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Have the Tucson shootings changed American politics?

11:24 UK time, Monday, 10 January 2011

A gunman charged with trying to assassinate a US congresswoman and the killing of six others has appeared in a federal courtroom in Arizona. Will the shooting change the tone of US political debate?

The shooting has turned the spotlight on the volatile, febrile state of American politics with commentators debating whether or not the increasingly violent rhetoric being used by politicians has contributed to an atmosphere where such an event could happen.

Some have said the situation would have been safer if more people on the scene had had guns, while the Arizona Citizens Defense League has called for members of Congress and their staff to receive firearms training.

Have the shootings changed American politics? Will it change the way in which politicians interact with voters? Do you think there will be a change in the language used by American politicians and political commentators?

Thank you for your comments. This debate is now closed.

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Comments

Page 1 of 12

  • Comment number 1.

    One would like to think so. But I won't be holding my breath.

  • Comment number 2.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 3.

    "Have the Tucson shootings changed American politics?"

    Undoubtedly. No-one can prove the 'violent rhetoric' directly caused to the shooting, but I can't imagine anyone on the right-wing of American politics wanting to take the chance in future.

  • Comment number 4.

    Politics breeds on making the electorate scared of things like health care. So in order to defend against such evil, it is in the mind of any individual to do what is necessary. With the gun laws in the USA, I am surprised assassination attempts are so few and far between.

  • Comment number 5.

    Firstly, I totally abhor violence.
    Actions like this and leaking corporate data are a direct result of the way in which people are treated by Governments and Employers.

  • Comment number 6.

    it will have a temporary blip on the political scene. it will bring an increase in gun control bills and second amendment arguemnents but they wont last long. oddly a guy who likes the communist manifesto and mein kampf is being made out to be a right wing guy. this case is more about psychiatric issues than political ones.

  • Comment number 7.

    Sadly, the people who have used vitriol & divisiveness to win political favor, will now condemn the violence. Then as soon as the news cycle spins to another story, they'll just pick it up again.

  • Comment number 8.

    2. At 12:04pm on 10 Jan 2011, TELLUM wrote:

    If the conservatives want to get more jobs they will probably try and cut minimum wage and if they are talking to supermarkets they could take on one employee and get one free . The way it,s going people will not be able to live on the wages they are getting so be trying to have two jobs .


    what on earth has that got to do with this topic?

  • Comment number 9.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 10.

    Won't happen as the NRA is too powerfull.

  • Comment number 11.

    the USA is not a nice place!

    they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them!

    that is the american way!

    helping anybody who need's it

    thats the EU way


    i know what id rather be part of unfortunately the Tories think like the republicans (USA)

  • Comment number 12.

    Now that one of their own has been targetted, as the law makers, maybe they will reconsider their crazy gun laws or lack of them.
    In Arizona they allow anyone to have a gun without a permit and there is no restriction on where or when you can carry that gun, the congress woman apparently was in favour of the gun laws, you could say that she reaped what she had sewn, however the nine year old girl and others did not deserve to be killed.
    Forget the few minutes silence, what is needed is a period of shouting to force the lawmakers to get their act in order to prevent lunatics having access to guns.

  • Comment number 13.

    Unlikely. You only have to go back to the early 60s to see that 50 years on they still shoot politicians.

  • Comment number 14.

    Have the Tucson shootings changed American politics?

    What do you mean like another civil war is in prospect?

    I am afraid the US is entrenched in the kind of battles that deep recessions, especially depressions and slumps, do ever so well. The years of ignoring the ghettos and living on a fanciful dream of celebrity, gloss, bling and dross, has imploded with the vacuous years of kindling the homeland with tales of overseas command, victory, triumph and little else.

    The pot was finally emptied by the crazed G W, moving his troops from here to there to everywhere, and now there is nothing but a hollow shell of a once proud, innovative, and challenging nation. The good American people deserve much better than the political affrontery they are and have been offered. It isn't a choice; it is a lottery.

    You wanted and got a black president but for the wrong, very wrong, reasons. It is a very sad day when good people die because politicians have failed to deliver.

  • Comment number 15.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 16.

    Have the shootings changed politics - how on earth can anyone tell this early on?

    But I doubt it.

  • Comment number 17.

    the question posed here is,
    "HAVE the shootings changed american poliics..."

    the question should be...
    "Will the continued shootings change american politics?"

    Answer: nope.

  • Comment number 18.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 19.

    As America losses world dominance thanks to China,India, and Brazil It is normal it will turn on itself! Left will blame the Right, and the Right will blame the Left. Civil war no, but more political violence supported by the media.

  • Comment number 20.

    Its difficult if not impossible for us to comment in the UK about this issue, not leat because our attitude to guns is so completely different.

  • Comment number 21.

    9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote:
    "Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world."

    I'll ignore the stinking irony of accusing 'Hussein' Obama of demonising people and stick to asking how anyone can be both Islamist and Communist?

  • Comment number 22.

    P.S; the media like the attached http://tinyurl.com/2e7nkaj

  • Comment number 23.

    No.

    It's also unlikely to start anything more than a very brief debate on whether letting people own automatic handguns is a good idea.

  • Comment number 24.

    I believe it's a sorry sign of things to come - complete distrust of the political world. An entirely new concept of government needs to emerge. True democracy is unachievable, and the electorate will no longer provide easy rides to those voted in (nothing new, really). These people are, in theory, accountable to us all... Is it too much to expect genuine transparency? As usual, I'm off to Utopia again - c ya...!

  • Comment number 25.

    11. At 12:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, scotty1694 wrote:
    the USA is not a nice place!
    they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them!
    that is the american way!

    Absolute and utter nonsense and certainly not based on the parts of the US of which I have experience, where (with the exception of a few isolated individuals who can surely be found in every country and community on Earth) people are generally more open, outgoing, tolerant and accepting of difference than an increasingly intolerant, brainwashed and pseudo-righteous British public. It is OUR teenagers who unrinated on a vulnerable, homeless woman as she lay dying in the street. It is OUR paramedics who sat around cracking fat jokes as a husband pleaded with them to save the wife they regarded as unfit to live on account of her size. It is OUR newspaper and web comment pages which are polluted with generalistic, stereotype-filled vitriol about Muslims, disability 'scroungers', single parents, etc etc, and what horrible things the Government should do to them for the sin of existing. Egged on by a media seemingly hell-bent on setting up a thousand artificial 'us vs. them' divisions, our public debate is every bit as toxic and venomous as people are claiming is the case across the Atlantic. And liberals can be every bit as culpable as those on the Right. Already they're trying to claim political capital off the back of this tragedy, demanding as always that the libertarians and advocates of small Government within the Tea Party should have their perfectly legitimate point of view silenced because of the actions of a tiny minority who take everything to extremes.

  • Comment number 26.

    No. It has not, nor will it change politics, because politics continues to be the second oldest profession with a lot of resemblance with the first oldest occupation.

  • Comment number 27.

    The discourse in US politics has been acrimonious because the country is experiencing serious problems relating to the economy, war, and tensions between the power of the government and the states. Add to this a widespread distrust of politicians who are accused of not been in touch with the people. There are also many Americans who have not really been involved in political activism but have been drawn into the political arena because their livelihood seems under threat from organizations that they have no control over. It is very likely that their political discourse will not be as refined as the professional politicians and lawyers, and their rhetoric might very well contain images of violence.

    Attempts to scale down the political rhetoric should be viewed with caution. It has, for example, been rather unpleasant to see liberal journalists and media people trying to make political capital out of the Arizona tragedy. The anti Palin movement, in particular, have been highly active, using this terrible tragedy to fuel their hate filled discourse on the evils of Palin, just at the time when their campaigns to depict her as a stupid woman have started to fall apart. I am sure that anti Palinism,will fill this HYS discussion. Of course, Palin has used imagery which can be linked to guns. The cross hair target pictures have been widely discussed, but little mention of the bulls eye targets which appeared from her opponents a couple of years ago. Two years ago Obama was cheered in Philadelphia when he said of MCann and Palin that if they bring a knife to the meeting we will bring a gun. Although MCain complained at the time, we have to see this as part of the US political discourse.

    American politics draws from the imagery of its frontier history, whether it captures reality or the Hollywood version is immaterial; the imagery and rhetoric of American heroes from Roy Rogers, Annie Oakley, John Wayne, Clint Eastwood, resonates within the political discourse but to remove it is to take a step further towards a sanitized bureaucratic EU style government. OK for avoiding immediate conflict but proably storing it up for the future, as we may see in the eventual collapse of the EU.

    For comparison see how UK political dscourse reflects our maritime history. Political opponents are torpedoed, scuppered, set adrift, leaders are thrown overboard, and so on. Yet imagine the political capital that might be made if a Labour or Tory politician called for the sinking of the Lib Dems, and a week later a madman exploded a bomb on board a British ship.

    I am urging caution in attempts to limit political discourse, and I am sure that politicians will self regulate their excesses without some opinionated media moralists imposing their political agenda on this topic.

    Meanwhile, let us pray for the victims of this tragedy, their families and loved ones. At this time it is all we can do.

  • Comment number 28.

    The simple answer is probably 'no.'

    The US is obsessed with guns of all kinds and the written 'right to bear arms' gives them permission to do so.

    No amount of killings of whatever kind will stop Americans carrying weapons.

    Sad but true.

  • Comment number 29.

    Will the incident change the tone of US political debate?

    Incidents like this, however rare, will give politicians a great excuse to keep the electorate even more at arms length, and in doing so make sure they are even less familiar with the real world and real people's views.

  • Comment number 30.

    //3. At 12:09pm on 10 Jan 2011, Dan_Dover wrote:
    "Have the Tucson shootings changed American politics?"

    Undoubtedly. No-one can prove the 'violent rhetoric' directly caused to the shooting, but I can't imagine anyone on the right-wing of American politics wanting to take the chance in future.//

    Yet when muslims bomb us here in Europe, we are supposed to understand their reasons, and make the appropriate changes to our policies.



  • Comment number 31.

    This one may change American politics, at least in the short term. As has been correctly pointed out, politicians have been shot in the US for years, so it is not the first time such a trend has appeared. In this case, I would suggest a direct link between efforts by the activist right to over-emote the Democrat "threat" (and and using some pretty evocative symbols and language), and this shooting. Some people will not necessarily understand that a call to action should NOT include violent action...justing voting and campaigning!

    The problem is that the right wing activists will reap what they sew. If they change politics to a world where anger, violence, and dangerous rhetoric dominate, they cannot expect it to calm down when they get into power. I think perhaps they ought to re-think their course of action...

  • Comment number 32.

    9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote: The intensity of political debate in the USA is due to Obama's war on America. Black Panther thugs with baseball bats outside voting booths, Acorn provocateurs at Town Hall meetings, communists at every level of the state Department, the playing of the race card at every opportunity ; these are the features of Obama's America. Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    An excellent post. Unfortunately it will be heavily criticised by the indoctrinated UK commentators here.

  • Comment number 33.

    "9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote:
    The intensity of political debate in the USA is due to Obama's war on America. Black Panther thugs with baseball bats outside voting booths, Acorn provocateurs at Town Hall meetings, communists at every level of the state Department, the playing of the race card at every opportunity ; these are the features of Obama's America. Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world."

    Will the incident change the tone of US political debate?

    Hmmm...it would appear not!

  • Comment number 34.

    //11. At 12:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, scotty1694 wrote:
    the USA is not a nice place!

    they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them!

    that is the american way!

    helping anybody who need's it

    thats the EU way


    i know what id rather be part of unfortunately the Tories think like the republicans (USA)//

    If you really think Europe is as you describe it, you've clearly never been there. Or only to a fantasy version of it.

    But making the kind of generalisations you make is completely wrong. You've no justification.

    You might want to consider, though, that the Tuscon shooting is a tragedy, but rather insignificant compared to the killings of Copts in Egypt, the persecution of christians and muslim minority sects in Pakistan, and the muslim bombs in Europe. Or the killings of Fortuyn and van Gogh.

    Unfortunately, we live in a world where liberals, and many muslims, regard the threat to burn a koran as on a par with or a sign of greater intolerance than mass murder, or riots over cartoons.

  • Comment number 35.

    "Now that one of their own has been targetted, as the law makers, maybe they will reconsider their crazy gun laws or lack of them."

    Freemen never pass oppressive legislation against their fellow men, they know that life carries risks but that is the price of freedom. Only slaves and weak people wish for the government to ban everything and save them from themselves and their own shadow.

  • Comment number 36.

    Give people guns, then take everything else away from them and make them very angry.

    Sounds like a winning formula.....

  • Comment number 37.

    Mass shootings in USA are part of US-culture. Look at all the instances since Jan 2007 and you may be shocked. This is the way UK society seems to want to go too.

  • Comment number 38.

    Again, another one of these. This is an AMERICAN issue. Why does this have prominence in our media and our debates? I am British, not American.

  • Comment number 39.

    "You would hope it would finally make the US citizen realise that the gun is not a toy but a weapon for killing."

    I don't think that American citizens see a gun as a toy, they see it as bringing liberty and freedom, a symbol of how their country was born. A gun is NOT a WEAPON. It is simply a tool, it can be used for killing but so can a number of other myriad things and with much greater effect than guns.

  • Comment number 40.

    All this user's posts have been removed.Why?

  • Comment number 41.

    "It's also unlikely to start anything more than a very brief debate on whether letting people own automatic handguns is a good idea."

    The media is reporting wrongly as far as I can tell. A Glock 17 is nowhere nearly automatic, unless it was modified. However they hardly ever let the truth get in front of some sensationalist reporting.

  • Comment number 42.

    Will this change American politics? Oh God, I hope so. I remember a time when politics were much more civil, and everyone shook hands and got on with it. Today it's political mob rule mind-set with politicians stirring the pot. Some of these politician should be ashamed of themselves, and it doesn't speak well for the people who voted for them either. The sad thing is that no one sees themselves as complicit in what happened. It's a damn shame.

  • Comment number 43.

    It's highly unlikely that the Tucson shootings have changed American politics. A few politicians will probably beef up their security for the next few months, but nothing else will change. The media will focus on the victims and the suspect but nobody who wants to be re-elected will dare to raise the subject of changing the gun laws.

  • Comment number 44.

    The BBC and the HYS forum are manipulated by Government to avoid too much attention being drawn to matters in the U.K. that are likely to create political unrest. All parties know that their form of democracy is not working and they wish at all costs to avoid involvement of the people in determining their own lives. I am awaiting replies from The BBC and the security services in relation to my complaint in this area. The Ministry of Justice has advised me to contact The Cabinet Office in relation to this issue and I will do so shortly. What has this to do with the item chosen by the BBC? I claim that while the people of the U.K. want a voice, the BBC deliberately chooses subjects for discussion that are far removed from the faults of what is laughingly described as our democracy. Nobody in the U.K. cares about American politics.

  • Comment number 45.

    "9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote:

    The intensity of political debate in the USA is due to Obama's war on America. Black Panther thugs with baseball bats outside voting booths, Acorn provocateurs at Town Hall meetings, communists at every level of the state Department, the playing of the race card at every opportunity ; these are the features of Obama's America. Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world. "
    ___________________________________________________________________

    What on Earth are you blithering about? 6 people lost their lives and all you seem to do is use it as an excuse to attack Obama? Your entire statement is just pathetic. And Obama is about as communist as David Cameron is.

    This shooting ISN'T about politics, it's about the fact that people are dead and others seriously injured because it is far too easy for seemingly mentally unstable people to obtain a gun in the USA. While I can understand that those out in rural areas may need to use a shotgun to scare predators away from themselves and/or livestock, but why does any urban-dwelling American need to walk around packing a semi-automatic Glock under his shirt-tails?

    Hopefully some serious debate will emerge over imposing some sort of regulation on gun ownership, but I have a feeling it will only turn as bitter as the healthcare debate has.

  • Comment number 46.

    25. At 12:37pm on 10 Jan 2011, richie79 wrote:

    11. At 12:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, scotty1694 wrote:
    the USA is not a nice place!
    they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them!
    that is the american way!

    Absolute and utter nonsense and certainly not based on the parts of the US of which I have experience, where (with the exception of a few isolated individuals who can surely be found in every country and community on Earth) people are generally more open, outgoing, tolerant and accepting of difference than an increasingly intolerant, brainwashed and pseudo-righteous British public. It is OUR teenagers who unrinated on a vulnerable, homeless woman as she lay dying in the street. It is OUR paramedics who sat around cracking fat jokes as a husband pleaded with them to save the wife they regarded as unfit to live on account of her size. It is OUR newspaper and web comment pages which are polluted with generalistic, stereotype-filled vitriol about Muslims, disability 'scroungers', single parents, etc etc, and what horrible things the Government should do to them for the sin of existing. Egged on by a media seemingly hell-bent on setting up a thousand artificial 'us vs. them' divisions, our public debate is every bit as toxic and venomous as people are claiming is the case across the Atlantic. And liberals can be every bit as culpable as those on the Right. Already they're trying to claim political capital off the back of this tragedy, demanding as always that the libertarians and advocates of small Government within the Tea Party should have their perfectly legitimate point of view silenced because of the actions of a tiny minority who take everything to extremes.

    ---------

    its your country that would see a guy get fired and if he got hit by a car the next day you wouldn't treat him because he has no job and insurance!

    obama is trying to make it so everybody can be helped no matter how rich or poor!
    and your all voting against it

    point proved thank you!

  • Comment number 47.

    Is not the alleged perpetrator of this crime a long time democratic supporter ?

    Why is the BBC and the American Left trying to pin this on The Right / Tea Party / Sarah Palin (delete as applicable) ?

    Why not see it for what it was, the deranged actions of someone with some serious mental problems.

  • Comment number 48.

    21. At 12:32pm on 10 Jan 2011, Dan_Dover wrote:9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote:
    "Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world."

    I'll ignore the stinking irony of accusing 'Hussein' Obama of demonising people and stick to asking how anyone can be both Islamist and Communist?
    ------------------------------------------------------------
    An interesting question. I would say one cannot be both. However, you might put this question to the Socialist Worker Party in the UK who support both.


  • Comment number 49.

    34. At 12:45pm on 10 Jan 2011, Masons Arms wrote:

    //11. At 12:18pm on 10 Jan 2011, scotty1694 wrote:
    the USA is not a nice place!

    they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them!

    that is the american way!

    helping anybody who need's it

    thats the EU way


    i know what id rather be part of unfortunately the Tories think like the republicans (USA)//

    If you really think Europe is as you describe it, you've clearly never been there. Or only to a fantasy version of it.

    But making the kind of generalisations you make is completely wrong. You've no justification.

    You might want to consider, though, that the Tuscon shooting is a tragedy, but rather insignificant compared to the killings of Copts in Egypt, the persecution of christians and muslim minority sects in Pakistan, and the muslim bombs in Europe. Or the killings of Fortuyn and van Gogh.

    Unfortunately, we live in a world where liberals, and many muslims, regard the threat to burn a koran as on a par with or a sign of greater intolerance than mass murder, or riots over cartoons.

    ---------

    i have family over several American state ive been there probably more times than you.

    i travel Europe fishing and i work for a German company which i travel around the eu for.

    so ive seen alot of both sides i know what ive seen, what ive heard.

    in the USA your fine if your rich!
    if your poor well who cares about you!

    europe is not the same, unfortunately the tories are leading us the american way shame really when the nhs goes you will all realize America isnt so great!

  • Comment number 50.

    The Tucson shootings will change American politics, and not for the better.
    Maxine Waters is correct: "We cannot be in a situation where we fear holding a town hall meeting or gathering at the most grassroots level.", but her correctness will not change the reality.
    The phrase "right to keep and bear arms" was first used in the text of Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States. It's a small step from "keep and bear arms" to take the arms and shoot somebody, especially if the arms bearer is on the edge or unbalanced.
    Did we really need this shooting to tell us that the politics of the United States is "volatile, febrile" and that the rhetoric is becoming more hateful and dangerous.
    The shootings have changed the American political landscape. Have we not seen persons bearings arms to other meetings, even where the President is speaking, and I don't mean discrete handguns, I mean rifles and other weapons that I can't name?
    I don't think the language used by American politicians and political commentators will change.
    Why?
    Because the United States has always had an "us vs. them" mentality, and when you're on the "them" side, the reaction has always been destruction, bombings, and murder. It's why I think Americans do not make good peacemakers or diplomats.
    What's more as the defence budget goes down (as it must), the United States will have thousands of soldiers & contractors returning home - unemployed, frustrated and angry. They will be armed; they will know how to use weapons.
    To me this augurs are very explosive situation in the United States.

  • Comment number 51.

    I despair at how some people who have posted on here have used it as an excuse to have a go at America and Americans in general. One has even used it to have a go at the Conservative Party! Dearie Me, I do worry about these idiots.

    In response to the question that was actually posted, unfortunately I don't think it will change the majority view that owning a gun is every American's right. They will probably see this incident as unfortunate, but will take the view that on the whole, owning a gun is a good thing.

    I disagree with them

  • Comment number 52.

    Yes- they're going to need a by-election.

  • Comment number 53.

    We'll know if things have changed is support for Palin and the other far right tea party nuts drops off now. I suspect it won't, after all, it's every American's 'god' given right to own an assault rifle.

  • Comment number 54.

    Maybe it'll force them to look at their gun laws...

    From what I understand the guy was rejected from entering the Army due to drug charges and suspended from college, who would only consider re-admitting him if he proved 'mental health clearance'.

    Still, he was clearly deemed responsible enough to buy a glock 9mm semi automatic pistol....

    Only in America.

  • Comment number 55.

    40. At 12:52pm on 10 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    Where have you been in the last centenary? What utter rubbish!

  • Comment number 56.

    Its very sad. I can't help but see the parallels with political assasination in Pakistan. However, the US is the worlds most powerful democracy which makes it a little scary on a global level.

  • Comment number 57.

    What do you really expect when a country is so full of right wing republicans just look at Palin and the Tea Party mob, which i expect the Tories secretly admire, why else would Vince lose some of his responsibilities after attacking Murdoch who helps fund said right wing looney Tea Party.

  • Comment number 58.

    American politics will change when Sarah Palin and the Republican Party cease pushing garbage like this:

    http://desmond.yfrog.com/Himg617/scaled.php?tn=0&server=617&filename=p7w.png&xsize=640&ysize=640

    http://us4palin.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/03/sarahpac-takeastand.jpg

    Until then expect these stories to surface more and more frequently.

  • Comment number 59.

    "39. At 12:51pm on 10 Jan 2011, Infowars wrote:
    "You would hope it would finally make the US citizen realise that the gun is not a toy but a weapon for killing."

    I don't think that American citizens see a gun as a toy, they see it as bringing liberty and freedom, a symbol of how their country was born. A gun is NOT a WEAPON. It is simply a tool, it can be used for killing but so can a number of other myriad things and with much greater effect than guns."

    -------------------------------------------------------------------------

    "A gun is NOT a WEAPON. It is simply a tool"

    Really? Can you name me a situation where a gun may be used "as a tool"?

  • Comment number 60.

    "40. At 12:52pm on 10 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    Globally, the left wing have proven themselves to be the most violent. We've seen this ourselves with the student riots.

    What we've also seen now, is the left wing dominated media in Europe and America, try and pin this crime on the right.

    Not only do the left have a monopoly on the media, but they also have a monopoly on riots and violence. Political violence is at the core of the left, hence why socialist and communist states always end up murdering their own citizens to stay in power."

    One word.......Mental!

  • Comment number 61.

    It's ironic that a country with practically no ideological differences between the two main parties appears so split politically (and yes, I have lived there). Says more about the rabid right-wing, corporate lackey that is the TV news than anything else. For people to describe Obama as a "far left" politician is simply laughable - the center, as defined by the likes of Fox "News", is so far right that anything and everything would be left of it. It's so easy to scare the US population because they have been brainwashed into having an irrational, paranoid fear of anything described as socialist (let alone communist). Obama is not a Communist. Obama is not even a Socialist. The fact that so many people believe he is scares me, a lot, because it gives an enormous amount of freedom to people with very right wing views. The only thing that could be remotely described as good that could come from this would be if the Tea Party and its leader were pursued through the courts for inciting violence.

  • Comment number 62.

    What do you really expect when a country is so full of right wing republicans

    ---------------------------------------

    Oh yes, the Republican Party that swept the board at the last Presidential Election...oh no, hang on!

  • Comment number 63.

    I've written about this before.There are many severely delusional and easily swayed people in America who will believe pretty much whatever they're told: The President is a Communist, a Fascist, a Muslim, a dictator, ad nauseum.The shooting in Tuscon simply reflects how much hate has been generated by cable TV hosts, radio pundits and assorted politician/beauty kings-and-queens who calculatingly ratchet up the rhetoric without any worries on the effects of this fear-mongering. The wounded Congresswoman appears on a "hit-list" from a famous pretend "Third Party". Germans believed EVERYTHING about the Jews they heard from Josef Goebbels & Company. If you want to scare Americans just spread some rumors around. In one day 200 million+ people will have heard your lies or half-truths. We now again have grisly evidence that hate-filled rhetoric leads directly to violence. Simple, factual, frightening. Want to be afraid? I am.

  • Comment number 64.

    Who is really naive enough to believe this will have any impact on American politics at all?

    Dec 2008 - Someone dressed as Santa Claus kills 9 at a party in Covina, LA, CA.
    Dec 2007 - Gunman kills 8 at a mall in Omaha, Nebraska
    Apr 2007 - Seung-hui kills 32 at Virginia Tech
    Mar 2005 - Weise kills 7 at Red Lake high, Minnesota (plus two relatives before he set off for school)
    Apr 1999 - 12 killed in Columbine high, Colorado.
    Oct 1991 - 23 killed in a cafeteria in Killeen, Texas
    Aug 1986 - post office in Oklahoma, 14 dead.
    Jul 1984 - 21 killed in McDonald, San Diego
    Feb 1983 - a trio of men shoot dead 14 people in Wah Mee club Seattle.
    ... it does on an on.

    So really... does anyone actually believe this will have any impact at all on American politics? Of course not. It keeps happening, the government promises changes (honest this time!), small token laws are passed, but ultimately nothing is changed.

    I KNOW we'll have to put up with another debate just like this one when someone else decides to go on a shooting rampage.

  • Comment number 65.

    I sincerely hope so. There should be regulations in place to ensure that politicians do not break certain ethical codes. We all know that whatever a public figure says is taken on board by the completely disaffected and nuts of this world so surely you have to have some nouse by thinking about what you tell the world before you say it? I sincerely hope that this creates some code of ethics around how far to push something so that politicians can be held accountable.

  • Comment number 66.

    Probably not for long. Unless the "second suspect" turns out to be a Tea Party activist who manipulated the obviously loony shooter into it, or something.

  • Comment number 67.

    39. At 12:51pm on 10 Jan 2011, Infowars wrote:
    "You would hope it would finally make the US citizen realise that the gun is not a toy but a weapon for killing."

    "I don't think that American citizens see a gun as a toy, they see it as bringing liberty and freedom, a symbol of how their country was born. A gun is NOT a WEAPON. It is simply a tool, it can be used for killing but so can a number of other myriad things and with much greater effect than guns."

    So what is a weapon then? By your definition there are no weapons, only tools. FWIW, I lived in the States and support (sensibly regulated) gun ownership... But your argument is nonsense.

  • Comment number 68.

    However insane it make look from a UK perspective, can you really see Americans giving up the constitutional right to bear arms? Sadly I can't.

    Steven Quas Collins

  • Comment number 69.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 70.

    # 9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote:

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the House Rules.
    ===============================
    So utterly bonkers that it was removed.

  • Comment number 71.

    32. At 12:42pm on 10 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote: The intensity of political debate in the USA is due to Obama's war on America. Black Panther thugs with baseball bats outside voting booths, Acorn provocateurs at Town Hall meetings, communists at every level of the state Department, the playing of the race card at every opportunity ; these are the features of Obama's America. Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    An excellent post. Unfortunately it will be heavily criticised by the indoctrinated UK commentators here.
    +++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++++
    You wouldn't need to ask the question, I wounder why, for long would you.
    Paranoid seems a adequate description.

  • Comment number 72.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 73.

    THE RIGHT TO BEAR ARMS......only in America. Stupid people. Stupid country !! The slaughter goes on. Bible in one hand, and a pump-action carbine in another. PRAYING TO THE DEVIL - one can safely assume !!

  • Comment number 74.

    To all you Democrats who are blaming right-wing messages, I'd like to remind you of a speech made by your beloved President in 2008.

    "If they bring a knife to the fight we bring a gun".

  • Comment number 75.

    57. At 1:11pm on 10 Jan 2011, No Victim No Crime wrote: What do you really expect when a country is so full of right wing republicans just look at Palin and the Tea Party mob, which i expect the Tories secretly admire, why else would Vince lose some of his responsibilities after attacking Murdoch who helps fund said right wing looney Tea Party.
    -------------------------------------------
    Not much political substance here, I am looking at the Tea Party 'mob'. What am I supposed to see? However, you might make a conspiracy theorist. Who was the tory admirer on the grassy knoll?

  • Comment number 76.

    61. At 1:16pm on 10 Jan 2011, edna teevee wrote:
    It's ironic that a country with practically no ideological differences between the two main parties appears so split politically (and yes, I have lived there). Says more about the rabid right-wing, corporate lackey that is the TV news than anything else. For people to describe Obama as a "far left" politician is simply laughable - the center, as defined by the likes of Fox "News", is so far right that anything and everything would be left of it. It's so easy to scare the US population because they have been brainwashed into having an irrational, paranoid fear of anything described as socialist (let alone communist). Obama is not a Communist. Obama is not even a Socialist. The fact that so many people believe he is scares me, a lot, because it gives an enormous amount of freedom to people with very right wing views. The only thing that could be remotely described as good that could come from this would be if the Tea Party and its leader were pursued through the courts for inciting violence.

  • Comment number 77.

    This will not change US politics .... why??? did it change anything when JFK was shot or any of them since???? NO!

    Politics are politics and mad gunmen can be pointed by anyone, ask any suicide killer you like to mention.

    We are informed that the Pakistanis are shocked by the gunning down of one of their kind, now the Americans, what did those cbles say about Pakistan being unstable and who wrote them???

  • Comment number 78.

    This lunatic had no connection to Republicans, Conservatives, Christianity, the Tea Party or any other right wing ideolgy he is just another Leftist nut.
    It was Democrats and George Soros who spent 8 years whipping up virulent hatred against George Bush. It was Democrats who allowed Code Pink protestors into hearing rooms to harange Republicans. Democarts who wrote books and plays about the assasination of Bush and told us it was "Art" and we should respect it. Democrats have brought us down into this cesspool and as Obama's Cheif of Staff said you never want to waste a good crisis, but we will not allow them to use this crisis for their end of disarming the Americn people.

  • Comment number 79.

    I think it'll soon be forgotten. The left tried to use it to frame the right as violent, but when it turned out he was a leftist, we got the "don't make this political" line.

    Since it doesn't fit the narrative they want to present, the mainstream press will soon leave it behind.

  • Comment number 80.

    61. At 1:16pm on 10 Jan 2011, edna teevee wrote:
    It's ironic that a country with practically no ideological differences between the two main parties appears so split politically (and yes, I have lived there). Says more about the rabid right-wing, corporate lackey that is the TV news than anything else. For people to describe Obama as a "far left" politician is simply laughable - the center, as defined by the likes of Fox "News", is so far right that anything and everything would be left of it. It's so easy to scare the US population because they have been brainwashed into having an irrational, paranoid fear of anything described as socialist (let alone communist). Obama is not a Communist. Obama is not even a Socialist. The fact that so many people believe he is scares me, a lot, because it gives an enormous amount of freedom to people with very right wing views. The only thing that could be remotely described as good that could come from this would be if the Tea Party and its leader were pursued through the courts for inciting violence.
    ________________________________________________________________________
    Before we Brits point the finger across the Atlantic, we need to look at UK political rhetoric. Any body who was alive in the 70's must remember the rhetoric of the time and that very nearly led to a coup by the right. What amazes me is how normally perfectly nice people with right wing views can be so gullible, several of my friends were young Conservaties at the time and to be frank you could feed them any old nonsense and they believe it especialy, if you procliamed support for Labour they seem unaware of the term irony.


  • Comment number 81.

    The wanton killing of anyone is, in it`s own right abhorrant to any sane thinking person. For democratically elected representitives in this high risk exposure to the public occupation, it has to be worrying, when it`s open day for shooter nutters who don`t like their point of view and open fire at randon, taking down among them small children. And I firmly nail my colours to the mast on this one-it`s loathsome. It`s worrying also that this might be the start of normalisation in our contempt for politicians everywhere. So sick of these odious people, and especially in the UK, have we become of them, because, when in good faith we are convinced by them to vote them in, and within a few weeks, pre-election pledges ar`nt worth the paper they are printed, and u-turns are the norm, gaining power for powers sake, which is what has happened here in Britain. We get broke by them whoever they, with the plague of even greater taxation at every splutter, turning our bitter dissapointing of them and the system into a greater malaise. We now openly loathe our politicians, this is normalisation. I hope it becomes no than that, condolences to the shooter`s victims families.

  • Comment number 82.

    40. At 12:52pm on 10 Jan 2011, Trench Broom wrote:
    Globally, the left wing have proven themselves to be the most violent. We've seen this ourselves with the student riots.
    =================================================

    What a strange comment. Adolf Hitler, General Pinochet, General Franco, US-CIA Vietnam campaign,& US-CIA-Central American death squads wee all Right Wing and were responsible for the most murderous campaigns of the past 70 years .......where have you been?

  • Comment number 83.

    78. At 1:47pm on 10 Jan 2011, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    This lunatic had no connection to Republicans, Conservatives, Christianity, the Tea Party or any other right wing ideolgy he is just another Leftist nut.
    It was Democrats and George Soros who spent 8 years whipping up virulent hatred against George Bush. It was Democrats who allowed Code Pink protestors into hearing rooms to harange Republicans. Democarts who wrote books and plays about the assasination of Bush and told us it was "Art" and we should respect it. Democrats have brought us down into this cesspool and as Obama's Cheif of Staff said you never want to waste a good crisis, but we will not allow them to use this crisis for their end of disarming the Americn people.

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------

    I think it's a little premature to speculate on his connections. You know any more than the rest of us.

    And since when was Christianity a "right wing ideology"? Any true follower of Jesus would be a Socialist. Haven't you read the New Testament?

  • Comment number 84.

    The shooting happened in a state (Arizona) where you can legally buy carry concealed weapons without a license, this basically means any idiot can buy & carry a gun around, no checks, no training. Am I the only one who thinks this is INSANE!?
    As for whether it'll change politics, I hope so but I doubt it. Politics in the US & the UK seems more & more frequently to be fuelled by anger & often hatred.It's not "what I can do for you" it's "Look at what this guy did, now lets hope he dies!" These idiots incite hate against the opposing party members & bear no thought for any possible consequences (or any thought for the example they may be setting) It's hard to watch politicians & journalists calling for people to be "hunted down like a terrorist & killed" without questioning if these people have any idea at all about the possible repercussions of their ststements, or are they just saying whatever they believe their far left/right wing voters want to hear. The horrid smear campaigns that go on (in the UK too)generally leqave a nasty taste in the mouth & "news" channels like Fox, with their hysterical, screaming attitudes do nothing at all to help.
    Palins (now removed) Map with the crosshairs on was crass & an excellent example of the kind of tactics mentioned above, however I think a little too much blame is being heaped at her door. (mainly by left wing media obviously) It hurts me to say that because I dislike her & her politics & find the idea of her as president of the US genuinely scary, but neither her, her party or far right America are to blame for such a tragedy.
    Of course it's a firearms debate. You always get the same answers from the pro gun lobby "If you take the good guys guns away, the bad guys will still have them" Interesting point, but the shooter is being portrayed & none too bright & not particularly savvy. If he hadn't been able to just walk into a shop & buy a gun, would he really have known where & how to get one, would it have happened at all if Arizona had tighter gun laws?

  • Comment number 85.

    If you mean will the T party stop claiming that their opponents are traitors and pitchfork babies and would be better off dead then no. A very nasty streak of fear and loathing is being cultivated by the American right and you can bet that most of them are hoping that this is just the begining. Frankly American society and politics have become a basket case not much better than the Taliban for its intolerance.

  • Comment number 86.

    As we get to be a more crowded world and compromise becomes ancient history, this type of event will surely become more frequent.

  • Comment number 87.

    32. At 12:42pm on 10 Jan 2011, Dr Llareggub wrote:
    9. At 12:17pm on 10 Jan 2011, varnayfan wrote: The intensity of political debate in the USA is due to Obama's war on America. Black Panther thugs with baseball bats outside voting booths, Acorn provocateurs at Town Hall meetings, communists at every level of the state Department, the playing of the race card at every opportunity ; these are the features of Obama's America. Hussein Obama has tried to demonise his opponents and now cries foul when his communist associations, islamist sympathies and anti-americanism are becoming ever more widely known. This radical far left president has been a disaster for the USA and the world.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    An excellent post. Unfortunately it will be heavily criticised by the indoctrinated UK commentators here.
    -------------------------------------------------------
    Strange that you talk about "indoctrinated UK commentators here" and yet fail to recognise how much of the original post is taken lock, stock and barrel from "fair and balanced" FOX News.

  • Comment number 88.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 89.

    apologies for the apalling typo's. Eating a sarnie :(

  • Comment number 90.

    As long as people keep calling the Democrats "left wing" and the Republicans "right wing" nothing will change. Friends, lets face it, Republicans and Democrats alike are both right wing parties. CPUSA (Communist Party USA) is a left wing party as the Socialist Party USA is a moderate left wing party and the general media will never voice their opinions. People are very confused and very politically immature.

  • Comment number 91.

    Re post 6 - "oddly a guy who likes the communist manifesto and mein kampf is being made out to be a right wing guy."
    How far to the right do you have to be to think the Nazis were left wing?
    Nazi idealogy was based on race not class.

  • Comment number 92.

    "78. At 1:47pm on 10 Jan 2011, ONE-SICK-PUPPY wrote:
    This lunatic had no connection to Republicans, Conservatives, Christianity, the Tea Party or any other right wing ideolgy he is just another Leftist nut.
    It was Democrats and George Soros who spent 8 years whipping up virulent hatred against George Bush. It was Democrats who allowed Code Pink protestors into hearing rooms to harange Republicans. Democarts who wrote books and plays about the assasination of Bush and told us it was "Art" and we should respect it. Democrats have brought us down into this cesspool and as Obama's Cheif of Staff said you never want to waste a good crisis, but we will not allow them to use this crisis for their end of disarming the Americn people."

    Do you support the fact this guy was armed?

    Just curious.

  • Comment number 93.

    responding to #11 Scotty 1694 who said "The USA is not a nice place! they would rather walk past dying people in there streets than help them! That's the American way!

    Scotty you could'nt be more wrong! The swift actions of the people around Ms Gifford saved her life. Within 38 minutes she was in the truama hospital unit. Many heroic acts by people in the crowd - tackling the gun man whilst he was reloading his gun.
    The gunman according to the wall to wall coverage here set out to commit murder. He left a note at his home telling of his intentions. He is a mentally disturbed person.
    I'm a British citizen who has lived in the USA over 25 years. It's a wonderful place to live. The people are kind, generous and supportive.
    Politics is the same in the UK - watch Prime Ministers Question time.
    britexpat, Florida

  • Comment number 94.

    85. At 2:04pm on 10 Jan 2011, coastwalker wrote:
    If you mean will the T party stop claiming that their opponents are traitors and pitchfork babies and would be better off dead then no. A very nasty streak of fear and loathing is being cultivated by the American right and you can bet that most of them are hoping that this is just the begining. Frankly American society and politics have become a basket case not much better than the Taliban for its intolerance.

    ----------------

    This can't be serious. Please tell me the irony is intentional.

  • Comment number 95.

    89. At 2:14pm on 10 Jan 2011, RubbishGirl wrote:
    apologies for the apalling typo's. Eating a sarnie :(

    -----------------

    *appalling

    Hope it's a good sarnie! :)

  • Comment number 96.

    Both sides of the Atlantic (especially if you read blogs like HYS) contain expressions of hatred of political opponents which are excessive, vitriolic and often based on an unrecognisable caricature. While the media in the UK feed this less than in the US, on both sides of the Atlantic, the media (even at the "quality" end) tend to oversimplify & sensationalise - giving publicity to extremists often just to promote controversy to maintain the viewers' interest (as they believe). The Internet also boast sites which make the worst of the media seem tame. Of course, we don't have to read these things - but they contribute to an atmosphere of growing intolerance & acceptance of violence which gravely damages the image of our democracies round the world & encourages those like the Russians & Chinese to maintain authoritarian regimes with the barest semblance of democracy. While we all could show greater responsibility & self-discipline, we might also try to understand the other side's position & try to base our opinions on facts & evidence rather than on prejudice or, worse, someone else's prejudice. The media would help by doing the same.

  • Comment number 97.

    Conservatives and the Right fear Obama and the growth under his watch of Government control over the lives of ordinary Americans. If the tragic shootings in Arizona are relied on as an excuse to impose even more control and intrusion into the lives of the people, the climate here will worsen, not improve.
    And, for the record, the Left wrote the book on violent rhetoric; just search the internet on protests against former President G.W. Bush. Words like "kill", "lynch", "torture" were thrown about way too often.

  • Comment number 98.

    I see a strong parallel between this horrid incident and the murder of B Bhutto in Pakistan a few years ago. Both victims were women who loved and wanted to do the right thing for their country despite extremely hostile opposition. Sadly due to flaws in human nature, such a commitment can cost the ultimate price.

    I do not see any difference between the far right in America, who call for violent acts against politicians they disagree with and the far right in the Middle East (Al Qiada) who believe violence and killing is justified to defend their interpretation of islam.

  • Comment number 99.

    I'm not too sure what all the full is about in the States over this shooting.

    I can understand the political classes being concerned but really where is the difference to the other thousands of shootings and killings that occur each year in America?

    Unless and until the gun laws are completely overhauled - and there is little chance of that after hundreds of years of 'cowboys' - then there will continue to be thousands more shootings and killings on a regular basis.

    Perhaps then we are seeing the rumblings of a tiered class system whereby one is not supposed to harm the other.

  • Comment number 100.

    USA has a gun culture, UK hasn't. yet here in UK we also have had large shootings in lublic places. I therefore would suggest the shooting, has little with the issue of guns, other than the type of weapen used to do the dirty act.

    If we are truly going to try and eradicate this type of violence, probably we may need to look at other avenues, such as how this type of person can vent their feeling of anger to humanity, then look at the social charactersists in society that promotes such issues. instead of the age old childish method of bang bang.

    Lets just learn how to love each other more! Instead my thoughts go out to the victims, including the professionals that will hate that day for ages.

 

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