The Tucson Tragedy
I presume you all are as sick as I am over the charges and counter charges concerning the tragedy in Tucson; however, after doing a bit of research I thought I might try and clear a few things up...at least from my viewpoint.
The primary allegations are that the screams from the Left for more gun control and less vitriol in public debate are useless and hypocritical. I will leave the gun control arguments from the left alone with just two comments.
There are over 50,000 gun laws on the books in this country. I hardly see the need for any more. In an ironic twist, one of the most liberal states in the country, Vermont, allows concealed carry with no permit. It might also be pertinent to note that Vermont has one of the lowest, if not the lowest, murder rate in the country. In fact, the crime rate in Vermont generally is so low that it is almost laughable to call it a crime rate.
Secondly, Arizona also allows concealed carry with no permit though convicted felons and those who suffer from mental illness are prohibited from carrying at all by both federal and state laws. It is interesting to note that one of the three men who tackled the perpetrator in this crime was carrying a pistol at the time...legally....and was prepared to use it but two other gentleman were in the process of taking the guy down.
So far as vitriol in political debate, the mantra from the Left has been that people like Rush Limbaugh and Sarah Palin helped to cause this incident by using words and phrases like "target" and "keep the Liberals in your sights" and so forth. Please note that as I am sending this only to friends and relatives, I have plagiarized some of the below from "Alexander's Essays."
Obama gave a great speech in Tucson, calling for civility in political discourse and suggesting that inflammatory statements have no place in the political arena. I guess he forgot that he himself said the following at a recent Democratic fundraiser, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun." He identified Republicans as "hostage takers," later saying, "I don't want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I'm angry!"
Recently, Joe Biden remarked, "If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them." Biden didn't mean that literally, of course, and yet we're being asked to believe that Sarah Palin "crosshairs" map was somehow an incitement for the targeted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords.
In a New York Times op-ed this week, former Demo Rep. Paul Kanjorski declared, "It is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation." This would be the same Rep. Kanjorski who had these words for a then-Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott: "They ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him."
Ah, yes, "civility and respect."
Headlines from Leftmedia sources: "Democrats Launch Website Targeting 'Republican Lies'" (Washington Post); "A coalition known as Americans United for Change is targeting Republican senators" (NPR); "Obama administration officials said they were targeting Republican Senators" (CNN); "Dems Play Hardball: Target Republican Senators" (Huffington Post); "In the meantime, Obama will continue to target Republicans" (CBS); "I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody's going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he's going to explode like a giant blimp" (MSNBC's Chris Matthews).
No doubt clueless as to these many examples of Leftist "incitement," the celebrities piled on: "Hanoi Jane" Fonda, who infamously posed on an NVA antiaircraft gun only yards from where North Vietnamese prison guards were torturing American POWs, summed up the situation thusly: "Progressive Arizona Rep Gabrielle Giffords is shot. In her ads, Sarah Palin had her targeted in a gun site (sic). Inciting to violence." Thanks for your input, Jane.
Oh, and there was another Leftist celebrity who chimed in this week. Fidel Castro wrote in an op-ed, "The Tea Party, constituted by the most reactionary and politically backward elements of society ... in the midst of the crisis and disappointment over the promises that Obama has been unable to fulfill, will take the country into the abyss."
A perfect example of the hypocrisy from the Left came from one of the usual suspects, the New York Times.
In 2009, after Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Ft. Hood, all the while yelling "Allahu Akbar," Times' editors wrote: "In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East. President Obama was right when he told Americans, 'we don't know all the answers yet' and cautioned everyone against 'jumping to conclusions.'"
This week after the Tucson attack, that same Times opined, "It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman's act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people. ... Now, having seen first hand the horror of political violence, Arizona should lead the nation in quieting the voices of intolerance, demanding an end to the temptations of bloodshed, and imposing sensible controls on its instruments."
These are just a very few examples. I have looked and I cannot find any statements by conservatives which even remotely approach some of the examples I have given above. If you can find any, I would like to be made aware of them.
It is not conservatives who are physically preventing people of another race from voting as occurred in Philadelphia or beating, intimidating, and even biting the finger off of a man at conservative meetings such as Tea Party rallies. It is not conservatives who are being prosecuted all over the country in state courts, Eric Holder will do nothing, for voter fraud. Yet, it is some of the very people who espouse violence and use violent rhetoric who are now piously calling for civility and respect, and they are the ones who seem to get the most publicity with their hypocritical and paternalistic comments.
What a mess we are in.
US educator & writer (1919 - 1988)