You are hereAlternet: What the Right Gains From Poisoning Our Political Discourse and Inspiring Violence

Alternet: What the Right Gains From Poisoning Our Political Discourse and Inspiring Violence


Gifford's shooting, and the death and wounding of so many who came to meet with her, are just the latest example of ideologically-motivated bloodshed. 

January 10, 2011- The Russian playwright Anton Chekhov had a rule: if you show a gun in the first act, by the time the curtain falls, it has to go off. For weeks and months, that gun, the weapon of angry rhetoric and intemperate rabblerousing, has been cocked and loaded in plain view on the American stage; Saturday morning outside a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona, it went off again and again and again.

The target, Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the United States Congress, lays critically wounded, one of thirteen shot and still alive. Six others are dead, including a respected Federal judge who happened to be there but who previously had received death threats from anti-immigration extremists, a member of Congresswoman Giffords' staff and a nine-year old girl, Christina-Taylor Green. Just elected to her school's student council, she had been brought by a neighbor to Congresswoman Gifford's constituent event so she could see how grown-ups put democracy into action.

Instead, this child - born on 9/11 -- became just one of the latest victims of more political violence in America, violence fueled by an incoherent rage against government and elected officials who cannot instantly bring back prosperity and the jobs lost overseas or restore in a blink some idealized vision of a nation that might once have been but is no more. And all of it egged on by right wing leaders and their cronies lurking in the swampier reaches of the Internet, hate radio and television We now see the deadly effect. The root causes are many and less distinct: fear of the future and what it may or may not hold, hostility inflamed by the economic injustice and uncertainty that force too many to live from paycheck to paycheck without anything saved or the slightest guarantee of security -- a gnashing of teeth and sharpening of claws because others may have what you have not. Or this: the simple fact that there are just too many damned guns in this country. One in four Americans owns at least one. The NRA would order gun racks in the cradles of newborn infants if they could. Too many weapons are used not for hunting or target shooting or legitimate protection, but for combating feelings of inadequacy and weakness with fantasies of firepower -- fantasies that crazed gunmen too often try to make reality. That someone like Jared Lee Loughner can walk into a store and buy a weapon that fires 30 rounds a clip is probably not what the Founding Fathers had in mind when they talked about "a well-regulated Militia being necessary to the security of a free State."

FULL STORY HERE:

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