After Saturday’s shootings, I had thought about posting in regard to the notorious “map” that was published last March by Sarah Palin. But I had held off, counting to ten, until I read an article by Karen Dolan. She has said this with much more control than I could have done.
If you haven’t seen the map, it’s time you did. Take a good look and decide for yourself what the crosshairs suggest. And remember that each of the crosshairs represents a member of Congress, listed beneath.
In a statement after the recent shooting that killed several innocent people and has gravely wounded Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Palin spokesperson said, “‘We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights,’ [SarahPAC staffer Rebecca Mansour] said in an interview… ‘It was simply crosshairs like you’d see on maps.’ Mansour added that ‘it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent’ and called any attempts to politicize the Arizona tragedy ‘repulsive.’” (source: huffingtonpost.com)
Look at the map. Look at it. Whatever the intent of the crosshairs, each represents a member of Congress.
Many of my readers know Karen Dolan, an islander at heart and author of the excerpt below. This is taken from her article in Common Dreams.Org, published yesterday, January 9, 2011.
Tragedies do happen. Innocent people, even children, are caught in cross hairs every day in this country. But these were no ordinary cross hairs. These cross hairs appeared on the website of an immensely high-profile political leader, indeed that of a former U.S. Vice-presidential Candidate. Tea Party Spokesperson Sarah Palin. This map targeted, with the cross hairs of a gun barrel, Rep Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). And to reinforce this map of “targets,” Palin tweeted to conservatives last year “Don’t Retreat…Reload.”
These cross hairs hung in the air when 2010 Congressional-candidate Sharon Angle, another Tea Party favorite, said in an interview that people should exercise their Second Amendment Remedies.
These crosshairs were present at a campaign stunt which Gabby Giffords’ Tea Party-backed Congressional opponent Jesse Kelly. Kelly’s campaign event website posted a photo of him in his Marine uniform holding his gun, advertising a target shooting event: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”
Palin, Angle, Kelly and the Tea Party neither pulled the trigger nor can be said to be responsible for the shootings. They have rightly decried the violence. The suspected shooter, Jared Lee Loughner’s internet rants seem to indicate mental instability and radical right-wing delusions. But so far there is no indication that he believes he was following instructions from any particular public figures.
No, they are not “behind the shootings.” But neither have they acknowledged the dangerous potential of their violent rhetoric. They have not repudiated their remarks or election tactics. They are not personally to blame for the tragedy. But can anyone say that they bear no responsibility for creating the cross hairs in which 18 innocent people were caught?
Thank you, Karen.