Let Tucson be a wake-up call

Americans, myself included, have long taken the civil peace of this country for granted, though not lacking in reasons to think otherwise. But, after hearing about the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 18 others at a public event in Tucson, Az., it is hardly surprising many of us immediately thought of the violence fomented by the Tea Party movement, right-wing talk radio and TV hosts, and certain politicians. Whether or not the suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is himself a Tea Partier, or was anti-immigrant or anti-health care reform, let this shooting be a wake-up call to the seriousness with which we should interpret the violence that has been encouraged within right-wing political movements and by some of its leaders. Some will say that leaders of a movement cannot be blamed for the act of a lone member. I might agree with that if those leaders are actively condemning and discouraging calls for violence coming from their ranks. But it is pretty clear they haven’t been. Now is their chance, not that I hold out much hope.


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