How easily an insane individual, perhaps barely capable of finding his way on the streets, can just buy a gun and go on and kill a lot of people by just pulling the trigger. How he can just buy a high capacity magazine that holds 3 more bullets than AK47 magazine. A magazine that no reasonable person will want to have for self defence, given how it almost doubles weight of pistol, makes pistol cumbersome to carry, and is more likely to jam.
I'm not normally posting anything about US politics. But when something like this happens, when you recognize one of the faces of those shot as a face you seen before, when one can imagine the personal tragedy of a family who lost their child, well one can't just stay silent as of what one believes to have contributed to this horrible incident.
What would it take to end a politician's career for inciting those insane to violence, if a hit list complete with gun related rhetoric is not enough? Realistic cross hair over photos? Direct suggestion that one must be hunted down? Should politicians have this sort of immunity? I think not. Disagreement is fine, but gun related rhetoric targeting individual opponents is not. It is ridiculous that a (quitted or not) governor, a part of establishment, would play revolutionary tunes.
Could Palin's constant gun references and violent rhetoric ever incite a sane person to vote for her, anyway? No I do not think so! Not for my definition of sane. Of course it can also be said that you must be crazy to interpret that as incitement to violence... ohh, right.
Who's to blame for violent rhetoric? Politicians? Or the mildly insane portion of public whom this rhetoric apparently incites to vote? Or perhaps both?
It is well understood that some percentage of people are insane and can be incited by this kind of political message. It is also understood that message to sane people can be conveyed without use of this kind of symbolism, without making violent allegories, unless one specifically wants to deliver a message to insane, even at the cost of turning sane people away.
On topic of freedom of speech, is shouting "fire" in the theatre OK now too? What's if someone wants to start panic but yells it like "Fire! Fire [less loud]those actors" ? How far can plausible deniability stretch?
I sincerely hope that politicians will cut down on mixing guns into the politics now. This is outright insane. Even if this particular shooting cannot be linked to any particular rhetoric, that does not make it fine to mix guns into politics, to incite crazy to do politics by using guns.
edit: Palin describes response to her list of targets as Blood Libel. I see. That's what it would take.
But Rabbi Brad Hirschfield, president of the National Jewish Center for Learning and Leadership, has a surprising (well it was to me) spin on Palin's comment. If she thinks she's turning the guns, so to speak, back on her critics for attempting to endanger her (her what? her political future?) by claiming she contributed to a climate of violence, she's gone about it totally backwards. He told me today:
It's not just inappropriate, it's profoundly ironic. By making this comparison and playing Jew in the picture, the person endangered by a blood libel, she admits that the words people use can have deadly impact.
By claiming that others' words are a blood libel that endangers her, she's at least admitting the prospect that claims her words endangered others could be true.
I'm not giving her a free pass. It was a poor and hurtful analogy. But clearly, she's affirming exactly what her critics charge.
I'm with Rabbi Brad on this one. Astute observation. Same goes for claiming that gunsight crosshairs were meant as something else. Ohh yes, so the gunsight crosshairs could have incited violence, but Palin is totally innocent, so innocent she couldn't have imagined those crosshair like icons can be seen as gun crosshairs.
edit: Long before the shootings, Palin's list was described as "an al Qaeda Christmas card" and criticized even by conservatives previously supportive of Palin. There.
Palin's (and supported by her) 'view' how Obama is a terrorist? How Obama is like Hitler? How Obama's healthcare will introduce "death panels" that will kill her child? Combined with "don't retreat, reload" and the like. Holy shit. Is she trying to assassinate Obama or what?