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CNN: Guns, anger, politics: A dangerous mix?


January 14, 2011- When a politician is shot, it's bound to get political.

After an assassination attempt against a Washington lawmaker that took the lives of six other people, many Americans debated this week whether their politics, culture and country have grown too violent.

"The anger, hatred, bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," said Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is investigating the crime.

The U.S. guarantees the right to own a gun in its constitution and millions of its citizens are proud of it. But no prominent political figure is as fond of gun talk as Sarah Palin. The Republican activist has urged her followers "Don't retreat, reload!"

Before last November's Congressional elections, she also posted a map of the U.S. online, highlighting her opponents' home districts with gun-sight cross-hairs, as if taking aim.

One of the districts she targeted belongs to Gabrielle Giffords, the Democratic Congresswoman who is now recovering from a bullet wound to the head suffered in last week's rampage.

Giffords objected to Palin's map at the time. "When people do that," she said, "they've got to realize that there are consequences."

The truth is that journalists and media personalities, politicians and protestors of both the right and left tend to favor violent metaphors. Palin is hardly alone.

There is also no indication that the 22-year-old suspect who was charged with carrying out the rampage ever saw her map or drew his inspiration from any one source in particular

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