The victims of Saturday’s mass shootings by a deranged gunman in Tucson, Ariz., had not even been taken to hospital before left-leaning political opportunists were spinning the story that ongoing heated rhetoric from Tea Party supporters had very likely motivated the assailant.
Hey, as more than one online commentator has already asked: Whatever happened to waiting for a few facts before jumping to conclusions?
No need, apparently. Former Alaska governor Sarah Palin had listed the gunman’s intended victim, Gabrielle Giffords, a Democratic Congresswoman with a local seat, as a “target" to try to unseat in last fall’s mid term elections. So Palin and the Tea Party were immediately prime suspects — in the minds of many on the left side of the U.S. political divide — for provoking the shooting spree.
Palin’s use of a map, with symbols resembling crosshairs, as if from a gunsight, marking the district of each Democrat targeted for defeat were Exhibit A for the incitement-to-violence crowd .
You know what? Palin’s map, its symbolism and her at times fiery rhetoric — “don’t retreat, reload"— indeed employ amped -up military and violent imagery for political purposes.
But you’ve got to be pretty fanatical in your partisanship to seriously argue Palin wanted anyone to shoot Giffords.
First, the alleged gunman, Jared Loughner, 22, appears to be a mentally ill loner who had nursed a grudge against Giffords since 2007 and said nothing, among his many nonsensical online rants, about the Alaska pol or the Tea Party.