Violent rhetoric

It’s worth pointing out that while there is currently no evidence linking the individual in Arizona who shot 20 people the other day with violent political rhetoric, there also isn’t any evidence that he’s mentally ill.

Yet nobody seems to have any particular objection to jumping to this particular conclusion. We’ve all seen his youtube channel and read statements by former classmates and so on attesting to his unusual views; it doesn’t seem like an unreasonable conclusion at all.

Meanwhile, a GOP district chairman in Arizona just resigned the position citing threats from individuals identifying themselves as tea party members and locally, the FBI just started an investigation into death threats against Congressman Jim McDermott.

Draw your own conclusion.

  • Trackback are closed
  • Comments (4)
    • anthropochick
    • January 12th, 2011

    1) Who is writing the criterion for ‘violent political rhetoric’? Would there be a ‘physically threatening’ vs ‘mentally threatening’ vs ‘perceived threat’ etc. etc.? ‘Mildly offensive’? ‘Excessively terse’? We could have color codes like the terrorism levels.

    2) Drawing a line of causation from mental illness > shooting is quite different from trying to draw a line from a general & amorphous ‘violent political rhetoric.’

    3) I can identify myself as anyone I want to, and then threaten people all day long. Doesn’t mean I represent them or am actually affiliated. Need more info.

    These arguments i keep hearing in the media are as specious as the ones saying Doom/Quake/GTA4/Paperboy/Pacman caused whatever school shooting, and therefore must be stopped. There have always been people threatening political figures, and always will be. The people that act on these threats are disturbed enough to be triggered by anything, really.

    I realize people want to be able to control, predict, and prevent – but mental illness = mental illness. Part of living in a free society is taking risks because by definition the more freedom, the less control. So unless you want to go down the ‘Minority Report’ road, it’s just the way it is.

    IMO, by IMMEDIATELY covering the shooting in AZ as a politically-motivated event, the media is actually themselves doing what they purport to be speaking out against.

    Those were my conclusions, lol.

    • Max Bell
    • January 12th, 2011

    You’re kind of getting away from my point, although maybe it was too subtle.

    The rhetoric in question made it entirely too easy to jump to the wrong conclusion. That this happened anyway should come as a shock to no one.

    • anthropochick
    • January 12th, 2011

    I blame the jumpers, then 😉

    • Uriel
    • January 13th, 2011

    I wish I could remember the exact quote and the individual attributed to it but…

    “Insanity in individuals is extremely rare, within large groups it’s commonplace”

Comments are closed.
%d bloggers like this: