Slate‘s Jack Shafer says it so that I don’t have to:
For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I’ve even gotten angry, for goodness’ sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.
The only thing I’ll add is that government officials command such vast power — power to bankrupt, imprison, maim and, yes, kill — that refraining from using “vitriol” (as Pima County’s Sheriff Clarence Dupnik puts it) in criticizing people who seek to wield that power borders on the irresponsible.
Update: Liberranter correctly points out that this is an appropriate place for John Green’s (the father of slain Christina Green) moving call to refrain from using this incident as an excuse for more restrictions on our freedom.
liberranterJanuary 11, 2011 at 9:44 am
If your readers haven’t already (and, J.D., I’m sure you have), they should check out this YouTube segment of a moving Fox News interview with John Green, the father of slain nine-year-old Christina Green (hat tip to Lew Rockwell for the link). Mr. Green makes it clear in the interview that he does NOT want his daughter’s death to be used as a pretext for eviscerating even more of our already decimated rights. Even more touching, IMO, is Mr. Green’s expression of understanding for accused shooter Jared Loughner, in which he makes the statement that if Loughner had had the support and understanding of family or friends, he might not have committed the act that he did. I cannot even begin to imagine this man’s grief. For him to be taking the position that he is in the wake of his little daughter’s death speaks volumes about his strength of character.
J.D. TuccilleJanuary 11, 2011 at 10:11 am
I actually have that segment included in my previous blog post, but you’re right that it should be here, too. Thanks!
David GomezJanuary 14, 2011 at 7:29 pm
The father’s words are so powerful and really reaffirm how much more productive rational thinking is than emotional thinking in times of great stress and fear. But like clock work the fawning corporate media has the viewer drones thinking that our rights somehow undermine national security. There is a huge push on to put the clamps on our freedoms, and the intellectual voices fighting back are almost nonexistent. People really seem to be buying into the idea that this is proof that we have been given to much freedom. Try opening carrying now in places where it’s legal with everyone on edge, the cops will surely escalate the harassment of law-abiding open carriers now don’t you guys think?
liberranterJanuary 16, 2011 at 10:33 am
People really seem to be buying into the idea that this is proof that we have been given to much freedom.
The fact that so many sheeple believe that our freedom is “given to us” by the State and said state can extend or revoke such freedoms at its whim is the true horror here. As long as such belief remains entrenched in what little “mind” the majority has, we’re doomed as a nation.
Jared Lee Loughner: Tucson Arizona ShootingJanuary 16, 2011 at 6:37 pm