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How the Left Uses Tragedy as Political Fodder

January 14, 2011
Mark Alexander, The Patriot Post (

Do targets incite violence?

Federal Judge John Roll, a Republican recommended for the bench by Sen. John McCain and nominated by President George H. W. Bush, was among six citizens murdered by a psychopath in Tucson on Saturday. Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was among 14 wounded, and her recovery prospects are promising.

These deaths and injuries are an incalculable tragedy, and equally so are the deaths and injuries of thousands of other violent crime victims each year.

Rep. Giffords is a moderate Democrat and a self-described “strong supporter of the Second Amendment.” That notwithstanding, the Democrat Party has already undertaken to convert the Tucson crisis into political fodder for “gun control” and “hate speech” legislation, and a “national conversation” with the objective of silencing conservative political speech.

A gun did not commit the Tucson attack, as the Left would like you to believe; the perpetrator was a mentally deranged 22-year-old, Jared Lee Loughner, who chose to use a gun rather than some other method to orchestrate his mayhem.

What do we know about the motivation of this killer?

Former classmate Caitie Parker described Loughner as “left wing” and “a pothead.” Though Loughner listed Hitler’s “Mein Kampf” and Marx’s “Communist Manifesto” among his favorite books, it is unlikely that these Leftist texts, or any other Leftist political propaganda, drove him to mass murder.

According to his friend Bruce Tierney, Loughner fixated on Giffords after she was confused by a question he posed in a previous public forum about government manipulation of grammar. “How do you know words mean anything?” he asked.

Her confusion was understandable.

Though there is not a shred of evidence linking Loughner’s actions to political rhetoric, Democrats seized the day by invoking Barack Hussein Obama’s former White House Chief of Staff Rahm Emanuel’s Rule 1: “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”

Their first order of business was to focus on Sarah Palin — specifically a political map from her SarahPAC website that identified vulnerable Democrat districts with crosshairs. One of those districts was Giffords’ 8th Congressional District in southern Arizona.

Liberals argued that such imagery contributed to the violence in Tucson.

It turns out, of course, that Democrats have used much more inflammatory graphics, such as a “Heartland Strategy map on the official Democrat Leadership Council’s website, which identified “enemy lines.”

Then Democrats went after conservative media commentators like Rush Limbaugh and websites like PatriotShop.US, accusing us of inciting violence with “hate speech.”

When asked if the Tea Party movement is an instigator, Rep. Raul Grijalva (D-AZ) said, “For a while, you’ve been feeding this hatred, this division … you feed it, you encourage it. … Some of the extreme right wing has made demonization of elected officials their priority.”

However, a quick search of comments by Democrat leaders and liberal media talkingheads reveals a hefty strain of hypocrisy. Of course, were it not for double standards, liberals wouldn’t have any at all.

At a Democrat fundraiser, Obama had this to say about countering his Republican adversaries: “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.” He identified Republicans as “hostage takers,” later saying, “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry. I’m angry!” I didn’t consider any of this to be hate speech, just a clarification of how seriously and how far Democrats are willing to take the political fight.

Recently, Joe Biden remarked, “If I hear one more Republican tell me about balancing the budget, I am going to strangle them.” Biden didn’t mean that literally, of course, and yet we’re being asked to believe that Sarah Palin “crosshairs” map was somehow an incitement for the targeted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords.

In a New York Times op-ed this week, former Demo Rep. Paul Kanjorski declared, “It is incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect in which political discourse can flow freely, without fear of violent confrontation.” This would be the same Rep. Kanjorski who had these words for a then-Florida gubernatorial candidate Rick Scott: “They ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.”

Ah, yes, “civility and respect.”.

Subtlety from the Left

A few other rhetorical examples: From the official Democrat Party website: “The Democratic National Committee plans to target Republican John McCain.” From the website of Former Demo Majority Leader Nancy Pelosi, “Once again, the Republican Leadership has launched an attack on working families. The target this time is one of the cornerstones of protection for American workers.” From the website of Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-MO), “It Really Is Time For Americans To Take Up Pitchforks.”

Headlines from Leftmedia sources: “Democrats Launch Website Targeting ‘Republican Lies'” (Washington Post); “A coalition known as Americans United for Change is targeting Republican senators” (NPR); “Obama administration officials said they were targeting Republican Senators” (CNN); “Dems Play Hardball: Target Republican Senators” (Huffington Post); “In the meantime, Obama will continue to target Republicans” (CBS); “I have to tell you, Rush Limbaugh is looking more and more like Mr. Big, and at some point somebody’s going to jam a CO2 pellet into his head and he’s going to explode like a giant blimp” (MSNBC’s Chris Matthews).

The Media Research Center has compiled numerous other violent threats issued by high-visibility liberals against conservatives.

No doubt clueless as to these many examples of Leftist “incitement,” the celebrities piled on: “Hanoi Jane” Fonda, who infamously posed on an NVA antiaircraft gun only yards from where North Vietnamese prison guards were torturing American POWs, summed up the situation thusly: “Progressive Arizona Rep Gabrielle Giffords is shot. In her ads, Sarah Palin had her targeted in a gun site (sic). Inciting to violence.” Thanks for your input, Jane.

Oh, and there was another Leftist celebrity who chimed in this week. Fidel Castro wrote in an op-ed, “The Tea Party, constituted by the most reactionary and politically backward elements of society … in the midst of the crisis and disappointment over the promises that Obama has been unable to fulfill, will take the country into the abyss.”

And speaking of op-eds, consider how The New York Times opined on two tragedies.

In 2009, after Nidal Malik Hasan killed 13 people and wounded 30 others at Ft. Hood, all the while yelling “Allahu Akbar,” Times’ editors wrote: “In the aftermath of this unforgivable attack, it will be important to avoid drawing prejudicial conclusions from the fact that Major Hasan is an American Muslim whose parents came from the Middle East. President Obama was right when he told Americans, ‘we don’t know all the answers yet’ and cautioned everyone against ‘jumping to conclusions.'”

This week after the Tucson attack, that same Times opined, “It is facile and mistaken to attribute this particular madman’s act directly to Republicans or Tea Party members. But 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. … Now, having seen first hand the horror of political violence, Arizona should lead the nation in quieting the voices of intolerance, demanding an end to the temptations of bloodshed, and imposing sensible controls on its instruments.”

Never let a serious crisis go to waste.

Crisis response, Part 1: Pennsylvania Demo Rep. Robert Brady is proposing “hate speech” legislation outlawing “language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a member of Congress.”

Crisis response, Part 2: California Demo Sen. Barbara Boxer says, “I believe we should look at sensible gun laws again. Now, I’m not saying that these sensible gun laws would have stopped this killer, but I do know this: It should not be easy for a killer to obtain a weapon that could kill or wound 20 people.”

Crisis response, Part 3: New Jersey Demo Sen. Frank Lautenberg announced that he is working with New York Demo Rep. Carolyn McCarthy on legislation that would ban the manufacture and sale of high-capacity magazines like those used in Tucson. According to McCarthy, “My staff is working on looking at the different legislation fixes that we might be able to do and we might be able to introduce as early as [Monday].”

Since alcohol-related auto wrecks kill far more Americans than sociopaths with guns, perhaps McCarthy and Lautenberg will soon be out with legislation requiring a five-day waiting period to buy a beer, and of course, no hi-capacity six-pack purchases will be allowed.

Oh, did I mention that alcohol is a determinant in more than 70 percent of violent crimes?

For the record, I fully support your individual right to possess, transport and consume alcohol, but I also support the notion that you have an individual responsibility in society not to endanger others by driving in public after using it.

Some quick facts about criminals who use guns: The annual murder rate per 100,000 people on the European continent is 5.4, while in the United States, it is 5.6 (Bureau of Justice Statistics). However, if you’re not involved with drug users or gangbangers, your chances of being murdered drop to par with the more “civilized” Western European nations, about 1.5 per 100,000.

As for Leftist attempts to disarm Americans, no amount of “gun control” will stop criminals from committing violent crimes against innocent men, women and children, though, arguably, gun restrictions can increase the violent crimes.

The U.S. city with the most restrictive gun laws in the nation, Washington, D.C., has the highest murder rate at 24 per 100,000. The state with the most unrestrictive gun regulations, Vermont, has the lowest murder rate at 0.48 per 100,000.

Violence is a cultural problem, not a “gun problem.”

Of course, the Left seizes on tragedies like Tucson in order to advance their political agenda, which is a sham and a shame. Their gun safety proposals have nothing to do with safety and everything to do with disarming Americans. Fortunately, for the moment, the Second Amendment in our Bill of Rights still provides something of an obstacle for Leftists like Boxer and Lautenberg.

Liberals are predisposed to blameshifting. Rather than addressing issues such as the stark social entropy engendered by their Socialist policies, Democrats would rather blame inanimate objects like guns.

Ronald Reagan once said, “We must reject the idea that every time a law’s broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.”


Please join us in prayer for all victims of criminal violence and negligence across our nation, and for their families.

Semper Vigilo, Fortis, Paratus et Fidelis!

Mark Alexander
Publisher, The Patriot Post
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