There's been a major dust-up over blame for the Arizona tragedy. Many on the left are pointing fingers at the vitriolic rhetoric of the right as agitating such misguided violence. Those on the right are using their well-worn, "Guns don't kill people. People kill people" schtick. There will be no mea culpa from those on the right. In the fantasy world of conservatives, words only have ill-fated consequences when spoken by Democrats.
It appears Jared Loughner wasn't unequivocally a Republican. He was, though, obviously a disturbed individual whom should have been commited, from his many reported awkward instances, long ago. Yet, the fact that he chose to target a Democrat should give us some indication on which side of the spectrum he tended to lean.
Nevertheless, the fact remains, Republican rhetoric has instigated and inflamed violent and uncivil actions across America. Even moreso since Barack Obama has taken office. Soon after Obama was inaugurated reports were released detailing the rise in right-wing extremism. Conservatives ignored and/or scoffed at the reports. The Becks and Limbaughs of the world continued their end-of-times warnings and hate-filled broadcasting.
Oddly, some on the right want to claim, "Democrats did the same thing [violent rhetoric] back in 2004." Really? Democrats were telling people to use "second amendment remedies" to take their country back? Democrats were blanketing the internet with gun crosshairs on Republicans they wanted out of office? Democrats were labeling those on the right as fascists bent on destroying our country and way of life? Not even close!
And, another big difference between those of us on the left and those on the right is the fact that when and/or if someone on the left were to use such incendiary language or images, the overwhelming majority of Democrats would condemn such actions. On the right, instead, we see nearly the entire party rally and defend such divisive spewings.
Even in the aftermath, conservatives continue to criticize. These ideologues just don't get it. So much for teachable moments.
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