It's time to "retreat and re-think"
By: Cahir O'Doherty | Published Sunday, January 9, 2011, 9:20 AM | Updated Sunday, August 4, 2013, 4:35 AM
There's no connection between easy access to semi-automatic weapons and the ability of deranged individuals to buy them and kill people.
There's no connection between a culture of 24/7 paranoiac anti-government rhetoric and the decision of deranged individuals to attack its figureheads.
There's no connection between putting crosshairs on Congressional leaders heads and the decision of deranged individuals to shoot them.
There's no connection between words and deeds.
But in Arizona itself, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik disagrees:
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," the sheriff told the press.
"And unfortunately, Arizona I think has become the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
Yesterday the sheriff lamented the vitriolic political rhetoric that has consumed America as he denounced the shooting that claimed several of his friends as victims, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.
It's probably worth remembering that Arizona governor Jan Brewer supported and signed legislation eliminating the legal need to have a permit for concealed weapons. Arizona is an "open carry" state, so it's becoming commonplace to see people at public gatherings with AR-15s or pistols strapped to them.
Jared Loughner, the deranged shooter could have easily walked right into this gathering with a weapon in plain sight and would have hardly been noticed.
But there's no connection between his ability to do so, or the overheated climate of anti-government intolerance, and his decision to act.
There’s no connection between tone and message received. There’s no connection between hate speech and the acts of violence that follow them. There's no connection between words and deeds.