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.
Or start getting more body bags.