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

Avenger

January 11th, 2011
4:33 pm

Commonsense. You need to change your moniker. The gibberish you spout comes no where near common sense

kevinbgoode

January 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

bateman sez: “Conservatives don’t hate Christians, don’t refer to themselves as Zionists, don’t support drug use, don’t burn the flag and don’t like Mein Kampf.”
————————————————————————————–
Oh puhleeze – conservatives use Hitler’s works all the time to try to pin something on liberals – it’s an old trick…and conservatives not use drugs? Now you are making me laugh. . .and you need to do a nice search about right-wing groups. . .there are plenty of little militias that have burned the flag. . .
That book appeared on a list of readings the guy liked. Nothing said it was an all-inclusive list- or even an updated one. You see…that’s where the Right has itself in a bit of a pickle – you can’t claim to be upstanding, law-abiding, highly moral people on one side of your mouths and then run around screaming that if you don’t have all the power, you’ll invoke second amendment remedies with the other. It kinda makes ya’ll look bad.

Bingo

January 11th, 2011
4:34 pm

Keep up the good fight! :

I am sure you are familiar with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling in “The District of Columbia vs. Heller” wherein the court ruled that “bearing arms” is an individual as opposed to a collective right.

May I refer you to pages 24-25 of that ruling:

“b. Security of a Free State

There are many reasons why the militia was “necessary to the security of a free state” ………………………………………third, that the able bodied men are trained in arms and organized, they are better able to resist TRYANNY (emphsis added).”

When the FBI gets here I will provide them a copy of this so that they may also interview Justice Roberts and the four justices who concurred in the opinion.

yvonne goolagong

January 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

The shooter was a devotee of AynRand and the gold standard. Definitely living in the warped land of glenbeckistan.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

Bateman, you would look so cute in a scull mask wearing a pink wig. It would suit you .
Conservatives are directly responsible for this assassination attempt by permitting the complete vilification of the Democratic party. Democrats got killed. Not anti-abortionists. Not tea party people. Democratic leaders. I ask you this: who but the right wing would have more to gain?
The rest of your argument is palaver-Liberals don’t hate Christians, support unrestricted drug use, approve of burning the flag or have a hidden appreciation for Mein Kampf. I would remind you that Hitler has much more in common with conservatives than with liberals. I can prove it but have to go eat dinner in a minute.
All you guys are protesting way too much. It is obvious that this young man reacted to conservative hate commentary. Your arguments are laughable.

False Evidence Appearing Real (FEAR)

January 11th, 2011
4:35 pm

My 4:26 – Make that the RIGHT started howling at the moon thereafter :-)

ed

January 11th, 2011
4:36 pm

rush limbug’s nose is a vacuum for oxycontin.

Wise Just Moderate

January 11th, 2011
4:38 pm

Mass murders are often created not born. What really links this killer to the Right is the pathological contempt and distrust of the Government. It permeates current conservatism far beyond the personalities noted here. He was rejected by the Army and Community College and having adopted the narrative (from his posts) that Government is the root of all evil and that it is “The Problem”, not the solution, blamed that for his failures. Neighbors report he was raised largely in isolation by an extremely contemptuous “stay at home” father. You can bet Government was the focus of that contempt. Direct links to individuals may not be there but such contempt was very clearly his mentality, nutured by the father and shared by many here.

B

January 11th, 2011
4:39 pm

From a dem about a repub – “They ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him.” – nothing incendiary there huh? If Palin said it though, I’m sure the meaning would be different.

Mary Elizabeth

January 11th, 2011
4:43 pm

I just heard on T.V., in passing, a U.S. Congressman say that it is simply hatred that is bringing America down. I agree with that. It takes a creative act of will to change hatred in one’s heart to love.
Milder forms of hatred are insulting and name-calling.

To disregard the seriousness of the effects of these negative words on the spirits of individuals, as well as the spirit of America as a nation, is the same as ignoring the words and actions of the bully. The bully may not kill the body of others, but his/her words can kill the spirits of those without strong autonomy, and we should discourage that lack of civility, unless we do not care if America becomes a brutal nation in sensibility.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
4:48 pm

B-
If you’d correct the grammar in your obviously paraphrased quote more people might be inclined to respond to it. Also, ‘from a dem about a repub’ is not considered an accurate attribution.
Also, this is the kind of thing Palin says:
“But obviously, we’ve got to stand with our North Korean allies.” –Sarah Palin, after being asked how she would handle the current hostilities between the two Koreas, interview on Glenn Beck’s radio show, Nov. 24, 2010
I know, not relevant but beautiful all the same.

Sarah Palin

January 11th, 2011
4:48 pm

I shoot ilk from my helicopter.

jt

January 11th, 2011
4:49 pm

“unless we do not care if America becomes a brutal nation in sensibility.”

Too late sister.

jamon

January 11th, 2011
4:52 pm

Somewhere in America, Jesus is coming, and another beautiful American baby is born to illegals. Thank you God. Thru your will, you will turn this Country loving and brown.

Hootinanny Yum Yum

January 11th, 2011
4:53 pm

Even in Jesus’ time, you had to be careful. He was a “sword rights” advocate…

Luke 22:36, “And He said to them, “But now, whoever has a money belt is to take it along, likewise also a bag, and whoever has no sword is to sell his coat and buy one.”

Mary Elizabeth

January 11th, 2011
4:55 pm

jt @ 4:49

jt, it is never too late for redemption – either for individuals, or a nation. The first step ,in redirection, is speaking out, as I am doing here, and, then, to change directions by changing the heart. Even a minority of thinking can turn the nation around – because what I have said is, morally, the truth.

redtop mountain man

January 11th, 2011
5:04 pm

Palin should be charged as a accessory to murder.

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
5:07 pm

Bingo…spin and run like a coward. You have used the threat of guns against politicians you may deem tyrannical with the weasel qualifier “in the future.” Keep trying to hide. You ain’t militia. Have fun explaining it all to the authorities. You should be worried but fortunately because there is a non-tyrannical government you do have the right to trial. You may want to provide your attorney with your copy of the Heller case and the Declaration.

Scout

January 11th, 2011
5:09 pm

redtop mountain man:

And what should with charge Obama with ?

“You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun”
“I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
“Don’t you think we’re not keeping score, brother?”
“Bring it on”
“Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your fellow Americans”
“I want all Americans to get in each others’ faces!”
“Republicans are our enemies”
“Hit back twice as hard.”
“We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick. “
Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
“It’s time to fight for it.”
Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
“I’m itching for a fight.”
“They can come for the ride, but they gotta sit in back”

Bingo

January 11th, 2011
5:12 pm

Keep up the good fight!

The Supreme Court clearly states that one purpose of the 2nd Amendment is to “resist tryanny”.

Whether you like it or not, their rulings are the law of the land.

And in closing for the day, debating you is like debating a child. Maybe you are one. I’m done

Keep up the good fight!

January 11th, 2011
5:13 pm

Scout, you can keep posting it over and over…but there are differences. SO why dont you simply say Sarah was wrong. Those images are inappropriate in any political matter.

Angry does not equal “target”, “reload”, bullseye’s and the continued gun references from Palin.

And lets be clear. I do not think Palin committed any crime other than pure stupidity.

Really last word

January 11th, 2011
5:13 pm

The only one to blame for this . . . is the young man who committed this atrocity. And, I’m beginning to think based on the bloggers here there are a multitude of wackos other than him.

Real Athens

January 11th, 2011
5:14 pm

Ed:

Rush is a vacuum for many things (besides Oxycontin. He is a very strange man. His actions get a free pass from his minions:

Rush Limbaugh’s Dominican Stag Party;29 Viagra pills, two ‘24′ producers among radio star’s all-male crew

JULY 6–Rush Limbaugh was traveling with four other men–including the producers of the hit show ‘24′–when he was detained over a mislabeled bottle of Viagra found in his luggage during a Customs search. A Department of Homeland security passenger manifest shows that Limbaugh and his four buddies flew from the Dominican Republic on a Gulfstream IV jet owned by Premiere Radio Networks, which syndicates his radio program. Limbaugh returned to Palm Beach, Florida on June 26 with Joel Surnow, ‘24′’s co-creator and executive producer and Howard Gordon, another of the Fox hit’s executive producers (Hollywood agent Jeffrey Benson was also part of the Limbaugh quintet).

With all those guys in tow, it is unclear what Limbaugh needed with those 29 100mg Viagra pills. The passenger manifest was among several documents released today by the Palm Beach County State’s Attorney in response to an open records request. Included in the material released were a copy of the handwritten statement Limbaugh provided investigators after he was detained upon the discovery of the impotency drug.

An affidavit sworn three days later by Limbaugh was also released. In that document, Limbaugh explains that the Viagra ‘was intended for my exclusive use’ and that the drug had been prescribed in the name of his drug treatment doctor, Steven Strumwasser, ‘to further maintain and protect my privacy.’

Rich

January 11th, 2011
5:14 pm

Those on the left who keep bringing up Sarah Palin on a daily basis since this tragedy (I bet MSNBC has used her name in reference to this over 100 times just today) are stupid or outright dishonest. First words our of Chris Matthews today on his show were “Sarah Palin”. The DCCC, itself, used the tactics of a map with targets over congressional districts. In fact, DailyKos used the tactic of the map with targets with this Congresswoman’s name on the map! Evidently, she was too conservative for their taste. What a bunch of lying hypocrites!

A+A

January 11th, 2011
5:14 pm

Scout, double. Please use fresh material or we will pay even less attention to you.
Yum Yum, context please. Otherwise useless.
I wonder why I read “Jesus” as “Elvis”?

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

January 11th, 2011
5:15 pm

Printed on the front page of today’s Urinal-

Weather may delay delivery of the newspaper-Urinal

WARNING! The common dummycrat may find the following to be divisive and hate filled rhetoric meant to incite readers to senseless acts of violence, uh, considering recent events. SHIELD YOUR EYES!

Um, if one is reading on the front page that delivery of the Urinal may be delayed, it wasn’t an issue for them , just sayin…

Think, you heathens!

redtop mountain man

January 11th, 2011
5:16 pm

scout,

palin “targeted” her. you lose.

luangtom

January 11th, 2011
5:19 pm

Kudos, CT. I do, however, find it interesting to read how precious and sacred the First Amendment is and yet you could care less that your own words trample the Second Amendment. Without the Second Amendment, the First could not be protected…..nor, truthfully, any of the rest. But, kudos on the article.

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

January 11th, 2011
5:19 pm

Wait a minute, my name could be considered hateful and divisive, the way these panty waists are going on, what shall I do now?

Look away, mouth breathers!

Team CoCo!!!

January 11th, 2011
5:19 pm

Jesus wasn’t a liberal. He didn’t desire to steal other people’s belongings to fund his own deranged and selfish desires. He didn’t curse, intimidated, bully or force people into believing what he believed. He didn’t care to control every aspect of people’s lives. And I’m pretty sure he didn’t hate and despise Christians either. Nice try though.

las cruces

January 11th, 2011
5:22 pm

red top,

I disagree, caribou barbie should be charged with treason for targeting a member of congress.

President Odumba

January 11th, 2011
5:25 pm

Uhhh…..hmm….Everyone…ehhh….ummm….when I said, ehh….when I said, we should bring guns to a knife fight…ehh…umm….I hope….hmmm…I hope you know I was only kidding. And…hmmm…ehh…when I said….when I said….people that oppose me are enemies…ehh…hmm….I was only joshing. And…hmm…eh….umm…when I said….ehh….when I said….ahhhh…when I said, we need to put or boots on their throats…ehhh….that…ehhh that…..ehhh that was a joke too!!!

ed

January 11th, 2011
5:26 pm

Looks like they let I Report out of his cage for some exercise.

Its ok he is white

January 11th, 2011
5:27 pm

Its ok he’s white they can kill whom ever they please because he’s white.White people lock and load the mama grizzles are coming white power white the master of all races hey what happened in Arizona is not Palins fault its the blacks for inventing rap, the mexicans for there drugs and the asians for being better at math

liberalism at it's finest!!!

January 11th, 2011
5:28 pm

So let’s get this straight. If a student has spooked his fellow students and teachers over the years, he can’t be approached by authorities because he hasn’t done anything Y-E-T, but a little blue-haired grandmother at a Tea Party event is a terrorist?? LOL!!!! You can’t make this craziness up!!!

Its ok he is white

January 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

Remember its never the superior race fault. Its always the blacks or illegals and legal mexicans

Ralph

January 11th, 2011
5:29 pm

Its ok he is white

January 11th, 2011
5:31 pm

Let get this straight the tea baggers and white people are always the victims

B

January 11th, 2011
5:32 pm

A+A – way to deny and divert.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
5:33 pm

Well, Team CoCo, everything you have said that Jesus doesn’t stand for would accurately describe conservatives. I give you Tom Delay for stealing others belongings to fund his own deranged and selfish desires. Most of the cursing on this site has come from conservatives. Conservatives do care to control every aspect of other peoples lives since they can’t abide the support of intellectualism (you know, nourishing people with ideas. Like evolution, for example). I don’t know why you might think that Jesus hated Christians since there weren’t any Christians when he lived (if he lived at all) and anyway why would he hate the people who loved and followed him.
Sarah Palin needs to take responsibility for using crosshairs. Her protests are specious. They were not intended to be surveyors marks. They are hunting iconography. Everyone knows this.
This is too easy. Who are you people, the B team?

B

January 11th, 2011
5:34 pm

A+A – and how many states do we have according to our current prez?

A+A

January 11th, 2011
5:35 pm

B-I rest my case.

Jackson

January 11th, 2011
5:36 pm

Scout is not being allowed to post.

Avenger

January 11th, 2011
5:37 pm

RDG. I don’t know where you stand on politics (of course it doesn’t matter-the truth is the truth), but man your post @ 11:21AM was like a laser guided missile. Dead on – no one could have said it better. Rush and all others who say this vitriol is harmless are about as lunny as the lunatics. If they didn’t think that they were influencing any one, they wouldn’t be out there constantly blabbing away. Rush says he has twenty million listeners that hang (the ditto heads agree) on his every word, but he does the moon walk better than Michael Jackson if some suggest that he just might influence a lunatic. How illogical is that. Insanity is all over the place. The “designated” lunatics aren’t the only ones exhibiting this trait. In all fairness though, if Ms Tucker had indicated that this vitriol might have some thing to do with pushing lunatics over the cliff, most of these posters would have wanted to burn her at the stakes. Most would want to even if she said that she was becoming a nun. I have to give credit where credit is due – that was a master piece my man.

Dave

January 11th, 2011
5:37 pm

Pot, meet Kettle:

Dem Congressman who called for GOP Gov. to be put against a wall and shot now pleads for civility

“Ex-Rep. Paul Kanjorski, D-Pa., pens an op-ed in the New York Times today about the proper political response to this weekend’s tragedy. I wholeheartedly support the former Congressman (Kanjorski lost his seat in November) when he argues that, following this weekend’s shooting, Congressman need to remain open and accessible to the public. However, Kanjorski is rather hypocritical when he climbs up on his soapbox:

‘We all lose an element of freedom when security considerations distance public officials from the people. Therefore, 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.’

Incumbent on all Americans to create an atmosphere of civility and respect? Congressman heal thyself! Yesterday, I noted that, according to the Scranton Times, Kanjorski said this about Florida’s new Republican Governor Rick Scott on October 23:

”That Scott down there that’s running for governor of Florida,” Mr. Kanjorski said. “Instead of running for governor of Florida, they ought to have him and shoot him. Put him against the wall and shoot him. He stole billions of dollars from the United States government and he’s running for governor of Florida. He’s a millionaire and a billionaire. He’s no hero. He’s a damn crook. It’s just we don’t prosecute big crooks.’ “

Jackson

January 11th, 2011
5:37 pm

redtop mtn. man:

I (Scout) am fellow American. He targeted me.

B

January 11th, 2011
5:38 pm

A+A – of course you do

Jackson

January 11th, 2011
5:38 pm

Scout here – I am now Jackson until I am “blocked” again.

A+A

January 11th, 2011
5:49 pm

Rick Scott was forced to resign as Chief Executive of Columbia/HCA in 1997 amid a scandal over the company’s business and Medicare billing practices; the company ultimately admitted to fourteen felonies and agreed to pay the federal government over $600 million.

So, very dirty. I don’t agree with Mr Kanjorski’s ideas of punishment but Scott is clearly a bad example of good.

Nothing Is Free

January 11th, 2011
5:49 pm

liberals

Here’s a dare that none of you have the balls to take.

For two days you have ignored the posting of vitriol from the left.

Man up. Address what your own party has said and done in the past.

Just try to control your hysterics enough to just address it.

Not one of you have the balls to do it.