They Shoot Democrats, Don't They?

And their children too.  This article has to be read.  There are random acts of violence in this country, but was this one? 

Last March, after the final approval of the Democrats’ health care law, which Ms. Giffords supported, the windows of her office in Tucson were broken or shot out in an act of vandalism. Similar acts were reported by other members of Congress, and several arrests were made, including that of a man who had threatened to kill Senator Patty Murray, Democrat of Washington.
And in August 2009, when there were demonstrations against the health care measure across the nation, a protester who showed up to meet Ms. Giffords at a supermarket event similar to Saturday’s was removed by the police when the pistol he had holstered under his armpit fell and bounced on the floor.
During the fall campaign, Sarah Palin, the former Republican vice-presidential candidate, posted a controversial map on her Facebook page depicting spots where Democrats were running for re-election; those Democrats were noted by crosshairs symbols like those seen through the scope of a gun. Ms. Giffords was among those on Ms. Palin’s map.
Not jumping to any conclusions, but it makes you think.

Update 1/9: "The dead have been identified as 63-year-old U.S. District Judge John Roll, 30-year-old Gabriel Zimmerman (Giffords' director of community outreach), 76-year-old Dorthy Morris, 76-year-old Dorwin Stoddard, 79-year-old Phyllis Scheck, and 9-year-old Christina Greene, according to the Pima County Sheriff's Department." (ABC news)


rtk said...

I don't think that conclusion requires any jump at all. The crosshairs say it all. Sarah has brought back some faded romanticism to the gun. Did the recent shooter act in the tradition - real or fictionalized - of the old west, a style much admired by that Palin gal? You betcha.

s. wallerstein said...

Why do these things happen in the US?

They don't seem to happen in the same way in other countries.

The assassination in Pakistan, for example, is classical terrorism.

The lone killer, always male, generally white, with a history of problems with social adjustment...typical.

I saw Bowling for Colombine, but it didn't convince me entirely.

Any theories?

Jean Kazez said...

The assassin in Pakistan acted on behalf of a certain community--had lots of ties, affirmation, etc. etc. The guy in Arizona is (from what I've read) a loner. I have the feeling that in the US people are more prone to becoming totally disconnected. It's a huge country, you can live very far from family. Independence is valued--so being on your own is just normal. Maybe in that disconnected state, violent desires are more likely to get going?? Then they get shaped and directed by the prevailing political culture. Then easy access to guns makes the violence particularly bloody. So...all horrible. I never saw Bowling for Columbine because I simply find the whole subject too disturbing.

s. wallerstein said...

What you say makes sense.

Having guns is a necessary, but not sufficient condition. Lots of people in Israel have guns, but no one shoots people at random. The Gaza Strip is also full of guns.

Latin America is also full of guns, and in some countries, there is lots of violence, about drugs, politics, etc., but no one walks into a supermarket or school and starts shooting.

This sounds horribly rightwing, but family ties are very very strong in Latin America: very few people are disconnected.

rtk said...

I put this note on a tea partyer's thread elsewhere, but I think it might fit here, too.
Assume that Pallin's p.r. ad designer put up that chart of crosshairs on the enemies with no malevolence, would you advise that she/they continue to do so? Should all the rhetoric be shouted as usual, with the confidence that everyone in the country is too sane to act on it? Of course all the blame falls on the shooters, but does that mean it's okay to inspire them? Is anything learned from these murders? The attention shifted so quickly from the dead people- even the little girl - to the politicians placing fig leaves over their nether parts.

s. wallerstein said...

I've been reading about the Arizona gun laws, and to call them "irrational" and "imprudent" is an understatement.

How can a great nation spend billions and billions of dollars to assure total security from foreign terrorists and allow mentally unstable drug users to walk around with 9mm pistols with clips holding 30 bullets?

I know we all worry about certain dangers and ignore others: I monitor my cholesterol level, but put off important tests that my doctor prescribes. Still, one expects (does not find) a certain degree of rationality and sense of priorities from the leaders of the world's greatest power.

That the right to bear arms is in the U.S. constitution seems about as relevant as the fact that stoning adulterers is in the book of Leviticus.

On some days, Plato's argument that the philosophers should rule makes a lot of sense.