Another congressman shot, and civility continues to crumble

Once again, a member of Congress has been shot and others wounded.  This conjures up memories when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was wounded on January 8, 2011.  Americans need to examine what has happened to our society over the years. 

Although Giffords's shooter was mentally ill, and it appeared that he did it not for political reasons, this cannot be said of the current shooting.  A gunman sprayed approximately 50 shots at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.  Five people, including House majority whip Steve Scalise (La.), two Capitol Police officers, and a staffer, were wounded.  Because he was killed, no one will know the true reason the shooter decided to fire on the GOP members, yet it has come out that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter and very political in his anti-Republican rages. 

Many in Congress and the press are echoing a call for civility, with members of both parties urging their colleagues to ratchet down the animus.  Been there, done that.  After Giffords was shot in 2011, people either pointed fingers or called for toning down the rhetoric.  They spoke of the choice of words and asked that congressional people rise above the nonsense of making politics a rhetorical blood sport and instead have a civil debate on the issues instead of the angry discourse where they vilify and condemn each other.  Both sides spoke of working out problems through negotiation and cooperation.  Well, that sentiment certainly went far. 

Giffords, before she was shot, warned, "The rhetoric is incredibly heated[.] ... The way that I have been depicted in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, when people do that, they have got to realize there are consequences."  Compare that to what Ivanka Trump said on Fox and Friends on June 11, "I'm hoping that people would reflect on some of the language that they use and realize that honorable people can disagree, but I'm not optimistic.  There's a level of viciousness that I was not expecting."

Shortly after the baseball practice shooting, Giffords noted, "It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you're a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer.  If you serve the institution of Congress, you're connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy."

Why does it seem that civility is no longer a word in the American vocabulary?  Maybe because there are celebrities, such as Madonna, who called for the White House to be bombed.  There are Kathy Griffin holding the head of President Donald Trump, a New York play where they stab and kill the president and first lady, and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi lamenting the GOP's newly revised bill to repeal and replace Obamacare as a "very sad, deadly joke."

Taking a stroll down Memory Lane, let's not forget Hillary Clinton comparing pro-life Americans to terrorists; then-candidate Barack Obama saying, "If they bring a knife to a fight, we will bring a gun"; and climate change supporters claiming that climate change is a greater threat than radical Islamic terrorism and is one of the United States' significant national security problems.

Unfortunately, not one party or one group has a monopoly.  During the campaign, Donald Trump used vulgar language, speaking of "blood coming out of her eyes" and "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone, and I would not lose voters."

It is wishful thinking that this toxic rhetoric will stop and people will learn their lesson.  It would be nice if an event like this recent shooting would make people rethink the way they speak.  As Congressman Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told a radio show, "maybe this is a wake-up call.  Let's hope we could disagree on a more polite, conversational basis."

The question remains: have Americans learned anything since the Gabby Giffords shooting?  The answer appears to be no.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

Once again, a member of Congress has been shot and others wounded.  This conjures up memories when Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was wounded on January 8, 2011.  Americans need to examine what has happened to our society over the years. 

Although Giffords's shooter was mentally ill, and it appeared that he did it not for political reasons, this cannot be said of the current shooting.  A gunman sprayed approximately 50 shots at a Republican baseball practice in Alexandria, Virginia.  Five people, including House majority whip Steve Scalise (La.), two Capitol Police officers, and a staffer, were wounded.  Because he was killed, no one will know the true reason the shooter decided to fire on the GOP members, yet it has come out that he was a Bernie Sanders supporter and very political in his anti-Republican rages. 

Many in Congress and the press are echoing a call for civility, with members of both parties urging their colleagues to ratchet down the animus.  Been there, done that.  After Giffords was shot in 2011, people either pointed fingers or called for toning down the rhetoric.  They spoke of the choice of words and asked that congressional people rise above the nonsense of making politics a rhetorical blood sport and instead have a civil debate on the issues instead of the angry discourse where they vilify and condemn each other.  Both sides spoke of working out problems through negotiation and cooperation.  Well, that sentiment certainly went far. 

Giffords, before she was shot, warned, "The rhetoric is incredibly heated[.] ... The way that I have been depicted in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district, when people do that, they have got to realize there are consequences."  Compare that to what Ivanka Trump said on Fox and Friends on June 11, "I'm hoping that people would reflect on some of the language that they use and realize that honorable people can disagree, but I'm not optimistic.  There's a level of viciousness that I was not expecting."

Shortly after the baseball practice shooting, Giffords noted, "It doesn't matter if you're a Democrat or a Republican, nor if you're a senator or a representative, nor a staffer or a sworn officer.  If you serve the institution of Congress, you're connected to your colleagues, current and former, by a shared sense of service to ideals far greater than yourself. This shooting is an attack on all who serve and on all who participate in our democracy."

Why does it seem that civility is no longer a word in the American vocabulary?  Maybe because there are celebrities, such as Madonna, who called for the White House to be bombed.  There are Kathy Griffin holding the head of President Donald Trump, a New York play where they stab and kill the president and first lady, and House minority leader Nancy Pelosi lamenting the GOP's newly revised bill to repeal and replace Obamacare as a "very sad, deadly joke."

Taking a stroll down Memory Lane, let's not forget Hillary Clinton comparing pro-life Americans to terrorists; then-candidate Barack Obama saying, "If they bring a knife to a fight, we will bring a gun"; and climate change supporters claiming that climate change is a greater threat than radical Islamic terrorism and is one of the United States' significant national security problems.

Unfortunately, not one party or one group has a monopoly.  During the campaign, Donald Trump used vulgar language, speaking of "blood coming out of her eyes" and "I could stand in the middle of 5th Avenue and shoot someone, and I would not lose voters."

It is wishful thinking that this toxic rhetoric will stop and people will learn their lesson.  It would be nice if an event like this recent shooting would make people rethink the way they speak.  As Congressman Chris Collins (R-N.Y.) told a radio show, "maybe this is a wake-up call.  Let's hope we could disagree on a more polite, conversational basis."

The question remains: have Americans learned anything since the Gabby Giffords shooting?  The answer appears to be no.

The author writes for American Thinker.  She has done book reviews and author interviews and has written a number of national security, political, and foreign policy articles.

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