In the wake of the shooting by Jared Loughner in Tucson last week, there was criticism directed against the harsh rhetoric of those on the right-wing.
Jared Loughner did not shoot Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and murder a number of other individuals because talk radio or Sarah Palin told him to do so. A few individuals though have committed violence or attempted to do so because of their hatred of the left.
Byron Williams, a man who was going to commit violence against the progressive Tides Foundation and the ACLU, stated he was motivated to do so by a big named conservative talk show host. Jim Adkisson shot up and murdered two people at a Unitarian church because of his hatred of liberals and liberalism.
Unitarians are among the of the most left-wing churches in America, by the way. So this shooting in Tucson was not about extremist rhetoric on far right-wing radio, but there is evidence that has been the case in the past.
Sarah Palin though, did not like some of the criticism leveled at her after this shooting. Fine. Palin didn't inspire this shooting in the least, but she engages in inflammatory rhetoric. But, that is her right. In a speech defending herself and others on the right, she stated that criticism of her was an attempt to "manufacture a blood libel."
Well, a blood libel was a lie told about Jews. It was said that they used the blood of non-Jewish or Christian children during religious rituals. This lie was a motivating factor that led to the Holocaust, because of the hatred of Jews that it inspired. The lie stated this blood was baked into some of the food that Jews ate. Palin and the right wing are standing by her usage of this phrase in her speech.
Frankly, I am sure this passage was written by a speech writer. I have my doubts that Mrs. Palin even knew what a blood libel was when she read the speech. Finally, while I (like our great former Senator Feingold) am a liberal who is a supporter of the principle of the 2nd Amendment guaranteeing a right to "bear arms" (with reasonable restrictions such as background checks at gun shows), I have to wonder why someone needs a 31 round magazine as Loughner had.
To protect himself from a militia of ninjas?