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  • Morning Bell: Libel is No Path to a Civil Society

    All of us at The Heritage Foundation were profoundly saddened by the tragedy that occurred this past Saturday morning in Tucson, Arizona. We mourn all of those who lost their lives and are praying for a full recovery by all of the surviving victims. As Speaker John Boehner said Saturday, “An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serve.”

    Unfortunately, some have chosen to use this tragedy for political gain. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, the Democrat who refused to enforce SB 1070, told FOX News‘ Megyn Kelly this weekend that the shooting was caused by an “atmosphere” created when “one party trying to block the attempts of another party to make this country better. ” In case there is any doubt in your mind who Sheriff Dupnik was talking about, one veteran Democratic operative, who, like Sheriff Dupnik, blamed overheated rhetoric for the shooting, told Politico that President Barack Obama should “deftly pin this on the tea partiers.”

    Pressed by Kelly to identify ANY evidence linking the shooter to the tea party, Sheriff Dupnik admitted he had zero: “That is my opinion. Period.”

    Americans like Sheriff Dupnik, who claim that they are interested in creating a more civil discourse, ought to think long and hard about pointing their fingers at other peoples’ words before making completely unsubstantiated accusations. Those who blame the rhetoric of their political opponents for these heinous crimes, when no such evidence exists, only further coarsen our civil discourse.

    It is the mission of The Heritage Foundation to seek an America where freedom, opportunity, prosperity and civil society flourish. A civil discourse is a key component to any functioning civil society. That is why we avoid all ad hominem attacks. But America is also well served by a muscular debate that fleshes out what the ideas are behind the policy proposals being considered. We cannot let one disturbed individual and political opportunists silence debate. That is why attempts to politicize this attack, even while Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) fought for her life immediately after the event, represent the worst, and most cynical aspect of Washington. That is the exact tone that Americans are entirely sick of.

    It’s time to heal as a nation, undivided, and under God.

    Quick Hits:

    Posted in Ongoing Priorities [slideshow_deploy]

    142 Responses to Morning Bell: Libel is No Path to a Civil Society

    1. ejj says:

      Unfortunately too many in our society share the same intelligence level as the sheriff… Personally, I wonder if this tragedy would have happened if an atmosphere of 100% border security and orderly immigration (and no birthright citizenship either) existed in the US.

    2. Barry, Washington says:

      Isn't it odd that while the Sheriff didn't name any organization, talk-show host, or television network, everyone immediately knows who hes talking about? Perhaps its because the Right is on the defense because it knows it's made the atmosphere poisonous.

      I really laugh at the Heritage Foundation calling for civil discourse.

    3. Ken Jarvis - Las Veg says:

      To suggest that –

      HF, Murdoch's Empire (WSJ and Fox News),

      and Rush Limbaugh,

      do NOT contribute to the HATE Problem

      is RIDICULOUS.

      For the past 2 years ALL they talk about is

      How BAD Obama is.

      LVKen7@Gmail.com

    4. Jill-Maine says:

      This shooter listed his favorite books as Mein Kamph and the Communist Manifesto. I would think he is in favor of oppressive government not Liberty and Freedom. He is also clearly deranged. How does this get pinned on the Tea Party? My sentiments are with the Tea Party. I am heartbroken that this slaughter took place. I resent Sheriff Dupnik and his stupid comments.

    5. Michael B., Bullard says:

      I read the Morning Bell daily from the perspective of a patriot. Although saddened by reviewing many of the partison "opinions" from today's feeds, I take heart in the comments origionating from the Heritage Foundation.

    6. Emil, Boca Raton, FL says:

      This fellow is most likely mentally ill. Attempting to place his "politics" on a left-right spectrum is to die trying.

      I believe that the effort to claim that Sarah Palin, or the Tea Party movement, or any identifiable conservative entity or individual is responsible for inciting this will fail in the manner of the Paul Wellstone memorial event. It simply angers thinking people and will help motivate them to turn out at the polls and reject people who make these baseless, overreaching claims about "dangerous rhetoric" in our politics.

    7. Dan Keegan says:

      The BLAME GAME – why don't you ALL get out of politics and go find lives – accept responsibility for YOUR decision to take God out of Schools and Public facilities – THIS is what causes AZ and 9.11 and all the other chaotic crap/garbage we see in our Nation – move on…

    8. Jeff Gustafson, Spok says:

      It wasn't just the Sheriff of Pima. The Haywood/Sharpton interview was contentious as was the gun debate. What the Sheriff did to get his moment of fame was dispicable but everywhere you turn there is divisiveness in this country and it has been going on for years and I am sick of it..

    9. James Martello, Jr says:

      Thank God the Heritage Foundation has the stomach to take on Sheriff Dupnik. He isn't interested in justice, only blame. If ever there was an ideolog, it is Dupnik.

    10. Jeff, Detroit, MI says:

      AMEN! This tragedy also highlights the trouble with our desire for24 hour news coverage.

      Every news show I turned on was focused on this and soliciting opinions from anyone who give them.

    11. Richard Travis says:

      We live in an open society. Sometimes this happens, we can go through history and see this happening. It is not new. Think of the past assainations of our Presidents and leaders. I do not want to hear demagods making hay of this, like gagging talk shows or revisiting the 2nd ammendment. I know they will come. Thank God we live in an open society.

    12. Terry, Georgia says:

      I agree. This is no time to be partisan. Let's pray for Gabby and our own Country.

    13. West Texan says:

      Thank you Conn. Saturday's detestable evil act was just that. It was the twisted mind of one individual that was responsible for such mayhem. As you said, political debate did not contribute to this horrific incident. For Sheriff Dupnik to exploit the tragedy for his own ideological purpose was completely misguided and inappropriate. We all pray for the congresswoman's fullest recovery and the lives of victims, families and friends that have been robbed and forever altered.

    14. Kathy, Oregon says:

      Amen.

    15. Turner says:

      Someone should remind the leftist President his blame int his matter. His calling opponents "enemies" and inciting hate toward whites by telling them it is their turn to sit in the back of the bus is not how a leader unifies a country or calms the crazies and the distraught.

    16. Janet Lewis Dallas, says:

      Amen! I count on The Heritage Foundation to supply all sides of the story-the facts.

      Thank you for all of your hard work. I applaud the temperance and graciousness

      of your words while also being very straightforward and direct. We pray every

      day for our nation and those who govern.

      Keep up the good work!

    17. Blair Franconia, NH says:

      It was like something out of the Wild West. If you've read any of William W. Johnstone;s Blood Bond novels, then you know the pattern. The shooter couldn't

      decide if he was a Nazi or a communist. His favorite books are Mein Kampf, Hitler's

      political autobiography, which most experts agree is a pack of lies, and The Communist Manifesto, Karl Marx' blueprint for communism. National Socialism and

      Communism___two of three failed doctrines of the 20th century.

    18. Mary............WI says:

      When and if it has been proven that this young man had no connection with the Tea Party, or the GOP, and conservative talk radio and TV I would like to see an apology by those pointing the fingers.

      This was a terrible crime. It has left me uncomfortable to ever contact my elected officials again for fear of my emails being anti-liberal because I disagree on bills such as healthcare.

    19. Flyover, IN says:

      If you watched CBS News, you may have seen their "artist's rendering" of the shooting.

      It showed the shooter using what looked like a long rifle of some type, using both hands to control and fire it, when all news reports I have read stated that the gun was a 9 mm pistol.

      But, that seems pretty standard, with CBS, NBC, and other news organizations making up stories to fit their agenda.

    20. Ed Turk Independence says:

      As expected, the liberal media could not resist speculating and drawing conclusions with no facts to base their statements on.

      I would heap much of this so called over the top rhetoric at the feet of Nan Pelosi and the last four years. She had the opportunity to squash the violent rhetoric of members speaking in the well, but she did not. I recall the former member from Florida Grayson say some very nasty things without any comment from Nan. He was just one example.

      I would wait until the investigation is completed to find out what actually led up to this event.

    21. Bradley Carpenter says:

      When in the course of human events some terrible tragedy occurs, there are those who are pre-dispose to blame everything and everyone for what happened except for the person who committed the deed. Certainly, there has been some strong and perhaps unkind words use in the last several years and there are people who have access to and possession of firearms, but none of these words can cause or force people to do good or evil.

      We live in a broken and sinful world in which human nature has the capacity to do good or evil for some reason or another, however people are responsible for the coices and decisions that they make. Yes people should discuss there viewpoints in the market place of ideas in a civil manner as much as posible, but just because a civil debate might become heated does not excuse the use of senseless violence. It is one thing to use force or violence to restrain or stop evil and another thing to use violence for the sake of violence.

      Finally, guns do not cause people to do something good or evil. Guns do not cuase people to committ a crime anymore than a cigarette lighter cuases lung cancer; or the golden arches causes heart disease; or knives, forks and spoons causes people to become overweight; or automobile or boats causes tragic accidents to occur. How a gun is used is determined by the person using the gun; the gun does not act upone the person to force someone to do good or evil.

    22. Sandy, UT says:

      Sheriff Dupnik had better rethink and apologize for his unfounded remarks against Sarah Palin and The Tea Party. Whatever happened to "innocent until proven guilty?" His accusations are TOTALLY baseless and only help to spur on more violence. The voters in Pima

      County need to remember this when the sheriff is up for re-election.

    23. RUTH WEDGEFIELD SC says:

      If there is anything I've learned as an adult, you cannot blame the crimes of one person on someone else. Each person comes to the age of accountability and makes a choice to go in the right direction or the wrong direction. The age varies with people, some are very young some are older BUT, each person makes that choice. What happened is very sad, the country should always mourn the death of someone taken in violence. We as a nation need to put God back into our lives and try to respect others, not call them names. I find it very disturbing to hear the name calling and party bashing, a party didn't pull the trigger, a very sick guy did. How many more times does this country need a wake up call? politicians, start to listen to the people, put your personal agendas aside and do what is right for the great people of our country, GOD BLESS AMERICA.

    24. Eric Green says:

      This is history repeating itself. The days of my grand parents were very similar. An environment was created and fueled by groups of people who essentially threw stones and then hid their hands in their pockets.

      Mob hysteria was what controlled the ignorance of the civil rights era, and those that committed the acts couldn't have cared less about what was real or hysteria. They just reacted.

      Putting this lady's image among others in the cross hairs of a gun scope incites and encourages violence by those with limited intelligence who follow Palin who is about as limited in intellect as one can get. Heal as a nation? Surely you are not that naïve?

      Until the majority realize that there are people here in this world, let alone this country, that are here to stay and they don't look like you we will repeat history again and again.

    25. Nancy Auburn GA says:

      I know I'm not alone in having realized at the outset of this tragedy that this would be the tact that many on the left would take. It's so predictable as to be laughable; or it would be if there weren't those out there who believe the erroneous and ridiculous accusations and take them to heart. I have to believe that although we may disagree on policy and ideology, there are few who will succumb to believing these viscous attacks. Those who do fall pray to these beliefs are to be pitied. Paul Krugman in specific I think had the most insidious claims. As if Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin advocate shooting and killing innocent figures political or civilian. To insist that they have partial blame for this heinous attack is short sited, incendiary and just plain stupid. Shame on all of you on whatever side of the aisle who refuse to acknowledge that there are some very troubled folks out there, even crazy. It is at their doorstep where lies the blame; on the individual who perpetrated the attack.

    26. Jim Dunlap, Yeringto says:

      The news reporters on this shooting are failing to report that this criminal studied the Communist Manifest and Mein Kamph and had socialist beleifs.

      Another failure of the news is to report on the jurisdiction. I seems they think the crime was federal when in fact it is state jurisdiction thatat prevails. because as is stated in Bevansv United States it matters not who was injured but where the crime was committed. In this case the crime was committed not on ground ceded to the union of states but on land that jurisdiction wasretained by Arizona..

    27. Joan Appelt, Clifton says:

      Beautifully said.

    28. Terri, Flushing, MI says:

      Amen to that! I'm so tired of everything that is wrong with this country is the conservative or tea party member's fault. Everyone needs to take responsibility for their own actions (and words), and maybe we'll get someplace.

    29. John Roane, Sarasota says:

      Where is an equal amount of time an effort on any media for your fallen and wounded soldiers? We don't seem to value their efforts to keep us free and safe; at least you can't tell it from any of the media as most times their deaths and wounds go unannounced barely an expression of sadness, expressed regret, and no lamenting over fallen soldiers anywhere near the level of this latest civilian tragedy. Their silence speaks volumes.

      Our soldiers need our support all the time and our Government only when it deserves it.

    30. Boyd Richardson, Buc says:

      Your article is not only timely but is succinct in that it is 100% correct. The tragedy

      of the situation should be placed where it belongs and nowhere else. The assailant

      is and has been for some time in the past a terribly misguided mentally sick individual. For some to lay this senseless act on the doorsteps of political parties/individual politicians puts them in the same category of the assailant.

      Now is a time for healing and not political rhetoric. My personal prayers go out to

      those wounded and the families of those who lost their lives.

      Thank you. I look forward to reading further articles from Heritage Foundation.

    31. Charles LABounty Mer says:

      A terrible tragedy indead. These victims in Arizona are our fellow Americans which I do not take lightly.

      It is very unfortunate that NBC and others immediately went to blaming Sarah Palin — how absurd. And as long as they chose to take this path, why didn't they bring out the most violent rhetoric that was issued by Barack Obama in his own 2008 campaign? He said, "They bring a knife, we'll bring a gun!".

      I do praise the President on calling a special meeting with his national security counsel on Saturday. Maybe he has learned from his inaction after the tragic shootings at Ft. Hood of which he is the Commander of all who were involved in that heinous crime.

    32. Bill, Northern Color says:

      As I listened to the Megan Kelly interview with Sheriff Dupnik, I was disappointed that a person in his position placed the blame for the attack on outside influence. This slippery slope reasoning can contribute to taking our eyes off the actual offender and onto preventing the open discourse on issues. He needs to listen to the Eagles song "Get Over It" and quit blaming others for the actions of the actual criminal.

    33. Doug Whaley, Lake Ha says:

      Silence debate? This is exactly what the sherriff and other liberals are looking to do. They have a history of saying exactly this type of thing. Remember Oklahoma City and Clinton. Same deal. Blame talk radio. Anyone in law enforcement who refuses to enforce laws should be removed from office. This includes the sherriff of Pima county as well as the head of ICE.

    34. F.D. O'Toole, N says:

      What Sheriff Dupnik expressed was not an opinion. It was a bias. As indicated above, he had zero support for his "opinion". He was not alone in his quest to gain political advantage from this senseless carnage. Within minutes, reporters got the father of the Congresswoman to blame the Tea Party as the likely cause of the violence. I didn't see any recognition that a conservative judge was also a victim. No wonder thinking people disbelieve the main stream media.

    35. Gerri Randall Hudson says:

      This is a sad time in our Nation my heart felt sympathy goes out to these families and to Congress. I Peter 5:7. It sadden's me that a young man would do such a thing. He certainly needed help, where were we in his time of need? My heart goes out to his family, many lives have been changed forever.

      People who feel they are in danger in Washington should pay for their protection if they feel they need it. We should not have to as taxpayers. We should be on watch as a people and try our best to protect them when we are around them.

      We must protect our rights to bear arms.

      It is disgraceful that people are making this a Politcal issue.

    36. Fred Brillante says:

      I cant say that any particular party caused this disturbed young man to murder innocent people but I can say that the pundits like Glen Beck are disruptive and violent and have inflamed otherwise normal middle aged people into thinking that this government evil!

      I have voted Republican for over 40 years but now I have my doubts! If the republicans are represented by the likes of Glen Beck who is pure and simply a rehash of The John Birch Society propaganda (who claimed that Eisenhower was a tool of the communists) then I dont want to be a republican any more.

      The problem is that people assume what this man says is true and he speaks in conjecture and partial truths and he has no one who he is accountable to! Its a sad day. No I agree no one party has caused this but this partisan political climate needs to stop. Our congress needs to work together to solve our problems and not to play politics!

    37. Gary W. New Jersey says:

      Political attempts to smear Conservatives with blame for the shootings in

      Tucson are beyond hypocrisy; they are truly evil. It is tragic that one demented person would do something like this, but then for the Left to USE his sickness for political purposes in a distorted, Machiavellian way is even more sick.

    38. Jack Schmit, Bloomin says:

      Excellent points and ones that needs to be widely shared and repeated.

    39. John Mottice, Tallah says:

      Amen. Never fail to stand firmly and confidently on the truth!

    40. George Colgrove, VA says:

      Thanks Conn!

    41. Martin says:

      Everything is political to the Dem Dems. Not letting a tragedy go to waste!

    42. Gary W. New Jersey says:

      Attempts by the Left to use the shootings in Tucson to promote their political agenda are far beyond hypocrisy. It is certainly tragic that one demented soul should have done such a terrible thing; to USE this event for political purposes, in a distorted, Machievellian way, is truly evil.

    43. Kristen, Lynchburg, says:

      Those individuals were all too quick to blame the Tea party and the Republican party. This was a very sick individual and while he made comments regarding the Constitution he was also influenced by Communism as well – two very opposite extremes. While I am saddened by this attack I am angered by the attempts to politicize it. And honestly, I would not be surprised if this were a progressive attempt to deprive us of our right to bear arms, control the media, and disable the Tea Party. I have a feeling they will use this event and take advantage of it to try and gain more control.

    44. Ernest Linneman says:

      I couldn't agree more that democracy works best when competing ideas are discussed civily and with mutal respect for people of opposing views.

      You object to connecting "Tea Partiers" to the recent atrocity in Tucson.You ignore the instances in which "Tea Patiers" have shown up at public debates on the health care law initiative brandishing firearms! Is it any suprise that people associate the group with guns and potential violence?

      Sarah Palin a Tea Party favorite and gun enthusiast publishes a map with gun sight reticals focussed on democratic candidates and you apparently classify that as civil discourse!

      The Heritage Foundation ought to dissociate itself from shielding those who advocate violence or imply its usefulness.

    45. Christopher Popham S says:

      It is indeed very hard to "heal", when, as a people and nation, we are beseiged on

      a daily basis by left wing MSM pundits, 'journalists' and bloggers hell bent on

      causing even more negative rhetoric and thereby infringe upon our liberties and rights.

      The attacks by the disgraceful MSM over the weekend, not to mention the selfish

      remarks of the police chief, are indicative of just how hateful these folks can be.

      Discourse, polite repartee, even argumentation are good, but the MSM went

      overboard these past few days in their guilt trip analyses that Jared Loughner was

      'influenced' by Palin, Tea Partiers and conservatives in general.

      This was, IMHO, absurd rubbish.

      Good luck, America.

    46. Lloyd Scallan (New O says:

      Regardless of the truth, the left will always use lies and distortions to push their

      agenda. The really disturbing point is that the main-stream media is so committed to draging this nation into a socialist pit, they will never report that

      this psycho shooter is a leftest anarchist and not related whatsoever to conservatism.

    47. Neil in SF BAY AREA says:

      It angers me when I keep hearing these public officials castigating the entire country as being a "cauldron for social violence" (my words), when problems such as the AZ shooting are attributable to only one disturbed individual….and many people go along with this deeply flawed argument in which the public is blamed for the act of one person.

      The Tea Party had nothing to do with this shooting, and neither did responsible gun owners. Both, however, will be shot down by the national biased media, and those who are the "sheep" in the nation will blithely go along with it.

    48. John McCulloch, Aust says:

      I agree whole heartedly with your analysis. This type of re-action is deplorable, and has no place in our society. People or companies that publish completely unsubstantiated and false charges should be subject to some type of severe penalties.

      John McCulloch

    49. DON MEDBERY says:

      Sheriff Dupnik is a perfect example of what a Law Enforcement Officer should not be. How in the world did he get elected or appointed "whatever the case may be"? There is no room in our society for Dumb Law Enforcement Officers to be so obvious in promoting their political will when they have an over aggressive media chomping at the bit to publish such stupid opinions expressed by a very DUMB LOCAL SHERIFF! Sheriff Dumbnek should be suspended for an indefinite period with loss of pay or just outright fired!!!!! Good Riddance!!!

      Don M. New Hampshire

    50. Jeanne Stotler,Woodb says:

      I find it very upsetting that this tradgedy has been put on the shoulders of the TEA PARTY or Reps. I've listened to political rhetoric for the last 60 years and I find both sides use lies and threats to try and get the attention of voters. Most people can discern themselves what agrees with their personal beliefs and do not go out and shot the opponent.. Sadly this young man had a problem that both his parents and educators overlooked. Today the thing is to pass the buck, parents leave it to the school and the schools pass it back to the parents and nothing gets done, not alone discipline is lacking on all sides. I believe the child should be taught the word "NO" at an early age, taught to respect the rights and belongings of others and limits set, STOP trying to better the neighbor. When my children were small I heard "But Mom so&so can do it, why can't I" my answer was always, "I am not so&so's mother, if I were they would have same rules to live by as you". It's time for teachers and parents to step up to the plate and go back to the "Old fashion" way of raising kids.

    51. Arvid Myhre, Idaho says:

      It is sad that democrats have found it necessary to blame The Tea Party folks, talk radio. Fox TV, legal gun ownership and everthing else but themselves for the Arizona tragedy. The guy that did this act is insane and he acted in ab insane way. Democrats talk about how various groups "fire up" the population and that causes acts like this. I would suggest a growing anger in Americans towards the personal excesses of polititians and unions has a lot to do with the unrest. I think the population watching the national debt grow exponentially, unrestrained government spending, high unemployment, over-regulation, and arrogance and self indulgence of polititions is the leading causes of anger in people. I think it time to stop trying to blame everything and everybody and "right this wagon" before it goes over the cliff. Stop the rhetoric and face reality. we are on the wrong road.

    52. D.Adli, Las Vegas says:

      CNN the day of the tuscon Tradegy on Wolfe Blitzer's 7:00p.m. program had 2 female guests who were insinuating Sarah Palin and Tea Parties were guilty of hate speech etc etc.

      It made me sick At heart to think Wolfe did not refute this kind of unreasonabe assumptions relevent to this tradegy .

    53. B. Hall Syosset N.Y. says:

      I just heard that a colmnist from the N.Y. Times blamed the shooting on :the likes of people such as Rush Limbaugh and Jeff Beck.Apparently he is so filled with hate of conservatives that he couldn't wait to find out the facts be fore he started to blamee someone.

    54. Ben C. Ann Arbor, MI says:

      Well said Conn. Violence is not the answer.

    55. john arizona says:

      Dupnick, or Dopenick as he has been called, has outlived his usefulness. There is no doubt a talk show on MSNBC waiting for him when he gets thrown out of office.

    56. Portland, OR says:

      I agree that the left will take this tragedy to make political gain. These people never stop.

      The first time I hear vitriolic and hateful speech was when I listened to Rev. Wright, who by the way, was our president's pastor for 20 years.

      As a country, the people have the right to contest, demand and disaprove of our government when the country is going down the clif and the poeople in power spend like crazy. Thank God for the Tea Party, they are watching the people in Washington like a hawk, and this is a good thing.

    57. B. Hall Syosset N.Y. says:

      Sorry for the mistake. I meant Glenn Beck.

    58. Louis Fanning says:

      I think something that reporters have overlooked when reporting what Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik had to say about the Gifford shootings is that Pima County is predominately Democrat and Dupnik is an elected Sheriff..

    59. Dinah Garrison Fairb says:

      I don't usually cry much, but Saturday I cried when the shooting happened in Arizona. Then when I started hearing almost immediately comments that implied this action was because of the Tea Party and/or conservative radio and TV I cried again. What is wrong in this country? Can people not see past the ends of their noses? We're back to "any crisis is too good to waste." Even though none of the shooter's posts indicate any political affiliation or anger toward any political party, many are using this as a way to further split Americans, even as they say the "vitriol" of conservatives is the causative factor at play. Anyone who makes such a comment should be made to sit down and read all of the shooter's rambling writings. Then they should have to show HOW they indicate the conservative agenda is responsible for his actions. If they can make anything at all out of what he wrote I would be shocked.

    60. Cheryl Bridgeville, says:

      I find it interesting that in any other attacks – such as the Ft. Hood, the Left urges all of us to not jump to any erroneous conclusions. Could this be a moment where the Left needs to pick up a mirror and look into it. .

      Maybe it is time for us to review the protections for the mentally insane. As in Ft. Hood, there was a ton of evidence that this man was a danger. Yet, he was allowed to go unchecked.

      Sometimes, bad things happen and there isn't any cause that we can discern to prevent it.

      One more thing. Congress can get greater protection when they close the border and protect the rest of us.

    61. MJF, CT says:

      People like Sheriff Dupnik are totally misinformed about the Tea Party and that it is made up of regular people who are just fed up with the government that ran amuck on a total power trip. Regular people argue and stand for what they believe in but regular people do not take it upon themselves to pull out a gun and fire willy-nilly into a crowd. It should also be noted that a woman knocked the loaded magazine out of the shooter's hand as he was reloading and then people tackled him. Who is to say that THESE people aren't Tea Party people?

      Sheriff Dupnik has a lot of gall as a law enforcement officer in telling Mr. Obama to blame the Tea Party for the attack. The news media also had a field day blaming the Tea Party and Talk Radio pundits saying "this is all their fault (Talk Radio)"! Moronic accusations like these do not help in situations such as these and can actually fuel retaliation from other unstable individuals. The fault and the blame lies with the shooter and no one else. What led up to the incident can be blamed on the failure of our government as a whole but the government did not pull the trigger, the shooter did that all by himself!

    62. Linda Drum San Anton says:

      Thank you for this article it expressed well was I was feeling. I was angry and felt he needed to keep his own personal interruptions to himself. His sole purpose for the interview was to give details about what took place at the scene of a crime,

    63. Richard Burke, Arizo says:

      The Pima County sheriff is an elderly man sold out to the democrat party. We here in southern Arizona take him as the crazy old uncle who lives in the back of the house. Since Tucson and Pima County are largely entrenched with democrats, Clarence may be on the job until Doomsday. What's new?

    64. JOSIE WRIGHT, LOUISI says:

      CRONCLES 7:14 "IF MY PEOPLE WHO ARE CALLED BY MY NAME, WILL HUMBLE THEMSELVES AND PRAY, I WILL HEAR THEIR PRAYERS AND HEAL THEIR LAND."

      My prayer is the people who are quick to blame others when something bad happens in our country. Stop the blame game and take responsibilty for your actions. Stand up and be a LEADER, pray for healing of our LAND. America is still the best place on earth to live.

    65. Mike Fenton, Bakersf says:

      Those that point a finger should understand that three fingers are pointing back at themselves.

    66. Rob & Mary Gottl says:

      AMEN ~

      By your fruit you shall be known…

    67. Linda Arizona says:

      AMEN! The sheriff's opinions should have been left unsaid. Really crass, considering the grieving families, for him to try and make a political point . Shows very little class and even less judgement!

    68. DON MEDBERY says:

      Arizona is a great state with a very intelligent, active Governor who followed a Governor who accomplished nothing to speak of that contributed to the State of Arizona's greatness or safety. The present Governor is very active in her pursuit to represent The People of Arizona in their quest to seal the border for all our safety against illegals and The Drug Cartels from Mexico The Governor has had very little cooperation from those in charge in Washington D.C. . I am sure that the Governor and all the Arizonans will follow through in the present situation with respect and reverence for all those affected by the acts of the very deranged 22 year old killer.

      Dom M. New Hampshire

    69. C. Hyatt, Albuquerqu says:

      Conservatives should prepare for the onslaught of those who desire to stop all political debate. The blame for what happened in Arizona rests squarely on the shoulders of the man who pulled the trigger. His actions will in no way impact the core beliefs of either of the two political parties in the United States. Nor will any positive change result from his actions. Further, much like the events of 911 innocent people were once again pulled into the radical beliefs of another. Let's not convict our right to express our opinions or participate in political debate because of the actions of radical factions. Least we all not forget, Bill Ayers is now a leading and respectable citizen.

    70. Mike, Chicago says:

      This should make it clear for you.

      http://www.smirkingchimp.com/node/33572

    71. Stephanie M. Gessner says:

      For an example of coarse and cynical civil discourse, read Robyn Blumner's column which appeared in the January 9, 2011 St. Petersburg Times. Vice President Cheney has struggled with heart disease for most of his adult life and when many others would have retired for health reasons, he continued to honorably serve his country. Her comments are distasteful and hateful. They belittle and mock a condition over which the Vice President and his family have no control. Her words brought me to tears. My subscription to this newspaper is over.

    72. Dave, Monroe, MI says:

      Amen on all counts.

    73. Michael D. Matin, Wo says:

      The Sheriff may be free to an opinion, but what does it say to his judgement ?

    74. Al from Fl says:

      If the sheriff thinks that the border problem is involved in this shooting, then he should be telling the pres to do his job, not pin this event on the tea party folks. Personally, I think this is a case of a man who is mentally out of control. It is too bad that he wasn't given mental help before he became a murderer. I assume the sheriff knew Rep Gifford and was understandably saddened by this terrible event but he did not do his job as sheriff. The stance of the federal government on the border problem contributes to the unrest in society today regarding those near the border and those, in general, who observe our police/ICE personnel not following the law. The divisive, partisan rhetoric of the president does not help either. But, in the end, this killing spree was the doing of one man, who is mentally unstable.

    75. Brenda Craven MS says:

      THE "TONE" OF OUR COUNTRY COMES FROM THE "TOP"

      “Don’t you think we’re not keeping score, brother” – Chairman Obama

      “Bring it on”- Obama Regime to The American People.

      “Get ready for hand-to-hand combat with your fellow Americans” – Obama

      “I want all Americans to get in each others faces! – Obama

      “You bring a knife to a fight pal, we’ll bring a gun” – Obama

      "Republicans are our enemies"–Obama

      ** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

      ** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”

      ** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“

      ** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”

      ** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”

      ** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”

      ** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

      “I am going to strangle all Republicans who don’t agree with me politically”

      – 5 Time Draft Dodger Biden

      “the Cambridge Police acted Stupidly” ” – Beer Summit Gaffe Leader

      "Democratic map with Republican targets on it"

      “God Damn America” – Barrack Hussein Obama’s Spiritual Advisor

      “We should rip the heart right out of the chest of a former Vice President of The United States!”

      – Left Wing Hate Hero And Agitator for Leftist Terrorism – Shultz

      Most Divisive Administration In History.

    76. Don, Virginia says:

      Now it turns out that the guy is a Left Wing, Liberal, Wacko. Violence comes from the left more often than the right and NEVER from "The Tea Party."

    77. Dr. William Collins says:

      Great article on confronting unfounded attacks on conservatives. Ms. Gibson handled the sheriffs attack well. As we are attacked we should do the same. Ask for examples, evidence, and facts when people make these stereotypical accusations. If they cannot do this ask them what they are basing their opinions on. This also means we have to be prepared to do the same. As Mr. Gingrich said this week. "liberals lie better than conservatives tell the truth."

    78. John, Manistee, MI says:

      Any sheriff, such as Clarence Dupnik of Pima County, who will jump to a conclusion with zero evidence, cannot possibly be qualified for the position of sheriff. How can anyone trust his judgments on matters that law officers must deal with continually?

    79. Rita Travis, Texas says:

      Thank you for your thoughtful response to the irresponsible, inflammatory finger-pointing being used by some to forward their own agendas. Let's search for the truth in the matter at hand instead of speaking self-serving words intended to exacerbate.

    80. JohnP says:

      The sheriff of Pima county in Arizona should have had a patrol in the area of this gatherinng to provide security for the Congresswoman. This is pure case of neglection of reponsiblity and duty on the part of Pima county sheriff's department. Blaiming the shooting on the Tea Party Movement for some done by a person who has been deemed unstable shows the inability of this sheriff handle his reponsibility.

      It is the duty of the sheriff's reponsibility to do a back ground check on any person buying a weapon of type be it a hand gun or a long gun. Obviouslly this was not done.

    81. gary says:

      Sheriff Dupnik is way out of line, and should be held accountable for is rude and typical liberal statement.

    82. Jaime Elfredo says:

      Dupnik is a well known leftist in Pima County. While all the other Arizona sheriffs are trying to do something about illegal border crime, this guy just whistles a happy tune, seeing illegals as future democrat party voters. I used to live in Pima County; I know. Why he keeps getting elected sheriff there is truly beyond me. Just air his stupid comments… I do love free speech.

    83. Kristen Zwettler Osh says:

      Pkease address also this same sheriff'a "put down" of the mentally ill, which was also uncalled for…………

    84. Ellen Makkai (Colora says:

      The shooter had been fixated on the congresswoman for at least two years, long before the Tea Party came into being, for Pete's sake. Plus the nut was as far from the Tea Party mentality as one can get. He is a sharp leftist/communist, according to his own writings! And he is into some bizarre religion. He hates Jews. So you who want to "civilize" the discourse, get you heads out of your political arsses!

    85. freedom says:

      In the meantime his classmates have described him as a left wing pothead. Will the msm be regaling us with this info as well?

    86. L. Ryan. Chandler, A says:

      It is beyond reason and unconscionable to try to pin this attack on any civil group or individual (many references to Sarah Palin also being made on the news). The kid was troubled and mentally unstable for a long time. But are we surprised that the leftists will now try to use this for political gain?

    87. Bonnie, The Villages says:

      Shame on Sheriff Dupnik, blaming overheated rhetoric for the shooting and told Politico that President Barack Obama should “deftly pin this on the tea partiers.” The Sheriff has zero evidence and said that it is his opinion. We don't need his opinion. His immediate response brings back the memory of Obama pointing his finger at the police in the Prof. Gates fiasco, which we later found out, was totally not the case causing Obama to hold a beer summit to smooth over his error. The left takes every possible negative event to immediately point a finger at the tea party and conservative media because they are hell bent on silencing the majority of the American citizens in this country. The main stream media does the same. Fear mongering from these people is standard operational procedure and a finger should be pointed back at them for creating mayhem and wanting to profit from all disasters like this one against Rep. Gabrielle Gifford in AZ.

    88. David Bess, Carson C says:

      This was tragedy brought on by a very disturbed individual. No rational person, tea party, republican, democrat, independent or of any other political beleif could justify this.To insinuate that any political party in this country could justify or suggest this action is beyoud rational thought.

      Acts like this are purely of an individual nature. During the last two elections I attended many campaign rallys. Some for my choice of candiates and some for the other candidate. The most violent action I whitnessed was very strong and heated debates, some name calling. and a few hand jestures, but nothing physical.

      The unique rallies were with the Tea Party. Most rallys were predominatley one party whereas the Tea Party were multi-party functions, rebublicans, democrats, and others. With this mix you could expect some ungy incedents to occur, but just the opposite happened. The common bond was a concern for the future of our nation. This bond was reguardless of political affiliation, race, or other defining associations.

      It is my sincere hope that our nation will take this for what it was, an individual act by a disturbed person. And along with that keep the victims inour prayer and thoughts.

      God Bless America.

    89. Patricia Vermont says:

      Some more examples of hate from the left. Note the first picture of someone with a gun cocked towards a picture of Sarah Palin and her daughter:

      http://michellemalkin.com/2011/01/10/the-progress

    90. Don Albanese, Lakewo says:

      ALL leading Conservatives (Republicans AND Democrats) should—and MUST—speak out against political attacks by the likes of the that sheriff, mass media and the left in general, against Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement. as being the instigators of the horror in Tucson Saturday. They should be forced to eat the N Y Post's front page whose headline today reads: "KILLER'S EVIL PLAN—Ariz. pol in his sights since '07" Did these jerks even know who Sarah Palin was (let alone the Tea Party Movement) back in 2007?

    91. Gary C, Waxhaw, NC. says:

      Ken,
      How is talking about Obama hate? Don't hurl invective or call me name; just give me examples of what you deem "hate".

    92. Some of these traged says:

      If it proves that this young man has paranoid schizophrenia, then a more useful discussion would be 1) how we can ensure that these patients and their families can get the medications, therapies, and support that they need, 2) how we as a country can set policy to help companies develop better antipsychotics, 3) to determine the line between an individual's freedom to choose to be insane (Civil Rights attorneys make it hard for families to commit their loved ones to treatment) or a society's need to be protected, and 4) to support research in determining which patients might be at risk to themselves (the bigger problem) or others (rare) prior to this type of tragedy. These are much more important issues to discuss because they get at the heart of preventing future tragedies.

    93. Bill McAdory Frankli says:

      I'm 65 years old. In my life, the Left has utilize every means possible including violence to further their interests. Pinning this tragedy on the Tea Party will prove damaging when the Center/Right begin to recount our history from the '60s through the '80s.

      The left extreme may do this. However, as I listened to the news today, none of those interviewed would take the bait; even Tom Brokaw. Let's hope that cooler heads prevail in the inevitable spinning that has already begun.

    94. Doouble Ace says:

      In reply to Barry, Washington. It isn't odd at all. You folks on the left are constantly attacking the same people on the right. You are doing exactly what you accuse them of doing. I never understood why you folks on the left think it is okay to spout you vermin but don't ecpect anyone from the other side (right) to speak in self defense.

    95. Gerry Box, Edmonton, says:

      When the sheriff was interviewed by Megyn Kelly, he said he had no facts to back his claim, but "That's my opinion. Period." Maybe the opinions of the people of Pima County, AZ need to come to the forefront and let him know that what he has espoused has made him and the rest of the people of their county look idiotic. Would he care if they did? Probably not. He's the worst kind of idealogue who gets his orders and opinions from the Oval Office. Arizona can do much better than him.

    96. Norbert Stager, Ohio says:

      It is truly sad and heart wrenching about the shootings. However it truly shows how low the left will go to score any polictical advantage out of this. The Sheriff needs to shut up and do his job then make wiser comments based up on the facts. Maybe the folks in his county should vote his sorry butt out of office the next time around. I say give it a week and wait for more facts.

    97. Scottsdale, AZ says:

      Airing one’s opinions are certainly a wonderful delight, a gift of our list of liberties in America. So I will defend Mr. Dupnik’s highly inflammatory remarks, as he has the same liberties as all Americans. From a Tea Partier’s point of view, though, Dupnik might consider that his speech is hateful. His words are an attack on the Tea Party and the American tradition of limited government. I am annoyed by the tenuous intelligence of his monologue and his shot over the bow of free speech.

      The great benefit of our freedom of speech, though, is that we have a choice to respond, to vote our agreement or disagreement. In the marketplace of ideas comments like Dupnik’s find the ash heap quickly. He is another liberal (leftist) relic who finds it easy to give opinions regardless of the facts, or in this case, despite the facts about Mr. Loughner.

      America needs an extensive, high-energy debate about the role of government, central planning, and monopolist statist solutions. We need intelligent debate, heated debate, an energetic debate, but debate without ad hominem attacks. We certainly do not need bullets flying, we do, though need Dupnik’s thoughts – whether smart, stupid, mean or useless. They are part of the much needed debate and they help Americans identify those, like Dupnik, who are not adding meaningful ideas. Tucson is a fairly liberal community, but I would hope they would find his conduct unacceptable for an elected law enforcement official in the next election cycle.

      Tom

    98. meme2 says:

      The first thing President Obama should have said regarding the attempt on Ms. Gifford's life is:

      "This man is an "enemy" of the country. President Obama seems to like that word, he has used it quite often. Oh thats right, he used it to describe anyone who disagreed with his policies, but that is perfectly okay – just ask the news media. I believe he also used the word "target" Republican leaning areas of the state to get the vote out. OMG, I hope Obama is not after all of us senior citizens and might pick us off one by one or perhaps make us sit int he back of the bus. Hmmm, maybe that is what the death panels are for!

    99. Old Colonel says:

      What the anti-gunners seem to overlook is that the act of murder itself is already outlawed, regardless of the method used to perpetrate it, so if the perpetrator is unwilling to adhere to the laws already on the books that outlaw murder, why should any reasonable individual believe that legislation to restrict or outlaw implements used to perpetrate murder is somehow going to magically stop those who would willingly commit murder?

      History is replete with incidents of all sorts of implements being used to perpetrate murder, all the way from bare hands, clubs, and knives to guns and bombs, but those members of society who are bent on murdering others are always going to find a means to do so if they have the will.

      Studies have shown clearly that less than 1% of all firearms are used as a tool for criminal acts with the vast majority of them being used for self-defense, home defense, sport shooting, or hunting. In addition, the Bill of Rights states very unequivocally that the government is specifically prohibited from infringing on the rights of Americans to keep and bear arms. In spite of that, there already exists a good deal of legislation inhibiting the right of the People to keep and bear arms through various prohibitive means such as the bans on automatic weapons, bans on weapons above a certain caliber, bans on ownership by citizens who have histories of mental disorders, and bans on the types of weapons (such as sub-machine guns) that the citizenry is permitted to possess.

      Studies have also shown that in States with the most unrestrictive weapons laws, such as my own State of Florida, the incidence of weapons-related crime is lower than in States with stringent weapons laws, such as the State of Massachusetts, because in States with stringent laws the lawbreakers need not worry about law-abiding citizens being armed for self-protection, whereas in Florida would-be criminals always need to have that concern in their minds that law-abiding citizens may be able to defeat the criminal by superior firepower.

      All the anti-gunners have to do is look at countries such as Canada, England and Australia that have taken away the right of self-defense by firearms from law-abiding citizens while the law-breakers continue to possess them, to see that gun bans only make armed assaults more prevalent.

    100. J. Guidry, Battlefie says:

      The "sheriff" in his official capacity expressed HIS personal opinion. In any other case if an official did this prior to any investigation in search of the facts in a criminal case, his career would be over. Oh, wait, he's a leftie, it's okay for them to taint an investigation and get away with it. Up to me, I'd look at some way to get this dufus fired.

    101. E. Storey says:

      For someone in authority to blame any one or group for this crime shows an obvious ignorance for truth. To continue to accuse and place guilt upon anyone who disagrees with you and especially in the realm of politics, is truly unethical and liable.

    102. Harold says:

      The discourse only became vitriolic when the Americans found they had a voice during the Bush amnesty debacle. We have been using our newly discovered power to the dismay of the wild eyed left and their allied media. The left feels the only way to restore sanity is to give them free rein again without question..

    103. Nancy, Georgia says:

      "Putting this lady’s image among others in the cross hairs of a gun scope incites and encourages violence by those with limited intelligence who follow Palin who is about as limited in intellect as one can get. Heal as a nation? Surely you are not that naïve?"

      I for one am not naive. I am not violent. I am for the liberty of every American being allowed to follow the path they desire in life as long as it doesn't encroach on the rights of others. I believe Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh and Glenn Beck feel the same way. The fact that your grandparents may have suffered from the hatred and ignorance of a racist past does not condone your thinking all conservative minded individuals are the same as those haters. We are categorically not. I suggest you take the time to actually listen to conservatives rather than hearing what those who oppose them think. Don't be closed minded. Be a critical thinker. It is exceedingly important that you look at all sides with as much liberality as possible.

    104. Lee-White Tanks AZ says:

      The rhetoric of Sheriff D is just grandstanding, nothing more, nothing less. It's just unfortunate that he selects this unspeakable tragedy as the backdrop for him to spill his vitriol.
      The Heritage Foundation has it exactly right, Libel is the operative term.

    105. Jill-Maine says:

      Excellent Brenda Craven. See the hypocrisy? People who know this shooter call him a LEFT Wing Pothead. He is anti-God and anti-Jew and a birther.

      One thing I can say about Glenn Beck is he always cautions people to check what he says for themselves. "Do your own homework."

    106. Pragmatic in Texas says:

      Sheriff Dupnik needs to search his own soul. I raised my two children by the "conservative rhetoric" he so despises. Today, they are both serving our country in the U.S. Air Force. Neither of them smoke, do drugs, or drink to excess. They do not make mistakes, then point fingers and blame society. They take personal responsibility.

      My sympathies go out to family of Rep Giffords, and I hope she makes a speedy and complete recovery. My prayers go out to the the families' of those victims who did not survive.

    107. George, Florida says:

      Brenda from MS is right and supports my contention listed below.

      Let's get real about this.

      In WW II the Japanese called acts like this "transferred oppression". The main issue that appears to have driven this man to react was the manner in which the Health Care Bill was passed. By that I mean that the public was left uniformed and the process of passing the bill was intentionally made that way by the Obama administration, and the majority party of the Senate and the House, i.e., Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. This process was received as oppressive to the general public and as time went on the public's disapproval increased not because of the "vitriol" against it, but because of the "oppression" the Obama and Democratic controlled Senate and House, i.e., the Democrat Party led government, was forcibly placing on them. The November election results depict the validity of a public feeling the forced oppression of the government. I would assume that this man had the hope that Gifford would lose and when she did not he felt voiceless. The question is would he have shot her if she got defeated on did not vote for the health bill. I think he probably would have not since she was his Congressional Rep years before, when Bush was in office

      If anyone is to blame it is the Obama administration, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the majority who voted for the Health Care Bill. If there is vitriol then we need to show how much of that comes out of the mouth of Obama who has been fashioned by the likes and surrounded by those who are masters of vitriol, like Rev. Wright, Durbin, Schumer, all the liberal press. Elections have their consequences and this is a consequence of electing Obama and the Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's. Also, one needs to recognize and acknowledge how these consequences of public violence is exactly what a socialist government is all about and how they get into power.

      So, do your homework and place the "hatred" in the "laps and lips" of the real owners, the Obama's and the Democratic Majority and the liberal left media.

      In the mean time, my prayers are with all those involved in this tragedy whether shot or not.

    108. Nancy, Georgia says:

      Brenda Craven MS on January 10th, 2011 at 12:00pm said:

      Wow…Brenda, well done! Beautifully illustrative of the "Annointed One" Really; very well done.

    109. George Volk says:

      PATHETIC! Have the cross hairs been removed yet from the Sarah Palin political targets?

    110. Daniel says:

      I WOULD LIKE TO PUT A TARGET ON THE HERITAGE FOUNDATION AND EVERY SINGLE PERSON THAT LEFT A COMMENT ON THIS BLOG. IS THAT OK? FREEDOM OF SPEECH RIGHT?

    111. Lew says:

      As I read the comments, two distinct messages repeat. The first from the right, sympathetic to the victims and a call for healing. The second from the left spewing hatred and blame.

      Once more the Conservatives will turn their cheek and in vain try to explain that it is political discourse that we engage in and really didn't send a deranged man to murder and wound 19 people.

      And once more the left will use this tragedy to try and destroy free speech and do away with the second amendment and call for the destruction of their enemies by murder if necessary.

      Does the left have no shame?

    112. Tom (Florida) says:

      Thanks for your excellent article. Rational, reasonable people

      everywhere will see this for what it is-a very mentally disturbed

      individual acting by himself.

    113. George, Fl says:

      Great post Brenda, MS and more to your point Jill, Maine:

      Let's get real about this.

      In WW II the Japanese called acts like this "transferred oppression". The main issue that appears to have driven this man to react was the manner in which the Health Care Bill was passed. By that I mean that the public was left uniformed and the process of passing the bill was intentionally made that way by the Obama administration, and the majority party of the Senate and the House via Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi. This process was received initially as oppressive to the general public, and as time went on the public's disapproval increased not because of the "vitriol" against it, but because of the depth of "oppression" became larger as they became more aware of the provisions and reach of the bill on their freedoms and rights. The government had forced-fed them this bill and they did not like it because it was not something they wanted. The November election results depict the validity of a public feeling the forced oppression of the government and their reaction to it.

      If anyone is to blame it is the Obama administration, Harry Reid and Nancy Pelosi and the majority who voted for the Health Care Bill. If there is vitriol then we need to show how much of that comes out of the mouth of Obama who has been fashioned by the likes and surrounded by those who are masters of vitriol, like Rev. Wright, Durbin, Schumer, all the liberal press. Elections have their consequences and this is a consequence of electing Obama and the Harry Reid's and Nancy Pelosi's. Also, one needs to recognize and acknowledge how these consequences of public violence is exactly what a socialist government is all about and desire (see Brenda's post) and how they get into power.

      So, do your homework and place the "hatred" in the "laps and lips" of the real owners, the Obama's and the Democratic Majority and the liberal left.

    114. Daniel says:

      his quotes…

      -One video told viewers that they "don't have to accept the federalist laws,"

      -accused the "government of mind-controlling and brainwashing the citizenry"

      -Loughner stated that he had "compared abortion to terrorism".

      -"Firstly, the current government officials are in power for their currency, but I'm informing you for your new currency".

      -"My hope is for you to be literate. If you're literate in English grammar then you comprehend English grammar.

      -The majority of people who reside in District 8 are illiterate. Hilarious."

      -"If I have my civil rights then this message wouldn't have happen [sic]."

      GET THIS THROUGH YOUR HEADS PEOPLE. THIS IS WHAT THE HATE AND ANTI-GOVERNMENT GARBAGE RESULTS IN.

    115. Daniel says:

      Following the September 2006 election, Giffords was sworn in as a congresswoman on January 3, 2007. She was the third woman in Arizona's history to be elected to serve in the U.S. Congress. In her inaugural speech on the floor of the House of Representatives, Giffords advocated a comprehensive immigration reform package, including modern technology to secure the border, more border patrol agents, tough employer sanctions for businesses that knowingly hire illegal immigrants, and a guest-worker program. In her first month in office, Giffords voted in favor of increased federal funding for embryonic stem-cell research, raising the minimum wage, endorsing the 9/11 Commission recommendations, new rules for the House of Representatives targeting ethical issues, and the repeal of $14 billion of subsidies to big oil companies, in favor of renewable energy subsidies and the founding of the Strategic Renewable Energy Reserve.

    116. Daniel says:

      On November 5, 2010, the Associated Press declared Giffords the victor after a close race against Republican Jesse Kelly.[33] Kelly, an Iraq War veteran (and not related to her husband), was listed as a top ten Tea Party candidate to watch by Politico, and described by azcentral.com as highly conservative even compared to Sarah Palin.[34]

      SHE WAS ALSO PRO-HEALTH CARE REFORM(NOT REPEAL), IMMIGRATION REFORM(NOT REMOVAL). A CONGRESSIONAL DEMOCRAT AND YOU SAY THIS WAS NOT POLITCALLY MOTIVATED. ARE YOU PEOPLE INSANE? AND TO BLAM "LIBERAL MEDIA" FOR GOING AFTER THE HATE FROM CONSERVATIVES!!!!! YOUR ENTIRE SCHEDULE IS HATE AND FEAR MONGERING. HYPOCRITS, ALL OF YOU!!!!!

    117. Eugene Reed, Brookly says:

      I would like to offer my prayers to the victims and their families, and we should pray for speedy recoveries. We also should pray for guidance from above for it is sorely needed as this act of violence has claimed a 9 year old innocent. To politicize this tragedy and laying blame on talk radio and conservative groups as a means to eliminate political debate makes one wonder about the condition of our society. As a member of the Teaparty movement who has attended many rallies and events, I can personally attest that I have not witnessed one instance of a call to violence or any violent activity at these events. As a matter of fact the only violence I see is at left wing protests, and thanks to talk radio, we also hear the audio of the left wing openly calling for violent revolution in the USA. Once again, let us pray for the victims and pray for The United States of America.

    118. toledofan says:

      The incident was a tradegy and a senseless act, but, it's clear that the media and the Democats always try to paint a picture that isn't true and in many cases uses a tragedy like this to further their agenda promoting gun control and closing down the right leaning radio and televison personalities trying to paint them as the ones that create the hate and anger. I know Lee Harvey Oswald was a leftist trained by the Russians and I think Timmorhy McVeigh was pissed off at what happened at Waco and Ruby Ridge, that was during the Clinton/Janet Reno reign. I guess the point is that bad people do bad things, is it worse because a Congress person was involved? I don't think so, what about the guy that was gunned down in Arizona on his ranch, wasn't that a despicaible act? How about a cop that gets shot handing out a speeding ticket. They are all tragic and all are committed by people doing bad things.

    119. Lil, San Diego says:

      Could it be that Sheriff Dupnik made those incredibly stupid remarks to shift blame from his office? Mr Loughner had a history of drug usage and arrest as far back as 2007, he also displayed irrational behavior patterns at this time, threatening many people. Dupnik's remarks are ludicrous and needlessly coarsen the dialog.

    120. Marie, NC says:

      A more useful discussion would be 1) how we can ensure that mentally ill patients can get the medications, therapies, and support for their family that they need, 2) how we as a country can set policy to help companies develop better antipsychotics, 3) to determine the line between an individual's freedom to choose to be insane or a society's need to be protected (Civil Rights attorneys make it hard for families to commit their loved ones to treatment, even if delusional thinking is part of the disease and prevents one to realize that s/he is sick), and 4) to support research in determining which patients might be at risk to themselves (the bigger problem) or others (rare) prior to this type of tragedy. These are much more important issues to discuss because they get at the heart of preventing future tragedies.

    121. John L, South Caroli says:

      While ALL legal American citizens SHOULD find the shootings in Arizona deplorable and certainly tragic, but NOT the end of the world! ALL who have watched the news shows have had several days now of 24/7 coverage of this and little else! The US has virtually ground to a halt because a US Congresswoman was shot! Again, while tragic, life does go on!

      Our government and the 'media" seem obsessed with this horrible situation, yet seem to turn away from the horrors occuring just a few miles away on our southern border! Apparently, a congresswoman is more important than the many American troops who give their lives daily in America's war in Afghanistan! Apparently more important than the rancher and US Borderman killed on our southern border! The "gun control" liberals have literally salivated over this as "proff positive" legal Americans should NOT own guns! It seems the government and the "media" make this terrible situation, and many others like it in the past, the "reason" to, or not to do many things that are not relavant to the actual occurance! Again, while this tragic situation did ocure, the United States of America MUST still go on with the business of We The People AND remember many others die daily for this great nation who NEVER GET REPORTED! Are we not gaping at knats while swallowing camels?

    122. Mel RI says:

      Silence the opposition….or are they only unrealistically fathoming that American people are so gullible? Horribly, History unfortunately is repeating itself. Insulting as it is to the American people that the left would actually lean to their politically agenda for blaming, Think blaming a lone yes LONE disturbingly monster is the core.. . Hate Mongers needs to be silenced…

    123. Steve S. California says:

      From reading comments above and elsewhere, it could be argued that the most influential product given to us by modern technology is the LABELMAKER! What a wonderful device, allows the user to neatly categorize his or her fellow humans without the unnecessary aggravation of having to think, or worse yet to have to exercise that increasingly absent characteristic called humanity. Why, a few improvements, like attachments to feed and clothe you and life would be complete. Then all you have to do is coerce the rest of humanity into like behavior so that you will not feel so exposed in your intolerance and indecency.

      Oh, and in case you haven't been paying attention, dehumanizing those who you don't like is the first step to war and worse. History has proven this ad nauseam…If this pisses you off; the missile has likely found its mark!

    124. Henry, Il. says:

      Brenda Craven, MS Brilliantly put.Where were the so-called reporters from the Propaganda Ministry such as curic , williams , oberman, blitzer and other SMALL left wing reporters / commentators regarding this VITRIOL and who was spewing it!

    125. Richard, Sun City, A says:

      I completely agree with Pima County's Sheriff Dupnik. I think attacks against him and those of us who disagree with you, are in my mind, proof of your desperation. I followed the last season of political debate very closely and I never saw nor heard any Democratic politician nor spokes-person telling their listeners to "…use their Second Amendment rights…," or to "Lock and load…" nor did I see even one place gunsight crosshairs on a map representing opposing politicians! (Do I need to remind you that here in Arizona, your Right Wing Tea Bagger bullies carried guns to the place where the President of the United States was speaking!)

      I have cautioned my friends to be calm in their rhetoric, but for you to slam Sheriff Dupnik for expressing a Truth, especially when he was expressing his views after such a horrible thing had happened, as some of you, Fox "news" and your Heritage Foundation have done, is simply unacceptable.

    126. Dave W. Provo. UT says:

      This Morning Bell reaches its logical conclusion in Glenn Beck's challenge to all the political spectrum to sign his none violence pledge. It is a thoughtful and reasoned idea that most of the political noise makers will not agree with as requires us to get the facts and be civil.

    127. Mary Meile says:

      We should all be asking what motivated such hatred and anger in this young man’s mind for him to perform such a horrific killing spree. The perpetrator of this crime is only 22 years old. As a mother, my heart aches for him and his victims. As a citizen of America we can not just dismiss this as another inadvertent act of violence and sweep it under the rug. Look around today and you will see an increase of violence, corruption, greed, hatred, anger and evil acts sprouting up all over America. They are little smoldering fires and will rapidly grow to a devouring forest fire if they are not put out. Instead of murmuring against our government leaders and adding additional strife and chaos, let us support and help them be a voice of truth and a light of hope for our wonderful nation.

      Remember that we are truly privileged to reside in the land of the free and that America is a Nation worth fighting for! It is time to take back our land of America from the hands of the enemy. You might ask, what is the name of our enemy so I can help fight? Our enemies name is “evil” and it has many faces and comes in many forms; it seeks to devour and destroy the moral foundations and core values of America. The dictionary definition of evil lists the following: morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life; harmful; injurious: evil laws; characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous; marked by anger; irritability. You see “evil” can not act on it’s own as it requires a vessel (person) to carry out the act or deed. Now I would like to list some opposites of evil: moral, right, good, truth, helpful, peace, life, love, forgiveness, and hope.

      Let me name a few examples of evil that are occurring daily in America: hatred for another human, racism, terror attacks, oppression of the poor and weak, human trafficking, drug trafficking, exploitation of children and woman through sex trade, corruption in government and law enforcement, greed of money with no consideration for the harm to others, fraud, violence, and of course murder. Unfortunately, the list can continue on and on. Each and every act of evil leads to destruction in one form or another. Whether it be death by a thousand cuts (slowly) or quickly, it carries forth a path of devouring destruction.

      I challenge each of us to take a stand and condemn the moral breakdown in our society that is feeding the evil. Let each of us be a beacon of light in the midst of darkness: a proponent of truth and justice; respecter of humanity; and a peace maker within our communities. You can and do make a difference!

    128. Mary Meile, Florida says:

      We should all be asking what motivated such hatred and anger in this young man’s mind for him to perform such a horrific killing spree. The perpetrator of this crime is only 22 years old. As a mother, my heart aches for him and his victims. As a citizen of America we can not just dismiss this as another inadvertent act of violence and sweep it under the rug. Look around today and you will see an increase of violence, corruption, greed, hatred, anger and evil acts sprouting up all over America. They are little smoldering fires and will rapidly grow to a devouring forest fire if they are not put out. Instead of murmuring against our government leaders and adding additional strife and chaos, let us support and help them be a voice of truth and a light of hope for our wonderful nation.

      Remember that we are truly privileged to reside in the land of the free and that America is a Nation worth fighting for! It is time to take back our land of America from the hands of the enemy. You might ask, what is the name of our enemy so I can help fight? Our enemies name is “evil” and it has many faces and comes in many forms; it seeks to devour and destroy the moral foundations and core values of America. The dictionary definition of evil lists the following: morally wrong or bad; immoral; wicked: evil deeds; an evil life; harmful; injurious: evil laws; characterized or accompanied by misfortune or suffering; unfortunate; disastrous; marked by anger; irritability. You see “evil” can not act on it’s own as it requires a vessel (person) to carry out the act or deed. Now I would like to list some opposites of evil: moral, right, good, truth, helpful, peace, life, love, forgiveness, and hope.

      Let me name a few examples of evil that are occurring daily in America: hatred for another human, racism, terror attacks, oppression of the poor and weak, human trafficking, drug trafficking, exploitation of children and woman through sex trade, corruption in government and law enforcement, greed of money with no consideration for the harm to others, fraud, violence, and of course murder. Unfortunately, the list can continue on and on. Each and every act of evil leads to destruction in one form or another. Whether it be death by a thousand cuts (slowly) or quickly, it carries forth a path of devouring destruction.

      I challenge each of us to take a stand and condemn the moral breakdown in our society that is feeding the evil. Let each of us be a beacon of light in the midst of darkness: a proponent of truth and justice; respecter of humanity; and a peace maker within our communities. You can and do make a difference!

    129. Bobbie says:

      People can get so low to politicize this ugly event. All I hear from the left are lies and attacks before the facts as if justifying the actions of this individual's murderous rampage!!!!! Blaming their opposition when someone neglected their duty to prevent this. The left are destroying people in this country for their own gain and the majority of democrats represent that. But it's in law enforcement now, society… the trickle down effect.

      I haven't heard it one bit in the Republican party but to ask it to stop. The news media, members in government, law enforcement are all provoking civil unrest spinning it to stir the public into societal chaos.

      This sheriff is not representing the laws in Arizona, he's covering his neglect to impose government control.

      The left jumps to conclusions which means truth is of little significance, telling it or accepting it! They would rather cause crisis than hear truth! Truly, the ugliest of humanity. I'll stay to the right.

    130. Daniel says:

      YES, HATED FILLED RHETIORIC FROM CONSERVATIVE MEDIA TELLING US 24/7 THAT THE PRESIDENT IS TRYING TO DESTORY OUR COUNTRY HAS NO EFFECT ON PEOPLES ACTIONS. NO, THAT WOULDN'T MAKE ANY SENSE WOULD IT? BUYING AMMUNITION FOR A 33 BULLET GUN AT YOUR LOCAL WALMART IS SURE SAFE IS IT NOT? LETTING ANYONE CARRY A CONCEALED HANDGUN ANYWHERE IN ARIZONA IS SAFE RIGHT? WALKING INTO ANY GUN SHOW AND GETTING A GUN WITHOUT ANY FORMS OR PERMITS MAKES SINCE RIGHT?WHERE WERE ALL THOSE CONCEALED PERMIT HEROES TO STOP THIS GUY? I THOUGHT THATS WHAT THE 2ND AMMENDMENT WAS ALL ABOUT, STOPPING THE EVIL PEOPLE? WHERE WERE ALL OF YOU? YOU DIDN'T STOP HIM. I HOPE THE MEDIA TRAMPLES ALL OF YOU AND YOUR PARTY, YOU DESERVE EVERY BIT OF IT.

    131. Daniel says:

      Jared Lee Loughner, the 22-year-old resident of Tucson identified by police as the gunman in Saturday's rampage, left a series of indications revealing the mentally unstable state of his mind and the extreme rightwing causes he supported in the run up to the tragedy.

      Just hours before he embarked on the shooting, he posted a message on his MySpace page saying: "Goodbye friends. Dear friends, please don't be mad at me." He also posted a YouTube video of written slides called My Final Thoughts. In it, he wrote: "Jared Loughner is in need of sleep."

      In a series of videos, he gave a rambling account of obsessions and paranoias that appeared to be troubling him with increasing intensity up to the catastrophe. They included references to conscious dreaming, or "conscience dreaming" as he called it, a process of directing one's own dreams that he is thought to have practised. Another was a belief in the gold and silver standard of currency – a favourite topic of the rightwing of American politics that is regularly propounded by the Fox News commentator Glenn Beck.

      The tone of Loughner's rantings is almost exclusively conservative and anti-government, with echoes of the populist campaigning of the Tea Party movement. "Don't trust the government listener!" he said in one video, accusing Washington of mind control and brainwashing.

      The US constitution, the bible of the Tea Parties, features heavily, as does the suggestion that the federal government is acting against the text. "You don't have to accept the federalist laws. Read the United States of America constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws."

      There is also a strong streak of implicit violence in the postings.

      He linked to his favourite video, America: Your Last Memory in a Terrorist Country, which shows a ghostly figure burning the US flag in the desert to a heavy metal song that repeatedly chants "Let the bodies hit the floor!"

      He referred to people calling him a terrorist and wrote "a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon."

      Until 4 October, Loughner was a student at Pima community college in Tucson, but he was suspended after a number of inappropriate acts.

      The college said he had five contacts with the campus police for having disrupted classrooms and the library. In a YouTube video posted on 29 September, Loughner accused the college of fraud and of being illegal under the US constitution.

      After Loughner quit the college, the institution made clear that, if he wished to return, he would have to undergo a mental health check to ensure that his presence did not "present a danger to himself or others".

      Fellow students at Pima told local newspapers that he had displayed troubled behaviour. He was reported to be isolated and withdrawn and used to laugh out loud in the poetry class in a way that made others feel uneasy.

      "He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts," Lynda Sorenson, who shared his mathematics class last year, told the Arizona Daily Star.

      He lived with his parents on the northwest side of Tucson, a few miles away from the shooting scene. His difficulties began relatively early, with one incident recorded by police of a drug violation while he was at high school. He tried to enlist in the US military in Tucson but was turned away for unspecified reasons.

      Arizona prides itself on its loose gun laws but there is still shock that a man with such a prolonged history of erratic and disturbing outbursts was able to legally acquire the gun he used in his rampage. The shootings were carried out with a Glock 19 semiautomatic, with a magazine of 30 bullets.

    132. Daniel says:

      nothing any of you can say or spin will change the fact that right-wing rhetoric leads to violence. your pinned in a corner and there is nothing you can do about it. the fact that you defend conservative media hits the nail on the head. put a stop to this hate filled rhetoric or you will be forced to stop. stop buying into conservative media. turn off fox news. leave the heritage foundation. stop listening to rush limbaush, beck and palin. they are ruining this country from the inside out. wake up idiots. your on thin ice and this is your last warning.

    133. Sandra, San Antonio says:

      My heartfelt sympaties to the families and citizens of Arizona. We should never let the actions of one represent the beliefs of the majority. But never before have I seen such a nation divided as has occured under the watch of President Obama and the democratic party. It all began Nov 2008 when Pelosi so aptly reptorted ed "We Won". Yes, they one, but at what expense. I pray we come together and rebuild this great nation.

    134. John Olofson, Graeag says:

      As Rahm Emanuel said, the Democrats never want to let a crises go to waste. They are sick. They have not had a new and/or constructive idea in my 75 year lifetime. They continue to disappoint well meaning people at every turn. Let's just "consider the source" and march ahead!

    135. Dan, Greenville SC says:

      Bravo Heritage….very well put!!

    136. Trevor, Horseshoe Ba says:

      Civil society requires civic virtue in an open society where the citizens are motivated to participate civilly in the political discourse. The success of our federal republic is predicated on that principle which is protected under the First Amendment of the Constitution.

      Unfortunately, the civic virtue which was so prevalent at the time of our founding, has been systematically undermined over the past century by Progressive elitists who want to remove the framework for moral behavior (religion) from the public place. In addition, lawyers and unions foment and profit from intrusive government regulations and the acerbic, litigious environment which has become American society. As long as these special interests are coddled by the government they manage and manipulate, the problem will persist.

    137. Bobbie says:

      Daniel writes like he is very unstable and desperate. May God help him.

    138. Brad, Detroit, MI says:

      Please bar Daniel from posting on this site. Even though he has about 12 posts, I can't seem to find one shred of evidence that backs up his or Sheriff Dopenick's scurrilous claim.

    139. Adam says:

      The shooter's views…

      video in which he claimed that the college was illegal according to the United States Constitution(actual conservative belief with public schools)

      We the Living is the critically acclaimed first novel published by the Russian-American novelist Ayn Rand. It was also Rand's first statement against communism(actual conservative belief that Obama is a communist)

      Loughner had exhibited a longstanding dislike for Gabrielle Giffords, a Blue Dog Democrat, and he repeatedly derided her as a "fake."(ok…she is a democrat that was "targeted by many conservatives)

      a New World Order would bring about a one world currency(actual belief by conservatives that Obama wants this)

      In conspiracy theory, the term New World Order or NWO refers to the emergence of a bureaucratic collectivist one-world government(actual belief by conservatives that Obama wants this)

      and the government was using mind control to brainwash people by controlling grammar(acutal belief by conservatives that the media and government is brainwashing people)

      and the views of conspiracy theorist David Wynn Miller

      The Los Angeles Times characterized Miller's political views as "far-right(speaks for itself)

      David-Wynn: Miller, is a former tool and die welder[2] and current American activist in a tax protest group affiliated with the Sovereign Citizen Movement(speaks for itself)

      They especially reject most forms of taxation as illegitimate.[1] Participants in the movement argue this concept in opposition to "federal citizens" who, they believe, have unknowingly forfeited their rights by accepting some aspect of federal law(the same anti-government blah blah blah that conservatives use)

      Yea, it's impossible to say that politics had any play in this shooting. No way. That just doesn't make any sense does it. Sure seems like this shooting was WELL planned out.

    140. Adam says:

      also, the guy was anti-government, call abortion terrorism and shot a democrat. no, this could not be political, NO WAY!!!!

    141. Daniel says:

      Adam,

      Be careful, you might get banned by Heritage for posting facts! I admit I got overheated, but it's such a shame that Heritage can only look at things one way. To say that politics had nothing to do with shooting a politician is insane. I'm not sure why these people leaving comments are so set on protecting media as if hatred on tv could not possibly influence people. It does and it will continue. Rhetoric on both sides needs to calm down. It's weird that rational people like us get attacked just by asking for good and solid debate. The attempts made by Heritage are false anyways, the sheriff mentioned rhetoric in the media, thats it. He did not pinpoint anyone or anybody. I stand up for what the sherrif said!

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