Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Shootings in Arizona

I was invited by BBC Radio Foyle (Derry, N. Ireland) to comment on the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ). I stated that in my opinion the shooting of Giffords and killing of six people was the work of a disturbed individual who wanted his fifteen minutes of fame and his actions were exacerbated by the increasingly violent right-wing rhetoric from on high that gave his irrational thinking justification for his action. He should never have been sold a Gluck 9mm automatic repeating rifle.

There is a very fine line to be drawn between protecting the First Amendment rights of free speech guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution with that of confronting people on the fringe, right or left, who as Giffords said in a speech "incite people and inflame emotions."

To paraphrase Pastor Niemoller's statement about Fascist Germany, if I remain silent when inciteful rhetoric is spoken in public, then there will be no-one left to speak-out when they come for me.

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