Palin’s crosshairs and the First Amendment

As much fun as it is to call out the clueless Sarah Palin for her long list of gaffes, lies and inflammatory nonsense, neither she or her supporters caused the Arizona atrocity. If Jared Loughner, the suspect, is the culprit, it’s likely that we’ll find that he suffers from a serious mental illness — perhaps paranoid schizophrenia — and probably hears voices. Maybe he hears Palin. It’s just as likely he hears Zeus or the Green Hornet.
Palin has taken a lot of grief since the shooting spree because of an irresponsible image she used on her Facebook page during the campaign. In listing a group of Democratic Congressional seats that she wanted Republicans to win, she used a map of the United States and imposed images of gunsights over several Congressional seats. One of those was the seat held by Congresswoman Gabby Giffords.
(Palin has since claimed the image wasn’t crosshairs, but that’s nonsense. It was.)
In response, U.S. Rep. Bob Brady (D-Pa.) wants to make it illegal to use such imagery. He told Fox News yesterday (via TPM):

“It wouldn’t be harm putting that in the bill. It is on both sides. It’s not a partisan bill. Again, we’ve got to stop our bickering amongst each other. We’re setting a bad example for the American people. We need to cut down rhetoric amongst each other. We can disagree without being so disagreeable,” Brady said.

I agree with Brady that we can disagree without being disagreeable. But his proposal for outlawing political speech is foolish and dangerous — as much a threat as a lunatic with a gun. The freedom that Americans enjoy to say almost whatever they like — especially in the political arena — is one of the cornerstones of this great democracy. Brady ought to be ashamed of trying to impose limits on that freedom.

There is no evidence that Loughner ever saw Palin’s Facebook page. But even if the investigation shows that he was specifically motivated by it, such imagery should not be outlawed. (Whether Palin should have used better judgement is quite another matter. She should have, as should all the violent-imagery-worshiping pols who have seen fit to invoke martial accessories for their ads.)

Last week, when Speaker John Boehner set aside time for the new House to read the U.S. Constitution aloud, U.S. Rep. Giffords read the First Amendment. Afterwards, she told several people that she was especially pleased that was the part she was given.

It would dishonor her for Brady to push a law that infringes on that sacred text.

544 comments Add your comment

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
7:55 pm

Leggie…again I have listened to it 2x so far on MSNBC as it aired. I posted his words. Not sure what you have since there is no link only a reference and nothing on page 1 of that website.

Look

January 11th, 2011
7:56 pm

There may be no direct connection but the crosshairs are completely unacceptable, and possibly implicate Sarah indirectly. I believe the crosshair images constitute a threat to public officials, which I believe is illegal, though I’m no lawyer. If I put Barack on my web site with crosshairs on him wouldn’t I be thrown in jail just for the imagery?

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like CT's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

January 11th, 2011
7:57 pm

Keep up the good fight!
January 11th, 2011
7:55 pm

If you watched it that many times did you get a thrill up your leg?

unklbud

January 11th, 2011
7:59 pm

why dont you all just get your head out of your asses and feel sorry for the people who got shot and give a crap on what party done it cause the mean thing is they know and have who pulled the trigger

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
8:03 pm

Keep on Tap dancing, you gutless ass

Do you ever stop blogging?

All day blogging your idiotic accusations and you still don’t have the balls to debate me.

Get a life, loser.

Paddy O

January 11th, 2011
8:04 pm

My point is: Please don’t pretend she actually represent the repub party, nor that she is a bonafide Presidential candidate. She is playing up her extended 15 minutes to make as much $$$ as possible, which is about as All American as you can get.

Paddy O

January 11th, 2011
8:09 pm

Look – you can not be that pathetic, are you? You are correct – it is a violation of the Constitution to threaten the President – usually you get a Secret Service visit. /// But, the cross hairs would stimulate someone to shoot another? And then, in your nanny state consciousness “Americans are just so easy to persuade/manipulate”, the individual who put the cross hairs up there has some responsibility? Utterly wrong.

Paddy O

January 11th, 2011
8:10 pm

“possibly implicate” – what kind of passive / aggressive manure talk is that?

unklbud

January 11th, 2011
8:16 pm

when you debate whith someone “nothing is free” you talk about it not try to start a fight but i can tell your some up tight 50-60 year old that thinks he knows everything about the govt.

The Leg Lamp is a "major award" much like CT's Pulitzer and Obama's Nobel.

January 11th, 2011
8:26 pm

One final post:

“OBAMA FLASHBACK: ‘If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun’… “

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
8:32 pm

unklbud

Is English your first language?

I cannot for the life of me think of why I should give a damn about what you think.

You can barely construct an understandable sentence. If you aren’t smart enough to construct a simple English sentence, you certainly aren’t smart enough to form an informed opinion of me.

Tim

January 11th, 2011
8:42 pm

Here’s my problem with liberal/progressives. Your answer to everything always is to take away the freedom and liberty of those with whom you disagree. Even if it means politicizing and demonizing your opponents in a situation that had nothing to do with them. You go on these non sense search and destroy missions. But in the long run you only hurt yourselves because in taking away the freedoms of those whom you hate. You lose your own freedom and give power to those above you who care nothing about you other than using you for their own political end game.

miss liberty

January 11th, 2011
8:44 pm

Charge the wench from wasilla with accessory to murder and treason against the Country.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
8:50 pm

miss liberty

Yet another hysterical liberal.

You guys are getting more and more spooky.

Thank God for prescription drugs. Without them, it;’s hard to know how many liberals would be shooting people.

Furman Bitcher

January 11th, 2011
8:59 pm

Whyn do we now have to tone things down??? Sure didnt need to do it before you got your arse kicked in the elections. My hunch is after Obuma is kicked out in 2012 that the left will ratchet up all the hate needed just like when W was in office. Hipocrites.

Educated, not deaf, independent

January 11th, 2011
9:04 pm

Yep, I did. Now Mrs. Palin should repeat it. Simple concept, I know, but at times like these simple seems out of her intellectual reach. However, if we make it a talking point for her it might work. Or we could just write it on her hand and push her in front of a podium. Goodnight, all. Happy debating or whatever this is.

Wilma

January 11th, 2011
9:07 pm

Bernie Sanders, liberal Senator from Vermont writes “In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process?”
I might ask, in light of his letter, is there any depth to which Mr. Sanders will not stoop, lying, distorting, surpressing, slandering, prevaricating, in the single minded pursuit of money for his campaign and partisan advantage? Sanders is practicing dirtball politics and has for along time.
He is in good company. It seems the entire progressive movement decided, en mass, to exploit a sensless murder to surpress talk radio.

Crenshaw8

January 11th, 2011
9:10 pm

C. Tucker waits three days to give us her opinion? Delay of game penalty. Your offensive players ran the ball without you. How convenient for you. You liberals are like a bunch of hyenas who circle, froth at the mouth, dart and dodge, fighting for the meat that is left on the bones. Lowly scavengers.

Pathetic.

Phyllis

January 11th, 2011
9:25 pm

Thanks John and fultonresident, you’ve got it right.

Robert

January 11th, 2011
9:27 pm

It’s kind of funny when the clueless call Sarah Palin clueless. I don’t support Palin, but her name should never been associated with this incident in the first place. This is the libtards in overdrive.

mark in mid-town

January 11th, 2011
9:37 pm

Has anyone pointed out that 3 of the 20 districts Palin’s map targeted with cross-hairs were for states in which the Democratic office holder was retiring? It’s pretty obvious Palin wasn’t trying to threaten any individual people. In hindsight, it would have been better not to use cross-hairs, but targeting symbols and war analogies have been the normal lexicon in politics going back a long time. Regardless of how much anyone might despise Palin, one would have to admit that the venom she has been subject to from those on the left has been exponentially more than anything Palin has actually engaged in. It’s sick the way so many on the left have exploited this tragedy because of their inability to ever see beyond politics. The biggest fool and hypocrite among msm columnists is undoubtedly Paul Krugman. This is the man who told progressives to go burn Joe Lieberman in effigy. Krugman, without any shame whatsoever and without any evidence whatsoever, is attacking the right over its political rhetoric which he was willing to bet was behind the shooting of Giffords. One can only shake their head in disbelief that Krugman would so willingly make such a fool of himself.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
9:43 pm

Drama Queen iis Free… ahhh…did the child get his feelings hurt because he chose to make demands to remain ignorant rather than first become informed. But I will say that your response to another poster gives a pretty good summary of my attitude towards a child like you

I cannot for the life of me think of why I should give a damn about what you think

I do think your huggies may need changing, child.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
9:44 pm

tick, tick, tick

Phyllis

January 11th, 2011
9:49 pm

Hey gun goon, I defended your rights and the constitution by serving in the USMC. but I don’t have to have or use a gun to defend our rights in this country, that’s what the ballot box is for in a civil and humane nation.

itpdude

January 11th, 2011
10:06 pm

Nicely said, Tucker. I can’t stand Palin or the TP but this knee-jerk reaction of limiting speech seems out-of-step with liberals. Aren’t we suppose to SUPPORT free-speech?

If anything, this should make Dems point at the GOP for the state of mental health in the US. When the GOP closed the mental wards, they caused the homeless problem in the US. The HUGE factor to homelessness is mental illness.

But the GOP, by cutting mental health, also allowed lunatics like this AZ man to be out there totally untended by mental health professionals.

The issue shouldn’t be whether we should limit free-speech. The issue should be whether we should be doing a better job with regards to caring for those who have mental illnesses. Sadly, for this AZ man, his life is now ruined when it could have been saved with adequate mental health treatment. But that’s “big government” according the the GOP.

Avenger

January 11th, 2011
10:11 pm

nothing. It doesn’t matter which direction it comes from,vitriol over the top speech is counter productive. Sure each side will try to spin it to their advantage. The double talkers that were calling Bush stupid showed their own stupidty. The man was a Harvard graduate who flew a jet fighter. The people (especially pimp dady Rush) who call Obama stupid showed their stupidity. The man is a Harvard graduate. Of course, pimp dady Rush called Obama several other vile names, but pimps do all kinds of vulgar things to make money. I wouldn’t say positively that there is a direct link between this vitriol and a lunatic’s actions, but I wouldn’t rule it out. Pimp dady Rush brags about his millions of listeners and a lot of them hang on his every word. He can’t have it both ways. If he influences normal smart people, why wouldn’t his double talking influence lunatics.

Avenger

January 11th, 2011
10:21 pm

dawg. To make the constitution mean any thing, you have to do more than read it. You have to make your country live up to the words. Words don’t mean nothing unless they are acted upon. There have been times that the very words of the constitution that some people like to hide behind didn’ mean anything.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
11:01 pm

Keep on Tap dancing

LOL!! Sorry twit. How many times now have you ran away when confronted?

Still claiming to be a lawyer, twit?

You are the poster child for a liberal. You whine and cry and lie about what you do. You obviously have no means of support and it’s obvious that you aren’t smart enough to make a living so i was right all along: you are a kid, still living at home, a complete loser who has never had a date.

Your attempts at insults are pathetic and these paranoid delusions that have me hiding behind every rock show that you are in dire need of some deep psychological treatments.

So tell me, did they go straight from Ritalin to Prozac with you?

hsn

January 11th, 2011
11:03 pm

Dear Cynthia,

Please correct your first sentence:”…neither she or her supporters…” SHOULD BE “….neither she NOR her supporters…..

Thanks!
hsn

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
11:22 pm

Avenger

Take a close look at this guy. A pot head that reads Marx and Hitler, a communist and a Socialist. I would be surprised if he has ever heard Palin or Rush. You nor anyone else has proof that he has.

The guys that shot up Columbine were into video games and were found to have actually perfected their attack technique with video games. Violence in music, video, movies, games, all much more likely to have influenced a 20 year old than any conservative pundit or politician.

Liberals have tried this crap for every single attack that has happened, including the guy that flew the plane into the IRS building and the Ft Hood shooter, but the IRS guy was a liberal and the Ft hood guy was a radical Muslim. It keeps blowing up in your face.

I’ve been associated with politics my entire life and i have heard the term “target” areas from both my Democratic County Commissioner Brother-in-law and the Republicans I have worked with. It’s a common term in politics. But a stupid map on a facebook page turned this guy into a mass killer? Bullsh!t. And you know that it’s Bullsh!t.

It just doesn’t fit. He is not even close to the demographic.

But one thing is for certain, the fact that there was no police at that meeting was the reason for the carnage. I covered many town hall meetings over the past few years and there are ALWAYS cops in attendance.

The Sheriff knows that if he doesn’t switch the focus away from him, he will be in deep crap.

I appreciate you having the balls to discuss this and not turning it into yet another hysterical liberal lecture.

This constant effort to take away our free speech and control of the media smells. Remember, democrats are losing power. In a few years, it will once again be liberals screaming against the government. Are you ready for that to be controlled?

I don’t think any of us do and these lemmings that follow the mantra of the people who want to control our free speech are creepy and scary. This blog is a perfect example of how emotions and hysterics work to hurt us all.

Auburn Fan

January 11th, 2011
11:53 pm

Way to go Cynthia! Great article and well thought out.

Get Real

January 12th, 2011
12:01 am

TBM

January 12th, 2011
12:37 am

It’s interesting watching the liberals start backtracking on their words (not directed at Ms. Tucker) on this tragedy. Out of the gate since the so-called Tea Party movement gained traction with main stream America, many liberal Dems have been waiting for some right wing nut to go off and use that as a catalyst to shut down the voice of their opposition.

Sadly, a psychopath with a serious mental problem was allowed to roam free when even since high school the warning flags were up. Yes, and even that Democrat sheriff who attempted to blame this act of evil on Rush knew who this perpetrator of violence was long before his act of deranged act of terror (that’s what it was and nothing less).

We listened to what was unquestionably the worst hate-filled rhetoric by the left on George W. Bush (and Cheney) for eight solid years. Nobody ever said anything then.

So where is America now? What is going to come out of this? Are political blogs – like the left wing Daily Kos which incited said hatred against Bush & Cheney – going to be also included in the shutting down of political rhetoric?

Both the left and the right need to tread carefully on the ramifications that will come after this tragedy. We can talk about gun control – and how someone like this sick individual was able to be free, let alone buy a gun legally – later. Currently the issue is political discourse in this nation. At what point do we tell others they can’t speak out against elected officials and their policies? At what price? Think about it.

For now, there is no doubt that the way we get to meet and greet our elected officials will be changed forever.

Tommy Maddox

January 12th, 2011
12:44 am

Unhinged; unglued; the American Left.

Y’all keep trying.

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)

January 12th, 2011
1:14 am

Enter your comments here

joeliberal

January 12th, 2011
4:35 am

well SARAH “crosshairs”

joeliberal

January 12th, 2011
4:36 am

WELL SARAH CROSSHAIRS PALIN wont be president in 2012….lolo

I Report (-: You Whine )-: mmm, mmmm, mmmmm! Just sayin...

January 12th, 2011
4:37 am

In 1994, Congress outlawed certain assault-type weapons, as well as high-capacity magazines of the sort that Loughner allegedly used. But the ban expired in 2004, and, given the political power of the gun lobby, few politicians have dared propose anything like it since. While a couple of Democrats are reportedly considering pushing for a new ban on high-capacity magazines, they’re unlikely to find much enthusiasm for it among their peers. -CTucker

Pssst, someone might want to tell Queen Pinko that Congress banned murder back in, oh, I don’t know, 1787?

Some good that did, eh?

Buck

January 12th, 2011
7:50 am

I hate to be the one to interject facts here but Sheriff Dupnik was aware that the shooter had been making death threats to radio personalities and Pima County Community College personnel. Dupnik and deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. . . .

But sure keep trying to put blame on rhetoric and not a failure of a sheriff.

Patriot76

January 12th, 2011
12:04 pm

I pray that it was not a significant factor in this nutjobs actions but Palin’s non-apology for her gunsight filled map and other gun referencing (reload?) inflammatory rhetoric is appalling. Note that she was not the only republican calling for “second amendment” actions to influence government. I can hardly imagine the responses if a republican lawmaker had been gunned down and a prominent democrat politician had used similar language in their discourse. Nothing short of jail time and a public apology would have been tolerated. I have checked and there is not a single similar statement by any prominent liberal politician. Right wingers have a capacity for hypocracy that is amazing. If you are patriotic then demand that your politicians stop pandering to the lowest instincts. Make them accountable to you not their fat cat supporters. Join us in the hard work of making this the great country that we have the capacity to be.

News

January 12th, 2011
12:24 pm

Said Palin:

”Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them. Not collectively, with all the citizens of a state. Not with those who listen to talk radio. Not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle….”

We rate our movies and games in fear of their influence on the general public to think that Vice Presidential Candidate Palin has no influence is absurd. If Obama placed a map to Palins neighborhood with a cross-hair ummmm survey sites I doubt very much she would like it and I very much think a crazed political junkie might take action.

Tommy

January 12th, 2011
12:35 pm

We do not need new laws in this country to limit guns or speech. Palin had every right to use the imagetry and words she used. But, as was pointed out by the right wing a few months ago with the Muslim Community Center in New York, Just because you have the “Right” to do something should you? If a public person chooses to use violent terms such as reload, and use crosshairs to show where they want to take people out, so be it. That is our right as as an American. But then it’s also our right as American to be able to critisize that person for doing so and question them about it.
Did Palin cause this tradgeity to happen? NO. But it does pose a question as to what if she had? What if they found Palin books speaches and so on at the suspects home and on his computer? There are some things public people just should not do even though they have right to do them. Palin got lucky this time, Next time she may not as lucky. Think before you act.

Mr. Right

January 12th, 2011
12:37 pm

As much fun as it is to call out the clueless Sarah Palin for her long list of gaffes, lies and inflammatory nonsense,

What a inflammatory way to stat out!! CT, you are pathetic!!

Mr. Right

January 12th, 2011
12:39 pm

oops -start out