Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said it best:
“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital,” Dupnik said Saturday January 8th at a press conference about the shooting of Congresswoman Gabriell Giffords and 18 others.
“We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry,” Dupnik added. “The fiery rhetoric that has taken hold in politics may be free speech, but it’s not without consequences.”
“To try to inflame the public on a daily basis, 24 hours a day, seven days a week, has impact on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with,” Dupnik said.
Dupnik has taken fire for his comments. Wait a minute. When one has a climate of hate and easy access to guns, is there any question why a crazy person goes on a deadly rampage against someone like Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords?
Folks have got to take responsibility for the kind of toxic society we’ve created.
From top to bottom we have become a sick society filled with hatred and armed crazies.
Bloodshed and Invective in Arizona .. New York Times editorial
….[Jared Loughner] is very much a part of a widespread squall of fear, anger and intolerance that has produced violent threats against scores of politicians and infected the political mainstream with violent imagery. With easy and legal access to semiautomatic weapons like the one used in the parking lot, those already teetering on the edge of sanity can turn a threat into a nightmare.
In our political process the opposition is demonized to the point where media commentators such as Glenn Beck can suggest liberals ought to be killed.
Climate of Hate by Paul Krugman
….Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P….
….So will the Arizona massacre make our discourse less toxic? It’s really up to G.O.P. leaders. Will they accept the reality of what’s happening to America, and take a stand against eliminationist rhetoric? Or will they try to dismiss the massacre as the mere act of a deranged individual, and go on as before?…
In our political process is it ok for Sarah Palin to put a target on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords?
In our political process is it tolerated when people break their windows of Congressional offices and carry guns into political events as happened to Giffords in the last few months?
Shooting Casts a Harsh Spotlight on Arizona’s Unique Politics NY Times commentary
But after the fatal shooting of six that left Representative Gabrielle Giffords critically injured, Arizona has shifted from a place on the political fringe to symbol of a nation whose political discourse has lost its way.
Tombstone Politics commentary in the NY Times
….The federal judge who was murdered on Saturday morning, John M. Roll, received numerous death threats to him and his family after an Arizona talk-radio station went after him because he dared to let a civil rights lawsuit against the state’s harsh immigration law proceed. He needed marshal protection from these rabid radio-inspired opponents of a free and functioning judiciary.
In Arizona demonizing undocumented Mexicans for political power gains was not only accepted…it worked to elect a lot of people to office who exploit hatred and fear for power.
In Arizona certain interests fought hard to allow anyone to carry a concealed weapon, and to be able to buy semi-automatic weapons with extended ammo clips. What conceivable recreational use does that kind of weapon really have? They are solely for killing people.
We have 6 dead in Arizona because gun rights are more important than human life.
And then we have the suspected shooter Jared Loughner. Obviously from his internet postings a mentally disturbed individual.
Sheriff Dupnik made the point that where a climate of hatred and intolerance is created, that opens the door for armed nut cases to act out their craziness.
And this isn’t the first time a gunman has tried to kill those who serve our country and kill those who have political views opposed to theirs. They try to instill fear in anyone who is willing to step up to the plate for fairness and social justice. But they are often dismissed as crazy.
America is known for killing its leaders….and are we any different than Pakistan right now?
The hate filled rhetoric being used to justify one side’s political agenda has to stop RIGHT NOW !
The media who profit from allowing the Glenn Becks and others who spew hostility must stop exploiting promotion of hatred for their bottom line.
That includes the many websites who allow bloggers and commentors to spew their venom to incite insurrection and violence.
Those who profit from selling guns to crazy people must be stopped.
And we need to really do something effective about our mental health care system beyond cutting budgets because some folks don’t want to pay taxes.
Who else is going to die in Arizona because of our toxic mix of hate and access to guns?