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January 10th, 2011
10:08 AM ET

Boortz Objects To Ariz. Sheriff’s Charge Of “Vitriol”

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik isn’t hiding his opinion about what may have driven a gunman to open fire outside a Tucson, Arizona grocery store, killing six people and wounding 14 others, including Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. He points the finger squarely at inflammatory rhetoric, suggesting that political “vitriol” on the airwaves is dangerously agitating the public. Libertarian radio host Neal Boortz took serious exception to that accusation when he spoke with CNN’s Don Lemon.


Filed under: Don Lemon
soundoff (42 Responses)
  1. Gael

    This analysis needs to slow down. What objective evidence is there that Jared knew of Sarah Palin or her cross hair's map? What evidence is there that he heard the President say "if they bring a knife we will bring a gun" or his setting the war tone by calling Republican's "enemies"?

    The Sheriff, the Sarah and talk radio haters are guilty of political opportunism at its worst.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:13 am |
  2. Mick Gilbertson

    What is almost as appalling as the Tucson shooting by a crazy person is how some liberals immediately try to hang it on some Tea Party or Palin suttle conspiracy. How obnoxious... the far left rhedoric can't miss an opportunity, no matter how offensive, to try to gain some political advantage.

    300 million people in America, there's bound to be that "one in a million" (about 300) who have severe mental problems.

    And before we get too carried away with a rash of new legislation – as tragic as this is – is a federal judge's life somehow worth more than an Arizona farmer's life, shot by an illegal? Is the congress woman's life more valuable than that of a Border Patrol member's life... We're still waiting for that legislation!

    Let's just put things in perspective for once. We all agree it's tragic – let's move on to sincerely try to make things better, not to scew it to our political advantage!

    January 10, 2011 at 10:25 am |
  3. ER Barker

    Don, you should be ask the sheriff to step down. He is much to divisive and vitriol, to view the facts objectively

    January 10, 2011 at 10:37 am |
  4. American

    First of all, my prayers are with those affected by this tragedy in Tucson. I hope our nation will unite behind those people. Our nation needs to get rid of partisan politics for our nation to heal and strengthen once again.
    Secondly, I am going to paraphrase another leader who once said, “If the ______ loved their ______ more than they hate the ______, then everyone would be better off!” You may research google to fill in the spaces.
    I believe we should borrow from that quote. Instead,
    A) Fill in the first space with: “partisan followers, both Conservatives and Liberals.”
    B) Replace the second space with: “Country.”
    C) Fill in the third space with: “the other political party or philosophy.”
    I believe we should unite under the “flag” of civility to heal then strengthen this great nation once again.
    Again my prayers are with those affected by this tragedy in Tucson.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  5. Dolores Warren

    I think all of the different media's hands are very dirty and has to take some responsibility in this tragedy. They have covered and spread all the hateful rhetroic that has gone on to the max. Over kill! If the media hadn't covered such trash, the hateful wouldn't be so fired up.

    Now all the media is covering the outcome, trying to distance themselves of any blame.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:53 am |
  6. Michael Armstrong Sr.

    @ Dolores Warren Aman to words of fact's and wisdom .

    January 10, 2011 at 11:08 am |
  7. Wayne

    I'm old enough to have been around during the JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and Martin Luther King assassinations – also the attempted assassinations of Ronald Regan, Pope John Paul, and a myriad of religious figures in the US and abroad. I find it interesting to see the difference in "what makes a good story" when the victim is a liberal or conservative figure. The media tends to showcase the "pokes" at "right-wing hate speech" while ignoring the vitriol from the left. Bush and Cheney were hated by the left – yet the media not only took little notice of the "hate speech" but at times seemed to reflect it. There are both right wing and left wing fanatics – and mentally unstable people whose views would likely be repudiated by both sides. And for the record, I am weary of angry rhetoric on either side – we do need to be more civil. But let's not use tragedies to suggest that either conservative or liberal views are the cause.

    January 10, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  8. Amanda

    In the discourse related to the Arizona shootings needs to be a discussion regarding what can be done for those with mental illness before they hurt themselves or others. If you look across the last 10 year's violent acts you will see the trend of the shooter suffering from a mental illness and people around the individual that see that the person needs help. The way the laws are currently written is that unless the individual is a minor, you can not force an individual to get psychological evaluation or treatment unless they are threatening to harm themselves or others. Most individuals do not have their first psychotic break until they are in their early 20's (legally an adult). This leaves the people who can help them with their hands tied until something horrific happens and the person has ruined their lives and usually the lives of others. The sad thing is that with medical treatment, these individuals could totally recover and lead a normal and productive life. As a registered nurse and a sister of person with schizophrenia I have seen first hand how impossible it is to get someone psychological help before it is too late. The important thing to note is that the person with schizophrenia does not realize that there is anything wrong with them. They truly believe in their delusional thinking. It should be up to the individual’s family to get them medical treatment, but the current way the laws are written prevents anyone from helping them. This is how we prevent these horrible violent acts: by devising a solution to help these very ill individuals rather than stigmatizing mental illness and ignoring the root of the problem.

    January 10, 2011 at 11:40 am |
  9. kindness

    The good Sheriff did not mention any one political party or person when he said that dialing back the rhetoric would be a good thing.

    Boortz (and many of the commentors here so far) is wrong. There is only one party where a candidate running for the Senate has said that 'Second Amendment response' might be called for if she (and her party) were to lose(Sharon Angle). There is only one segment of the media who regularly use Jefferson's quote 'The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time with the blood of patriots and tyrants' (Glenn Beck). There is only one political party which has recently called their political opponents traitors & treasonous (during the bush43 invasion of Iraq). No, sadly it is the far right conservative Republicans and Fox News divas who regularly imply it isn't far fetched to talk about killing your opponents. Well, in truth, abortion opponents also feel puting targets & crosshairs on pictures of thier opponents is OK (and then killing them is OK too!).

    No, It is the right wingers in America who have shown themselves to be more than happy suggesting that killing their political opposition is within the bounds of civil talk.

    Man up right wingers. Own the legacy you are creating.

    January 10, 2011 at 12:09 pm |
  10. Rich Dickson

    Rather than talking about the ideological Divide in the US, the debate should focus squarely on Gun Control. People outside the US are stunned by America's obsession with guns & the 2nd Ammendment.

    Just like Columbine and Virginia Tech, the Tucson shootings will be shelved in history as a tragedy. And forgotten. That's the crime.

    January 10, 2011 at 12:29 pm |
  11. Dan

    This is a tragedy. The shooter doesn't deserve to live. I don't take the death penalty lightly; however, IF there ever was a case for the death penalty, this is it.
    Why did this innocent 9 year old girl have to die? Why did the federal judge, the intern, or the other 3 individuals have to die?
    This shooter doesn't deserve a trial.
    Just another example we NEVER know when our time here on earth is up. Are you ready?

    January 10, 2011 at 12:33 pm |
  12. Nancy Trenthem

    Words have consequences, rhetoric shapes reality.
    Saturday we saw the results of this rhetoric. Those with a megaphone, whether provided by public office or a media outlet, have responsibilities. They cannot avoid the consequences of their blatant efforts to inflame, anger, and outrage. We all know that there are unstable and potentially dangerous people among us. To repeatedly appeal to their basest instincts is to invite and welcome their predictable violence.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:00 pm |
  13. Ron Noe

    Obviously this young man was failed by everyone, Parents, Schools, everyone! The Republican desire to not have Universal Health Care in this country coupled with their make the rich, richer and the poor, poorer is creating millions of this same scenario! The Virginia Sniper, two young men with Mental Health issues; Virginia Tech, a young man with mental health issues; Now, Arizona, a young man with mental health issues. Then when you add the constant venomous rhetoric from the shock jocks and the instant and overwhelming information or misinformation available from every source, it is dangerous out there and will get more so. The poor and Mentally unstable or poor jobless family members dying who have no health care, will eventually bite us in the ass. Survival is a strong emotional motivator that can rationalize anything that works or gives them a sense of justice. Survival emotions trump the law, logic and Right and Wrong! Just like the Taliban and Al Qaeda, the poor and hopeless can be used and directed to do almost anything by those feeding on their insecurities.

    There is something to be said about the CNN anchors this weekend that suggested a tone down of the Political poison being spouted out by McConnell. Cantor and others in the Majority, for a more positive political atmosphere. Instead of repeal Obama Care, why not Make Health Care work??? Why, because it isn't in them, they can't help themselves! Even some far left fanatics are at fault as well! Sarah Palin is another one who Mental Health experts should look at as well! Sadly the wrong people are getting shot!

    Congress will miss the whole point and in the midst of the majorities demand for smaller government, will instead add more government to protect their asses! And all the money spent on Prosecuting this young man will be wasted! He is insane! If he is convicted of murder, means nothing to him. If we don't convict him of murder, others will use his situation to kill more. And we will have all missed the point. People need help!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

    All I can say guys, is I'm not hopeful. I don't believe in the Good Will of people in politics any more than I believe that George W. Bush is innocent of several crimes during his Presidency! If you don't have a Concealed Weapon Permit, get one. You can't even go to the Grocery store any more without fearing for your life or the lives of your loved ones. And it won't get any better, Greed won't let it!

    January 10, 2011 at 1:01 pm |
  14. Kim

    Has everyone lost sight of the real problem?! This is NOT about security for congresspeople, or politics at all. This is about the state of mental health funding and availability. This chain of events started with a chemical imbalance. Let's look at spending on proper mental health care. As should be obvious, it affects us all.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:14 pm |
  15. Steve

    Civility in America, Where is it?

    The recent shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford may or may not be traced back to the comments made by the political pundits; the cable news commentators; would be political candidates; the political parties and the politicians themselves but I have to ask the question, “Do such words aggravate and add fuel to those already of a questionable mental balance?”

    Our politics have sunk to a low I have never seen in my 59 years. The verbal attacks, the propaganda and political rumors that are spread in campaigns today astound me. Very often the real issues that need to be dealt with are laid aside and personal lifestyles, religious beliefs and questions about activities that may have happened 30 years ago are brought up instead.

    During the previous Presidential election at one point we had the news media focusing on the cost of one of the candidates’ haircut, and then there were reports about the cost of a candidate’s wardrobe. These reports were at best superfluous relating to the issues at hand and at worse, ridiculous.

    Look at the ongoing issue of whether or not our President is a U.S. citizen! The birth certificate was produced and even the Governor of Hawaii stated that he examined the birth certificate but the debate continues! Why? Because someone can write an article about the President not being a U.S. citizen and one or more allegedly mainstream news services will pick it up because they know that there is a fringe element out there that want to hear it and will tune in to their channel and increase their viewership.

    And what about civil rhetoric? Where has it gone and when did the definition of the word get changed? As I was taught to understand the word it meant the art of speaking copiously or fluently on any subject with all the advantages of force and elegance, attempting to captivate the hearer by strength of argument and beauty of expression. But today the term seems to mean a method to sidestep an answer to a meaningful question and replace it with character assassination.

    It seems to me that we have let ourselves down when it comes to picking politicians. Rather than finding individuals of character and having them explain their political agenda to us, we want to hear inflammatory speeches that blame the other guy for all the problems of America. The truth be told, it is ourselves that we have to blame for the problems and issues that we face today but we refuse to be accountable for our own actions.

    We no longer teach civics in our schools today. None of my three children had classes in high school where the Constitution was discussed or even mentioned. Our colleges today want to turn out successful individuals rather than individuals of value. Individuals that would add to our society rather than just take.

    Without properly preparing our children to become “good citizens” capable of discerning between pertinent facts and issues that need to be addressed by careful analysis and meaningful discussion and the rantings of professional campaigners who are willing behind the scenes to say and do anything to get their candidate elected, we can never hope that such terrible events that happened in Tucson will not happen again.

    Noblesville, Indiana

    January 10, 2011 at 1:27 pm |
  16. Raine

    What concerns me is that political rhetoric and the reporting (I use that term loosely) of it has sunken to a low in this County that is beyond pathetic. How can I teach my son to be respectful of others and their opinions and appreciate the commitment of those who choose to serve "we the people" when it is not demonstrated by those very people and the media. We need to understand that there are people in this County, some with serious untreated mental health problems, who take some of this negative and misleading information as fact and unfortunately act out with violence. If the shooter had mental health problems, it led to the death and wounding of many innocent people. It's time to stop the disrespect and misleading speculation before we raise a few generations of American who feel violence is an acceptable response.

    January 10, 2011 at 1:52 pm |
  17. Kate Brown

    As a Canadian and loving neighbour –

    This terrble shooting seems to me, to be a manifestation of a number of American challenges.

    The suspect, a young man, with mental health issues, living at home has a right to own a weapon.
    If the parents don't have health care to deal with their ill son ,and if the ill son can easily procure and has the right to purchase a weapon, then the outcome is obvious.

    Hence the need for healthcare, modernization and modification of the right to bear arms and a tacit realignment of common politcal courtesy and rules of conduct.

    with love,

    January 10, 2011 at 2:03 pm |
  18. Christopher

    Mental ill and control gun. Control is a horrible idea. It is every right for an American to own a gun. Except a felon. They are denied access to guns, do to the fact that they have broken a law. But let's face it, even felons still can get illegal guns. The law is pointless.

    January 10, 2011 at 2:43 pm |
  19. joseph W.eberle

    imagration, unemployment, border patrol, now the death of children and elected officials, when is someone going to do something about this state?.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:02 pm |
  20. Still22

    What I thought I heard the Sheriff say (perhaps between the lines) was that the politicians are showing up after being in DC for weeks or months (where reality is distorted) and have no sense of how exposed they truly are – the Sheriff knows that vitriolic speech is running rampant in his jurisdiction (and to a large degree throughout the country), and the potential for violent confrontation with public officials is high. I think he was justifiably venting his frustration at a completely preventable tragedy. If only the good Congresswoman had the sense to let local PD know she was going to be stumping in a public place, appropriate precautionary measures could have been taken.

    My sympathy to those who lost loved ones, and my prayers for the recovery of those scarred by this tragedy.

    I've also heard that the WBC freak show is planning to show up and protest the funerals. Reach out to your local Patriot Guard Riders group and I'm sure they'll be able to help keep them at a respectful distance.

    January 10, 2011 at 3:32 pm |
  21. Martin Spilker

    All the Sherriff was saying is that irresponsible rhetoric can inflame the mentally unstable..That said, I will point out that the shooter had reported "anti-government" outbursts claiming the Pima County Community College was "unconstitutional"..Anyone can turn on right wing radio and Tv and hear complaints about "fascists" in government "intruding into our lives". No connection??

    January 10, 2011 at 3:56 pm |
  22. Don Ullman

    It seams that the predominant question to "expert" guests on all the media following the tradegy in Touscon was "Are you suprised?", Now tow days later the question seams to be "better gun control measures" . Th \e one question we should be asking is "Do you expect to raise a generation where violence has become an everyday thing in real life and video games, the value of life to many is irrevelant, and everyday the media bombards them with the news that they WILL be the first generation in american history that WILL NOT do better that their parents, and not have these type of tragadies occur ? It seams to me that if you remove HOPE from a whole generation of young adults and teens that these occurances will become much more frequent. How dare we rob them of their dreams and replace them with doom and gloom on a daily basis. We should all think about what picture that paints for the children of today.

    January 10, 2011 at 4:41 pm |
  23. Sam

    The "television" media has created an environment of hate in order to create more "opinionated" news shows. The objective is greed and the persuation of the public for their own agenda.....not the truth.
    True journalism has died a painful death. Gone are the days of truth and fact finding and presenting that to the American people for THEM to judge. Now, the news is obsessed with uncovering "dirt" and stiring the pot to justify their space on the air. It's unfortunate the media has been assigned to be the police of everyone instead of our own law agencies. Too bad the public trusts neither.

    January 10, 2011 at 7:02 pm |
  24. James in Idaho

    Ya, the problem with Mr. Boortz assessment of the president's comments is that they occured in self defense. His comments are a direct reaction and result of the previous years in politics, and especially the past 10 years. Republicans/Conservatives act tough and talk tough, but when they do something outrageous or go over the line, they're far too busy deflecting, evading, and redirecting blame across the isle to be able to remove the beam/plank/tree trunk from their own eye. Sarah Palin recognized this and that why she was concerned enough about something conservatives are all now swearing she need not be concerned about, tagets on maps, to remove it post haste. Even she realizes her rhetoric and visuals go too far. That's also the reason conservatives are so defensive, and beligerent.

    You get what you pay for people and People liek Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, and Rush Limbaugh have an incredible amount of political capitol invested in this type of vitriolic rhetoric. Stop investing in the stock and the stock goes down. That's jsut simple conservative economics. All they're doing now is bolstering that stock by blaming adverse fluctuations in the vitriol market rather than admit the stock is jsut a bad investment. Insider trading indeed.

    January 10, 2011 at 8:48 pm |
  25. Kathleen O'Donnell

    Dear Don,

    I want to say how much I admire your restraint when speaking to this man.

    I feel fearful for the future when I hear people like Neal Boortz give his thoughts on these topics.

    But your composure and restraint, in the face of such, is worthy of respect and gives me hope for the future, balancing out the fear.

    Thank you. Bless you. Take care of yourself.

    January 10, 2011 at 8:56 pm |
  26. John C.

    Politics as usual , Republicans hoping a hispanic did the shooting , Democrats hoping prejudice rage caused the shooting.Both with Political axes to grind.

    But Sheriff Dubnick takes the cake.On one hand he states the discourse that any officer in Arizona can approach any hispanic for any reason , based on prejudice . But he takes the same steps in prejudicing the shooting, by thinking a white aryan looking guy was motivated by prejudice rage caused by people who pushed him because they had an ax to grind, before knowing the facts.

    Glad I don't live in Arizona . Shoot first ask questions later .

    January 10, 2011 at 9:26 pm |
  27. Pat

    I am not a fan of Sarah Palin's, but, while I think her choice of graphics on her website is a poor one, I think implicating her in this shooting is extreme. As someone said earlier, there is no evidence that the shooter even looked at her website.
    I am disturbed at the double standard that exists. When Pres. Bush was in office, there was a movie about assassinating him. There was little protest over this. Alleged late night comedians used to joke about the fact that no one would assassinate Bush because they hated Cheney so, and that Cheney was Bush's insurance policy. No outcry from the media. (Personally, I do think that if someone else was Vice President, there would have been an attempt on Bush's life. I'm sure that the left would then attempt to disassociate themselves from any role in the assassination attempt.)
    If we believe that political rhetoric had a role is this shooting, it would seem that the level of violence and sexual assault on TV and in the movies could also have a role in the murders and assaults that are part of our culture. Yet the liberal media has always championed the cause of free speech when it comes down to the content of films and programming. A major double standard here.
    It is obvious that the left is simply using this horrible tragedy as a means of stifling criticism of their policies and programs, and reasonable people have to label this for what it is.

    January 10, 2011 at 9:58 pm |
  28. Helen Harris-Scott

    Hi Don,

    Its light chaos with me with phones ringing, doorbell ringing, and I have a friend going into surgery this week, talking about pre, and post operation stuff on speakerphone. But besides all that, you looked really cute yesterday. I missed that last hour because I went out to exercise.

    Anyway, I'm kinda overwhelmed with the story in Arizona. In all my posts, I'm only saying, if government was more protective of people in keeping violent criminals off the street, this kind of stuff would ease off, and stop happening so much. But they won't, and it continues. Thus, we have to keep fighting until they do.

    Otherwise, I love you, and I always pray for you. Don't buy into these rumors, its just criminals lying as usual. As long as you hear this, you know they are still free. Love always.

    January 10, 2011 at 10:37 pm |
  29. Michael

    Of course Boortz objects, hes one of the prime hate spewers. Anyone who says the Right has not been encouraging violence is brain dead at best. Spin all you want, buts it's your side doing the killing.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:50 am |
  30. Thomas Lueck

    I come from germany and I am a defender for the freedom of speech.
    But if one person uses his freedom to say whatever he wants and hurts, insults or threatens only one other person, then he misused his freedom of speech. And that is what Sarah Palin and her narrow minded friends did. They deserve to be punished for the insults they made.

    If they would live here, they would have to face a criminal charge. By putting bullseyes on people they made it easy to target those who they see responsible for the crisis in the USA. But they are so wrong. It is their attitude that makes the world believe that the USA has lost its credibility. The respect of other countries has been lost earlier because of the way a lot of americans think.

    It is time for a big change. The USA need to practice humility.
    I think the politicians in the USA must stop and think twice or thrice about what they are doing.

    January 11, 2011 at 2:33 am |
  31. John Tyler Erie, Pa

    I agree with Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik. I don't believe he directed his comments directly at any one individual person. He is pointing out that all of the rhetoric generated during the Nov 2010 elections can put ideas into the heads of unstable people. What we need are civil to the point campaigns that are directed to issues of concern, not mud slinging. With all of the negative campaign ads it doesn't take much to set off unstable people to take violent actions.

    January 11, 2011 at 9:37 am |
  32. Bill frfom Greensboro

    Boortz is wrong. Period. He has the right, if he can get away with it, to earn a living trying to instill outrage and venomous attitudes into his audience, however, once his crap goes out over the public airwaves, he no longer has any control over the members of his listening audience. Boortz needs to step up to the plate and accept accountability for stirring the pot.

    When you promote divisiveness and hate, and spew that crap day after day, you have to live with the consequences whenever some nutcase goes off the deep end and takes the hateful rhetoric to heart. Just like a soldier in war shooting and killing the enemy, the soldier has to live with what he did for the rest of his life. Neil Boortz needs to man up and live with it!

    January 11, 2011 at 11:46 am |
  33. Denise Oliver-Velez

    Sorry to see a platform given to another hate-monger like Neal Boortz.

    His attacks on President Obama, his dubbing himself "Mighty Whitey" his hatred for public education....(the list of his hates is a long one)
    should not have been given any airtime.

    January 11, 2011 at 12:40 pm |
  34. J E Gygax

    Yesterday the usual group was meeting in the feed / hardware store for the morning coffee , discuss the weather and " solve the world's problems " . In these conversations the events in Arizona where discussed and the general agreement was there is too much demeaning rhetoric of the messenger and not their message. The TEA party here is similar to Jacksonian democracy not a right winged attempt to over throw the federal and state and local governments but to get better results from our taxes. This may be what scares the living daylights of some in the current governments and character assignation is their only defense . Taking aim on expensive wasteful government is not promoting physical action. Mr. Ed, Keith, Rush & Glenn need to stop personally demeaning those who disagree with them Also the expression reload and don't surrender is more than often used by a coach at half time when the team is behind.

    My personal view is the sheriff acted like ready fire aim at the messenger .

    John from the snowy NC mountains where NC, TN & VA meet . Oh by the way, most of these people have college degrees and some started Lowe,s & NASCAR.


    January 11, 2011 at 9:23 pm |
  35. Lori

    It is horrific what happened last Saturday in Tucson and right now it looks as if the gunman acted out of paranoia not on anything he might have heard on the radio or television. I have felt for a long time that people like Palin, Limbaugh, Bachman and the tea party have gone way over the line in some of the things they have said. I'm sick of it also. It's ok to disagree but it is not ok to in a round about way hint that the other side should be taken out. I'm a democrat but just because I don't like the far right doesn't mean I want them harmed in any way. Intelligent people are able to disagree and debate without violence. Too me the best way to send a message that we don't want to hear it anymore is to tune it out or turn it off. I found it interesting that on Monday Fox New Channel spent most of the day having guests on that made Fox feel better about the programming that they run on a regular basis. Regarding gun laws, I think there is no reason why anyone would need a magazine that had 30 bullets in it, if you carry a gun for protection and you can't protect yourself in well under 30 bullets then you shouldn't be carrying a gun!! Gun laws will never change and we all know that anyone who makes up their mind that they want a gun will get one. Mental health screening, this shooting once again shows that there needs to be a process set forth in every state that let's citizens call and get help for someone who displays paranoid behavior like this gunman did. Some people who are mentally ill don't believe they have a problem. Why not try to prevent a tragedy before it happens instead of finding out after the fact that there was a mental issue involved that everybody knew about but no one was able to act on and get help for the person.

    January 11, 2011 at 11:52 pm |
  36. Dan

    It's time we stop putting the blame on others for this horrific shooting and put the blame where it belongs: THE SHOOTER. No politician, whether they be democrat or republican, forced this nut case to go on this shooting rampage. NO ONE other than THE SHOOTER knew this shooting would take place.
    HE (the shooter) acted alone, and made the choice to do this. HE chose to walk to this gathering. HE chose to carry out the shooting.
    He and he alone chose to carry out this manslaughter.

    January 12, 2011 at 9:47 am |
  37. Gavin Lord

    Based on the attempts to make it a federal crime to promote violence against federal employees. Would have Sarah Palins crosshairs landed her in jail? Also, why is everyone assuming that just because the shooter may have had mental issues that the power of suggestion such as Palins website (or other rheteric) didnt play a part. Finally, if Palin feels no guilt or responsibility then why is she reaching out to God for guidence?

    In all fairness, Palin's website most likley was a non factor in this event. However that's not the point. It is exactly becuase of the existence of unstable mental people that it is so important that people take responsibility for their actions and comments. Based on what I have seen we are all mental anyways. Do we really need to wait for a shooting that is tied to ones comments to learn this lesson?

    January 12, 2011 at 10:52 am |
  38. Dan

    So, let's see. Sarah Palin had a part in this manslaughter?
    That would be like saying someone who smokes (MADE THE CHOICE TO SMOKE), and is diagnosed with cancer, it would be the tobacco industry's fault that this person has cancer.?
    That's the same argument.
    This nutcase chose to carry out this killing. Sarah Palin had NOTHING to do with it.

    January 12, 2011 at 11:15 am |
  39. Gavin Lord

    Actually, I think Tobacco is an excellent example. If a person or company intentionally markets and promotes the use of poison to others including those with mental issues and the inability to conceptualize reality or those incapable of fully understanding the repurcusions of their actions. And, as a result harm is realized to not only the individuals that made a choice but also individuals by non choice then yes the marketer\promoter shares responsibilty.

    Is a drug dealer partially to blame for kids doing drugs? You betcha!!!

    Its simple, if your intention is persuade others then you share responsibility for the results. If great men such as MLK get credit for pursuading others in a "positive" manner. So too does responsility reside on those who preach negativity or persuade\suggest others to cause harm.

    This remains true even if harm was not the intent. In the same way that a bank robber is an assessory to a murder that a fellow bank robber commited.

    January 12, 2011 at 12:27 pm |
  40. ron mcfadden

    from attempts on Presidents Reagan and Ford to john lennon's killer...and many least part of the assassin's goal was that 15 minutes of fame.

    instead of giving them their 24-48 hours and 15 minutes of fame, news organizations should come to an agreement never to mention the killer's name. no publicity, no fame, no motivation ...

    ron mcfadden

    January 12, 2011 at 2:38 pm |
  41. Jantrece

    I wanted to be able to give my opinion on the gun's that our republic feels need to be carried, I think if their going to do a meet and greet have a metal detector available and maybe 2 uniforms they have to go through in order to get that close to them, maybe it could help, maybe's just a suggestion, Thanks

    January 12, 2011 at 5:26 pm |
  42. thechicagoan

    This incident was a sad day all around for al Americans. This isn't just because lives were lost and a dedicated representative of the public was almost killed for representing her consituents, but because our right to free speech has been compromised for the time being.

    We cannot allow our constitutional rights to be inhibited over this because then the guy and other antiesatblishmenterrialists win. However at the same time we just can't get online or go outside and say whatever we want with little or no consideration for idiots who may take what we say to another level and act irresponsibly.

    January 15, 2011 at 10:47 pm |