Sanity from Jack Schafer

In addition to the absolute stupidity of attempting to blame Sarah Palin for the Tucscon massacre, there is the very real consequence that the left is seeking to stifle political speech.

Jack Shafer writing at Slate applies the necessary panacea for that terrible idea:

Sheriff Dupnik's political sermon came before any conclusive or even circumstantial proof had been offered that the shooter had been incited by anything except the gas music from Jupiter playing inside his head.For as long as I've been alive, crosshairs and bull's-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such "inflammatory" words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I've listened to, read-and even written!-vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I've even gotten angry, for goodness' sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

From what I can tell, I'm not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people-most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds-can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

For the left, we should basically ignore the terrorist threat because there are so few of them but we should perhaps pass legislation criminalizing speech because an even smaller group might act on impulse?

Read the whole thing.


In addition to the absolute stupidity of attempting to blame Sarah Palin for the Tucscon massacre, there is the very real consequence that the left is seeking to stifle political speech.

Jack Shafer writing at Slate applies the necessary panacea for that terrible idea:

Sheriff Dupnik's political sermon came before any conclusive or even circumstantial proof had been offered that the shooter had been incited by anything except the gas music from Jupiter playing inside his head.

For as long as I've been alive, crosshairs and bull's-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such "inflammatory" words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I've listened to, read-and even written!-vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I've even gotten angry, for goodness' sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

From what I can tell, I'm not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people-most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds-can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

For the left, we should basically ignore the terrorist threat because there are so few of them but we should perhaps pass legislation criminalizing speech because an even smaller group might act on impulse?

Read the whole thing.


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