Google 'crosshairs' and a page will open dealing with crosshairs, Sarah Palin and the recent tragedy in Tuscon, Arizona. The pundits and reporters are quick to point out there is no connection between the tragedy in Arizona and Sarah Palin. Apparently technology and the internet have made the connection.
Like screaming fire in a crowded theater, people do not place crosshairs on a congressional district map. There are consequences. Now the Palin people explain that they weren't crosshairs at all. Never! Oh no. They were like surveyor marks on a map.
Sure. Why not say they were the surveyor marks for future Walmart stores?
Crosshairs aside, the 2010 election had rhetoric that descended to criminal threats: If the ballot doesn't work, bullets will; If the ballot fails, we'll have to use our second amendment rights; We must be armed and dangerous; Don't retreat, reload; One hundred dollars for anyone who will punch Alan Grayson (congressman from Florida) in the nose. Those words have no place in a democracy. Party leaders didn't condemn those words. They just looked away and let them float out there...
And they floated.
Ignored like a dog whistle that no human ear can hear, a deranged mind heard the hate talk, listened and took action. Hate talk has meaning and consequences. Crosshairs on a congressional district map also have meaning and consequences.
On a recent TV instalment of Sarah Palin's Alaska, the former governor took aim through crosshairs, shot and killed a majestic caribou standing a safe distance away. The crosshairs were not used as a surveyor's mark. The crosshairs were used to kill; to kill not for food or to fight hunger, but as Sir Edmond Hillary once said about climbing Mount Everest, "Because it was there."
Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords said she felt "threatened" by the crosshairs on the map of her Arizona district. The map remain on Palin's website. Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head on Saturday January 8, 2011, and is fighting for her life. The map with the crosshairs was taken down from Palin's website the following day.
Words and crosshairs have consequences.