Thursday, January 13, 2011

On Violent Language and Material Violence

For the record, since the shootings in Arizona I have not been one of the liberals to blame the right wing. I HAVE been one to scream loudly that the increasingly confrontational way in which we've been speaking to each other is irresponsible. I have not mentioned in the past week anything about curtailing first or second amendment rights. But with rights comes responsibilities. Crosshairs on names, inviting people to "take out" the incumbents with the incentive of firing a machine gun, exhorting not to "retreat" but "reload," that "if ballots don't work, bullets will" etc. are not responsible. Sure, I am citing all things said and done but conservatives, but I'm sure it wouldn't take too much digging to find liberals saying similarly bellicose things 4-8 years ago.

This is not to say that there was a link, either direct or indirect, between this sort of discourse and the shooting. But is it possible there was a link either direct or indirect? Most assuredly so. Do people's actions exist in a moral vacuum? Most assuredly not. Does society contribute to the decisions people make? Yes. Should society be held accountable in such instances? You betcha. 

No comments:

Post a Comment