There was a shooting yesterday in Tucson, AZ. There were shootings in other cities in the world, too. The target in Tucson was Representative Gabrielle Giffords. The shooter killed six and wounded nineteen. The shooting took place at a scheduled public event for Representative Giffords. Speculation is that the shooting was politically motivated. I don't think the victims families care about the shooter's reasons.
In October I posted about thuggery during the last weeks of the 2010 midterm election. I cited cases of intimidation on behalf of Republican candidates and the milquetoast (if any) response of the candidates. To be clear, scare tactics are non-partisan. To further clarify, Sen. Rand Paul, Rep. Eric Cantor or any other politician are not responsible for the shooting in Tucson yesterday. The responsibility for the shooting rest solely with the assassin and any accomplices, no one else. I apologize that the only examples I cite involve Republicans; both sides have quietly benefited from bullying. The incidents I selected were readily available to me.
The Pima County Sheriff expressed his displeasure at the vitriolic tenor of political discourse in this country. I agree with him but the approach is too simplistic. Although violence (as was in this case) is calculated the results of violence are random. 3 senior citizens, a nine year old and a judge are among the collateral damage of yesterday's shooting of Rep. Giffords. Now that it's timely to say something, it's also too late. You can't wait until people are dead to decry violence and it's causes. If you want to lead from the Capitol or the Statehouse, from in front of a camera or at a microphone you need to call this stuff out before the word "victim" is used. Every day violence must condemned. It isn't newsworthy when you talk about it everyday. That's the point.