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Monday, January 10, 2011

Does harsh rhetoric and glorifying guns lead to murder sprees?

So far it would seem that Jared Lee Loughner shot Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 20 other people because he was unstable, possibly mentally ill. There are still people who feel that right wing pundits and leaders, such as Sarah Palin, have encouraged such attacks.
According the website Citizens For Legitimate Government;
“Palin's fundraising instrument, SarahPac, had posted an advertisement to target Democratic Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords. The photo has since been removed from her website. However, CLG has obtained it and reposted it here.” (See it below.)
This group and others see the rhetoric of the far right (using such terms as “shooting for”) as promoting violence against people they disagree with. The ad pictured below combines the message with an invitation to shoot a machine gun. Between their glorification of guns and hateful rhetoric, some people are pointing fingers at the Tea Party movement as contributing to these kinds of acts.
Right now it appears that Loughner did not do the shootings for the benefit of the Tea Party. His You Tube site provides videos of his ideas, white letters on a black background with music. It talks about mind control by the government and brainwashing. He listed his favorite books as including 'Mein Kampf' and 'The Communist Manifesto. Other books are listed, but there is no clear pattern to explain what his politics actually are.  
It will take time to figure out why Loughner shot all these people, including a child who died. He may have simply been mentally ill. Yet the arguments over the harsh rhetoric and those who justify murder as a way to advance political agendas will not go away.


SarahPac Called for Ariz. Congresswoman to be 'Targeted.'
Photo: Bruce L. of CLG

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