Twisting Tucson’s Violence

It is hard to believe how quickly the “spinsters” took the shootings and attempted assassination in Tucson and twisted it to make a political argument.  Even without knowing why this man with a gun started shooting, some are begging politicians to stop the rhetoric that supposedly caused it. 

 The Courage Campaign headed by Cleve Jones is now asking for a formal federal investigation into how so called “hate speech” is causing violence nationwide.  The Courage Campaign is backed by and the national labor unions.  It claims to stand up for those who are oppressed.  Jones wants San Diego area Representative Darell Issa to convene federal hearings into the speech that supposedly fueled the Tucson attack. 

 One of the early targets of some politicians, who are using this tragedy to push their personal agenda, was the Tea Party movement and its patron saint, Sarah Palin.  Some TV networks rolled out the video of Palin in Arizona talking about reloading and “targeting” politicians.  She was, of course, referring to targeting them for defeat at the polls.  On Monday, the Tea Party Express issued a statement calling this kind of exploitation of tragedy “outrageous.”  It said, “The truth is that the shooter, Jared Loughner is the one responsible for this atrocity.  But liberals are trying to place the blame on society for embracing the tea party movement.” 

 Loughner's argument with Giffords apparently began back in 2007, long before the tea party movement even gelled.  He confronted her then with a question and didn't like the answer.  His rambling writings on the internet suggest he is an anarchist who hates all government and all politicians.  He is a flag-burner.  His ideology is based on the Communist Manifesto.  It's all posted on his Internet pages. 

 The Courage Campaign, in its news release, harkens back to the murder of San Francisco Councilman Harvey Milk who was the target of a hate speech campaign in 1978.  It mentions Sarah Palin's name along with Fox Televisions Glenn Beck as if tying them to this horrible crime in Tucson. 

 When America was founded, there was volatile political speech and the violence and it liberated a nation.  When the civil rights movement stalled, movement leaders at times reverted to violence to get attention and action.  When the anti-war movement of the 1960's was losing momentum, protestors used hot and angry rhetoric and violence to get attention.  This kind of passionate, pointed and incendiary political speech and action has always been part of U.S. history.  Freedom of speech is a keystone of the constitution. 

 Jared Loughner is not one of these historical “activists.”  He is a young man with a psychological problem who was identified as “weird” or “troubled” by many in his life.  He slipped through the cracks of the social agencies and schools that should have targeted this potentially dangerous man for treatment.  He took advantage of the freedom of movement and speech in this country to kill. 

 Ronald Reagen, who himself was the target of an assassin said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law is broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker.  It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”    The former Presidents point is don't let a delusional man in Tucson off the hook by blaming society.  He bought the gun, he pulled the trigger. 

 The tragedy in Tucson is horrible, but those who are trying to use it to make political points with their people may be shouting the wrong message, and one that will really pour more gasoline on the rhetoric rather than water.   Toning down the rhetoric might be a very good thing, but rhetoric did not cause all of that pain in Tucson, bullets in the hands of a very sick man did. 

Categories: Becker’s Digital Notebook