Red/Blue America

Gabrielle Giffords AZ Shooting Palin


My friend, editorial cartoonist Ed Stein, drew this very provocative cartoon about the Arizona shooting, pulling in the imagery and cross-hairs from the infamous Sarah Palin graphic.

Ed also wrote this on his terrific blog:

It now appears that Representative Gabrielle Giffords was the target of an assassination plot. The reasons are unknown, and it’s too early to claim categorically that the shooting of Ms. Giffords and the other victims was motivated by a political grievance. That said, it’s not hard to believe that the poisonous political climate of the last few years can move an unstable person to violence. Indeed, the past summer, featuring rage-filled shoutdowns at town hall meetings, gleefully promoted by Fox News and conservative talk show hosts, led to hundreds of threats against members of Congress. The poster symbol of the anger and intolerance may well be the map Sarah Palin posted on her website during the election, highlighting targeted Democratic congressional districts with crosshairs. Let me be clear that both parties have indulged all too often in language that debases the debate, but the preponderance of the anger and invective seems to come from the far right. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik got it exactly right when he said, “To try to inflame the public on a daily basis 24 hours a day, seven days a week has impaqct on people, especially who are unbalanced personalities to begin with.” He called for us all to do some soul-searching.

Now, of course, the same folks who gloried in the over-the-top rhetoric, who infused the political debate with violent imagery, are shocked at the bloodshed. I’d like to believe that this event will force us all to reconsider how we conduct the political discourse in this country, but I suspect that, after a brief pause, we will go on as before. Too many pundits make their living stoking the public rage, and too many politicians have learned to capitalize on that anger. The mainstream politicians all responded with appropriate horror and sadness (as well they should, given the danger they are all exposed to), as did many of the Tea Party leaders. Then there was Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, whose immediate response to the carnage was this: “The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us”¦The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words.”

So much for soul-searching.

By Daryl Cagle

Daryl Cagle is the founder and owner of Cagle Cartoons, Inc. He is one of the most widely published editorial cartoonists and is also the editor of The Cagle Post.

57 replies on “Red/Blue America”

"Then there was Judson Phillips, founder of the Tea Party Nation, whose immediate response to the carnage was this: “The hard left is going to try and silence the Tea Party movement by blaming us…The shooter was a liberal lunatic. Emphasis on both words.”"
Good thing he didn't jump to conclusions.

The problem is that both sides are inciting the flames not just one. When something happens to a democrat than it is because the Right is inciting violence and the justification follows. When something happens to a republican than it is because of the left inciting violence and the justification follows. I am tired of liberals bringing up rape and incest when someone is against abortion and I am tired of conservatives bringing up murder and “right to life” when someone is for abortion. I am tired of liberals who say that everyone’s opinion matters but call those who disagree with their point haters (ex. just because someone thinks homosexuality is wrong does not mean they hate homosexuals, I think lying is wrong that does not mean I hate everyone who lies). I am tired of conservatives that spout on and on about morals and the classic family but they have two ex-wives and a mistress (I don’t think I need examples for this one). Both sides are messed up the liberals and conservatives are intolerant and closed minded unable to see things from the other side. Just because someone has a different opinion then yours does not mean it is invalid. I am speaking to us all but looking at Tom and Geoff.

geoffie – But we now see he was correct. How long did it take for that halfwit paul krugman to attempt to place blame?

How about some GUN CONTROL laws? How about we only let law enforcement officials have weapons? How the hell does someone go into a friggin' WalMart and buy ammunition? If this had been a concealed carry state there would have been a bloodbath and more people would be dead. The only solution is to ban guns. You want to hunt? Go on a safari in Africa. You want to eat venizon… go to the butcher and get some. This has got to stop.

Tom: "But we now see he was correct. How long did it take for that halfwit paul krugman to attempt to place blame?" Yeah, sure: a "liberal" who likes Ayn Rand & Hitler. You're an idiot, Tom, OK? You don't have to work so hard to prove it, we all know.

Gun control is not the answer, guns have limited bullets, if he didn't use a gun then it would've been a bomb and everybody is dead…lesser of two evils…. remember Timothy McVey…we gonna ban diesel fuel and fertilizer now…blame the people morons…that sheriff had 5 opportunities of the last 2 years to do something with the guy and did nothing. so for him to blame the political system is ridiculous!!!!

No Turtle… gun control is not the only answer. But it is part of the solution. The NRA has prevented any meaningful limits on gun ownership to the point where mentally ill individuals like Jared can buy a gun and then get ammo at a WalMart. If that doesn't sound like a problem that needs to be solved, then you need to revisit the issue. The current laws we have are too weak. And to compare this guy to McVey is just not logical.

As to gun control, Mike — there are already laws forbidding people to have a firearm in their possession within something like a quarter-mile of schools. So why are there still school shootings? Perhaps the shooters didn't check the law before they came onto campuses?

All the laws in the world will not stop some nut from doing whatever he wants to do. Penalizing law-abiding gun owners is not the answer, unless the answer is to make law-abiding citizens easy prey for predatory bad guys.

@MIKE LESTER: Nice try, but targeting a state as a target ripe for pushing harder to win in an election is a little different than naming specific people to target within a state with rifle cross-hairs. It was a good attempt at twisting things but misplaced. There is no comparison. Oh, and by a 'little' I mean not even f*cking close, in case you're misreading this, too.

@Cliff: If you think that's Obama's 'QUOTE,' you really should try reading sometime. Your emphasis, not mine. And no, really, I mean try reading, man. It should help with your atrocious spelling and grammar, and might get you listened to and not made fun of.

Blake: I was also thinking of the difference between a "bull's eye" as a goal to aim for, and the cross-hairs of a telescope, where you'd theoretically only see if you're about to pull the trigger. Subtly different message which one would have expected a graphic artist to have considered. But then again, Mike isn't very nuanced.
Mike: I would guess that the "Mike" in question was Mike Lester, the cartoonist.

Tom, you are part of the problem, calling names. In particular calling Paul Krugman a "hald-wit" when a respected and capable writer clearly is not. You may disagree with him, think he's completely wrong in his reasong. You may even mutter "half-wit" over breakfast, as I mutter c**t when I hear Ann Coulter. But shouting such vitriol out on the web or in the street is the problem of eroding democracy by turning away from real debate.

Although this comment won't mean much on this board, especially as more and more news is revealed that this person was a nutjob with a penchant towards communism, grammar, and nazism, is that the difference in the response of the left to the shootings at Fort Hood vs the shooting of Congresswoman Gifford was stunning. I've always considered myself a moderate who listens to all political stands – I'm regular at Politico, Huffington Post and Slate as well as some of the conservative websites. The completely illogical, off-the-hook hysteria of the left has done a lot to this lone moderate. I'm now tilting decidedly right because I see the hysteria for what it is – lies, lies, and damned lies. Mixed in, of course, with political opportunism. The left is an embarrassment.

Mike – It's actually been HIPAA – which ensures patient's privacy no matter what – that is a contributory factor to the ability of the types like the shooter to be able to get guns. If law enforcement had already had a heads-up on this guy's character, I doubt if he would have had the ability to purchase a firearm. This is one time I'm going to say that the NRA had nothing to do with this particular incident. It was an unintended consequence of what is an otherwise good law.

Excellent cartoon that brings into focus the main points of the debate ignited since the Saturday Massacre. As a nation we need to put a stop to incendiary rhetoric, cries for "Second Amendment Solutions!" and the whole notion that noise and shouting can replace reasoned, intelligent discussion. Hitler took Germany down the path to war and genocide by these very means. Nazi tactics were effective because they got results. We must not let that happen here.

From the comments above it seems that neither the right or left have learned anything so far this year. The shooter in Arizona was a loner, an independent and not aligned with either party. He did enjoy Marx (Carl fame) and other socialist and communists. This young man was definte not in in control of himself. Nobody seems to see that no matter how many times it is published. Everyone is only interested in attacking the other side. Now down to business!

Mike- it seems that you have a avid fascination towards gun-control. I hate to bore you with old cliches but it is true that "guns don't kill….people do". It is the person pulling the trigger that accomplishes that feat. M. Lester has a good link that proves both Dems and Repubs are capable of equal amounts of violence.

Blake – me thinks thee tries to hard to appear intelligent. Maybe thee has an axe to grind but lacks the sophistication to get it out of your craw.

Geoff – I am impressed with your grasp of the Arizona tragedy. I am at a loss for words to express how much I look forward to your commentary. I always need a good laugh during the day.

"And the beat goes on".

after months of reading comments to this blog and writing many myself, i am glad that it is anonymous because i would hate to be the target of some of the acknowledged gun toters writing here. clearly many of them seem to be just at the edge and crossing the line for them is an easy step.

in england, posession of a hand gun by anyone for any purpose is forbidden. before that the use of guns in crimes was not as common as here and now i expect they are pretty much gone. when no one has them, no criminals do either. i do not know what the penalty is for having one, but i bet it is a stiff goal sentence with no right to appeal. we would do well to have it here, have a hand gun, go directly to jail.

yes you can kill with a knife, but not indiscriminately nor so many easily.

@ old geezer: Pretty obvious you would not be able to tell. But thanks for piping up. Like that old one?

Stilt, you need to check crime statistics in the UK. Criminals still have weapons, purchased via a black market (watch the movie Harry Browne for an illustration) and robbery has actually gone up. Why? Because innocent citizens are now defenseless and are lambs being led to slaughter. Criminals will ALWAYS find a way to get an advantage. Wishful thinking does not make criminals put down their arms, Stilt.

Cartoon was in very poor taste….Like the Democrats have ALL the answers…. It's the f…. Democrats that got us in to this mess!

John R, I won't tell you how to run your country, and Americans would appreciate it if you would keep your comments about our constitutional rights to yourself, I'm sure. Have a nice time in New Zealand.

Talk about jumping to conclusions. It was erroneously reported that the crazy killer was refused ammunition at the first Wal Mart he stopped at. Wal Mart has publicly corrected this error. He was NEVER denied ammunition at Wal Mart. The gunman did not stay around to pick up his ammo is all. Anyway, we can all take comfort that he was able to buy his ammo at another Wal Mart. Wal Mart sells GOOD AMMUNITION…there was not a misfire in the bunch. We can all buy our ammunition at Wal Mart with full confidence.

Meanwhile, it has been proposed that the solution to the problem is to let our elected representatives take their guns to meetings. After all, the Congresswoman does have a Glock semi-automatic pistol. She has stated that she is a pretty good shot. If she had just been allowed to have her gun in her hand when she was talking to her constituents, she might have shot the crazy man and saved all those lives.

It is troubling that with all the gun owners in Arizona, that nobody there simply shot the bad guy. They just tackled him. Obviously more people in Arizona need to carry their guns. It is no good to own a gun and then just leave it at home in the closet. One should be prepared to fire away whenever necessary. Perhaps they should have a public awareness campaign in Arizona so that people do not leave their guns at home.

Dan: "It’s the f…. Democrats that got us in to this mess!" Uhm… how, exactly?

This seems kind of relevant: "In the past year, Pima County, Ariz., where Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 19 others were shot Saturday, has seen more than 45 percent of its mental health services recipients forced off the public rolls."
So if it's not guns that kill people, is it budget cuts that kill people?

Tom – you say that Judson Phillips was "correct"? He said that the "hard left" would "try to silence the Tea Party". Pointing out how poisonous the TP vitriol is, is not "trying to silence them". I would bet my monthly pension cheque that the number of "hard left" who would call for silencing anybody approaches zero. When I read the stunning, ugly comment that Phillips made – an opportunistic hate-filled response to an unspeakable tragedy, I thought to myself, "well, this jerk will drive even the most rabid right-wingers away from him". Wrong.
Having two polarized political views in a society is not in itself bad news, but when the likes of Glenn Beck, Rush Limbaugh, Judson Phillips spew their hatred through the media, a very sick society is the result.

Irene – so you're a "moderate" who listens to both sides. But now you're tilting "decidedly right" because "the left is an embarrassment"? How long have you been reading the messages on this blog? Did you read Judson Phillips comment above? And you say the left is an embarrassment. I guess it's all in the eye of the beholder, but from where I sit it seems that you tilt was very far "decidedly right" long ago.

Anthony Ford says to a New Zealander: "Americans would appreciate it if you would keep your comments about our constitutional rights to yourself"

How many Americans would feel this way? Is freedom of speech not one of the most cherished values of Americans? But you are saying this basic freedom doesn't extend outside your borders?

Do you believe in freedom of speech or not? If you really do, then New Zealanders can make comments about America, Americans can make comments about New Zealand, Canadians can make comments about Germany, Germans can make comments about Russians…. I guess you can see where I'm going here.

Your comment reminds me of people who open a conversation with, "I'm not prejudiced, BUT …" and then inevitably follow with prejudice. You seem to be saying, "I believe in free speech, BUT … not for you".

I don't think it's appropriate for people from other countries (who are NOT protected by the US Constitution, by the way) to tell America how to run itself. If you are, mole, have at it. By the way, the 1st amendment, commonly interpreted as "anyone can say anything they want to say" only covers suppression of speech BY THE GOVERNMENT. Learn your Constitution.

By the way, mole, it just occurred to me: you aren't trying to control MY speech, are you? Can we say hypocrisy?

Anthony Ford: "I don’t think it’s appropriate for people from other countries (who are NOT protected by the US Constitution, by the way) to tell America how to run itself." Strange, given how much pressure the US puts on other countries on how to run their affairs. Spying in Canada and performing medical experiments on Canadian citizens, trying to influence elections, to "pre-emptive strikes" and "regime change."

Anthony Ford – Me trying to control your speech? Hypocrisy? What a joke. Say whatever you want. My comment to you was that you appeared to want to limit criticism of America to Americans. In no way did I say or imply that you should not be allowed to say that to "foreigners". Just in case you missed it and it hasn't sunk in, here it is again: Say whatever you want.

I was trying to determine from you whether you believe in free speech or not. You don't think it's appropriate for "people from other countries" to make comments on America. I really BELIEVE in free speech, not limited free speech like you seem to do.

As far as people from other countries not being protected by the U.S. Constitution – there are two things to consider. First, what if their right to free speech is protected by their own constitution, as I am by the Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms.

The second point to consider is, what is your fundamental belief – should we have free speech or not? Should freedom of speech on the Internet be qualified? Should non-Americans be limited in their comments about America? If so, Why?

You yourself say you don't think it's appropriate for people from other countries to tell America how to run itself. So – you have qualified what is free speech. I believe it's appropriate for anyone to say anything anytime (as long as it's not slander or libel). I would prefer that it be polite and civil, and if it's not I'll ignore it, but ignoring it does not mean I don't want to allow it.

So am I correct that you believe in limited free speech?

@Mike, where did it ever say or been proven the guy was mental before he bought the ammo… my connection to Timothy McVey was missed, my point was, you can blame the vehicle they used for the actions of humans. If we use the liberal thought process, lets ban all ALCOHOL, since way more people are killed every year by drunk drivers…hence my reference to banning fertilizer and diesel fuel…. you want to ban guns, but doesnt solve the issue of the mentally distraught going to any length to achieve their agenda. I do believe we need some sort of gun control, but limited. until we stop addressing the symptoms , you will never resolve the problem.

Turtle. Think of it this way, violence is a symptom, murder by pistol is a problem. The British (English) are apparently very violent people. Their soccer fans are notorious, world-wide, for rioting during and after soccer games. Indeed, it was not uncommon for some deaths to occur at games. It came to the point that British fans would be carefully controlled, or even banned at some venues in other countries. Now, you can imagine the bloodbath had they been permitted to bring concealed weapons to the games.

In much of the United States, folks can now legally carry concealed weapons (pistols). In all the others, criminals commonly carry handguns. I really doubt that Americans are inherently any more violent than the Brits. Yet we have 3 times the murder rate, mostly by hand gun. All this suggests that should we simply, effectively, ban hand guns, our murder rate might be cut by 2/3rds (more or less).

Rifles and shotguns (not the sawed off ones used in our urban areas) could still be used for hunting, or defense of the home. Somebody tries to come through my door would be facing a 30.06 with 180 grain soft nosed bullets. Having shot "Expert" for several decades, I like my chances. However, I can not easily conceal this lovely Browning carbine (with a French walnut stock) and stroll down the street unnoticed.

Pistols are basically designed for killing people. They are actually used primarily by police officers and criminals. Pistols should be restricted to police officers.

mole, I should have known you were a Canadian. I won't trash the Canadian constitution either, knowing something about what is and isn't appropriate. You, on the other hand, know about cheap shots.

AnthonyFord says, "You, on the other hand, know about cheap shots."

How do you define "cheap shots". Show me just one that I have made.

Another "AnthonyFord": I won’t trash the Canadian constitution either, knowing something about what is and isn’t appropriate.

I'm not sure what your point is here. Are you saying or implying that I have posted something inappropriate. Show me just one.

Anthony Ford: "That’s just dumb, Geoff. A plot denotes a plan to do something sinister, i.e. mutiny, assassinate, whatever. You don’t sit around and form a plot by yourself. Well maybe you do."
Conspiracy is a "plot" decided and/or agreed upon by several people. A plot is, as you say, " plan to do something sinister." People who do things alone presumably also plan them out ahead of time. Even a "nutjob," if he is going to kill someone, must plan ahead to the extent of providing him or herself with a weapon. Normally I would also expect someone to figure out a getaway plan, etc.
From your own link, at the very top: "a secret plan or scheme to accomplish some purpose, esp. a hostile, unlawful, or evil purpose."
OED: "A plan or scheme for the constitution or accomplishment of something; a design."
It does not say anything about whether such a plan is constituted by one or several people.
Whereas a "conspiracy" is "an evil, unlawful, treacherous, or surreptitious plan formulated in secret by two or more persons; plot." From your dictionary.

"After all, there’s a plot to exterminate polar bears. In your mind, anyway." Gee, you're another one of these omniscient folk who knows what people you've never met are thinking? Wow!

You are the people that make me disappointed with our country. Bickering and calling names senselessly just because you want to fight. If you can not come up with an intelligent and well thought out argument then why post? If we do not stop polarizing ourselves then the country with implode upon itself. Nothing will stop it. If I, a college student, can realize that the "adults" of the United States should be able to too. Stop hiding behind your computers and start actually learning and doing something about what our country will soon come to.

Comments are closed.