Sunday, 13 February 2011

Better late than never - Tucson

It is absolutely fantastic news to hear about democratic US Senator Gabrielle Giffords' speedy and down right miraculous recovery after being shot at point-blank range in the head on the 8th January during a public meeting in Tucson, Arizona. Unfortunately there were some people that weren't so lucky (if you would call being shot in the forehead lucky). Six people were murdered, including on nine-year-old girl.

Since the shootings, there has been much speculation about the motives of the attack. It's quite clear that Senator Giffords was the intended target, which suggests political motivation. Which points the finger towards the far right Republican Tea Party, headed by Governor of Alaska, Sarah Palin.

Gabrielle Giffords wasn't a stranger to assassination or hate crime directed towards her. In the past it has been alleged that she has had her office building shot at, and during a similar meeting to the one being held on the 8th in 2009, a plundering gunman dropped his gun on the floor before being arrested by police.

Gabrielle Giffords - Courtesy of The Guardian
This hostility towards her has been because of her strong support towards many of the Democratic policies such as Obama's new health plan, abortion, immigration and stem-cell research. Which is barbaric. Our health service is state owned; look how well it's doing! Why would anybody not want this? And the fact that she narrowly beat the Tea-Baggers in the recent elections last year - so essentially, Tucson has is as close as makes no difference to a 50/50 split between Democrats and far right Republicans.

Nutter + Gun x Palin's OTT bullshit = Tucson Shooting
This deranged looking chap was the person who shot Giffords. It cannot really be disputed that he was influenced in some way by Palin's ridiculous and hate inducing political campaign against the Democrats. Just take a look at this map showing key election 'battle grounds' that Palin intends to target.

One of the Tea Party's campaign maps.
It cannot be argued that these points of interest looked suspiciously like crosshairs, or target markers. The red ones being key seats that Palin aims to fight for. They are in fact surveyor symbols that are used to map out an area. Either way, they look like crosshairs. And to colour some in red emphasises this 10-fold. There are so many other symbols that could've been used, such as *s, plain circles and arrows. That said, there has been a couple of similar 'target maps' that have been used by the Democratic party on the past.

I feel that it is totally unnecessary for there to be campaign maps to look like this! The top one can even be accused of looking like a war campaign map used by generals to control armies! I'm outraged by the caption under the second map! I'm not sure what party the bottom one was published by, but I suspect it was Republican. It can only be hoped that British politics don't follow this trend in political election campaigns.  
The sooner that they realise that they need to stop treating their opposition like assassination targets and acting like it's a military campaign, the sooner that people are going to stop feeling pressured into making extremist actions, such as executing Senators. It was going to happen sooner or later, will this be a lesson learned? Apparently not judging by Sarah Palin's response to the tragic incident with her use of intense and hostile rhetoric and misunderstanding of the phrase 'blood libel'. Moreover, it would seem that Obama managed to rise above the political blame game to give a heart-felt and genuine speech on how much of a tragedy it was - hoping Gabrielle Giffords a speedy recovery and not once placing any political accusation anywhere. 

Need I say  more? 

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