reaction to the Tucson shootings

Years ago, I ran as a Democrat for school board in a very conservative part of PA where right before the primary, the local pro-life group sent out a mailing stating I had killed babies and maimed women. I certainly had gone out many times to campaign and meet people I didn’t know. Given the mailing and my public “outing” as a proud abortion provider, who knows what could have happened. 

My family was out all the time campaigning for Obama. We’ve been at events where he was present, and also marched alongside Joe Sestak in nearby Hatboro, PA. It never would have crossed our mind that something bad could happen in such as setting. Until now. 

It doesn’t matter if the shooter was crazy, right- or left-wing. What matters is that this is taking place in an atmosphere of extreme polarization and incitement. And for the most part, whether the right wing wants to admit it or not (and they don’t), it’s the right wing that constantly blares its hatred on Fox News, talk radio and countless blogs. We don’t bring guns to town hall meetings. We don’t use gun rhetoric, like “reload.” Words have meaning.  And consequences.