Saturday, January 08, 2011

On Sarah Palin and Garbrielle Giffords

Most people are aware of the shooting of Ms. Giffords and others at a political rally today in Arizona. A lot of details are still coming in about this tragedy, but everyone is understandably shocked and grieved.

However, there is a story that sits off to the side and it is a matter of debate whether it is even allowed to be brought up. Last Spring, you may remember, Sarah Palin drew a map with targets on it. Amidst a lot of "gun" and "second amendment response" talk, Sarah indicated through these targets that Ms. Giffords needed to be "taken out".

I raised these thoughts on my Facebook page, and some declared this to be despicable politicizing. Was I blaming Sarah Palin for the unbalanced behavior of a nut?

No, not blame. I am aware that our society protects free speech; even idiotic, irresponsible speech. If we are to have free speech, then the Sarah Palins of the world are the price we have to pay.

I do, unfortunately, get to add this to the list for why I think of Sarah Palin the way I do - along with how dumbfounded I am that people admire her.


Kim said...

Read this article:

A couple points:

- both the right AND the left use this kind of terminology and I don't think it is inappropriate and people understand that it is metaphorical. Even in the missions work, we talk about "targeting" a people group.

- In this case, the shooter was, by all accounts, a left winger, reading communist writings.

Andrew said...

I don't doubt that both sides do it, but I think the rhetoric was a little more charged this year. I don't think it was typical at rallys in year's past to have folks with signs threatening to use bullets if ballots didn't work. Not only them, but actual elected officials and their teams were considering "second amendment solutions". This was the first time in my recollection that people and politicians were putting violence on the table as a recourse; even if they are claiming they only did so for dramatic effect.

I think it a little disingenuous to imply that Sarah, with all of her "reload" and gun lingo didn't mean to have that edge in there.

The shooter probably would have shot anyway, but this event takes her silly, senseless talk and highlights it for its crass thoughtlessness all the more.

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