Giffords shooting

I certainly don’t have much of anything particularly useful or insightful to say about the Giffords shooting.  The whole thing is just horribly, horribly depressing.  Especially that this deranged lunatic just started shooting randomly into the crowd.  Best thing I’ve read on the matter by far, is this piece in Time about how the especially over-heated immigration rhetoric in Arizona may have played a role.  Of course there will always be crazy people to do crazy things.  Who knows, maybe this guy would’ve ended up shooting his workplace at some point of not for this, but there can be little doubt that the absolutely crazy and irresponsible rhetoric from the extreme right fringes (which all too often gets voice in non-fringe-y places) creates an atmosphere where an action like this becomes more likely.  Just for starters, it’s worth noting that Giffords’ district is one in the crosshairs targeted by Sarah Palin.  One can only hope that this will lead to more responsible political rhetoric.  But I wouldn’t bet on it.  [Also, I hate all the facile false equivalences suggesting that this is equally bad on the left and right.  There’s really very little doubt at all that this problem is much worse on the right.]



About Steve Greene
Professor of Political Science at NC State

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