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Giffords Shooting

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The elephant in the room of American politics this week will no doubt be the Giffords shooting in Arizona. As you've probably heard by now, a young man with a semi-automatic pistol with an extended ammunition magazine ran into a supermarket crowd that was gathering to meet Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords in a "town hall" setting. Six people are known dead, including a nine year old girl and a Bush-appointed Federal judge, and 19 injured in an event that would have rocketed to the top of the news cycle even without the congresswoman's presence.

 

Some updated background here:

http://www.boston.com/news/nation/washington/articles/2011/01/09/congresswoman_critical_6_dead_in_tucson_rampage/

 

American politicians were universal and immediate in their condemnation of the event, and offered prayers for the victims and their families. While it's a little early yet, it does appear that the attack was politically motivated. The young man in question reportedly has some YouTube videos up showing his opposition to the congresswoman's policies, and he may have had accomplices with similar ideological motivations. Health care reform and immigration may have been amongst his complaints. I'm sure we'll be hearing a lot more about this very soon.

 

Giffords won a close election against leading tea party candidate Jesse Kelly, a 29-year-old war veteran who ran on a platform of independence and economic reform, complete with Palin endorsement. But from what I understand, while the election was somewhat acrimonious, it wasn't over the line and both candidates stayed on the issues, as can be seen in this story (with video) from last August. Kelly joined in the condemnations of the attack today, offering his prayers for the victims.

 

Of course, the left side of the blogosphere is already suggesting that this was inevitable. I'm sure we'll hear plenty of that over the next few days as well.

 

I tend to agree that the level of rhetoric in this country is too strong, but I think it's ridiculous to blame violence on rhetoric. It's the same old media problem: Isolated incidents are not valid evidence.

 

What do you think?

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Of course, the left side of the blogosphere is already suggesting that this was inevitable. I'm sure we'll hear plenty of that over the next few days as well.

 

I tend to agree that the level of rhetoric in this country is too strong, but I think it's ridiculous to blame violence on rhetoric. It's the same old media problem: Isolated incidents are not valid evidence.

 

What do you think?

 

As the link mentions, we already blame violent behavior on video games and rap lyrics. Is that ridiculous as well?

 

Why is it even out of the realm of possibility that the rhetoric moved one person to action?

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I tend to agree that the level of rhetoric in this country is too strong, but I think it's ridiculous to blame violence on rhetoric. It's the same old media problem: Isolated incidents are not valid evidence.

 

What do you think?

Is it so ridiculous? The level of intransigence and vitriol in this country has risen to an extremely high level as of late, and it is the kooks from both sides who are driving this. More or less equal and rather sizable fractions of the left and right see the last/current President as illegitimate and as hellbent on destroying the country. "Compromise" was a dirty word in the last Congress appears to be a dirty word for the new Congress.

 

Some of the political outcomes I would not be surprised to see are more restrictive gun laws and some kind of clampdown on the internet. The internet is where the crazies get a lot of their ideas and their perceived legitimacy.

 

 

 

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Is it so ridiculous? The level of intransigence and vitriol in this country has risen to an extremely high level as of late, and it is the kooks from both sides who are driving this. More or less equal and rather sizable fractions of the left and right see the last/current President as illegitimate and as hellbent on destroying the country. "Compromise" was a dirty word in the last Congress appears to be a dirty word for the new Congress.

 

Some of the political outcomes I would not be surprised to see are more restrictive gun laws and some kind of clampdown on the internet. The internet is where the crazies get a lot of their ideas and their perceived legitimacy.

 

We know that zealots have been around presumably since Cain slew Abel. There are some things I personally feel very strong about myself. Gun control is one of them. You could make it a criminal offense with a sentence of life in prison for owning a gun, and people would still have them. As the old saying goes, "Guns don't kill people", people kill people. A ruthless person regardless of their reasononing, is going to fulfill their deed if at all possible. Sane, insane or simply mentally unbalanced; the results are the same. Sadly, we now have six families with an emptiness forever etched into their lives. And the perp, what about him? I'm sure he must have a family. At least a mother and father. How will society deal with him? Unless he's a blithering idiot, he will likely get the death sentence. But when? What will be the cost of prosecuting him? How long will we keep him locked up before he succumbs to a religion and society becomes the condemned? Edited by rigney

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Some of the political outcomes I would not be surprised to see are more restrictive gun laws and some kind of clampdown on the internet. The internet is where the crazies get a lot of their ideas and their perceived legitimacy.

 

Neither would I. Any high-profile incident is potential fodder for people to push their agendas.

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Good thing the shooter wasn't a Muslim, then it would suddenly be terrorism.

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Watching the entire internet blame Sarah Palin for this is really quite amusing.

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Good thing the shooter wasn't a Muslim, then it would suddenly be terrorism.

 

What an impertinent thing to say. Terrorism is defined by the motives of the perpetrator, not the religion one subscribes to. To say such a thing seems to promote stereotyping and the rhetoric issue raised by the op. Your comments seem to confirm the concerns expressed in tis thread.

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What an impertinent thing to say. Terrorism is defined by the motives of the perpetrator, not the religion one subscribes to. To say such a thing seems to promote stereotyping and the rhetoric issue raised by the op. Your comments seem to confirm the concerns expressed in tis thread.

 

And your point? Such stereotyping doesn't exist? That if he had been Muslim, nobody would have decried this as terrorism?

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I think people like Sarah Palin use the rhetoric of violence because people respond to it, both positively and negatively. The atmosphere of "revolution" and "yeah they should be scared" is carnival-like, if you've ever seen a Tea Party rally. The implicit threat of violence is very much deliberate, and adds to the general excitement. And it deliberately provokes liberals who say it's inappropriate and dangerous, a response they can then mock. (Call it the "Limbaugh maneuver.")

 

Of course, real populist political violence is often not unlike a carnival, too. That one could feed from the other and make it too real is hardly a remote possibility.

 

I personally think the whole thing is very childish and in bad taste, and I don't think you can be intellectually honest and say the rhetoric and the real violence have nothing to do with one another. However, I can't support holding childish provocateurs responsible when real life crazies don't realize it's all a game.

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Watching the entire internet blame Sarah Palin for this is really quite amusing.

 

Now, now. Only half of the internet is blaming Palin. The other half is calling the blame nonsense (or will be, right after they finish finding Islamic or Nazi symbolism in the newest government logos)

 

http://i.imgur.com/JT4Mz.jpg

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And your point? Such stereotyping doesn't exist? That if he had been Muslim, nobody would have decried this as terrorism?

It's pretty much a given that FOX would be trumping it up as home-grown terrorism if he were a Muslim. Hell, if the congresswoman was a R instead of D, Glenn Beck would flip out more than usual about the nazi socialist communist stalinist jihadist God-hating constitution ignoring Left....probably with more fake tears.

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I think people like Sarah Palin use the rhetoric of violence because people respond to it, both positively and negatively. The atmosphere of "revolution" and "yeah they should be scared" is carnival-like, if you've ever seen a Tea Party rally. The implicit threat of violence is very much deliberate, and adds to the general excitement. And it deliberately provokes liberals who say it's inappropriate and dangerous, a response they can then mock. (Call it the "Limbaugh maneuver.")

 

Do you do the Limbaugh? How low can you go?

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And your point? Such stereotyping doesn't exist? That if he had been Muslim, nobody would have decried this as terrorism?

 

My point was that YodaPs made an impertinent remark. That those like him who often decry the tactics of others, seem to engage in them when it fits their purpose just as he has done. His comments seem to confirm the concerns expressed in this thread.

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My point was that YodaPs made an impertinent remark. That those like him who often decry the tactics of others, seem to engage in them when it fits their purpose just as he has done. His comments seem to confirm the concerns expressed in this thread.

 

I think ydoaPs was pointing out the discrimination carried out by others, rather than trying to discriminate himself. Americans seem to associate terrorism exclusively with Muslim extremists.

 

Also, he's not Yoda.

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My point was that YodaPs made an impertinent remark. That those like him who often decry the tactics of others, seem to engage in them when it fits their purpose just as he has done. His comments seem to confirm the concerns expressed in this thread.

 

It's called sarcasm. You've probably heard of it.

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I think ydoaPs was pointing out the discrimination carried out by others, rather than trying to discriminate himself.

 

If so, it was done poorly and impertinently. It was an excellent illustration of the behavior the OP was concerned about.

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If so, it was done poorly and impertinently. It was an excellent illustration of the behavior the OP was concerned about.

That doesn't carry much weight coming from you. You seem to think EVERYTHING I post is done poorly and impertinently since you have taken to neg repping random posts of mine and even making spurious reports. Then again, you don't just do it to me anymore.

 

So, since you seem to be the only one that didn't 'get it', it seems to be yet another example of you having an axe to grind. Have a nice day.

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I think we can safely move on with the original topic now.

 

CNN is reporting that Giffords is able to communicate with doctors, despite the bullet having "traveled through the left hemisphere of her brain from back to front":

 

http://edition.cnn.c...dex.html?hpt=T2

 

Encouraging, though I doubt she'll be going back to Congress in the foreseeable future.

 

The New York Times ran a profile of the shooter today, and suggested he may have been schizophrenic:

 

After he was suspended, Mr. Loughner and his parents met with administrators, who said he would require a mental health clearance if he wanted to return to college. It could not be learned on Saturday whether Mr. Loughner ever saw a psychiatrist or other professional or was diagnosed with a mental illness.

 

But the rambling, disconnected writings and videos he has left on the Web are consistent with the delusions produced by a psychotic illness like schizophrenia, which develops most often in the teens or 20s.

 

If that's true, it's hard to say anything can be blamed for the shooting besides his own mental state. If he was delusional, anything could be the cause.

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CNN is reporting that Giffords is able to communicate with doctors, despite the bullet having "traveled through the left hemisphere of her brain from back to front"

I knew that she was able to follow commands upon waking up from surgery and I knew that it was 'through and through', but the last time I got info, it was unclear whether or not the bullet actually went through the brain.

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I knew that she was able to follow commands upon waking up from surgery and I knew that it was 'through and through', but the last time I got info, it was unclear whether or not the bullet actually went through the brain.

 

There was a new press conference this morning. Check the CNN article I linked.

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If that's true, it's hard to say anything can be blamed for the shooting besides his own mental state. If he was delusional, anything could be the cause.

His youtube videos seem to suggest paranoid-type schizophrenia.

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On the bright side, maybe people will quit with the assassination rhetoric now, at least for a while.

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Watching the entire internet blame Sarah Palin for this is really quite amusing.

Well she certainly isn't doing herself any favors. Apparently Sarah Palin just took down the map from her website that had Gifford's district in the crosshairs of a rifle.

 

Here is what Sarah Palin said on the Facebook page where she depicted Gabrielle Giffords in the cross hairs of a rifle scope: "Don't retreat! Instead - RELOAD!"

http://www.nydailynews.com/news/national/2011/01/09/2011-01-09_palin_put_a_target_on_her_she_should_have_known_the_dangers.html?r=news

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