I have gotten various reports of this via my cell phone while I was on the road today. I think this will take precedence over my very well-earned vent on the dental profession, because bloody hell…this concerns a LOT of people, right now.
Based on multiple sources, the links of which will be embedded into the text, Congresswoman Giffords (D-Arizona) was shot this morning at a public event. She was shot in the head and is in surgery at the present time. Her survival possibilities are unknown right now. It is, however, clear that there were fatalities in this, including a nine-year-old and a thirteen-year-old.
I need not remind everyone of the news that have come out of Arizona recently. Ethnic studies being banned from the curriculum. The “show me your papers” practice that effectively targets anyone with nonwhite skin for being arrested on basis of illegal immigration – and AZ is the site of one of the largest Navajo Indian reservations in the country! – as well as the it being the home base of John McCain, who has a strong reputation of calling his wife a trollop and a cunt in a public medium, as well as having a deep stronghold in the anti-healthcare reform camp.
Among other news, the judge who had ruled on the civil suit filed by the discriminated-upon Arizonians, was among the victims of this shooting.
You cannot possibly have me believe that this shooting was not politically motivated.
Gabrielle Giffords is a Democrat, in a very red state, a tenacious fighter for healthcare reform, who received death threats and had her office vandalized after she edged out a major teabagger nominee in her reelection. She is a Fulbright scholar in her education, and this was her third reelection into Congress.
She won against a nominee who was heavily sponsored by the tea party.
Now, look at this little gem. Particularly the circled section. Now consider that the shooter used an automatic weapon.
And then there’s this: A crosshairs map by Sarah Palin. A crosshairs map where Congresswoman Giffords is listed as a target. And this version that says, “We’ve diagnosed the problem…Help us prescribe the solution.” What does this sound like to you?
If you answered “sounds like a hit list” or “this is an open invitation to violence”, then you will be correct.
And this is why I’m utterly furious right now. For months, the people have borne witness to how much the people in power don’t give a fuck about the remnants of the middle class, especially when the matter came to healthcare reform. Those same people, those very same individuals have poured countless money and resources into an ongoing war that is basically Vietnam, Take 2; those are the same people who fueled money into the banks when “too big to fail” turned out to be the farce that we know it to be now, and those are the same people who would love to eliminate unemployment and simply let people whose jobs have been outsourced, cut down, or otherwise eliminated without help of revival, effectively starve and die because they can’t get a job in their field any longer. Those are the same people who would openly discriminate against anyone who is not a white Christian male, without any inkling to what Christianity actually promotes, or allowing for the possibility of women having control over their own lives, livelihoods and bodies. Those are the same people who will oppose to paying a lick of tax, and have no problem with someone much poorer than themselves ponying up the dough. Those are the same people who would waste countless money on corporate interests, pointless war, and yet they get up in arms when someone even peeps about the possibility of providing healthcare for people who cannot afford insurance. Those are the people that the country has been seeing emerge, and those people are the tea party.
They decry violence against their opposition, and yet their favorite public personalities routinely call for violence against our elected president, whether it is because he had signed a law that they disagree with, or because he is black. Even when he makes his (rather misguided) attempts to bridge the gap, they walk all over him, and shove him into a position where there is no option but to bow to their wishes.
They decry violence against their opposition, and yet we have one of them effectively calling for violence against the woman who won, fairly won, the election in which he ran. Yes, I’m referring to the aforementioned article with a circled screencap of Jesse Kelly’s little M16 mention. The shooter had an automatic. Don’t tell me for one second that he didn’t get that idea from anywhere else.
They decry violence against their opposition, and one of their public figureheads posts a map with gun sights on several states where liberal politicians voted in a way that they disagree with.
They are responsible for inciting this event.
Know this: in criminal cases, the mastermind behind the shooting is to be held just as responsible as the person pulling the trigger, under conspiracy to commit. It is fair to say that the 22-year-old who pulled the trigger will never see light of day again, and rightly, deservedly so. But the other people to be held accountable for this are Jesse Kelly, who held his little event that was a very thinly veiled invitation to shoot the Congresswoman, and Sarah Palin, whose little map effectively put a target on the backs of twenty people. In the court of law, I am certain that a clever attorney can argue that the shooter was heavily influenced by the messages conveyed by those political figures, and would have never pulled the trigger without that influence. Mens rea nearly always takes contributing factors into account, and if enough influence is found to be had among pundits, politicians, and figures, then these figures are directly responsible for the actions that their messages incite. For all the “not condoning violence” , a whole lot of it comes from the tea party, from this to the original calls for assassination that had taken place after the confirmation of the president’s electoral win. I have not forgotten that, and I don’t think I remember seeing that response to an electoral win with any other figure.
And oh, I am angry about the crosshairs map. Angry and terrified for the other people named on that list. How do the other 19 people on her “map”, feel after this? Are they afraid for thir lives? Have their offices too had glass shattered after their reelection? And how do the other liberal politicians working in close quarters with tea partiers feel after this?
I am angry. As a staunch liberal, I am absolutely furious about the fact that people – not just politicians, but people, for the deaths were mostly civilian – are shot at and dying for nothing more than having a different opinion and staying true to it in a vote. Is this what tolerance had come to? So tolerant that we tolerate hatred, look askance at incited violence and think that they cannot possibly be serious, and use “freedom of speech” as nothing more than an excuse when some pundit on television or in the online forum calls for this violence? Freedom of speech should never protect malice, or incite violence. This is not freedom of speech. This is hatred spun out of control. They are that serious, and it’s time to make things stop.
There is a line where people need to stop and have some perspective. This is an assassination attempt, plain and simple. This would never, ever have happened if not for certain words, phrases, pictures, and political slogans. This tragedy was preventable. And the slogans, pictures, and words that incited these actions are just as deplorable as the action itself.
Enough is enough.
We Americans are a tolerant people, but we have become too much so. We have become so tolerant that we have allowed violence, hatred, bigotry, and radicalism to continue to well beyond the boundaries of reason. It does not matter what side of the political fence you are on, it doesn’t fucking matter what religion you are or if you adhere to one at all, the rule of “treat people the way you wish to be treated” holds no exceptions. Not for anyone.
Enough. Is. Enough.