Sarah Palin and the Right to Arm Bears

Gabrielle Giffords

The fallout from the horrific Tucson shootings involving Democratic congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords continues…

A little homework people:

First, some background information on the Gifford shooting, and Sarah Palin’s now infamous ‘gun-sight’ target poster.

And now, for the left, the New York Times’ Matt Bai (published online yesterday at The Age), suggesting Sarah Palin, the Tea Party movement and U.S politicians in general have succumbed to using increasingly extreme rhetoric and language to deliberately inflame modern America.

And, as always, for the right our very own Andrew Bolt from the Herald Sun, who insists that Palin and the Tea Party movement has nothing to do with this tragedy, and that if we are to decry intentionally inflammatory politics, then we should start with Barack Obama.

You know what? I’m not even going to editorialize, beyond saying I find it very funny reading Andrew Bolt saying how wrong it is to politicize these shootings so as to smear Palin.

Because that would just be inappropriate and disrespectful.

Cough… boat people… cough… tragedy… coughcough… Gillard… Christmas Island… coughcoughcoughcough…

OK, so maybe I will editorialize a little. Sorry Andrew!

Sleep soundly, my friends, knowing that you can be arguably the 2nd most visible political figure in the entire United States, proudly talk about shooting animals on television, use rifle sights on posters about political rivals uploaded on to your Facebook page, use terminology like “Don’t retreat, reload!” and then STILL claim that you’re not influencing gun violence in America.

Because as we all know, people with violent tendencies are only ever influenced by music, TV and video games.




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2 Responses to “Sarah Palin and the Right to Arm Bears”

  1. Righteous Schimmelbusch Says:

    Perhaps Monkey. Perhaps.

    But what if old matey who did the shooting eventually says that ‘I wasn’t influenced by the grizzly momma, I just wanted to shoot up that god damn Walgreens store because the devil lives there, and that chick’s head just got in the way’.

    Yes, unlikely I conceed, but until all the facts are in, particularly the shooters motivation, SPECIFICALLY the shooters motivation – either through public statement or psychological assessment – then EVERYTHING is speculation.

    Ibn Khaldun, the immortal Tunisian historian, said that events often contradict the universal idea to which one would like them to conform.

    By jumping to condemn or associate this incident with broader soci-political issues to suit a left or right bais, before the salient facts are known, you lower yourself to the level of Sarah Palin’s reactionary thinking, and subsequent public statements.

    A great man once said to me that the best strategy for success in anything was ‘take 24 hours to think about it. The world’s media could learn a lot from that statement.

    If he says “I did it because of Palin” – go ballistic and condemn away. God knows, I’ll be right behind you burning my bra.

    But if he is just a nutter who saw a crowd, and just happened to be packing heat, and thought ‘fuck it, this will do’ – well, your reasoning seems no sounder than Andrew Bolt’s.

    And you are wiser, more rational, more clever and less wide of girth than he.

    p.s. violence is also caused by not enough ice-cream.

  2. buttonpushingmonkey Says:

    I can see your point Righteous, and agree with much of your ice-cream flavoured sentiment.

    For the record, I DON’T think Palin is DIRECTLY responsible for Jason Lee Loughner’s actions. By all accounts the man is as nutty as a fruit loaf.

    What I DO think is that she is continuing to appeal to the lowest common denominator with deliberately provocative and emotional jingo-ism.

    America, for better of worse, employs a system whereby the people don’t HAVE to vote for anybody. The 2012 election won’t be decided by the people who vote EVERY 4 years, it’ll be decided by those who usually can’t be bothered. And the easiest way to arouse to these people, to evoke an emotional response and drive them to the polling booths, is to abandon rational, measured and logical speech, and instead present them with maps with targets, and reality shows, and gun metaphors, and simplistic, monosyllabic bumper stick political rhetoric better suited to TV sportscasting.

    Did Loughner pull the trigger because of Sarah Palin? No. Not at all.

    But don’t do your utmost to contribute to the continued dumbing down of American politics with irresponsible, gun-centric sloganism and then abdicate all responsibility whenever someone turns to a gun to solve their problems.

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