The attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has shocked the nation. It's also set off a national debate about whether the shooting was the work of a lone lunatic or whether the current vitriolic political climate created the situation that encourages political violence. We talk with our reporter in Tucson and with two Nevada political commentators to discuss the partisan atmosphere in Nevada.
GUESTS Michel Marizco, reporter, Fronteras: The Changing Americas Desk Jon Ralston, Host, KSNV's "Face-to-Face" Chuck Muth, conservative political activist and blogger
Ok. Now I'm hearing conflicting reports as to the character of the shooter. Is he a drug addict or is he mentally ill? If he's had problems with drugs in the past then there's your answer. He's a dumb kid who likes to get high and do stupid things. Mind you, a 22 year old nowadays is not as mature as a 22 year old from early 1900's, all circumstances need to be evaluated. For all we know, he could have been high on PCP or Meth or Coke which are all sure to drive people to the brink of insanity when pumped full of rhetoric.
Sam –Jan 10, 2011 12:47:35 PM
Why does it take a tragedy to change things? Or will it even change? All I know is the rhetoric IS getting stronger. It'll only get worse in the next couple of years. It always happens before any major election. People don't have a difference in opinion anymore. They're being pitted against each other by political agenda and media right wingers. "I'm better than you, you're at fault, blame and shame, I don't like you", etc.; it's as if we're dealing with children on a playground. The adult bullying has got to stop. What's even worse is when you have and adult bully who rallies a bunch of people together, they'll follow every word that's spoken, literally. That is exactly what this kid did.Cosmo –Jan 10, 2011 11:41:38 AM
Listening to the radio program, nobody mentioned anything about the dumbing down of our nation. If you haven't seen the movie "Idiocracy", watch it. We are becoming a nation of monkey see monkey doer-idiots. Those who have less than a high school education are the ones who are taking these words literally! The mentality of people nowadays is not like decades ago. It has grown increasingly careless. People are breeding for the sake of breeding not caring about who, what or how they bring these children into this world. We have stunted the growth of our people mentally and physically from all the chemicals in our foods that we ingest, to the programs we watch on Tv and the internet, to the video games we play, etc. This shooter was an idiot 22 year old kid! Where are his parents in all of this? If they knew he was mentally unstable, then why aren't they liable? Everyone says, "we're just dealing with one nut here and not a political agenda"... not true. This is all political on every level. When we have networks like FOX vomiting it's rhetoric, people listen. People say they're right, let get 'em. I could go on but I don't have any more room. Thanks for listening.Sam –Jan 10, 2011 10:54:40 AM
It makes me sick listening to the right saying that their violent rhetoric has nothing to do with the current tragedy. It is time for voices on the right to step up and acknowledge how their "free speech" contributed to the tone of hate and discontent in the country. It is time to tone it down!Jim in Las Vegas –Jan 10, 2011 10:26:48 AM
I don't see any place to comment on your discussion about the Tuscon shootings, so I will post here. Regarding the shootings in Tuscon, Republicans are repeatedly stating that the rhetoric encouraging violence we have seen in our national politics in the last few years has been on both sides, effectively making a 'morally equivallent' argument. No one is challenging them on this fallacy-and they should. Who on the Left carried firearms openly in political gatherings near Presidential candidates in the last election? Who on the Left said anything LIKE "Bullets not Ballots" such as Rep. Wasserman-Schultz mentioned during her last campaign? Who on the Left published websites with crosshairs over candidates? Who on the Left campaigned that if they lost the last election, there would be "Second Ammendment remedies" to change the outcome such as Republican Sharron Angle stated in her race against Sen. Harry Reid? The answer is that no one on the Left said such things. All of those who said such things were on the political Right. Jim in Henderson –Jan 10, 2011 10:01:45 AM
Review G. Giffords' statements in the past regarding the "tone" of political rhetoric, especially after her support of the health care law. Review the response from her father about what enemies she had being "the whole tea party." Review the increase in threats to politicians who have supported the health care bill. Couple this information with the statements from the resident Sherriff Dupnik about the "tone" of the area and it seems obvious why we look to a political motivation. This does not seem to be just an isolated, deranged individual. Vegas Resident –Jan 10, 2011 09:47:35 AM
It is unbelievably insensitive that the Sunday Right Wing talking heads with sometimes smiles on their faces and 'Chuck' continue to strike a 'Richous Stance' even when 6-people are
dead and gunman's target is in a coma - do they not know when to play nice and act contrite? Do they not see that on another day or another time it could be one of their family members gunned down? What about the example that is set for the younger generations? Unbelievable. Richard –Jan 10, 2011 09:44:43 AM
I don't understand why the media has fixated on the tone of our political discourse and not the fact that an obviously mentally disturbed individual was able purchase a glock semiautomatic weapon so easily. The discussion should be about gun control and mental health in this nation!Donna –Jan 10, 2011 09:37:02 AM