Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (above) was shot in the head this weekend by a gunman who opened fire outside a grocery store during a meeting with voters. The gunman also killed six others, including an aide for the Democratic lawmaker, a US district judge and a 9 year old girl. 12 people were wounded.
The suspect was apprehended at the scene and NBC News reported the alleged gunman’s name to be 22-year-old Jared Lee Laugher. His motive for the shooting is unclear, but there are reports that the suspect was mentally unstable and possibly acting along with an accomplice.
Speaking at a news conference, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik commented about the political rhetoric that may have fueled this shooting.
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous…and unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
The shooting is shocking, disgusting and barbaric act.
It reminds me of the moment John Lennon was shot dead 30 years ago. It’s also an incident that was not surprising. I’ve always said about the current political climate, “This is the Last Blast!” That is, the last stand for right-wing, conservative ideology.
This behavior has been festering since the election of President Barack Obama. The loss of power in 2008 has fueled a growing hatred among Republican white voters against minorities and immigrants. Faux News is a mouthpiece for far right propaganda. Rush, Hannity, Beck, Savage and other right-wing commentators continue to spew out their hate rhetoric on talk radio.
Politicians, such as Sarah Palin, Sharron Angle and other political candidates, notably those in the “Tea Party” movement have used innuendos (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), suggesting violence against opponents who disagree with their radical positions.
But no matter how much the right-wing machine continues to spin this tragic incident into something positive for their agenda, there are thousands of “Timothy McVeigh” types out there waiting in the wings, looking for the moment to strike.
Today was that day for the alleged suspect.
We need to ask ourselves, “Are you part of the problem or part of the solution?” The harsh political tone needs to change or this sort of thing is going to keep happening among both conservatives AND liberals.
No matter subtle and how unintentional the message is (nudge, nudge, wink, wink), the rhetoric gives “lone wolves” the opportunity to act out. This incident MUST be repudiated and condemned on all accounts.
Not doing so will plunge the country into anarchy.