Tuesday, June 10, 2014

Right-wing rhetoric partly to blame for shooting sprees

Kudos to Paul Waldman for telling it like it is: relentless, crazy right-wing rhetoric is indeed responsible for stirring some disturbed gun nuts to go on shooting sprees [italics and emphasis mine]:

But the argument that no sane person could actually believe many of the things conservatives say shouldn’t absolve them of responsibility. When you broadcast every day that the government of the world’s oldest democracy is a totalitarian beast bent on turning America into a prison of oppression and fear, when you glorify lawbreakers like Cliven Bundy, when you say that your opponents would literally destroy the country if they could, you can’t profess surprise when some people decide that violence is the only means of forestalling the disaster you have warned them about.

To my conservative friends tempted to find outrageous things liberals have said in order to argue that both sides are equally to blame, I’d respond this way: Find me all the examples of people who shot up a church after reading books by Rachel Maddow and Paul Krugman, and then you’ll have a case.

I would go even further than Waldman: conservatives spewing such radical rhetoric should not only not be surprised when some people take what they say literally to its "logical" conclusion; conservative radicals have no moral leg to stand on whatsoever. They don't even have the right to condemn these shooters, because they stand do not stand at a moral distance from these shooters like the rest of us do.

Alas, my satisfaction in being right on gun control is little consolation. Nothing is going to change because half of America is nuts about guns; and the shooting rampages will continue....

By Paul Waldman
June 9, 2014 | Washington Post

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