Limiting speech is a poor response to tragedy, blame game is a disgrace

http://politicalticker.blogs.cnn.com/2011/01/09/shooting-prompts-legislation-to-protect-lawmakers-officials/

In the article above ( I encourage you to read) Rep. Robert Brady, D-Pennsylvania, says 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.”

While I wholeheartedly agree that the incident in Arizona was an absolute tragedy, I STRONGLY disagree with the concept of limiting speech. The whole idea that I could be prosecuted in federal court for saying I’d like to see a pretty heavy percentage of Congress to suffer in some way is absurd. Some may say that I’d be stretching it to assume one could be prosecuted for something like this, but I encourage you to find a case where the federal government hasn’t qualified every possible stretch.

Just so I can get it off my chest before this ignorant excuse for legislating is introduced I want to suggest this for Rep. Brady and a number of other federal officials as well…

Also, courtesy of my friend Dave Hatter, I want to offer some examples of federal officials (members of Rep. Brady’s own party) who are certainly guilty of their fair share of vehemently violent speech.

Democratic Congressman on GOP Gov. Rick Scott: ‘They ought to put him against a wall and shoot him.’

Sandra Bernhard issues ‘gang rape’ warning to Sarah Palin

Crosshair maps: 2010 vs. 2004

I’d be happy to keep going on, but you get the point. Politics is inciting. When people disagree about fundamental beliefs they get defensive, and can become offensive. In these instances, understanding what our teachers taught us in primary school re: conflict resolution is important.

Congresswoman Giffords, for whom we are all praying, was right in the e-mail she sent to Fmr. KY Secretary of State and newly named Director of Harvard’s Institute of Politics. “After you get settled, I would love to talk about what we can do to promote centrism and moderation. I … think that we need to figure out how to tone our rhetoric and partisanship down.Read full article here.

 

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