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US Anger and Shootings

January 10, 2011

Those who have followed the apocalyptic rage spewing from the Fox News Channel have believed it a matter of time before some nutter, convinced the socialists were taking power, would grab a gun and attempt assassination, very likely of President Obama.

Therefore it will be interesting to find out which if any media outlets had shaped the fury of Jared Lee Loughner and persuaded him to shoot 18 people gathered to hear their Congresswoman at a neighborhood meeting.

Before the Fox commentators are allowed to fume that the American republic is being defiled by a Maoist administration, and introduce other mischievous notions to the national debate, perhaps they should reflect that their country – uniquely in the Western world – allows near-universal access to murderous weaponry, and has been witness to political gun violence.

You cannot broadcast dawn to dusk hate and not get a response from the deranged, the humiliated, the defeated, the unhinged.

Of course, if analysis of the Arizona attack proves different motivations were at work, none of the arguments above are irrelevant. America is saturated with guns. It will witness more lethal political violence. It is a matter of time.

You stoke the hatreds, you get the violence.

So cut the poison. Lower the decibel reading. Remember that extreme rhetoric has consequences, especially in gun-totting America.

  1. January 10, 2011 4:24 pm

    Obviously, there is no place in politics, domestic or foreign, for ugly threats like Palin’s “reload” or Gifford’s opponets Gun Rally. Furthermore, Australia’s gun laws (introduced against great opposition from his natural constituency by John Howard) mean that if sick people feel the need to shoot someone, it is harder (though not impossible) to do so.

    However, I’d like to point out a couple of things;
    1) In Australia, this type of rhetoric has almost solely been limited to Left Wing or “progressive” commentators talking about Pauline Hanson and either John Howard or Tony Abbot.

    2) Tto paint a black-and-white image of all leftists In US politics as good and proper debaters, full of eloquent yet dignified rhetoric is to ignore their behavior during the Bush Administration, ranging from 4th of July firecrackers like this one:
    to videos like

    And of course, it wasn’t just rhetoric – A typical example:

    “When Bush visited Portland, Ore., for a fundraiser, protesters stalked his motorcade, assailed his limousine and stoned a car containing his advisers. Chanting “Bush is a terrorist!”, the demonstrators bullied passers-by, including gay softball players and a wheelchair-bound grandfather with multiple sclerosis.
    One protester even brandished a sign that seemed to advocate Bush’s assassination. The man held a large photo of Bush that had been doctored to show a gun barrel pressed against his temple. “BUSH: WANTED, DEAD OR ALIVE,” read the placard, which had an X over the word “ALIVE.”
    Another poster showed Bush’s face with the words: “F— YOU, MOTHERF—ER!
    A third sign urged motorists to “HONK IF YOU HATE BUSH.” A fourth declared: “CHRISTIAN FASCISM,” with a swastika in place of the letter S in each word.”

  2. Lindsay Foyle permalink
    January 11, 2011 9:53 am

    This is not the first assassination attempt in America and unfortunately it will probably not be the last. Part of the blame for every past assassination has always been attributed to the Gun Lobby and the silly belief in the need to own a gun to be free. This time, part of the blame will also be attributed to the Tea Party, which has been pushing hatred and intolerance in the USA ever since Baric Obama started running for President. It is the Right, which has taken pride in setting the agenda. Obama is a Muslim, he was not born in America, and he must be stopped at any cost to preserve America, not just him but all who support him have been “targeted” too. The Right in Australia has been using the growing popularity of the Tea Party to help justify some of their own policies. Not the Left. The mad Right in America will obviously not admit any fault (however they have quickly taken down some of the more extreme web comments). For right or wrong many Americans – and much of the rest of the World – will hold the Tea Party and the Fox network responsible. The warnings have been ringing out for over a year and it is now far too late to pretend the Right has nothing to do with setting the tone for this violence.

  3. Anthony permalink
    January 11, 2011 10:03 am

    “It will witness more lethal political violence. It is a matter of time.”

    Well, it’s been 42 years since RFK was killed and 30 since Reagan was shot. You could be right!

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