Just before noon (MST) today, US Representative Gabrielle Giffords (D), who recently won her 3rd term in Congress was shot in the head by Jared Loughner, 22, who claimed his civil rights were taken by democrats. At least 12 were wounded in the shooting, and at least 6 people are dead including a nine-year old girl, and a federal judge. First reported as dead, Gabrielle Giffords is now reported in critical condition. This information was reported in articles by NPR and the AP.
Rep. Giffords was one of a few politicians whom Sarah Palin published cross-hairs (gun sites) over an image of her or her district. Palin later said it was to show republicans target Giffords’ seat. However, a growing number of democrats have received death threats, attacks on their property, and now physical attacks since Palin, Limbaugh, Glen Beck and other “leaders” and spokesmen of the Republican Party dangerously inflame their base, many into a frenzy. Even as recently as this week, a republican representative or staffer shouted during the House’s reading of the US Constitution that Obama is not a born American. When will republican leaders and supporters show any sense of shame? When will they push to end the craziness in their party?
Giffords’ Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after a vote on healthcare in March of last year. That same month, a man pleaded guilty to threatening the congressman, her family, and her home in California over her support for the healthcare bill. Other democratic officials have been threatened and their offices vandalized by people riled by republican rhetoric sounding like new healthcare reforms are bringing down the entire country.
It’s true that Palin’s placing of crosshairs cannot “make” someone shoot someone, but we all know there are unstable people among us, and in every political party. Publishing such irresponsible images occasionally incite people to unspeakable acts such as this senseless shooting.
Palin owes Gabrielle Giffords, her family, and our country an apology, not just condolences. The Republican Party needs to start calming the crazies in their base, and they must end rhetoric claiming democrats are ending the world.