Careful where you point.

Hours, in some cases minutes, after shooting at a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, AZ where at least 19 people have been shot, The finger pointing has started in earnest.

Five are now dead including a nine year old girl, and a federal judge. One of the critically injured is Gabrielle Giffords, a congresswoman representing Arizona, who is now fighting for her life.

There are now several videos, blog postings, comments on news sites and tweets, that places the blame on the Tea Party, the GOP, Sarah Palin and her SarahPAC, Foxnews, the NRA, and just about every conservative you can name. All of this without hearing anything from Jared Loughner the alleged shooter.. We don’t even know if this was politically motivated, or if the congresswoman was the real target.

Let’s let law enforcement do their job, and investigate what happened, and let all the facts come out, before passing judgment on anyone.

[snip]

Meanwhile, there are several families that could use our prayers this evening.

41 Replies to “Careful where you point.”

  1. Name

    So rather than coming out and strongly condemning the assassination of a Federal Judge and the attempt on a member of Congress, the Dakota War College is covering their own.

  2. thc

    It WAS Sarah Palin who put the target circle on the Congressional District – an invitation to whack jobs. Party affiliation is not the issue. Irresponsible rhetoric is.
    It WAS Giffords’ Tea Party opponent who used an M16 as an attraction to a politcal rally.
    You Second Amendment morons would like to pretend that the idiotic rhetoric of American politics in 2010 has no consequnces. It does. It has.
    Pray for yourselves. People with hearts are already praying for Ms. Giffords. Your chickens have come home to roost.

  3. Name

    National unity cannot occurr when the ignorant people like the authors of this blog try to use a tragedy to advance their own agenda. The tea party has the blood of at least six on its ignorant hands.

  4. Haggs

    Believe it or not, I’m going to defend MC and Dakota War College on this one. In tragedy, it’s only natural to look for an answer to the question “Why did this happen?” And sometimes in our rush to answer that question we can make many assumptions about why we think the perpetrator did what he/she did.

    In this case, I can see the logic in thinking this was a result of the recent heated political rhetoric, whether it’s Sarah Palin’s “target”list or Sharron Angle’s “2nd Amendment remedies” quote. (And it appears Palin’s people see the same logic since they’ve tried removing that list from all of her websites) But that makes assumptions that we just don’t know are true or not. Was this even a politcal assassination? Was Rep. Giffords even the target? Did this have anything to do with the people who were there or was this just random insanity.

    Believe me, I would love to point the finger at conservative rhetoric as the cause of this horrible, horrible event, but we just don’t know and speculation right now isn’t going to get us anywhere other than pointless flamewar..

  5. SDREDSTONE

    All of the posters on here except for Haggs shows why the Dems in SD are at rock bottom. Your highest elected official is a gimp and you have , what 4 state senators representing you? Get a life losers.

  6. Beeb

    War college used to be hands down, the best source of political information in the state. While PP posted what I considered some silly things at times, for the most part, his posts were intelligent and at least made people think..It was at times snarky, gossipy, eye-opening and thoughtful. PP was also respectful of his audience. As a result, I have turned to this blog nearly every day for several years to keep up on politics and political thought in South Dakota. No more. The blog has gone downhill faster than, I’m guessing, PP could have ever imagined. This post, combined with the “gimp” comment signify the very end of something that was once great about South Dakota politics. I won’t be back.

    1. Voter

      Don’t let the door hit ya on the way out! Anyone who thinks that the sheriff’s comments were acceptable in light of all that we don’t know falls under the Ralm regime of “Never let a catastrophe go to waste”.
      The sheriff, as a public official, is inciting the same kind of violence that he is condemning (simply on the other side of the coin)–and he should be FIRED–or voted out of office,

  7. Holy Cow!

    Yup, some people have to be careful where they point! And some people have to be really careful what they say!

    The sheriff pointed to the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed the country as he denounced the shooting that claimed several of his friends as victims?
    “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” the sheriff said. “And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
    Palin listed Giffords’ seat as one of the top “targets” in the midterm elections because of the lawmakers’ support for the health care law.
    “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action,” Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.

    1. Veritas

      “People have to be careful what they say”? Has the first amendment been suspended? Are we in back in first grade or basic training where the action of one demands the punishment or restriction of all? If so, we’ve reached a dangerous point in this country.

      1. Name

        Actually, the limits of free speech are something most of us learn about somewhere around first grade. You must have missed that day.
        To recap the lesson, you shouldn’t yell fire in a crowded theater because it can cause physical harm. Likewise, shouldn’t yell on radio and TV that the democrats are putting together death panels (Limbaugh), and that Obama is the second coming of Pol Pot and must be resisted (Savage). A surprising number of people out there cannot differentiate these things from legitimate things they hear.

        1. Veritas

          You apparently haven’t spent any time in the study of law. The infringement of political discourse is protected against by the strictest of scrutiny. Granted, I dropped out of law school, but I took at least that much away from my limitted experience.

          1. Name

            No law school here. I wasn’t talking about legal limits political speech. I was talking about commonly held (or once commonly held) moral, ethical and common sense limits.

  8. ynous

    This blog said pray for the families and dont judge yet. That’s all. Yet another attempt by the left to take advantage of a tradgedy.

    God Bless the familes and pray for them.

  9. springer

    How about waiting until the facts come out on why this person committed this act; maybe we will never understand completely. To listen to most of the commenters here, you would think that no one on the left side of the political spectrum ever made statements that could be construed as inciting violence. BTW, I don’t see anything in the original post that merits the venom of some of the responders here. Let’s pray for the victims and their families and stop the blame game.

  10. MC Post author

    On December 13, 2006 Senator Tim Johnson suffered what appeared to be a stoke. I remember there were reports that he was dead, then he was alive, he had stroke, then a heart attack, a mental break down. It wasn’t until several weeks later we found out what really happened.

    Even then, there were people commenting on this very blog that were guessing who Governor Rounds would choose to replace the our senior senator. As it would happen, our Governor never had to make that decision.

    Like that day in 2006, there is a lot here, we don’t know. Let’s let the Sheriff do his job and reveal the facts relative to the tragedy. Like I said, we need to support those families who has lost a member today. Let’s not point fingers, yet. Let’s save that for another day when we know more.

  11. I would rather be fishing

    Michael Savage bleating on Savage Nation radio, says: “Only vigilance and resistance to this baby dictator, Barack Hussein Obama, can prevent the Khmer Rouge from appearing in this country.” Erick Ericksson at Red State says: “At what point do the people … march down to their state legislator’s house, pull him outside, and beat him to a bloody pulp?”

    Is that what Sheriff Dupnik was referring to on CNN today when he said ?When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. ?????

  12. Lee Schoenbeck

    This is a tragedy on many levels. The obvious pain this mad man caused the shooting victims and their families is at the top of that pyramid.

    On a different level, any use of violence towards public servants denegrates the system we love and is as UnAmerican as you can get.

    What happened is just wrong. It isn’t left wing wrong, right wing wrong, 2nd ammednment worng, or any other political message wrong —it is just WRONG. A sick mind that can wake up and decide to put a gun to the head of a public servant, and spray lead at dozens more is a sick mind – period. It isn’t a mind that can be defined in political terms. It is a sick mind.

    1. Veritas

      I don’t advocate violence against elected officials Lee, or the overthrow of our government. That said, your statment is incorrect. Violence towards political officials is not inherently unamerican. The revolution of 1776 was a violent affair. Thomas Jefferson noted the need for occasional revolt. Again, don’t misinterpret my meaning. But also don’t make foolish statements easily disproven by our own history.

    2. Voter

      A sick mind whose favorite book is the Communist Manifesto. and he shot a Jew, who was in favor of gun ownership–he doesn’t sound like someone who would be listening to Sarah Palin. There is so much that we don’t know about this sick mind that how can you even speculate what his motives were or who he was listening too??

  13. mhs

    I hate to pile on to the new management of SDWC for jumping the gun with an incredibly thougthless post, after all, they’re new and learning. But: my family lives in Tucson, my special needs nephew is a bagger at Safeway, thankfully, a different store this weekend. Since most of you newbies taking over from PP are very young and inexperienced, please learn from the posts here. This isn’t the dorm chat room, serious folks read this site. Live up to the legacy PP has passed on to you.

  14. CaveMan

    For any human being to purposely kill some in cold blood takes a form of insanity which thankfully few of us ever get. We will all need to take some time away from finger pointing here for awhile and give a little prayer time to everyone involved.

  15. Lee Schoenbeck

    Veritas — there was no USA until after the revolutionairy war – so you are technically incorrect and morally — well, this is all just very sad and very UNAMERICAN.

  16. Lee Schoenbeck

    Veritas –

    Dashed those last thoughts off just before leaving for mass. Today we prayed for the victims and their families. It made me think that a fuller answer was more appropriate.

    The Jefferson quotation you refer to was written at an early time in American history. Jefferson was in France, that was on the verge of its very own, very bloody, revolution. America has just experienced Shay’s Rebellion, by a group of farmer’s in Western Massachusetts. Jefferson was the absent leader of the anti-federalists and he had a tendency to write and think in broad and grand strokes. I doubt anybody would subscribe to all of those Jeffersonian pronouncements.

    But to understand what the practical side of Jefferson meant to free peoples, look at what was actually produced at the time of that letter to William Stephens Smith that you quoted from. The most recognized protégé of Jefferson, and the leader in America of the anti-Federalists, James Madison, was drafting what became the US Constitution. If you want to know what Jeffersonian thought and leadership meant, look to those most affected by it while Jefferson still lived. James Madison’s Constitution does not reflect an option for carnage or overthrow. It does, even though written by the hand of an ardent anti-Federalist, reflect the importance of the fabric of a country woven together by a belief in adherence to then novel principles of direct election and representative government. The Jeffersonian model has no option for nullification (a contemporary debate in 1787) or withdrawal from the union (a very real political issue at this time). This model, taken in large part from Jefferson’s own Virginia, is a renunciation of the more radical ruminations that some repeat as a form of Jeffersonian doctrine.

    The acts in Tuscon were the acts of a mad man ? there is no reasoned political philosophy involved, save anarchy (if you must name it). He is a crazy, anti-American, and deranged as Sirhan Sirhan, John Hinkley, Lee Harvey Oswald, Rev Jim Jones??..

    I don?t think you mean to ascribe viable political motives to the acts of this madman. But, when we take history out of context, we can find something for every tyrant to justify what are really the very sad acts of a mind very Unburdened by American ideals.

    1. Veritas

      Lee,

      I appreciate your thoughtful, and well articulated, response. As to your analysis of the events in Arizona, you’re on point. Thank you.

  17. CaveMan

    Lee you add more to this board and the understanding we get from you in trying to find reason in chaotic times than you will ever know sir.

  18. Kristi Golden

    Great post by Lee.

    I’m confused by the vitriol that some commenters have vented. MC made the very excellent point — it’s too early to be jumping to conclusions about motive. Don’t be blaming one side or the other…..why is that tasteless or inappropriate? It’s right on. I think it’s absolutely appropriate to call people to account for what they say — it’s how we keep things civil.

    1. Name

      The post is true and well thought out. The part that has since been edited out was the issue. Something about the “all this fuss” not being made if she were not a Dem.

  19. Lee Schoenbeck

    This isn’t the time for a full discussion, but today my mother-in-law’s priest blamed the Tea Party for the shooting! It was part of a larger argument, claiming that political discussion has become to vitriolic. The people that say that are not well read on the history of political discussion. By any measure we are more civil in the third century of our history, than we were in the first two. The only difference is that modern technology, coupled with a more educated electorate that has more means of getting information (better standard of living), allows more people to participate in an unfiltered manner in the political debates of the day (previously – for example – only Walter Cronkite and a few others had that opportunity). You should see what they said about Thomas Jefferson, John Adams, Grover Clevland…….

  20. Anon

    Who said:
    ?If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun?
    “Punish our enemies” (as in political opponents, not Osama bin Laden)
    I’m just askin.’

  21. William

    While, it?s too soon to come to any definitive conclusion as why Loughner may have done what he is alleged to have done, it is not too soon to say that what we witnessed yesterday in some sections of the media was a distasteful attempt by some on the left to use guilt by unproven association to delegitimize their political opponents.

    1. Veritas

      And I’m afraid we have yet to see the full impact of that tactic. Just wait until they move from demonization to policy creation.

    2. Anon

      What’s worse is that the partisan Pima County Sheriff handed a smart lawyer a defense by blaming “rhetoric” before all the facts are in. Great.

  22. Duh

    There was absolutely nothing wrong with this post. The idiot pinheads who decided to use the subject matter for their own perversion is what the problem is. DWC, start using your “snip” privleges and get rid of the morons who drive discussion to new lows on a constant basis.