by Michael Winship
Jan. 10, 2011
The Russian playwright Anton Chekhov had a rule: if you show a gun in the first act, by the time the curtain falls, it has to go off. For weeks and months, that gun, the weapon of angry rhetoric and intemperate rabblerousing, has been cocked and loaded in plain view on the American stage; Saturday morning outside a shopping mall in Tucson, Arizona, it went off again and again and again.
The target, Gabrielle Giffords, a member of the United States Congress, lays critically wounded, one of thirteen shot and still alive. Six others are dead, including a respected Federal judge who happened to be there but who previously had received death threats from anti-immigration extremists, a member of Congresswoman Giffords’ staff and a nine-year old girl, Christina-Taylor Green. Just elected to her school’s student council, she had been brought by a neighbor to Congresswoman Gifford’s constituent event so she could see how grown-ups put democracy into action.
Instead, this child – born on 9/11 — became just one of the latest victims of more political violence in America, violence fueled by an incoherent rage against government and elected officials who cannot instantly bring back prosperity and the jobs lost overseas or restore in a blink some idealized vision of a nation that might once have been but is no more. And all of it egged on by right wing leaders and their cronies lurking in the swampier reaches of the Internet, hate radio and television
Tag Archives: Tucson Shooting
“RT @MMFlint: If a Detroit Muslim put a map on the web w/crosshairs on 20 pols, then 1 of them got shot, where would he b sitting right now? Just asking.”
— Posted by John Aravosis at AmericaBlog, Jan. 9, 2011.
“Question: Why is there so little talk of terrorism?
Apparently when a mentally unstable white male is accused, terrorism is not the first thing that comes to mind.
When Clay Duke, a white male, threatened Florida school board members with a gun and shot at them before shooting himself, in December 2010, he was mentally imbalanced.
When Michael Enright, a white male, was arrested for slashing the throat of a Muslim NYC cab driver in August of 2010, his friends said he had a drinking problem
When Byron Williams, a white male, was arrested after opening fire on police officers and admitted he was on his way to kill people at offices of a liberal foundation and a civil liberties organization, in July 2010, he was an unemployed right wing felon with a drinking problem.
When Joe Stack, a white male, flew his private plane into a federal building in Austin, Texas, in February 2010, he was angry with the IRS.
When a white male is accused of mass murder, terrorism is not much talked of rather it becomes a terrible tragedy but not one where race or ethnicity or religion need be examined.
Now, if the accused had been Muslim, does anyone doubt whether this would have been considered an act of terrorism? US Muslims could have expected increased surveillance and harassment at home and the places where they work and worship. They could have expected a Congressional inquiry into the radicalization of their people. Oh, Representative Peter King (R-NY) has already started that one!”
— Bill Quigley, “Guns and Terrorism: Two Unasked Questions in Tucson Mass Murder,” Jan. 9, 2011.