The Campaign Spot

Why Blame Photos of Political Figures Holding Guns?

Are we really to believe that if a politician poses in a photo, aiming a gun at a target, that they are ipso facto contributing to an atmosphere of hatred and violence?

In that case, are advocates of this argument willing to blame the victim? Because Gabrielle Giffords did the same.

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Of course, Gabrielle Giffords did nothing to contribute to the actions of her attacker. Nor did Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck or the Tea Parties or anyone else other than the gunman.

I suspect some of what we’re seeing is the desire to lash out at somebody. The gunman’s been caught. He’ll face a trial soon. But in the interim, everyone else in society, particularly those who admired Giffords, want to do something, to take some action that will satiate their need for justice and/or vengeance. They can’t tackle the gunman. He’s already in custody. They can’t change anything that has already occurred. So they’ll find some other figure they already disliked, assert some implausible connection between a word or a graphic and this horrific act, and do what they can to get the others with “blood on their hands.”

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