Giffords warned in March of ‘consequences’ to Palin’s violent rhetoric

By Stephen C. Webster
Sunday, January 9, 2011 1:42 EDT
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Fox News employee Sarah Palin’s violent rhetoric caused concern back in March 2010, when she released a map of the United States with gun crosshairs over 20 congressional districts, including Arizona’s eighth.

The representative for that district, Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), now lays in a hospital after a gunman put a bullet in her head, shooting 18 others before his violent eruption ended.

And in an unsettlingly accurate premonition back when Palin “targeted” Democrats encouraged supporters to “reload” and “take aim” at them, Giffords predicted that there would be “consequences” for the escalation of violent rhetoric in the media.

Her language was also defended by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), who at the time suggested that using such terms was perfectly fine.

During a March 25th broadcast of MSNBC’s “The Daily Rundown,” Giffords differed, substantially.

“The thing is, the way that she has it depicted — the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district — when people do that, they’ve got to realize that there’s consequences for that action,” she said.

Her sentiment then was echoed by Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik at a press conference on Saturday, where he called for “people in the radio business and some people in the TV business” to town dow their level of outrage.

“I think it’s the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business and what we see on TV and how our youngsters are being raised, that … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in, and I think it’s time that we do the soul searching,” he said.

“It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included,” Dupnik added. “That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”

“My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shootings in Arizona,” Palin wrote Saturday. “On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

The gunman, identified as 22-year-old Arizona resident Jared Lee Loughner, was in police custody Saturday night and allegedly posted a revolutionary screed on the Internet describing his opposition to the world’s currency systems and an objection to government control of English language rules, among other things.

This video is from MSNBC, broadcast March 25, 2010.

Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster
Stephen C. Webster is the senior editor of Raw Story, and is based out of Austin, Texas. He previously worked as the associate editor of The Lone Star Iconoclast in Crawford, Texas, where he covered state politics and the peace movement’s resurgence at the start of the Iraq war. Webster has also contributed to publications such as True/Slant, Austin Monthly, The Dallas Business Journal, The Dallas Morning News, Fort Worth Weekly, The News Connection and others. Follow him on Twitter at @StephenCWebster.
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