Gun Talk Remains Present in Congressional Races After Giffords Shooting
Talking Points Memo's Pema Levy has taken a look at what political candidates were saying around the country and found that the violent rhetoric that led up to Gabby Giffords shooting hasn't abated even though that violent event brought scrutiny and (supposedly) soul-searching.
Even though those running for Giffords' seat have made an effort to be civil, Levy writes, others have not: "Though both sides are guilty of using violent rhetoric, gun imagery is more common on the right, where the base strongly objects to gun regulations."
A few examples she found:
*"In California’s 38th District, a Republican law enforcement officer challenging Democratic Rep. Linda Sanchez released a campaign video titled “Take Linda Sanchez OUT!” featuring an animated machine gun. "[ The video drew and outcry and was made private.]
*"Last week, Ron Gould, an Arizona state senator and tea party candidate for Congress, released an ad in which the candidate shoots the health care bill as if he’s shooting a clay pigeon."
Rather than learn from tragedy, it seems many have simply doubled down on their violent language. As Frank Rich wrote after the Giffords tragedy, words create a climate:
That Loughner was likely insane, with no coherent ideological agenda, does not mean that a climate of antigovernment hysteria has no effect on him or other crazed loners out there. Nor does Loughner’s insanity mitigate the surge in unhinged political zealots acting out over the last two years.