I definately want to clarify, that the events that transpired were horrific and our condolences go out to all the victims and their families. The monster(s) that did this should get the needle.
That said, some well intentioned individuals in government, are going to jump to some premature conclusions, pass some knee-jerk reaction legislation, and further erode our Constitutional rights, all under the guise of safety, liberty, and all that jazz... Remember, before all these laws start flying around Washington, that Benjamin Franklin said:
Those who would give up essential liberties, to purchase a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty or safety.http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/09/shooting-prompts-legislation-to-protect-lawmakers-officials/
I wonder who will be charged with the "approved words and symbols list" that we, the loyal subjects to the crown, will be subject to using to express our displeasure with our elected representative government, when they tell us to "go to hell" with their vote. Actions speak louder than words...Washington (CNN) - Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, said he will introduce legislation making it a federal crime for a person to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official.
So this politician will use this tragedy to his own twisted ends, to further his agenda, so we citizens have no recourse but to beg like the orphan in Charles Dickens classic "Oliver Twist" when he said "Please sir, I want some more".
I guess when Rahm Emanuel said "You never want to let a good crisis go to waste", this guy was listening and taking notes.
The scary thing is, the perpetrator of the crime, did not use language or symbols against a member of congress or federal official. He committed a crime. He will be prosecuted for that crime, and faces the death penalty for it.
If Mr. Brady here, introduces and passes this legislation, he will be passing a law, that does nothing to address what actually happened. His law would only criminalize what Sarah Palin's campaign did, saying that they were going after the district that Gabrielle Giffords represented.
Brady is particularly incensed over a web posting by former Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin during the 2010 election in which she targeted 20 House Democrats, including Giffords for political defeat. The posting showed a map of the United States with the 20 Democratic congressional districts identified by gun sights. "You can't put bulls eyes or crosshairs on a United States congressman or a federal official," Brady said.Actually, Mr. Brady, you can. No one took or understood the meaning of that website image to imply anything other than those candidates jobs were targets in an upcoming election. A cross-hair is a simple graphic that denotes a target, and is pretty much universally understood. Would you rather those districts have been covered with an "X"? Ooooh, now you are saying they should be crossed off, which could be construed to mean killed too... you people in government are so naive, how do you even suppose to represent the average American citizen? Oh... nevermind...
"The rhetoric is just ramped up so negatively, so high, that we have got to shut this down," Brady said, noting that "I've had my share of death threats" over his many years in politics.Maybe, just maybe, there is a reason that the rhetoric is ramped so high? The American people have 14 Trillion in debt to contend with, a congress and house that have spent uninhibited the last four years, a government that feels after running our economy into the ground and living high on the hog themselves, that now, to fix it, ALL OF US, meaning the taxpayers, are going to have to make sacrifices and shoulder the burden. Those of us who had nothing to do with creating this problem.
And remember the 2000+ page health care bill, that Nancy Pelosi pompously paraded through a massive crowd of protesters, brandishing her gavel, on the way to sign? And remember when she said we have to pass this healthcare bill to really find out what is in it? And this is the LEADER of the Democratic party and was next in line for the presidency behind Biden?
I also remember the Democratic Majority not being able to get the 60 votes needed in the Senate, so they changed the rules and passed a ONE TRILLION DOLLAR WELFARE BILL with a simple majority, even with a handful of Democrats joining Republicans in opposition.
So why is the rhetoric so ramped up? Because of politics, BOTH PARTIES, in Washington, and at the State level, ignoring their constituents and telling us what is best for us. But now, this clueless Representative from Pennsylvania, would pass a law telling us how we can express our desires now.
He would criminalize freedom of speech and freedom of the press. He would have it a FEDERAL CRIME to "use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a Member of Congress or federal official."
You don't have to like what is said, but you have to respect the process. It's not an option, not a recommendation, not a "Mr. Representative, this might be a good idea" type suggestion. It's the FIRST Amendment to the Constitution, the FIRST item under the Bill of Rights, which protects us, the citizens, from you, the government. NOT THE OTHER WAY AROUND.
Thomas Jefferson had a few words of wisdom that Mr. Brady should head...
The two enemies of the people are criminals and government, so let us tie the second down with the chains of the constitution so the second will not become the legalized version of the firstAnd remember when I mentioned Rahm Emanuel above, when he said "You never want to let a good crisis go to waste"? Here is what Founding Father James Madison (and fourth President of the United States) thought about that:
Most bad government has grown out of too much government.
What country can preserve its liberties if its rulers are not warned from time to time that their people preserve the spirit of resistance?
"Crisis is the rallying cry of the tyrant.Ultimately, this was a tragedy. The kind of tragedy that happens every day in America and around the world. What makes America great, is our resilience. We recover, move on, and prosecute the guilty with the best legal system the world has ever known. We hold the guilty accountable. We lose all that, when we start playing political games with the misfortune of others, to further an agenda. Like Ron Paul said:
"Failure of government programs prompts more determined efforts, while the loss of liberty is ignored or rationalized away."