My only comment on the Tucson shootings

It used to be a tragedy like this one brought out the best in Americans. What I’ve watched the last couple of days can not in any way be described as our best.

I could provide link after link, local and national, to prove my point, but I won’t. That wouldn’t change what happened. That won’t make it better. And it needs to get better.


  1. We used to live in an America where the radio and TV weren’t spewing incitements to overthrow the United States government complete with vague and not-so-vague threats of violence. That’s why a tragedy like this one used to elicit a different response.

  2. Randy in Richmond says:

    Can you provide a specific example of something someone on the right said that would lead you to make your statement here or on your site ?

  3. Sharon Angle, who suggested that if people didn’t like the outcome of the election they could look to “second amendment remedies.” Don’t even get me started on Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly.

  4. You are so right on this.

  5. Randy in Richmond says:

    So after your comments here and on your site your best example is a statement made by a losing candidate 7 months ago on a local radio station. A statement that very few would ever have seen except for the left MSM that kept publcizing it. And while I don’t buy in to the idea that the tragic event of this past weekend was precipitated by words, I must point out that you failed to mention the left’s vitriol that is always present and available. Have you watched MSNBC lately?
    More specifically….

    Remember Sarah Barnhard stating that if sarah Palin came to New York her black brothers “would gang rape her.”

    And lib Montel Williams telling Michelle Bachmann how to slit her throat.

    Or the hateful Sarah Palin literature promoting “Abort Sarah Palin”.

    Liberal radio host Mike Malloy calling on Glen Beck to commit suicide…

    Then candidate Obama stating that ” if they bring a knife to the fight we will bring a gun”…

    On your site you refer to” the guy who shot those cops”. If you read the article you link you will find they were slightly cut by flying glass.

    Free speech can incite and no one has a monoply on it.

  6. Scott really gets an a+ in hypocrisy doesn’t he?

  7. Whoa. Anyone want to go to Tucson with me? Westboro Church plans to picket the funeral. Folks are drawing a line. I love the idea of an Angel Task Force.

  8. “your best example is a statement made by a losing candidate 7 months ago ”

    Ok, how about Glenn Beck going on and on and on about an organization nobody ever heard of–the Tides Foundation–only to have one of his fans shot at cops on his way to murder the people who worked there? Beck liked to put them in the middle of his insane conspiracy theories about the downfall of America. That seems like a pretty conclusive tie between the crazy right’s rhetoric and a guy with a gun shooting people.

    Oh, I’m sorry. The cops were only hit by flying glass in that shootout. So I guess that’s different.

    “I don’t buy in to the idea that the tragic event of this past weekend was precipitated by words”

    Neither do I.

    “you failed to mention the left’s vitriol”

    That’s because there’s so little of it by comparison, and most of those who speak it are relatively obscure. And it’s not just “violent” talk. It’s the crazy “THEY are trying to destroy America” stuff, the “it’s time for revolution” stuff, the “the other guys are Nazis” stuff.

    And Fred, you still owe me your house.

  9. J. Strupp says:

    If it was a Republican Congresswoman that was shot in the head then maybe your examples would have relevance to this issue.

  10. Presidents Lincoln and J.Kennedy both killed by people motivated by the times they lived in. now with more sofisticated communication skills the motivation is spreading to more people. it is a delicate balance between free speech and political rehtoric. somehow congress has to show leadership instead of being contentious.

  11. Scott – what in the world are you talking about? You keep a blog. You know how to use links. Build some credibility and give us a little hint.

  12. Dick, darn it, you did it again. That’s a perfect statement.

    This atmosphere isn’t new, nor will it be the last time it’s created.

  13. 1. May God rest the souls of the departed.
    2. Compare/contrast the Tuscon coverage with media coverage of a certain Muslim’s rampage on a military base a year or two ago…

  14. In case you missed it, read this NYT opinion by David Brooks. It’s almost like I wrote it they piece echoes my own thoughts so well. (Thanks to my aunt for sending me the link.)

  15. Randy in Richmond says:

    Let’s see. If I watch Desperate Housewives or any soap opera, and I then have an affair, it’s the TV programs fault. If I go see the movie Boston Strangler and later start killing women, it’s the movies’ fault.
    The left’s new mantra…guns don’t kill people, adjectives do.
    And yes, being cut by glass is different than being shot.
    I watch Fox News regularly. I have never seen any show promote violence. Sometimes in debate the presenters make extreme statements but generally cool heads prevail. And the statement that there is less vitriol on the left is ludicrous. But it is true that very few watch or listen to liberal thought. Where was the media outrage when Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 30 other at Fort Hood. How these two incidents have been handled speaks volumes, but that’s an old road we’ve been down before.

    And Strupp. Those examples and dozens of others like them point out the continuing hypocrisy on the left as those examples are not included in their dialogue as exampled here. They are 100 % relevant to show there is no monopoly on this issue.

    And the information on this incident’s accused is slowly painting the picture of anything but a right leaning individual. This attack by the left is starting to backfire on them and I expect the emphasis to switch to the old standbys of gun control and regulation.

    Sheriff Dupnik appears to be slowly painting himself into a corner. The killer/terrorist fell through a big crack that partially goes right through this sheriff’s department. Time will tell on this.

  16. I have been watching Morning Joe the last few days and find the sanctimonious tenor of Joe and Mika to be particularly intriguing. Did you realize they have got it all figured out? It is the ‘tone’. Not a mentally psychotic gunman, but some ‘vitriolic’ (suspected, never confirmed) communique that was the motivation for evil? M&J are downright Pharisaical and bloated with their own goodness.

  17. mr. brooks makes one good point about treatment of mental illness. the symptoms in the deep past were either ignored, hidden or over treated. the issue is whether to make mental health care available to everyone and open an already over heated debate.most people will not admit the prognosis and so it goes. well, that’s for the experts to recognize (if they are recognized).

  18. There is no equivalence between the right and the left on the issue of overheated talk in recent years. I’m not even having that debate. You don’t get it, then you’re pretty blind. End of my involvement in it.

    One thing you guys consistently don’t get though, is that “the left” isn’t tying the shooting to right-wing rhetoric or “tone.” Maybe someone on TV is doing that, I don’t know. I do know that I’m not doing it.

    I admit that it’s a horrible coincidence. It’s a coincidence that overheated and extreme rhetoric on the right has in this case coincided with violence against a Democratic officeholder, with no causality between them that I can see.

    But that doesn’t make the rhetoric right or good. Nor does it mean that other violence cannot be linked to it. Because it can.

  19. The left isn’t tying the shooting to right-wing rhetoric? Oh good grief. You started with Sharon Angle and Glenn Beck and Bill O’Reilly in your first comments!

    Now I just think you’re goofy. No more reason to argue.

  20. Good grief yourself. I never said–here or on my own blog–that the two were related. Read and understand.

  21. BrkfldDad says:

    Scott – If we are blind, then you are the blind leading the blind. Please continue to live in your bubble regarding the vitriol of the left’s rhetoric. It’s actually amusing to read your ignorance.

    “the left isn’t tying the shooting to right-wing rhetoric or tone”. Hmmmm let’s see, the Democratic sheriff blames Rush Limbaugh for the shooting…

  22. No, I guess you’re right about that. The sherif. And I know someone personally on facebook that seemed to be doing it too. But I’m not doing it. And salon isn’t doing it.

  23. So we all agree: right-wing talkers aren’t in any meaningful way responsible for what happened in Tucson. At least everyone here seems to agree on it.

    Here’s what we don’t agree on:

    a) Right-wing talkers are probably culpable to some degree for some other violent acts.

    b) right-wing talkers who engage in this kind of thing are irresponsible and deserve condemnation.

    c) while there is of course irresponsible rhetoric to be found on the left, the people doing it tend to be more marginalized and less mainstream than their righty counterparts. We don’t have left wing revolutionaries doing daily prime time television, for example. Our kooks aren’t driving the bus. Yours are.

  24. Sigh. I sure miss you bdad. Hope all is well.

  25. That’s the quickest I think I’ve seen someone rewrite history in a long time.

    I agree: right-wing talkers aren’t responsible for what happened in Tucson. As to a, b, and c? That’s one big eye-roll on this side of the internet.

  26. It’s like we’re in two different conversations. Do any liberals ever comment here?

    In other news, Slate hits it spot on when it says that it’s been six whole months since right-wingers incited anyone to violence.

  27. I don’t know about the tags. Generally we just discuss the issues.

    So you deny categorically that the left sounded the alarm on rhetoric, that it’s been six whole months. I’ve gone from eye-rolling to giggling to out right laughing on this one. Thanks for the entertainment.

  28. Yeah, I “categorically denied” it. Like when I wrote on my blog”some on the left are evidently drawing a connection.” That’s kind of the opposite of “categorically denying” something, don’t you think?

    And then when Randy wrote “I don’t buy in to the idea that the tragic event of this past weekend was precipitated by words” I replied “neither do I.” That seems to indicate, I don’t know… agreement with you. Doesn’t it?

    Why are you making me answer for whoever you think “the left” is? Why not discuss the issue with the liberal you have rather than the straw man liberal you wish you had? I agree that right-wing talkers aren’t responsible for Tucson.

    Now can we talk about a different but related point? Right-wing talkers ARE at least partly responsible for some other acts of violence and they should stop it.

  29. No Scott! Didn’t you get the lefty memo? You are supposed to be talking about gun control now.

    I’m afraid you are a half day late on that one. I gave you a lead in with my latest post, though.

  30. Ok, I give up. You seem determined to dodge the discussion I’m asking for, and it’s your house.

    Guns? What about them? You think because I’m an ardent liberal that I’m for more and tighter gun restrictions? Not so. But I suppose we could spend the next dozen comments with people asking me why I want to take away their guns and me saying uh, I don’t know what you’re talking about. That would be about par for this course.

  31. That made me laugh, too.

    I guess you didn’t see how your line of comments made an unusual argument, but a couple of us did. I’m sure we won’t always disagree on everything.

    By the way, gun control really is the new national discussion. I think the general consensus is the “Sarah Palin made him do it” didn’t work out so well for a certain sector in the voting public.

  32. There is no gun control debate in America. It happened already, the gun crowd won. Decisively. It’s over. And I don’t see any major changes in our relatively laissez faire gun laws in the foreseeable future.

    The way I see it, the only way to have a meaningful impact on gun violence through regulation is to adopt a Japanese-style ban on their ownership. Then wait ten years. At that point you’l have a lot less homicide and gun violence. But given our second amendment, that’s never ever going to happen. So it’s not worth rearranging deck chairs on the Titanic.

    Meanwhile, Canada has more guns per capita than we do. And they don’t shoot each other with the same frequency that we do. Why? Clearly it’s not the guns. Michael Moore says it’s the media. I think it’s the drug war and it’s economic disparity.

  33. BrkfldDad says:

    Miss being here often and you too! Still travelling like a banshee. My life is not my own!

  34. Randy in Richmond says:


  35. BrkfldDad says:

    He also didn’t vote in the last election.

  36. Yawn.

  37. Tell me, does any of this have to do with “The Theory of Everything”? 🙂

  38. Poor little scotty feldstein. Sweetheart, no one is making you read.

  39. Discussion did kind of go its own way. But, I heard from BrkfldDad, so it was worth it.