After Colorado Massacre, Fingers Pointed at Tea Party for a Reason

After Colorado Massacre, Fingers Pointed at Tea Party for a Reason

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The moment that 12 persons were gunned down and nearly 60 wounded in the Aurora, Colorado movie theater massacre, the buzz hit that the alleged shooter was a possible Tea Party member. The rumor was false. There is no immediate evidence that alleged shooter James Holmes was anything more than a disgruntled, frustrated, fantasy acting-out, near drop-out, college grad student. Tea Party leaders publicly condemned the violence. They also loudly protest that they should not be held accountable for the deranged acts of a Holmes or Jared Loughner, the accused shooter of former Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Gifford. They are right. The individuals that committed the blood drenched acts are not Tea Party activists, or even members.

But that doesn’t change the terrifying fact that Tea Party leaders and members have been the nation’s outspoken cheerleaders for virtually unrestricted gun advocacy. The litany of violence inciting signs, posters, caricatures, and bulls eye ringed targets of President Obama, and the numerous, bellicose demonstrations and protests of gun controls that have been staples at some Tea Party protests, have drilled home the public perception that the Tea Party does have more than a faint relationship to the murderous acts of loose hinged, gun crazed types.

That image of Tea Party gun craze was never more evident than in May, last year, when dozens of gun toting, Tea Party affiliated backed gun rights activists rallied in Virginia and at the Washington Monument in the capital with signs reading: "Which part of 'shall not be infringed' confuses you?" and waving bright orange stickers saying, "Guns save lives." Dozens of the participants proudly displayed their holstered handguns and unloaded rifles over their shoulders while they listened to speakers saber rattle the usual Tea Party villains-- liberals, Democrats, and the federal government for gun restrictions. There were even veiled hints that armed confrontations were OK to defend their gun use rights.

Tea Party member Catherine Crabill, who ran for the Republican nomination in Virginia's 1st Congressional District, flatly declared that the right to carry firearms was the way the Founding Fathers meant for citizens to fight off tyranny. Failed Nevada senate candidate Sharron Angle was unabashed in proclaiming that the Constitution gave citizens the right to oust a “tyrannical” government—which, she cryptically added, meant removing her opponent Harry Reid from office. Angle backpedaled fast, and claimed that she meant vote him out, not kill him.

America, of course, has been the Western world’s runaway leader in the number of civilian gun killings for years. In the decade before the Tea Party was thought up, the number of violent threats against federal judges and prosecutors jumped sharply according to a report by the U.S. Marshalls Service. Federal officials blamed a number of parties, including the "sovereign citizen" movement—an unorganized grouping of tax protesters, white supremacists, and others who don't respect federal authority for the sharp increase in violent threats against officials. But the inflammatory, gun violence rhetoric, rose to an even higher pitch, and exploded as a national issue and major concern during the health care reform debate in 2010. Then nearly a dozen Democrats and Republicans received threatening messages.

Numerous psychological studies and research have conclusively shown that there is a firm link between hyper-inflammatory violent rhetoric and excessive media saturation of the airwaves with violent rhetoric, and the rampages of unbalanced individuals. In an American Psychological Association discussion on the cause and effects of the shooting of Gifford, participants noted that the media plays a huge role in spurring violence and aggression and increases the likelihood of more violent acts by mentally deranged individuals.

One expert noted that violent rhetoric and media saturation of it create “a rhetorical climate” in which unstable persons that are not able to balance messages that they see and hear may act out their frustrations and violent impulses. They specifically cited the firearms imagery Sarah Palin conveyed with her dubious map marked with crosshairs and her instructions to "RELOAD!"

In a lengthy discourse on its website, the Colorado Tea Party calls on “red blooded Americans” to stand up for the values of freedom and liberty and boasts that gun ownership is sacred. The Colorado Tea Party and national Tea Party leaders are not directly responsible for the monstrous violence Holmes is accused of. But Tea Party leaders and followers that have made a fetish of violent gun talk and toting shouldn’t be surprised when the inevitable violent outburst claims the lives of innocents and that the finger instantly points their way.

Earl Ofari Hutchinson is an author and political analyst. He hosts nationally broadcast political affairs radio talk shows on Pacifica and KTYM Radio Los Angeles. Follow Earl Ofari Hutchinson on Twitter:
http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson and on thehutchinsonreportnews.com and view The Hutchinson Report on Twitter: http://twitter.com/earlhutchinson

 

Comments

 
Anonymous

Posted Jul 20 2012

U R an idiot

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2012

Sorry, you're not going to get away with taking another one of your own party members (he is at least, a leftist), and then putting it onto the Tea Party. Tea Party activists stand up for the 2nd Amendment, which is in the constitution. Sarah Palin's "instructions" as "RELOAD" have nothing to do with weapons, or advocating going to some violent Batman movie and terrorizing the audience, and the country, for that matter. It is your party that burned effigies of President Bush; it was your education system that educated both your Tucson killer and now the Colorado killer. Tea Parties oppose your educators, and your education system. Give this whole thing a break, and stop speculating. The man is a monster, and the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with what he did. You know in your heart that the Tea Party is not violent, has not been connected to violence, nor will even be connected to violence in the future. So stop smearing and stereotyping. You should be ashamed of even posting this, but it does show the kind of prejudice bigot you are. Thanks for participating in the trend; you are, in fact, the status quo.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2012

You are too far left to see reason or sanity.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2012

Tea Party people advocate legal gun ownership as is every American's Constitutional right. If you want to look for violent activists you should report more on the leftist OWS movement and the multiple rapes and drug arrests in their tent cities. But that would require objectivism.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2012

Tea Party people advocate legal gun ownership as is every American's Constitutional right. If you want to look for violent activists you should report more on the leftist OWS movement and the multiple rapes and drug arrests in their tent cities. But that would require objectivism.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 21 2012

You are an idiot. The Tea Party is for the second amendment as it was intended and also supports a smaller Government that is more responsive to the will of the people but to even remotely try to compare this murderous act to the Tea Party movement shows that the left is desperate to place blame as a matter of political convenience. If anything this gun toting ass clown was part of the Occupy movement on the anarchist fringe.

Anonymous

Posted Jul 23 2012

The left-wingers are grasping at straws because the current administration hasn't come up with any real answers to help the economy. The middle class will vote out the incumbents and show their respect for the constitution. Can anyone site one time in history where the confiscation of weapons didn't precede the erosion of people's freedom?

Anonymous

Posted Jul 23 2012

Along the same thought path as the liberal anti-gun people --l the company that made the movie, the actors in the movie and the theater are responsible for this tragedy. Just look at the kind of people they attract – deranged murders!

This was not caused by the guns, the move, the actors, the theater, It was caused by a deranged murder, who could have used a couple bottles of gas that would have killed even more people…….. and no, it would not have been the gasoline’s fault either. I do not advocate violence, nor the taking of a free people’s rights because of 4 or 5 sick people out of 314,000,000 people.

Anti-gun people will sadly mislead people with false facts to push their own personal agenda.

Anonymous

Posted Aug 3 2012

poop

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