Sunday, January 09, 2011

Fun with Mental Health, Guns, and Quotes from the Right

Hearing the endless loop of whining from Republicans that their violent rhetoric had nothing to do with the shooting yesterday in Arizona has made me want to review some of the rhetoric for the record. Never mind Palin's gun sight map, which they argue wasn't really gunsights, just cross-hairs.

''I'm thinking about killing Michael Moore, and I'm wondering if I could kill him myself, or if I would need to hire somebody to do it. ... No, I think I could. I think he could be looking me in the eye, you know, and I could just be choking the life out.'' —Glenn Beck
"I hope that's not where we're going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out." —Sharon Angle
''Our nation was founded on violence. The option is on the table. I don't think that we should ever remove anything from the table as it relates to our liberties and our freedoms.''—Tea Party Texas GOP congressional candidate Stephen Broden
I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us 'having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,' and the people -- we the people -- are going to have to fight back hard if we're not going to lose our country." —Michele Backmann
"Don’t retreat. Instead — reload!" —Sarah Palin

Who knows how much these words had to do with the shooting, if any. But they're awfully close to yelling fire in a crowded theater. I don't care who the shooter was or what he thought, talk like this is dangerous and stupid. Anyone who wants to defend speech like that now is sick. It's indefensible.

Of course, combine Arizona's lax gun laws and cuts to mental health services and you get a real fun place to live:

Arizona has been considered a progressive state because it provides the vast majority of mental health services through cost-effective outpatient community programs. By slashing these programs, experts say the state will force more people to use emergency rooms or end up in the criminal justice system, which will cost the state more.

So, who knows what this particular shooter's mental state was. Who knows if he should have had a gun or not. Who knows if he watched Glen Beck. But you put all this together and it sounds pretty dangerous. Something is/was bound to go wrong.

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