The reaction of people who were very supportive of sites advocating getting rid of Rep.Giffords and her colleagues to postings which suggest that such advocacy could have played in role in an attempt by to get rid of her is, at best, perplexing. What so many are saying, in essence,is that no one has any right to hold haters accountable for hate-filled language. Was Henry II completely free from responsibility when his guards killed Becket because their king asked publicly: "Will no one rid me of this man?" Want to get on the King's good side? Rid him of this man.
Sarah Palin posted on her blog a listing the names of every Congressional supporter of Health Care reform. She highlighted the names of those who were reelected by placing the representation of the crosshairs of a rifle over each name. Did she want Rep. Giffords shot in the head with a rifle? Probably not, although the only existing evidence suggests the possibility. The only evidence of any sort I have seen about what Sarah Palin did or did not want her followers to think in terms of Rep. Giffords is what she posted, putting Rep. Giffords name in a cross hairs and saying she needed to be gotten rid of. I only know she wrote it. I do not know for sure that she meant it, but she did write it.
Her followers cannot know her true intent for sure, either. Yet many have turned viscously on those who suggest that SP's posting might possibly have influenced to some extent the fact that someone she advocated getting rid of through the crosshairs of a rifle was shot in the head through the crosshairs of a rifle. Might the language of this posting and others like it have been heard by someone with a mental disability?
If we do not want to be held accountable for what we say or suggest, we could always refrain from saying or suggesting it. Let's be honest. She said it. Sure it would take someone without all of their faculties to act on the suggestion, but someone without all of his faculties did! That does not prove anything. But to dismiss completely any responsibility whatsoever for this action from those who stated wishes for exactly what was done to be done is very disingenuous.
Let's change the tone of our disagreements. Then there will be fewer suggestions for the less than perfect to effect, and innocence can truly be claimed. To say nothing of honesty.