So apparently, Sarah Palin used crosshairs on several different states during the 2010 election. Anybody with half a brain would understand what was going on here. Because she put certain districts in crosshairs, did she really mean for people to take up arms and shoot up these districts? Um, no, I think it's quite clear what she was saying. She was suggesting that those districts specifically should be targeted by a strong Republican Challenger because they are held by Democrats who voted for the healthcare bill in traditionally conservative states and therefore a good possibility that if they played their cards right (oh look, another analogy!) they could win these districts
Now obviously this isn't the case, as Giffords won reelection. From what I understand she was a moderate democrat that voted for the Healthcare Bill but also voted against Pelosi (who is an idiot I must say, or a crafty woman who has no care what the citizens of this country think and has the mentality that she knows better then anyone) as Minority Leader.
First and foremost, what happened was a great tragedy, what appears to be a lone gunman shot into a crowd of innocent bystanders and took the lives of six people and wounded dozens more. He alone is responsible for his actions, he's the one that made the decision to take a gun to a public place and open fire on a woman who he disagreed with. There is nobody to blame here but this man and any possible accomplices to this murder he may have had.
What really bothers me the most about this was how quickly people were jumping to conclusions on the matter. Palin used crosshairs so she was inciting violence and now she is to blame. Don't be ridiculous, crosshairs in political imagery has been used countless times before, by both sides of the aisle. Democrats and Republicans both do it, how about this map, which I was shown originally by a commentator about this topic that was actually used by the Democrats in 2004?
You know, I think myself and people like me can probably figure out for ourselves that the democrats didn't mean to incite actual violence in those states. Those are contested states, and any lame brain can probably figure that out.
Of course, go to any website featuring this story prominantly and Sarah Palin's alleged connection to it and you can see the insanity as people are quick to blame somebody, ANYBODY, especially if it is politically convenient, except for the actual person who did the shooting. People, the only person to blame is Jared Loughner. They list a series of acts of violence towards people who supported the health care bill and link it to Sarah Palin. You know what? I bet, if you are in public office, death threats are actually pretty common. Take a quick look, there are over 300 million people in the United States, a good majority of them are good decent hard working people. And then there are some that are a little loose in the head. You take an unpopular bit of legislation like the Healthcare Bill and I wouldn't think it uncommon after any unpopular act that some politicians get a few death threats or vandalism by some people who decide to take matters into their own hands. Are these people wrong in their actions? Yes, but let's get real here, the only person to blame here are the people who act on it. Whatever happened to personal responsibility and accountability?
Besides, with this shooting, there is absolutely nothing to suggest that Loughner even liked Palin, chances are if he got inspiration from this shooting from anywhere, it seems in line more from a regrettably titled Daily Kos article (My congresswoman is now Dead to me, in referreing to Congresswoman Giffords, no link since story has been scrubbed from the website) then from a call to arms by Sarah Palin. It is quite humorous (in a terribly unfunny sort of way) how quick people were to pin this action on Sarah Palin and put the blame on her. Quite crazy actually, that people have to jump to conclusions by trying to figure out why and place the scape goat on somebody for their own political needs.
Of course, during the Ft Hood shooting, when it quickly came out that the mastermind behind that monstrocity was a Psychiatrist that got promoted to his station because nobody wanted to hurt anybody's feelings by the obvious conclusion anybody could have made that he was a radical islamist, it seemed like everywhere you looked people were falling over themselves trying to explain to people that it was so important not to jump to conclusions. Well, sorry, this is my conclusion on that story. Now everyone is rushing to conclusions to blame this on a convenient political scapegoat and saying somebody else's imagery influenced a person to shoot into a crowd at a grocery store. Stop trying to figure out the whys of why somebody did something an accept that we all have influences in every part of our lives. We, the individual, are ultimately responsible for our own actions. There is one person to blame here in this incident, and that person is a man by the name of Jared Loughner. Last I saw, he was an adult.
People are talking about being civil in talk, but man I hear the hate flowing toward Sarah Palin on this when there is no connection. Stop drawing conclusions!
And what do I see this as? This is a blatant attack on free speech. What, anybody who says anything about using figures of speech and imagery to drive their point is now guilty of inciting violence? The means some people go to connect Sarah Palin (a private citizen I might add) to other people's actions is absolutely insane. Yes, Sarah Palin has a lot of influence, a lot of people see her as bold, fresh and a source of common sense. Other people, for whatever reason, can't stand the sight of her. Because of her polarizing nature and a few other reasons, I don't think she could ever be President, though if the choice is between Palin and our current President, I'm willing to give Palin a shot, but that aside, people are trying to paint her as a scape goat in this, saying that she has blood on her hands or what not. I call Bull. As in shit, not eye. If you want to go down that slippery slope of a person's words and rhetoric as the means of inciting action in another individual, and then holding the person accountable for their words, then i would suggest that every person that Jared Loughner knew and was influenced by during his entire life, his parents, teachers, friends, coworkers, the media, etc, is accountable for his actions. And that is simply not the case. This man made his choice, he acted upon it, and he alone is responsible.
When we stand in front of those pearly gates and St Peter decides whether or not we are going to enter into the kingdom of heaven or be cast into the fiery pits of hell, I would suggest that we will be judged according to our own actions and not given a pass because we may or may not have been influenced by the words of someone else.Another excellent blog post describing other examples of the use of the crosshairs or bullseye imagery by politicians other then Sarah Palin. Both sides are guilty if one is.
Sarah Palin comments to Glenn Beck on this tragedy, and everyone's hasty connection of her to it. Really, where do we draw the line?
The Boyz at Hillbuzz have done an excellent job at showing the hypocracy in this incident and how the media and various people are trying to pin it on Sarah Palin. A must read for anybody remotely interested in the story.