Yes, I wrote that the United States is a violent country, that it “loves violence, revels in violence, celebrates violence.” And it is reasonable to infer from this that I think that love of violence—including a claim to gun rights that fails to account for Article I, Section 8 of the U.S. Constitution—might have something to do with the violent rhetoric of the Tea Party and indeed might have something to do with the Giffords shooting.
But it is pretty damned silly for Sarah Palin to claim those are surveyor’s marks—especially the ones in red, especially after having tweeted “don’t retreat, instead- RELOAD!”2
The only plausible uses for guns in political discourse are for police and/or military force, assassination, intimidation, insurrection, or a coup d’etat. Please note that hunting is not on that list—even militia members don’t claim that.3 Also observe that none of these uses are about building consensus, negotiation, or the peaceable resolution of differences.
So when Palin argues that “it is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions,”4 she seems to be excluding her own inflammatory rhetoric. But I guess that being a wingnut means never having to say you’re sorry.5
- 2. Amanda Coyne, “Palin staffer calls using tragedy to score political points ‘obscene’,” Alaska Dispatch, January 8, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.alaskadispatch.com/blogs/palin-watch/8205-palin-staffer-calls…
- 3. Barton Gellman, “The Secret World of Extreme Militias,” Time, September 30, 2010. Retrieved from http://www.time.com/time/nation/article/0,8599,2022516,00.html
- 4. Michael D. Shear, “Palin Calls Criticism ‘Blood Libel’,” New York Times, January 12, 2011. Retrieved from http://thecaucus.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/palin-calls-criticism-bloo…
- 5. Juan Cole, “Sarah Never Does Anything Wrong,” January 10, 2011. Retrieved from http://www.juancole.com/2011/01/sarah-never-does-anything-wrong.html?utm… Archived at http://www.parts-unknown.org/drupal6/?q=node/4263