Blood on Your Hands

On January 8, 2011, one Jared Loughner attempted to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as she met constituents outside a supermarket.  Loughner shot Giffords in the head, grievously wounding her.  With his newly-purchased “assault weapon” (aka, “machine gun”) Loughner also wounded twelve others and killed six, including a nine year-old girl, who’d come to the event to learn more about how American politics worked.

Was Loughner mentally deranged? Most definitely.  Was there a particular political philosophy behind his rampage?  Apparently none, other than a pervasive distrust & hatred of the government.  Did his actions occur in an atmosphere of hatred against the government, of thinly-veiled threats of violence against political opponents?  Affirmative.

Who are the chief perpetrators of this atmosphere of rage and gun-based violence?  Call them the Tea Party, call them the Far Right, call them FOX News.  Giffords hadn’t even left the O.R. before these hate-mongers, this Gun Club, were already spinning the story, claiming their innocence.  But they cannot wash their hands of their complicity.   In no uncertain terms, they called for blood. They got blood.  If they are not stopped, there will be more blood.


Sarah Palin
, you declared yourself a “hunter of liberals.”  You urged people to “reload”, then identified their targets — your political opponents — with the crosshairs of a gunsight.  You glorify the culture of the gun and of killing.  Sarah Palin, there is blood on your hands.

Jesse Kelly, you posed in combat gear, and urged your supporters to “target” your opponent, Gabrielle Giffords.  “Come shoot an assault weapon with me,” you said, “and help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office.”  Jesse Kelly, there is blood on your hands.

Sharron Angle, you urged your followers to resist legislation they do not like with “Second Amendment remedies.”  Sharron Angle, there is blood on your hands.

Michelle Bachmann, you announced: “I want people armed and dangerous” to block legislation you oppose.  Michelle Bachmann, there is blood on your hands.

Glenn Beck, you, too, declared yourself a “hunter of liberals.”  Anyone who disagrees with your political views you label a “nazi”, a “traitor”, an “enemy of the state.”   You encourage your viewers to prepare for, and then bring about, the overthrow of the government.  Glenn Beck, you sick little fuck, there is blood on your hands.

The bloody harvest of your words has just begun:

1. Gabriel Zimmerman

2. Dorwin Stoddard

3. Dorthy Murray

4. Phyllis Scheck

5. John Roll

6. Christina Greene

7. ???


(c) 2011 by ‘tamerlane.’  All rights reserved.

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29 Responses to Blood on Your Hands

  1. Robin says:

    How would you say, “this is going to blow up in your face” without using a gun analogy?

  2. Cyn says:

    I think this is just the beginning. A line has been crossed. We need greater gun control and less inflammatory language.

    You are right – they do have blood on their hands.

  3. Fionnchú says:

    I cite a wise friend: “This kind of violence has been intentionally fomented. The fear that drives it has been obviously used for political gain – and now that the worst has happened there’s a desire to split hairs over the exact reasoning of the unreasonable in order to pin it down to something that nobody has to feel guilty about.”

    I may split hairs as a professional hazard, being a teacher, but my friend’s point aligns with yours, TL. But I wonder about causality, even for insanity.

    My discussion question: how is this shooting different or similar to, say, the attempts on Gerald Ford by Sara Jane Moore & Squeaky Fromme? Did not the climate then also become infected by talk of revolution from the margins to take out our leaders?

    • tamerlane says:

      Moore & Fromme were immersed in fringe radicalism. I can’t speak to the “climate of revolution” in 1975 — there may have been some residual from the Vietnam War protests, but this feels different to me today than what I recall from my childhood.

      One major difference is that Moore & Fromme were bad shots, had malfunctioning pistols with only 4 -6 bullets. That, and nobody had used gunsight imagery urging people to “target” Ford.

  4. Pat Johnson says:

    Loathesome Beck referred to the One Minute of Silence and Obama as just another photo op. He also referred to the “silence” as nothing more than hearing the whirr of the cameras.

    You can’t get much more repulsive than this when 8 families in Arizona, including one with a 9 year old child, must listen to this tripe coming out of this moron on national tv.

    But the entire slate of Fox “contributors” will never be called to task because what they and their adherents spew by the hour is exactly what their sponsor, the GOP, has in mind.

    I predict that we will see more of these events, or at least attempts along the same line, to become more evident over the next two years. Why? Because the rhetoric is just going to be amped up to an even higher decibel as the next election approaches and whatever Palin decides to embark upon will leave many of her loyal followers either happy or disappointed which may lead to further outbursts as many in that contingency come armed.

    • Robin says:

      Rhetorical recklessness seems to be the leftist label of using war or hunting analogies; soil survey symbols, demonstrating a right to bear arms, fighting for your rights (notice “fighting” used innocuously).

      These terms have been used in business and politics since war began. Both parties have used them. I don’t know anybody that took the terms/analogies/symbols to mean get out your guns and kill people.

      There isn’t a shred of evidence that it does.

      Otherwise most music, movies and videos would be on a “hit list” to be banned. Anybody believe in book burning? Not likely, because that’s absurd. And so is the left’s attempt to call the political “Right” mass murderers (speaking of lunacy). This is worse than hyperbole; this is more inciting than the political rhetoric. Accusing someone of having blood on their hands and the results of which will lead to losing rights (1st and 2nd amendment) is nothing short of a lynching mentality.

      A revolution doesn’t automatically mean violence. Many conservatives, Tea Partiers and talk show hosts from the right have denounced violence time and again. Tea Partiers have proven their non-violence presence through countless massive demonstrations over a two year span – the Tea Party is middle America, regular (previously non-political) folk…somebody needs some perspective!

      • tamerlane says:

        Robin, are you seriously swallowing that dogshit story about them being “surveyor’s marks”?

        Robin doesn’t know anybody personally who took the words I quoted above to mean really, actually use guns. And for Robin’s limited intellectual curiosity, that’s good enough to declare “not a shred of evidence.”

        Describing this as “the left’s attempt to call the political Right” mass murderers” is a straw man argument. Opinions that differ with the management are permitted here. Bullshit fallacious argument is not. Yellow Card.

        If the TPers are not intending to use their guns (maybe they just want to fondle them), how are we to interpret Bachmann & Angle’s comments quoted above?

    • tamerlane says:

      Pat, I find the very calls from Beck & Palin not to ‘politicize’ this event as crass politicizing of it. Beck made big drama by warning Palin about assassination attempts against her! His comments about the moment of silence are repulsive.

  5. ducksoup says:

    Most of the time I do not agree with Byron York (because I am an FDR-style Democrat), but I agree with what York has to say here: http://tinyurl.com/48qeorp

    • tamerlane says:

      I take issue with York on three counts.

      1) When he says that obama “simply could not have made the case that Loughner’s acts were in any way the product of political rhetoric from right or left.” To start, the accusations concerned rhetoric from the right, and Palin’s use of the crosshairs in particular. By adding “or left”, York’s answer begs the question of whether the Left’s rhetoric is actually as inflammatory.

      2) Second, York deftly slides the accusation from Loughner’s attack being “directly” caused by TP rhetoric, into “in any way the product of” that rhetoric. In light of the evidence, it would be facile to argue the former. I have no problem, however, taking this occasion to rebuke the TP for fostering an atmosphere of gun-based violence and resentment of the govt, and for exhorting people to armed revolt against what they deem an illegitimate govt. Even if Loughner was not directly inspired by the TP, his were the type of actions that TP rhetoric is designed to inspire.

      3) York believes obama’s call for moderation on both sides disadvantages the Left, by cutting short its ability to score political points. I rather see it as a win. The right engages in far more, and more extreme, inflammatory rhetoric than the Left. If both sides must now refrain, the Right/TP gives up far more than the Left. Indeed, the TP’s very essence is grounded in an obsession with guns, the 2nd amendment, and threats of armed resistance, nullification or secession.

      • ducksoup says:

        Obama had four days in which to urge the American people (including the media whores) NOT to rush to judgment before the facts were in. But, although he did do that immediately after the Ft. Hood shootings, he did NOT ask Americans to hold off making accusations in the Tuscon shootings.

        And I would remind you Obama is pretty experienced at rushing to judgment himself (as in the Cambridge matter).

        I also seem to recall it was Obama’s followers who warned that if he were not elected, there would be rioting in the streets.

        Did Obama tell his supporters, during the primaries, to STOP demonizing Hillary, to STOP maligning her, to STOP insulting her?

        No.

        Obama is pretty good at the blame game and in the escalating the rhetoric: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we’ll bring a gun”!

      • tamerlane says:

        duck, I didn’t disagree with that part of the article. obama is a slick pol.

        Brazile’s riot comment was sleazy. obama’s knife/gun comment was inappropriate, albeit clearly allegorical. But they neither equate nor negate the very real TP threats to resist the govt with force.

      • ducksoup says:

        And I still say Obama is far from blameless when it comes to the elevated rhetoric we are witnessing.

        When it suited his need to get elected, he was all for full out insulting, bullying and intimidating.

      • ducksoup says:

        Tamer:

        I might have been inclined to give Obama points if he had used the occasion of the Tuscon memorial service to talk about the common sense need to have gun controls, but he is courting The Right these days and would never do that.

        The rightwingers are falling all over themselves praising Obama for seeing the light on taxes and all the other rightwing hot-button issues — including gun control They love Obama now because he is turning his back on Democratic values and long-advocated Democratic policies.

        For example: it is now certain that Obama is going to talk in his SOTU speech about cutting “spending” on Social Security.

        With his “payroll” tax “holiday,” Obama made Social Security PART of the federal budget where it can be trimmed and cut and slashed to ribbons., That was NOT a Republican proposal but an Obama proposal. No one made Obama propose it; it was his peace offering to the Republicans. They are now starting to think he is the best thing that ever happened to them because when he (Obama) cuts Democratic programs, the Congressional Democrats are silent. If John McCain had proposed what Obama did, the Congressional Democrats and Democrats everywhere would have pounced on McCain and he never would have gotten away with it.

      • tamerlane says:

        This post wasn’t about obama.

      • ducksoup says:

        Tamer:

        When you name a website “True Liberal Nexus” as you have done here, I think we can assume the views most commonly held by those who come to this site will be liberal views. And, I think it can be assumed we understand and agree that the Tea Partiers’ thinking is not only wrong-headed but that the policies they advocate are a threat to the views and policies liberals hold and advocate. If one wanted to go to a website where the actions of the Tea Partiers are praised, one would go elsewhere, not here. I think our opposition to the Tea Partiers is a given.

        The problem is with the Democrats, such as Obama, who are not behaving like Democrats but are striking Faustian bargains with The Right.

        At the time of the 2008 presidential election, the thinking and policies of the Republicans and other rightwingers had been so discredited that a dead turtle could have been elected president if he had “Democrat” by his name. Unfortunately, Obama had beaten Hillary Clinton for the nomination and, thus, became the winner of the presidency. At the time, there was much speculation in the media, including the Internet blogs, whether The Right would even be a factor in America’s political life for the next ten years. Obama had Democratic majorities in both Houses of Congress and had won by a sufficient number of votes that if he had been willing and skilled at all, he could have pushed truly Democratic policies through Congress. But he didn’t. He reneged on most of his campaign promises and helped Wall St. and his financial backers, including the giant health insurance companies, instead.

        As it turned out, Obama was so lacking in any political skills that he allowed the debate over his precious healthcare legislation to drag on for a year and created a fertile environment for the Tea Party to come into being and grow into a formidable force. Obama lacked any willingness to fight for the very Democratic values and policies he had claimed to support during his campaign — although it’s hard to know if all his capitulating to the Republicans and other rightwingers was out of cowardice or an actual alignment with their thinking. In any event, everything Obama did simply energized The Right (including the Tea Partiers) and with each smashing of Democratic policies and preferences — such as single-payer health insurance or at least the “public option” — the Tea Party gained enthusiasm and momentum and strength.

        With the “shellacking” the Democrats took in the 2010 election, Obama decided his political fortunes depended on winning the hearts and minds and votes of those on The Right and announced he would seek even more areas in which to “compromise” with the rightwingers or Republicans. In Obama’s case, “compromise” means capitulation.

        So, I think Obama is very much an important part of any discussion about the rightwingers, since it was his weakness and incompetence that made their spectacular rise from the (political) dead possible. He has even announced that he will do another major interview on Fox News, as he continues his sucking up to The Right.

  6. Robin says:

    tamerlane, It looks like it’s the left flank’s responsibility to misunderstand and distribute misinformation.

    It is the legal right for citizens to take up arms against a tyrannical government, as is their right to protect themselves and their property. The tyranny was exposed numerous times, most blatantly by ramming a healthcare bill down the throats of Americans whether they wanted it or not. They clearly did not want it. The Tea Partiers were demonstrating their second amendment rights. The tyranny gave rise to the Tea Party. Either you refused to connect the dots or you are manufacturing/spreading propaganda.

    When the checks and balance system is being subverted, Americans should be very concerned.

    To ducksoup, thanks for sharing that beautiful piece of journalism, I’m also in agreement.

    • tamerlane says:

      Our present government does not qualify as “tyrannical”. Your comment to that effect is a perfect example of inflammatory rhetoric.

      I detest the so-called “obamacare” bill. But it was not “rammed down the throats” of the American people. The American people freely elected a Congress and a president, and that Congress and president passed this law. If the majority doesn’t like it, they can elect new Congressmen and a new president who’ll pass a different law. If the minority doesn’t like it, TFB. That’s how a democracy works.

      Our systems of checks & balances has not been subverted. More hyperbole and dangerous rhetoric intended to paint our freely-elected govt as illegitimate.

      It requires little effort to connect the dots between the TP’s opposition to certain legislation coupled with ostentatious display of guns, and its threat to resort to “2nd amendment remedies” if things don’t go their way.

      Your comments here, Robin, like those of your fellow TPers, skirt on the very edge of sedition. It would be unwise for you to continue to advocate the armed overthrow of our Democracy.

    • tamerlane says:

      “It is the legal right for citizens to take up arms against a tyrannical government …”

      On could argue a “moral” right, but nowhere could one find an actual law to that effect.

      “… as is their right to protect themselves and their property….”

      If you are referring to the 2nd amendment, it only speaks of the need for a “well-regulated militia”. Yours is merely a putative extrapolation from that.

      • ducksoup says:

        I’d like to be able to agree with you here, Tamer, buty I can’t because the U.S. Supreme Court, in Heller, upheld the right to own a gun for self-protection.

        “In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two Second Amendment decisions. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual’s right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.”

        http://tinyurl.com/an2ny

      • tamerlane says:

        That’s the ruling, so we’re stuck with it. Thanks for the info, duck. I concur with Stevens that this irrational, 5-4 ruling represented “a strained and unpersuasive reading” of the constitution.

      • ducksoup says:

        I had already read, studied and have been sharing Stevens’ opinion with my political group. (We’ve been studying the Second Amendment for quite a few months.)

        Unfortunately, five beats four, so the majority opinion wins for now.

        The High Court has never before recognized an individual right in the 2nd Amendment, but I think we’re going to have to deal with this ruling for quite a while.
        —————
        On the topic of Obama, I will never forgive him for what he LET his supporters do to Hillary.

  7. ducksoup says:

    When Keith Olbermann (a devout Obama supporter and Hillary hater) said that some one should take Hillary into a room and “ONLY HE COMES OUT,” why was Obama SILENT?

    Why didn’t Obama use that occasion as an opportunity to ask his followers to tone down the rhetoric, to STOP with the hate-filled rhetoric?

    Obama used the excessive passion of his followers to win the presidency; they were willing to do almost anything to ensure his victory — including intimidating and bullying Hillary supporters at the various state caucuses.

    I don’t believe Obama has changed his colors at all; he and his followers will still do almost anything to ensure his re-election, and that will include ramping up the rhetoric when it suits his needs.

    Just watch and wait.

  8. Robin says:

    tamerlane, even without ducksoups precedent (which was much appreciated), the right to bear arms was granted to protect the first three unalienable rights – life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness (owning property). I think, much of the constitution’s design was to protect the people and government from itself (it’s inherent evil).

    The government failed to protect those rights by allowing my mortgage to suddenly be much higher than my house is worth, my 401K to become a fraction of the value it was a few short years ago and diminished the possibility of finding a job to build my retirement back up (at the worst possible age to find employment). Massive debt equaling generational theft, the American dollar is at its lowest point in probably thirty years. The US is no longer the superpower and China has taken over…no, I don’t think this was the hope and change they voted for. I also don’t think the first thing on the majority’s mind was Obama’s or the 111th congress idea of healthcare “reform” either.

    It’s abundantly clear to the Tea Party; we should pay more attention to our Founding Fathers and the constitution than politicians and talking heads.

    “And what country can preserve its liberties, if its rulers are not warned from time to time, that this people preserve the spirit of resistance? Let them take arms.” ~Thomas Jefferson, drafter of the constitution.

    The framers rejected a Democracy for a Republic, we do not have a Democracy, we have a Republic. Voters can be duped by implementing something foreign after election as opposed to what was promised on the campaign trail. The voters discovered that their idea was indeed different than the hope and change promised. The voters en masse expressed dislike for the healthcare bill. Republicans weren’t even given a seat at the table, their remedies routinely dismissed and the existence of their remedies (ideas) even blatantly denied. There was nothing “representative” about passing that bill, the bill wasn’t even read by those that voted to pass it.

    Czars, EPA, FCC are creating and passing legislation – imposing laws and restrictions and taxes on the people without going through congress.

    I resent “toning down the rhetoric” because it was okay when it served their purpose, it will be again. Because they have been voted out, they take issue with everything they possibly can. I’m one person that doesn’t agree with the games, say it for what it is – call a spade a spade. I don’t agree with blatant lies for political gain…from any side.

    • tamerlane says:

      Robin, it’s obvious that you harbor much bitterness and resentment. The status of your mortgage, however, is not grounds for an armed revolt against the government.

      The EPA and the FCC are legitimate organs of our legitimate government.

      The health bill was passed the same way every other bill in America has ever been passed. Your gripes do not delegitimize it.

      Your statements are most alarming, Robin. I strongly urge you to go on the record here disavowing any intention to engage in armed resistance to laws or government policies which you don’t like.

  9. Robin says:

    I’m neither bitter nor resentful, I painted a picture why many Americans don’t think the focus on healthcare was appropriate, nor do they believe it to be constitutional. The bill passed the same way every other bill passed, that particular bill showed the glaring flaws in the system and the process. My gripes don’t delegitimize it but the courts decisions do.

    For the record, I am a respectful law abiding citizen that doesn’t agree with violence on any level. I’m against corruption. I don’t even agree with lying or shameful exploitation of a state tragedy to further an agenda. I certainly don’t have any intention to engage in armed resistance to laws or government policies, I support people that can change the policies and laws I don’t like.

    I hope you have considered the Tea Party has had numerous demonstrations across the nation, some of them quite massive. We have proven a non-violent/ peaceful presence even while demonstrating second amendment rights. They’ve been attacked mercilessly with non-stop lies and smear attempts from the left. This was my introduction to the world of politics. I’m not bitter, I’m disgusted and appalled.

  10. ducksoup says:

    — from “Talk about civility is fine, but where are the new calls for gun control?” at: http://tinyurl.com/4h4evsu

    “President Obama is predictably eloquent in his calls for greater civility, but he won’t dare intimate that it might be wise to toughen background checks or restrict access to any weaponry. As a candidate, he called for a new federal assault-weapons ban – the old one, which expired in 2004, banned the rapid-fire clip that felled 19 people in Arizona – but he has been mum on that ever since. Meanwhile, he signed a measure that allows people to pack their pieces in national parks. All told, the gun-curb activists at the Brady Center (a very lonely bunch these days) have awarded Obama an F.”

  11. ducksoup says:

    Please jog my memory here.

    Did Obama give an “eloquent” speech about civility after a disgruntled black employee massacred eight of his white co-workers in Manchester, Connecticut last August?

    http://tinyurl.com/4gbe694

  12. ducksoup says:

    Did Obama speak “movingly” about the eight victims of the massacre in Manchester, Connecticut?

    Did Obama tell a life story about each of those victims?

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