The man who police say is responsible for the deaths of six and the wounding of 14 others, including member of Congress Gabriel Giffords, may have held anti-government beliefs, and may have chosen Ms. Giffords as his target because of her support of health care reform. Or he may have been severely mentally ill, and his political beliefs had little to do with his actions. What is your view of his motivations? If this man was not swayed by the extreme rhetoric of conservative political commentators like Glenn Beck, who has suggested the Obama administration’s initiatives will cause the demise of the nation, could others be so influenced? What about marginally unstable people? Can they be incited to violence by the hyperbole? Or are those prone to violent acts likely to commit them regardless of what they hear or don’t hear?
Is anti-big government rhetoric culpable in the Tuscon, Ariz., shootings?
Posted Jan. 10, 2011, at 3:31 p.m.