Saturday, January 8, 2011

It Needs to Be Said, Political Violence is Evil. Things Such as This Should Not Be.

Just saw this and can't help commenting despite not knowing exactly what to say.  I've been afraid over the past couple of years that the angry rhetoric being used to motivate people was at a level where political violence seemed like a very real possibility.  Those fears may have just been fulfilled.

[Edited with new information]   According to the NY Times and CNN, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was one of twelve people shot at a meeting with constituents and conflicting reports have emerged as to her current condition. I hope that the more hopeful reports turn out to be correct and that she survives this tragedy.  I don't feel quite right making a political statement about this while also feeling that something must be said and that the moment cannot and should not pass in silence.

I hope this tragedy wakes some people up to the very real violence their rhetoric can lead to.  We don't know the motivation behind this attack yet, there is the possibility that it is unrelated, but words meant to be just rhetoric or entertainment have had very real effects on the physical world and people's lives before and I fear this is another instance of this.

We need to dial it down from 11 before we risk more people being hurt.  This is bad, very, very bad.


  1. Yeah, I'm not convinced political rhetoric had anything to do with this, but we should still dial it down. Decency is generally a much better idea.

  2. Doug, I agree 100%. I understand why people are using this event to bring up about the dangers of incendiary rhetoric, but the problem with bringing up an example that turns out not to actually have a connection with your point is that people will use this as an excuse to dismiss anything you have to say from then on in the subject regardless of its own merits.