And it’s no accident something like this happened in America after a season of gun-filled rhetoric from right-wing politicians. Sharron Angle called for “Second Amendment remedies.” Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.) urged her constituents to be “armed and dangerous.” Jesse Kelly, Giffords’s Republican opponent in November, invited voters to shoot a fully automatic M16 with him in order to “Remove Gabrielle Giffords from Office.” And, of course, there was Sarah Palin’s disgusting crosshairs map.
Make no mistake about it. Words have consequences. This is one more case of anti-government hate rhetoric leading to violence against government officials. And the more we tolerate this kind of toxic talk from politicians and right-wing talk show hosts, the more of this senseless violence we’re going to see.