At this writing, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), shot along with 18 others north of Tuscon, is in critical condition. Mother Jones states that the alleged shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, "...appears to have posted YouTube videos...that rail against the government and talk of revolution and terrorism." A second suspect is being sought.
Ultimately, the shooter is responsible for these heinous acts–and no one currently knows who influenced him. Yet irresponsible commentators create an atmosphere that make it more likely for the unhinged to go on a rampage. Bryon Williams, an ex-felon who plotted against the Tides Foundation and the ACLU and was involved in a shootout, claimed that "the things [Glenn Beck] exposed blew my mind." Tea Party favorite Sharron Angle spoke about "Second Amendment remedies." Sarah Palin's "Take Back the 20" website, since taken down, featured a map with crosshairs over districts represented by Democrats, including Rep. Giffords:
Finally, there was Palin's tweet: "Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead - RELOAD! Pls see my Facebook page."
Are today's horrendous events what it takes for this violent rhetoric to end?