, period. A gun that was not pointed at a (nonhuman) target was to be pointed to the ground. It was drilled into my head at a young age that guns kill and foolish behavior with guns leads to accidental death time and time again. Yet tomorrow scores of people, some who should know better will pick up weapons and wave them in the air with little care. According to the statistics, one or more of them will kill somebody. It boggles my mind.
Similarly, somewhere tomorrow someone in the public sphere is going to engage in some deathspeak. The lesson may be lost on them, but enough people will have caught on to the fact that the type of people who speak so carelessly are not the kind of people to rally around, but the kind of people to avoid.