(What are the chances anyone could take the use of crosshairs imagery as an invitation to violence?)
Perhaps some of the right-leaning folks are correct that we are leaning too hard on the use of rhetoric that implies or suggests violence. Why not bully others as a regular part of political discourse?
Words have consequences. In politics, words can have terrible and immediate consquences. We should have learned that in 1995, with the Oklahoma City bombing following the use of incendiary rhetoric in the 1994 Congressional elections. It's a perennial lesson we have to learn anew all the time, as if it's new. "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest?"
Like they say, know your enemy:
When asked by the New York Post whether his daughter had any enemies, Giffords' father, through tears, responded: "Yeah, the whole tea party."This appears to be how Sarah Palin and the rest of the GOP does business. No surprise if she and they receive in-kind. From "The Untouchables" :
Malone: You said you wanted to get Capone. Do you really wanna get him? You see what I'm saying is, what are you prepared to do?
Ness: Anything within the law.
Malone: And *then* what are you prepared to do? If you open the can on these worms you must be prepared to go all the way. Because they're not gonna give up the fight, until one of you is dead.
Ness: I want to get Capone! I don't know how to do it.
Malone: You wanna know how to get Capone? They pull a knife, you pull a gun. He sends one of yours to the hospital, you send one of his to the morgue. *That's* the *Chicago* way! And that's how you get Capone. Now do you want to do that? Are you ready to do that? I'm offering you a deal. Do you want this deal?