Today, a 22 year old man shot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and about 17 other people as she met with her constituents in Tuscon. 6 people are dead, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge.
Is this really what we've come to? We shoot the people who don't agree with us?!?
I have never heard of Congresswoman Giffords before today. From what I can tell, she's a moderate Democrat who just won a hard-fought re-election campaign against a Tea Party candidate. She is the only member of Congress who is married to an active member of the U.S. military.
I remember being taught in government class how the peaceful, orderly transfer of power in the United States of America after an election was amazing in the 18th and early 19th century. You didn't barricade yourself in the White House, refusing to yield power. You didn't send an army after your opponent. You lost the election, you packed up your shit and went home. You wrote your memoirs, hit the lecture circuit, set up a library. That's the way we do things in America.
The media has been hotly debating the role of hateful, violent rhetoric from the folks on the political Right. (Disclaimer: I am a bleeding-heart liberal Democrat) Sarah Palin had Ms. Giffords congressional district "in the cross-hairs". Giffords office was vandalized after the health care vote in March. Giffords Tea Party opponent apparently had invited people at a rally to shoot an automatic weapon. The ugly phrase, "don't retreat, reload!" has been heard.
It seems to me the shooting of a Congresswoman, and the murder of a little girl, amply demonstrates this atmosphere of violent speech against political opponents has gone way too far. That's not the way we do things in America.