Two former Democratic representatives from Arizona reportedly received numerous threats during their time in office after being placed on Sarah Palin’s “crosshairs” map.
“I cannot tell you how much I wish a panty bomber would come in and just fucking blow your place up,” one constituent told former Arizona Congressman Harry Mitchell, a Democrat who lost his reelection bid last year.
Another former Arizona representative, Ann Kirkpatrick, received emails calling her a “whore” and had a sewer cap thrown through her office window, The Daily Best reported.
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), who was shot in the head Saturday in Tucson, was among 20 other members of Congress who were on a “target list” published by former Alaska Governor Sarah Palin. Six people were killed and at least 14 others were injured in the attack.
A map of the US, published on Palin’s Facebook page, featured targeting crosshairs over individual congressional districts Palin had urged supporters to focus on. While her note called for “pink slips,” she added that supporters should fire a “salvo” at those lawmakers.
“We’re paying particular attention to those House members who voted in favor of Obamacare and represent districts that Senator John McCain and I carried during the 2008 election,” Palin’s Facebook page stated.
Giffords, Mitchell and Kirkpatrick were all included on the map.
“You are not just wrong on the issue, you are a scumbag, you are evil,” Rob Sherwood, Mitchell’s former district director, told The Daily Beast. “When someone believes that about you, it dehumanizes you to a certain extent. A thought like that in the hands of someone who is maybe unstable could lead straight to violent action.”
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, who is responsible for investigating the shooting of Giffords, stated that “vitriolic remarks” made on television and radio may be partially responsible for the attack on Giffords.
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said during a press conference. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous.”
“Everybody in the back of their minds, everybody feared this, everybody put this into their calculations,” Kirkpatrick’s former chief of staff, Michael Frias, said, “but nobody thought it would happen.”