In the wake of US Rep Gabrielle Giffords’ shooting, reality show star, patriot, philosopher and noted intellectual Sarah Palin has been good enough to take down, off of her website, a map that represented Ms. Giffords in the crosshairs of a gun.
Giffords was shot at a rally in Tuscon today, reportedly at point blank range. She is currently in critical condition and in surgery at a nearby hospital.
While the White House has not yet issued a statement, new speaker of the House John Boehner did. Boehner’s statement read, “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve. Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society. Our prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords, her staff, all who were injured, and their families. This is a sad day for our country.”
Sarah Palin, though she holds no political office after resigning as Governor of Alaska in 2009 in order to better serve her state, saw fit to release a statement of her own, but only after she took down a map that suggested twenty members of Congress were in her crosshairs. Giffords was one of the elected officials that Palin listed on the map, which show a geographical representation of each with a crosshair. At the top it says, “It’s time to take a stand.”
Nobody would suggest that Sarah Palin put up the map with the names of people she disagrees with politically with the intention of inciting violence. Indeed, it’s highly unlikely that Palin even considered the fact that joking around about crosshairs and elected officials in the same virtual breath is at best bad judgment.
The thought obviously never occurred to her, or surely she would not have done such a thing, given what a patriot she is.
While gun violence is an unfortunate fact of life, and would exist whether Sarah Palin used crosshairs on her website or not, as I tell my kids, guns are not a toy and not something to joke around about.
As Giffords is said to be fighting for her life right after being in the literal crosshairs of a real gun fired at point blank range, though, either Palin or somebody in her camp must have seen the connection, on some level, and made what very well might prove to be an insightful decision to take down the map.
As that nation on both sides of the aisle pulls for Giffords to recover from her gunshot wound, and to be able to go back to serving her country, perhaps the next time a reality show star wants to put up a picture that involves elected officials and gun crosshairs, he or she will think twice about it. With the removal of them off of her website, apparently, Sarah Palin has rethought her decision to use crosshairs as a political prop. Good for her.