>Stop. Just Stop.

>

The shooting has been everywhere; it’s all over my TV, all over the web, on every front page and everybody’s mind. I try to wrap my head around the idea that someone can shoot someone in the head at point blank range, for any reason, least of all different political views, or simple dislike. I try to wrap my mind around the thought that someone can simply open fire and shoot at anyone and everyone in sight.

And I wonder, how many fingers pulled that trigger that sent a bullet through Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ head, that discharged bullets that killed US District Judge John Roll, Gabe Zimmerman, Gifford’s director of community outreach; Dorwin Stoddard, a pastor at Mountain Ave. Church of Christ; Christina Greene, a student at Mesa Verde Elementary; Dorthy Murray and Phyllis Scheck.

I know there was one gunman, and maybe an accomplice, who will achieve no sense of notoriety by having their names or photographs mentions or shown in this space, ever, but there are more to blame. More people around this country who have been spouting hate, and promoting violence as a means to get their viewpoint heard. 

Teabaggers who’ve said that any means necessary should be used to take back the country. Take it back from whom? People with a different idea? Why is there this need for using such hate-speech against a rival political group? Why is violence the answer they seem to promote so often? I am not a fan of Teabaggers, or of most Republicans or most conservatives, or most religious wingnuts, but I would never suggest violence, never suggest death be the answer to my problem with other people.

And, while we hold the Tea Party even partially responsible, let’s also lay some blame squarely at the feet of Sarah Palin. I don’t use her name here often, as I refer to call her the Mama Grizzly Bore, but today, her name must be used, because she has blood on her hands.

When you use words and phrases like putting someone in your ‘crosshairs’ exactly what do you think that means? Crosshairs. Guns. Violence. When you ask that your followers reload, instead of retreat, what are you telling them? Take up arms. Shoot. Take up arms, and take the lives of people with whom you disagree, even if one of them is a nine-year-old girl, and others are grandmothers.

This has to stop. We cannot become a nation where violence is the means to sway the vote, and gain momentum for our cause. This has to stop. It’s time for people like the Tea Party, and their minions, and Sarah Palin, and her minions, to accept responsibility for their words. 

Words have power; words create violence; words incite. Whether the words are aimed at the LGBT community, or a Muslim community center, a liberal, or a conservative, the words must stop inciting violence.

Different is good. Differing opinions are good because they create dialogue. But putting someone in your crosshairs, and threatening to reload, sends the message that violence is the answer.

It isn’t. And it’s up to us, all of us, liberal and conservative, Democrat, Republican, Independent, whatever political affiliation, religious affiliation, non-religious affiliation, gender, ethnicity, orientation, color, age, education, socio-economic standing, to stop this speech.

Stop it.
Or start getting more body bags.

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13 Comments

Filed under Arizona, Death, Gabrielle Giffords

13 responses to “>Stop. Just Stop.

  1. >True words. And words that we can live by! I agree that we have to start using reason to make our arguments and evidence to support them. It's time to stop the clever sound bites and really examine the issues one at a time. Logically. Peacefully.I think that we get that. I am not very hopeful they will. They're still towing the party line that the gunman had no connections to political groups, and he was mentally ill after all. They don't see that throwing their metaphors out there give lone, mentally ill gunman something to focus on. The Becks and the Limbaughs out there are consistently riling up the uneducated masses and factlessly promoting their ridiculous ideas. I don't see that from our side. The Rachel Maddows use facts and don't resort to name calling. We need education in order to foster respect and acceptance. And that is one thing we don't have.

  2. >You and I and many others may publish blog posts this week denouncing this massacre and the rhetoric that lead to it, but at the same time there is a large segment of our society who is energized by it and is hoping for more of it. They talk about open class warfare (so-called) and "killing liberals". I witnessed it myself when visiting Alabama.I pray this crime shocks the nation back to sanity, and does not embolden others to act similarly.

  3. >Great posting. I stumbled onto your blog last week and I really like your writing style and sense of humor. Great work! I look forward to a continued reading.Davidanothermilemarker.blogspot.com

  4. S'A

    >Amen-you've said just what I've been thinking!

  5. >I agree with what you're saying but with the nutcases where I live I wonder if I need to start packing heat for my own self-preservation. Yeah, it's that bad depending where I go.

  6. >Isn't it ironic that the weapons that keep us safe, are the same weapons that are our enemy?

  7. >Palin's followers are people with single digit IQs and will believe anything she says. From released e-mails(probably staged)Palin & Beck are portraying themselves as victims. Oh, and surprise – Palin hates violence.

  8. Joy

    >Excellent post, Bob. Amen!

  9. >Bob, this weekend was one of the most tense and horrifying I've ever experienced in a long time. As a matter of fact… since 9-11. The shootings are horrific enough and just googling Loughner brought a slew of pages that read into the mind of someone who should have been in a mental care facility. What is worse though is how volatile people whom I thought literate and able to see both sides of the coin became. I lost acquaintances and friendships due to the fact I posted (and still stand by) my view that Palin has been on the forefront of a political agenda based in violence and paranoia. Like Cubby said above, people are feeding into it—they can't get enough. Sure, we may say that you have nutty liberals, but have any of them actually been on the receiving end of a quote taken out of context by a crazy who then went to shoot and kill several people and terrorize a nation?It's that frightening. I'm reminded of Mrs Carmody in Stephen King's "The Mist", rousing people to ACTION! and aggressively 'take our country back!' And people whom I thought had common sense buying into it.

  10. >Well said Bob. Reason, civility, compassion, and acceptance need to make there way back into people's hearts and minds. For too long they have been filled with nothing but the intellectual and spiritual equivalent to junk food.

  11. >Disagreement enriches a society, when the people arent allowed to air different views the country and their will to push and strive, withers away. Look at the USSR, they basically floated thru 40 years. If you dry up the discord, and replace it with one view fits all, we will lose or way for sure.I have been so very upset about this for days, it took me until today to be able to read your post. Add in the fact where that nutjob Palin is from, yeah…. We need to use our words more carefully than we do. Im sick and tired of all the violent words that have taken over our daily conversation. I know that i'm different in being unable to watch violence, but dont you think that as our movies, tv shows and music has gotten more violent, our capacity for compassion has decreased?The teabaggers, and more specifically Palin needs to go to trial for being an accomplice to murder.

  12. >Goes with American turf does it not? Martin Luther, John Lennon, Columbine, JFK, Lincoln, Harvey Milk…the list goes on.

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