Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Words matter, and so do guns

Sarah Palin has now weighed in with her defence when it comes to suggestions what she and other political pundits (or pundints as she said it...)have had to say may have played a role in the deadly shooting in Arizona over the weekend. She calls the alleged shooter deranged, among other things and says there has always been harsh rhetoric in American political discourse.

She's right, of course; this guy was deranged and there have often been harsh words spoken. She also says when she puts crosshairs on a map and names the now-victim on her website, we're also supposed to know she's just kiddin' around. Maybe she should hold up a sign or something, so everyone will know when to take her seriously and when she's joking.

By contrast, Barack Obama was awesome, hitting exactly the right note last night in his address in Arizona, although it was kind of weird that he got so many standing ovations at a memorial service.

All this got me thinking about assassinations. In US history, there have been 20 assassination plots that went far enough to become action. Four of them successful.

How many Prime Ministers in Canada have been assassinated? None. Is that because of our gun laws or our rhetorical restraint? Maybe both. There's no way to know for sure, but I'd sure like that number to stay right where it is, at zero.

No comments:

Post a Comment

This should really go without saying, but please think twice and be nice when commenting.