Jump to content

Giffords Shooting


Pangloss
 Share

Recommended Posts

I, like most here, certainly hope Gifford recovers and goes on to a long and productive life. Being a gun owner I am appalled at what happened but I still oppose most forms of gun control. I think it is very much possible this guy did what he did, in part at least, because of the violent nature that political fear mongering has risen to in recent years. That being said i have no doubt this guy was nuts and far too easily influenced by the political rhetoric that is popular today.

 

It is my fervent hope this guy was not intentionally influenced by anyone to do what he did. I know the KKK used to be famous for setting off "lone gunmen" by using physiological influence on vulnerable people to get them to "do the right thing" by rhetoric but not directly telling or asking the person to commit the crime.

 

I have very little use for the extremes of either party but i think it would be very bad for everyone if this guy turns out to have been "set off" intentionally by other people who saw in him the need to "help" the party.

 

The KKK would make appeals to members they saw as unstable (usually young males with mental problems) Like giving speeches where the leader call for someone to do the right thing and kill someone. Intentionally influencing these vulnerable people into doing the KKK's bidding and still have plausible deniability.

 

I hope our political system hasn't fallen that low and I will assume it hasn't, lets hope it never does...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The first amendment is not absolute; it does not cover inciting people to violence. Brandenburg v. Ohio

 

"The constitutional guarantees of free speech and free press do not permit a State to forbid or proscribe advocacy of the use of force or of law violation except where such advocacy is directed to inciting or producing imminent lawless action and is likely to incite or produce such action."

 

But I doubt that any of this applies to the shooting. It's not a matter of Constitutionality. It's a matter of voluntarily dialing it down.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

The New York Times is running another profile of Loughner, suggesting he'd been influenced by right-wing extremist groups:

 

Some people who study right-wing militia groups and those who align themselves with the so-called patriot movement said Mr. Loughner's comments on subjects like the American currency and the Constitution, which he posted online in various video clips, were strikingly similar in language and tone to the voices of the Internet's more paranoid, extremist corners.

 

The position, for instance, that currency not backed by a gold or silver standard is worthless is a hallmark of the far right and the militia movement, said Mark Potok, who directs research on hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

 

But Mr. Loughner also posits in his Web postings the idea that the government is seeking to control people through rules and structure of grammar and language. This is similar to the position of David Wynn Miller, 62, a former tool and die welder from Milwaukee who describes himself as a "Plenipotentiary-judge" seeking to correct, through a mathematical formula, what he sees as the erroneous and manipulative use of grammar and language worldwide. The Southern Poverty Law Center considers Mr. Miller to be a conspiracy theorist some of whose positions have been adopted by militias in general.

 

Mr. Miller, in an interview, said the argument sounded familiar. "He's probably been on my website, which has been up for about 11 years," Mr. Miller said.

 

http://www.nytimes.c...pagewanted=1

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Thanks for the article, Cap'n. I just pasted several paragraphs of it into an inter-office email that I expect is going to raise a few eyebrows at work in the morning. There's some fascinating between-the-lines stuff there on page 3 about the way that community college handled his case. We've had cases where we removed students, but only after overt threats (like a bomb scare). Results in borderline cases usually range from need-for-improvement recommendations to psych evaluations, but not expulsion. Apparently this school had the same general practice, but somehow actually talked him into quitting and then slapped a psych requirement on any future readmission. That's pretty proactive thinking, and I'll bet a few backs are going to be patted on that campus tomorrow morning.

 

I worry a lot about stuff like this. Loughner doesn't seem all that different from some of the kids I see every day. It doesn't seem like a very long trip from ranting on Facebook and YouTube to pulling out a Glock at a supermarket.

 

---------

 

BTW, here's Gabby Giffords' On the Issues rating. Being in a conservative state it's probably not surprising that she's pretty moderate. She's pro-gun ownership, and in fact I read somewhere that she owns the same model Glock that was used in the incident. She's also pretty tough on immigration, being a supporter of Federal troops on the border, though she was opposed to 1070.

 

s070_030.gif

Link to comment
Share on other sites

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.

I realize that later in the thread, you (sort of) finished and concluded this already... However, I thought it might be interesting to add this:

 

There is a case of prior art... although not in the USA.

 

In the Netherlands, a man, acting alone, killed someone. The motive was clear (hatred against the victim), although the victim in the Dutch case was a film director, not a politician. The victim and the murderer had never met before, and had no personal relation. The murderer was connected to others who shared his opinions and who said to have similar plans (although it was just words, certainly up to the moment of the murder). The murder took place in a public place, in daylight. Contrary to the case of Giffords, there were no other victims.

 

As you can see in this link (wikipedia), the Dutch case is linked strongly to terrorism...

 

The main difference, apart from the ones I mentioned above, is that the murderer in the Dutch case was a fundamentalist Muslim... and in the American case it was a white college student.

 

I have to concluce that I definitely think that ydoaPs has a point - unfortunately.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That looks familiar...

 

DCCC campaign map for 2009:

 

dccc-target-map.jpg

 

DLC 2004 campaign map:

 

demmap.jpg

 

"tu quoque" issues aside, a bullseye and crosshairs are not interchangeable imagery. A bullseye represents an inanimate target. A crosshair is what you see when you aim a gun through a scope. Also, at least in the 2004 map above, the targets represent states, not individuals.

 

A bullseye is commonly associated with target practice, and as such, the bullseye itself is the inert, nonliving target. Crosshairs, on the other hand, represent the mechanism by which a target is acquired and killed. It is also an image that resonates in popular culture through countless repetitions, in films and television shows, of the assassin’s POV shot. That the intent was to evoke something like a bullseye (only way tougher), and not the spectre of assassination, is an obvious, yet moot, point. Once that reasonable objection was raised, the image should have been abandoned.

 

http://www.mediaite.com/online/sarah-palins-twitter-feed-undercuts-sarahpac-aides-defense-of-crosshair-imagery/

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I realize that later in the thread, you (sort of) finished and concluded this already... However, I thought it might be interesting to add this:

 

There is a case of prior art... although not in the USA.

 

In the Netherlands, a man, acting alone, killed someone. The motive was clear (hatred against the victim), although the victim in the Dutch case was a film director, not a politician. The victim and the murderer had never met before, and had no personal relation. The murderer was connected to others who shared his opinions and who said to have similar plans (although it was just words, certainly up to the moment of the murder). The murder took place in a public place, in daylight. Contrary to the case of Giffords, there were no other victims.

 

As you can see in this link (wikipedia), the Dutch case is linked strongly to terrorism...

 

The main difference, apart from the ones I mentioned above, is that the murderer in the Dutch case was a fundamentalist Muslim... and in the American case it was a white college student.

 

I have to concluce that I definitely think that ydoaPs has a point - unfortunately.

 

Terrorism is defined by the motive. It is the use of terror and violence to coerce society especially for political and religous reasons. In the case of Mohammed_Bouyeri the motive appears to be quite clearly terrorism.

 

Perhaps the motives of shooter in Arizona will become clear in his trial also.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I held off on this topic because a lot of speculation occurred early and it seemed important to let the facts settle down before I could come up with any reasonable perspective. I definitely think it's plain to say that this fellow was not the type of man (tea partier fringe) that people warned would be moved by the Glenn Becks and Sarah Palins to go shoot liberal politicians. I also think it can't help but to make it easier for this sort of nut to slip though when the background rhetoric gets vitriolic enough that death threats become far too common.

If you are spending your time trying to figure out if a threatening email came from some specific blowhard guy or whatnot, you might not have enough time left to catch the mentally unstable guy with the creepy youtube videos.

 

What bothers me - is not whether such rhetoric should be censored - but whether it should be so passively accepted. The current narrative suggests (and personally I would like to see stats to know if it's the case) that violent threats and vandalism are at a high point against politicians in general. If that's the case, then shouldn't we take the rhetoric down a notch, not by force of law or censorship, but by choice given the concern that those in charge of security will miss the crazy nut jobs blending in with the blowhards? I do think if those words are seen as necessary to the speaker, I think they should be free to be used, and as such not censored... but people would stop using them casually and with hyperbole if we as a whole didn't respond to it. I think this event puts us more in that perspective, and it shows in at least a momentary easing of tone but it will only stick if we actually respond critically to such rhetoric. Politicians can't praise the KKK in today's society because we reject racism so widely - it's not illegal, it would loose a candidate more votes than it could gain them.

 

As for blame, no matter how bad Palin's map may look now, there is very little chance that guy ever would have had a positive enough view of her (or any "establishment" figure) to ever give her map a second look. It would be wrong to blame this shooting on that or any of the "Don't retreat, reload" slogans or even gun guys at rallies. But that does not negate the argument that we should demand better of ourselves and the standards we hold for our countrymen with regards to political discourse. When people try to create the fervor you get with "these crooks should be hanged!" but without using those words (or the hangings, just the energetic fervor that gets out the vote) we should call people out on it, especially when it's our favored party but anytime it shows up in rhetoric. While this event does not likely stem directly from such language, it does underscore why so many people find it disturbing.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Terrorism is defined by the motive. It is the use of terror and violence to coerce society especially for political and religous reasons. In the case of Mohammed Bouyeri the motive appears to be quite clearly terrorism.

 

Perhaps the motives of shooter in Arizona will become clear in his trial also.

I agree that that's the best thing to do. Pity that most acts of terror are called terrorism well before the official investigation is over.

The initial choice of words in the media usually sticks. And the initial choice of words in the media is undeniably heavily biased. White 22-year-old college kids just don't do terrorism...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Politicians and pundits at least have the opportunity breathe a sigh of relief and get out of the violent imagery game while they can. I hope that more people will lose their taste for it. If enough voters respond negatively to the rhetoric, it will cease to be a viable tactic.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

"tu quoque" issues aside, a bullseye and crosshairs are not interchangeable imagery. A bullseye represents an inanimate target. A crosshair is what you see when you aim a gun through a scope. Also, at least in the 2004 map above, the targets represent states, not individuals.

 

Okay, so, a bullseye is acceptable and a crosshairs is not. Got it.

 

Someone's writing these rules down, right?

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I tend to agree with Pangloss on the poster, since it's not clear at the moment that it motivated the crime at all. That being said, if it turns out that it is this guy's desktop background and it's printed all over his apartment, then clearly it will be an issue.

 

I think the point that most people are trying to make is that the poster, at least for the moment, is symbolic of the mud-slinging and hateful comments that are thrown about by representatives at both ends of the spectrum. That being said at least, the right-wingers in the US are, from what I can see, far more prolific and hateful than the left-wingers. Case in point:

 

http://obamalondon.blogspot.com/2011/01/inexplicable-edits-on-sarah-palins.html

 

This is exactly the kind of thing that I hate, and I find it incredibly disrespectful. Clearly, Sarah Palin's team hasn't changed their attitude much towards this stuff yet.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't that what you said? Bullseye okay, crosshairs bad? I don't think you're mistaken in your analysis, I just think it's amusing that we're going to parse political rhetoric at that level of detail. Gotta get at those "root causes", right?

 

I don't think I'm going to be the only one who finds that amusing, either. The very first time someone puts out guidelines on this it's going to become instant fodder for the late-night talk-show hosts.

 

Let's see if we can come up with some effective guidelines for acceptable rhetoric, shall we? I'll start with a few frequently-cited points:

 

- Finger-pointing

- Use of the words "holocaust", "armageddon", "disaster", or "apocalypse" in any political analogy

- Photos of nuclear bombs going off

 

Bear in mind that we have to apply these rules to the media and its punditry too, which of course enjoys far more frequent viewership than any politician's speech or town hall meeting.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Okay, so, a bullseye is acceptable and a crosshairs is not. Got it.

 

Someone's writing these rules down, right?

I didn't see this rule being made. It looked to me like jryan was pointing out the similarities, and swansont was pointing out the differences. It seems reasonable to me to have at least one counterpoint before the differences are dismissed as meaningless.

 

I'm anxious to see how Palin handles the issue of the map. This could be her "Tylenol" moment.

 

I think it will be relatively easy to defuse the controversy if she acknowledges that perhaps this type of rhetoric could be toned down, and that she will lead by example. (Whether she believes it or not.)

 

Then again, if she does the two-step and acts irritated that anyone could even sugggest such a thing, she may go the way of BP CEO Tony Hayward.

 

And based on what I'm seeing so far, I think she liked Tony's approach.

 

On Saturday, the map citing Giffords was abruptly pulled from the SarahPAC site — even though it remained on Facebook. Rebecca Mansour, a Palin aide, said on Twitter that the map was pulled because it "was no longer relevant" since the 2010 campaign was over.

 

They weren't gun sights but "surveyor's symbols," Bruce suggested, according to Alaska Dispatch, and Mansour agreed. But that contradicted Palin's own prior characterization of the map's symbol as a "'bullseye' icon."

 

http://news.yahoo.com/s/yblog_theticket/20110110/ts_yblog_theticket/giffords-tragedy-could-be-a-defining-moment-for-palin

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Isn't that what you said? Bullseye okay, crosshairs bad?

 

Nope. Don't see where I ever said that.

 

What I did say was that I wasn't addressing the issue of "crosshairs are OK because the other guys use bullseyes"

 

 

I don't think you're mistaken in your analysis, I just think it's amusing that we're going to parse political rhetoric at that level of detail. Gotta get at those "root causes", right?

 

I don't think I'm going to be the only one who finds that amusing, either. The very first time someone puts out guidelines on this it's going to become instant fodder for the late-night talk-show hosts.

 

Let's see if we can come up with some effective guidelines for acceptable rhetoric, shall we? I'll start with a few frequently-cited points:

 

- Finger-pointing

- Use of the words "holocaust", "armageddon", "disaster", or "apocalypse" in any political analogy

- Photos of nuclear bombs going off

 

Bear in mind that we have to apply these rules to the media and its punditry too, which of course enjoys far more frequent viewership than any politician's speech or town hall meeting.

 

Or we could look at rhetoric like "second amendment remedies," "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" and "if ballots don't work, bullets will," or any of the various suggestions that we assassinate Julian Assange. Actual rhetoric involving personal violence.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

I wonder if we would be debating whether the cross hairs rhetoric was ok if someone who was running for president had a picture of the white house with a cross hairs on it as part of his campaign?

I think we would be if the person in the white house ended up getting shot.

 

And I think that is the only reason the Palin map is being discussed. People use that type of rhetoric all the time and for the most part no one gets too upset about it. Palin was just the only one unlucky enough to have one of the politicians she was 'targeting' get shot.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Or we could look at rhetoric like "second amendment remedies," "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD!" and "if ballots don't work, bullets will," or any of the various suggestions that we assassinate Julian Assange. Actual rhetoric involving personal violence.

 

So, as with your post directly stating that crosshairs imply violence, you're again giving specific examples without providing a usable guidelines that will likely be recognizable BEFORE the slogan is written. It's easy to say "that's inflammatory" in hindsight. Much harder to provide a guiding principle. This is the point I was trying to make before.

 

And, by the way, there's no evidence that this incident was influenced in any way by any such rhetoric.

 

Sure fits in the elitist meme about the average American being too stupid for their own good, though. If you really want to talk about inflammatory rhetoric, perhaps we could start right there.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

So, as with your post directly stating that crosshairs imply violence, you're again giving specific examples without providing a usable guidelines that will likely be recognizable BEFORE the slogan is written. It's easy to say "that's inflammatory" in hindsight. Much harder to provide a guiding principle. This is the point I was trying to make before.

 

That's because I'm not a fan of politically correct lists of what you can say and what you can't, or what the code is to mask something offensive with an acceptable word.

 

 

And, by the way, there's no evidence that this incident was influenced in any way by any such rhetoric.

 

Yeah. I thought we'd moved on from that about 50 posts ago.

 

Sure fits in the elitist meme about the average American being too stupid for their own good, though. If you really want to talk about inflammatory rhetoric, perhaps we could start right there.

 

How does that send the message that violence is an acceptable solution to a political issue?

 

————

 

edit: http://i.imgur.com/8ZHvX.png

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Well that's the thing, now we're going to have to listen to all manner of "yeah, just like the time when" comparisons. Krugman posted a longer editorial yesterday that immediately prompted hundreds of user comments (no surprise there), and I noticed that one of them said something along the lines of "Bill O'Reilly is doing the same thing with his comments on abortion doctors killing babies".

 

Krugman himself directly invited that comment when he stated in his piece that Bill O'Reilly was one of those who has been inciting violence, though he wasn't as specific.

 

Listen to Rachel Maddow or Keith Olbermann, and you’ll hear a lot of caustic remarks and mockery aimed at Republicans. But you won’t hear jokes about shooting government officials or beheading a journalist at The Washington Post. Listen to Glenn Beck or Bill O’Reilly, and you will.

 

I don't know about Beck, but I've never heard O'Reilly joke about shooting government officials.

 

Anyway, getting back to the point, with regard to Palin he used the phrase "Mission Accomplished". I agree that's not the same as "don't retreat - RELOAD", but aren't those kinds of accusations just as inflammatory and inciting as "baby killer"?

 

One man's valid political commentary is another man's "inflammatory rhetoric".

 

-----------

 

BTW, just to throw fuel on the fire, the Westerboro Baptist Church loons are planning to protest the funerals of the victims. And it looks like there will be another court fight over their right to do that. (sigh)

 

http://edition.cnn.com/2011/US/01/11/arizona.funeral.westboro/?hpt=Mid

Link to comment
Share on other sites

This thread hasn't been discussing inflammatory rhetoric. You're the only one who has brought that up. We're discussing violent rhetoric.

 

I brought it up because it's relevant. I supported my case in my previous post -- society is already conflating the issue.

 

It doesn't help that your "violent rhetoric" apparently includes highly generalized metaphors with numerous meanings that when interpreted by any sane person, so far as we have seen, are harmlessly motivational. I can understand why you think we should amend speech because of the actions of the insane, I just think your concerns are misplaced and trivial. Pundit theater is just theater, the real danger is divisive impact on public opinion, not silly, immature imagery aimed at motivating door-to-door poll workers.

 

But slip-sliding the blame dynamic from "violent" to "inflammatory", THAT's a serious concern. Once we start categorizing any opposition as being a cause for violence, and compliant people as doing the right thing, we might as well all hitch ourselves to the wagon and start beggin' massa for scraps of food.

 

From today's New York Times:

 

...it is legitimate to hold Republicans and particularly their most virulent supporters in the media responsible for the gale of anger that has produced the vast majority of these threats, setting the nation on edge. Many on the right have exploited the arguments of division, reaping political power by demonizing immigrants, or welfare recipients, or bureaucrats. They seem to have persuaded many Americans that the government is not just misguided, but the enemy of the people.

 

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10mon1.html?_r=1&_...

Link to comment
Share on other sites

That's because I'm not a fan of politically correct lists of what you can say and what you can't, or what the code is to mask something offensive with an acceptable word. [/Quote]

 

If anything swansont, you are the leadng advocate for political correctness around here and use all kinds of words to cover up, otherwise objectionable moves or comments. Most of us, including yourself use many words daily, in today's "PC" world just to get by the day without being branded, it has nothing to do with masking offensive feelings.

 

This thread hasn't been discussing inflammatory rhetoric. You're the only one who has brought that up. We're discussing violent rhetoric.[/Quote]

 

What thread are you reading, this thread has become ALL about inflammatory rhetoric and their is little difference between violent or inflammatory rhetoric. I was quite impressed with the opening post and the first few reply's, until a few of YOU brought this angle up.

 

As for MSNBC and CNN: While searching for diversified coverage in the past few days on this story, having a long history in the Tucson area, Grandparents and a Mother that were from there, I flipped around all the networks. The coverage was disgusting, biased and just plane unwarranted. It was like the only innocent person in the incident was the SHOOTER. I don't know how many times I saw Sheriff Dupnik spouting his political viewpoints, unchallenged and during what were press conferences on the progress of the investigation, not the "Republicans" being the cause.

 

How does that send the message that violence is an acceptable solution to a political issue?[/Quote]

 

I saved this for last as in your mind, I'm sure this is off topic; Virtually all wars or major conflicts have been over political/religious reasons. Where you might think they, which includes the American Revolution itself, were not acceptable solutions, IMO they were. Would you feel the people of Iran, North Korea or maybe Venezuela were to violently overthrow their leadership for whatever reason, they would be internationally condemned, I doubt it...

 

We're not yet at that point in this Country, but there was plenty of violence in scattered areas during the 2010 elections, with voter fraud or intimidation and I fully expect a great deal more in 2012. In our own US History there have been a great number of directly related political incidents, where this one was not, that changed the course of what Government has done, right or wrong a fact. You might read up on the Vietnam withdrawal and the millions whom died in that Country or the Civil War.

Link to comment
Share on other sites

Create an account or sign in to comment

You need to be a member in order to leave a comment

Create an account

Sign up for a new account in our community. It's easy!

Register a new account

Sign in

Already have an account? Sign in here.

Sign In Now
 Share

×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

We have placed cookies on your device to help make this website better. You can adjust your cookie settings, otherwise we'll assume you're okay to continue.