Sarah Palin is accused of inciting violence in the Tucson, Arizona shooting that occurred January 9, 2011. Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is among the 12 injured, U.S. District Judge John Roll among the six killed during Jared Loughner’s rampage.
Palin is under fire for posting a U.S. map featuring crosshairs representing politicians she believes should not be in office. One of Sarah Palin’s targets is Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, who is fighting for her life after being shot in the head.
This is not the first time Palin has been accused of inciting violence. During the 2008 Presidential campaign Palin accused President Obama of having ties with terrorists. In response, a McCain/Palin supporter at a Florida Rally shouted “Kill him!”. Palin chose not to respond to this, which some say indicates tacit approval. On March 3, 2010 Sarah Palin’s posted “Don’t Retreat, Instead- RELOAD” on her Twitter page.
Following the violence in Tucson, Arizona, there have been petitions calling for Sarah Palin to stop inciting violence. Some are insisting that Palin be indicted and prosecuted for sedition.
An email exchange between Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin was shared with listener’s of Beck’s Monday radio show. Glenn Beck expresses fear for Palin’s safety, and recommends a security firm. Beck condemns the shooting, and assures his listeners that Palin also abhors the violence.
Using gun metaphors may not be the wisest course of action in politics, but is common. Both Republicans and Democrats have used words like “target”, “fire back”, “targeted district”, and “in our sights”. Sarah Palin has probably used more gun metaphors than other politicians, but this was part of her strategy to win over supporters of the Second Amendment.
Sarah Palin’s choice to use gun metaphors does not make her responsible for the actions of a madman. There was no intention to incite violence. Palin has never suggested that someone should kill those on her crosshairs map.
Ultimately, the only person responsible for the tragedy in Tucson, Arizona is Jared Lee Loughner. Jared Loughner is the one who allegedly chose to buy a gun, go to the Safeway store where Congresswoman Giffords and her supporters gathered, and who chose to shoot 14 people.
The crosshairs map has been removed from Palin’s website in the wake of the Tucson massacre, but the map is still viewable on Palin’s Facebook page. The complete list of names on Palin’s crosshairs map are Vic Snyder, Ann Kirkpatrick, Harry E. Mitchell, Gabrielle Giffords, John Salazar, Betsy Markey, Allen Boyd, Suzanne M. Kosmas, Brad Ellsworth, Baron P. Hill, Earl Pomeroy, Charlie Wilson, John Boccieri, Kathy Dahlkemper, Christopher Carney, John M. Spratt Jr., Bart Gordon, Tom Perriello, Alan B. Molohan, and Nick J. Rahall ll.
Commonsense Conservatives & lovers of America: "Don't Retreat, Instead – RELOAD!" Pls see my Facebook page.
— Sarah Palin (@SarahPalinUSA) March 23, 2010