Don’t Reload – Mark it Zero

Oh dear. If Sarah Palin should ever get shot (I hope she won’t), I will have to take the blame, or some of it. After all, it’s me who wrote that post in October last year, and added that picture to it. And no, I didn’t mean to say that the stuff lying in front of that Christmas bird should represents Ms Palin’s guts. I  only wanted to express my view that things get messy once Sarah Palin shows up somewhere. Besides, the picture simply reminds me of Ms Palin. Can’t help it.

Mark it zero.

Mark it zero.

Anyway. Sarah Palin has been accused of being, somehow, even if unintentionally, be partly responsible for the Tucson shooting on January 8. The suspected attacker, Jared Lee Loughner, it is suggested, was possibly inspired by the vitriolic way political concepts that ran counter to each other had been discussed, or by the way the “Tea Party” movement and other members of America’s political right attacked the Obama administration’s agenda. Besides, a photo exists where Palin holds a gun in her hands and gives someone a lunatic grin. She advocates the freedom to bear arms. And, yeah, she used the word “reload” in a political context.

And on the other hand, I don’t find attempts to politicize the Arizona tragedy – the gunshots at Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six people – “repulsive”. To blame others than the attacker himself  is a natural reaction in a heated political climate, and in a rather shallow way, it can help to make some of the pain to go away, at least for a while. But it isn’t helpful to start blaming Palin & Cie. But what’s repulsive is the act of shooting at a group of unarmed and unsuspecting people. But for that, the assasin is responsible. Neither Palin, nor a perceived “liberal conspiracy”, nor Ms Giffords’ reported inability or unwillingness to answer a strange question. If the news from Tucson hurts us, we need a period of silence, rather than acrimony, and we must bear the sadness.

And, needless to say, it isn’t helpful to talk like Sarah Palin. But that’s a different story. She’s so out of touch with real life that she shouldn’t even be an issue.

That’s the problem. Entirely sane and reasonable people can either advocate gun control, or the liberty to bear arms. The problem is the news consumer. Anyone who isn’t prepared to listen to a statement, unless it is made in a pretty sensational way, is part of the problem. He or she isn’t guilty – that would be a different category.

Most people would agree that hate speech contains no hints to a true solution of public problems. Then why listen to it?

Let’s not hate stupid speeches. Let’s just mark them zero, and move on. Let’s look for arguments – from any party – which could make sense, even if the press makes them more difficult to find than radically stupid ones. There is no sensational shortcut to solutions which work.

____________

Related
Why Wikileaks can’t Work, December 1, 2010
A World of Pain, August 14, 2010
Germany’s Latest Superstar, March 12, 2009

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