And just seven months later, an armed madman attempted to assassinate then Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Arizona). Jared Loughner succeeded in shooting her and eighteen other people, and six of them were killed. And Loughner used a Glock pistol with a high-capacity magazine.
Fast forward to December 2012. In the wake of the horrific Newtown elementary school massacre in Connecticut, we saw renewed demand for gun safety reform. And despite some DC pundits' spin to the contrary, the solid majority of Americans are still demanding action on gun violence today.
And now, all of a sudden, the violent rhetoric and actions that plagued the country in 2010 and boiled over horrifically in Arizona in January 2011 have returned in a major way. Some even wonder if the violent rhetoric and actions really waned for very long in 2011. Take into consideration this...
A sheriff known for cracking down on the drug trade in southern West Virginia’s coalfields was fatally shot Wednesday in the spot where he usually parked his car for lunch, a state official said, and a suspect was in custody.
State Police told Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin that Mingo County Sheriff Eugene Crum died of his wounds, said his chief of staff Rob Alsop. The suspect, who was also shot, was taken to a hospital in Logan, Alsop said.
The courthouse was evacuated, streets into the city were blocked off and officers held white sheets around the crime scene, Crum’s body further shielded by two vehicles.
The shooting occurred within a block of the county courthouse, said Office of Emergency Services head dispatcher Willis Spence. Officials planned a news conference for 6 p.m. in the county in the southwest corner of West Virginia, on the border with Kentucky.
“Yesterday, several death threats were phoned into my New York office in response to news reports about a bill I authored requiring gun owners to have insurance,” the congresswoman said in a statement Wednesday morning. “The calls were fielded by young interns, who were understandably shaken by this experience.” [...]
“They said they were going to kill me,” she told the [New York Daily News]. [...]
In her statement, Maloney said she’s proud of her work to stem gun violence and strongly supports President Obama’s gun control initiatives. “100,000 Americans are injured by guns every year,” she said. “Carrying insurance is the responsible thing to do.”
“Given all the acts of gun violence we have seen in the past two years, the shootings in Aurora and Newtown, the attack on my friend and colleague Gabby Gifford (sic), I take the threat of more gun violence very seriously,” the congresswoman continued. “But it is not something that I will allow to stop me from doing my work.”
Yes, this actually happened this week. Here we go again.
And again, Sharron Angle's words return to haunt us. We're now seeing "Second Amendment Remedies" materialize. Once again, Members of Congress are receiving death threats. And law enforcement leaders are being shot dead. And even schools are again vulnerable.
I'm sure Senator Dean Heller (R-NRA) is trying to blame Hollywood for all of this. Yet despite his & the gun lobby's best attempts to spin away all this violence, the fact remains that it's here. So what will we do about it?
Sure, taking hunting rifles away from law abiding citizens won't help. And no one's talking about doing that. The problem, rather, is with extremely violent rhetoric paired up with easy access to dangerous military grade weapons. And especially when those military grade weapons fall into the wrong hands at the wrong time, (even more of) these horrific tragedies happen. And the violent rhetoric that's seeped into our politics in recent years has made this problem even worse.
So when will we do something?