Arizona Shootings and Religious Freedom Day

When I heard that a politician, Gabrielle Giffords, and others had been shot at a political event in Arizona, one of the things I wondered about was her party affiliation.   And I wondered if it was politics that prompted the shooting.  But I didn’t say anything because it was just a thought–not something that had any evidence behind it.  As it turns out, the Congresswoman is a Democrat.  Some conservatives in the media are citing comments in The New York Times and MSNBC that link conservative rhetoric to the shooter.  Now, again, I think it was reasonable for people to wonder about this.  At least, it seemed reasonable to me when I wondered it. But there is no evidence linking the alleged shooter to conservative politics, Sarah Palin, or the Tea Party.  In fact, the evidence points off in another direction.  Supposedly, in 2007 the alleged shooter felt that he was somehow snubbed at a political appearance by the Congresswoman.  This was before the creation of the Tea Party and before Sarah Palin was a national figure.

I imagine that the generalized anger felt by some on the Left at The Times and MSNBC towards conservatives is genuine, but some liberals look like they are trying to use a tragedy to score political points.

Those trying to blame conservatives for this might have a little credibility if ANYONE had asked if liberal rhetoric in any way prompted John Hinckley to try to assassinate Ronald Reagan in 1981.  As I recall, people back then just assumed that the shooter was mentally disturbed.  Then evidence came out which verified that belief.  The same thing could have happened this time.  First evidence, then conclusions.

On an unrelated topic, did you know that January 16 is Religious Freedom Day in America?  I didn’t.

What does it sound like?

A. The work of a Republican Congress?

B. An echo of the Reagan era?

C. Vestiges of an earlier, more religious time in American history?

D. None of the above?

The correct answer is “D.”  It was instituted in 1993 by Bill Clinton.  I wonder how many conservatives give him credit for that?  Or talk about it at all.

Liberals, moderates, and conservatives–we all have so much to learn.