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A HISTORY OF RECENT AMERICAN VIOLENCE– CAUSE & EFFECT

By   /   January 9, 2011  /   Comments

2010 Congressional campaign poster from Sarah Palin’s PAC. Look at the fourth name down on this Sarah Palin hit list, complete with a rifle target cross hair target hovering directly over Tucson, Arizona, where she listed Democrats to “target” in last year’s election campaign. Yes, it is the same Democratic Congresswoman Giffords who was shot in the head in the rampage that killed, among others, a 9 year old child and a federal judge.

Query: if a nationally prominent Democrat had done what Sarah Palin did, and the result was mass murder and political assassination, what do you think the right wing media would be asking for right now? Criminal charges? Or would they be excusing her violence inspiring rhetoric as protected speech under the First Amendment and touting that person as presidential material for 2012?

Here’s a brief look at the faces and rhetoric of a few of the instigators and perpetrators of modern American right wing terrorism:

April 19, 1995:

Timothy James McVeigh detonated a truck bomb in front of the Alfred P. Murrah Building in Oklahoma City on April 19, 1995, killing 168 people and injuring 450. It was the deadliest act of terrorism within the United States prior to the September 11, 2001 attacks.

August 26, 2002:

“My only regret with Timothy McVeigh is he did not go to the New York Times Building.” Ann Coulter, FOX News contributor and guest opinionator.

April 5, 2005:

“And finally, I – I don’t know if there is a cause-and-effect connection but we have seen some recent episodes of courthouse violence in this country. Certainly nothing new, but we seem to have run through a spate of courthouse violence recently that’s been on the news. And I wonder whether there may be some connection between the perception in some quarters on some occasions where judges are making political decisions yet are unaccountable to the public, that it builds up and builds up and builds up to the point where some people engage in — engage in violence. Certainly without any justification but a concern that I have that I wanted to share.”

Texas Senator John Cornyn, after a Florida federal judge ruled against the position favored by Republicans in the Terry Schiavo end of life case.

July 27, 2008:

—Jim Adkisson shoots and kills two people at a progressive church in Knoxville, Tennessee, wounding two. Adkisson calls it “a symbolic killing” because he really “wanted to kill…every Democrat in the Senate & House, the 100 people in Bernard Goldberg’s book,” but was unable to gain access to them.

September 22, 2008:

Wayne Lapierre, NRA President

—The National Rifle Association launches its GunBanObama website, which predicts that Democratic presidential candidate Barack Obama, “if elected…would be the most anti-gun president in American history.” The website is part of a $15 million NRA campaign to discredit Obama.

December 9, 2008:

FBI teams investigating the murder of white supremacist James Cumming, 29, a resident of Belfast, Maine, find supplies for a crude radiological dispersal device and other explosives in his home. Cumming’s wife, who shot him to death after being abused by him repeatedly, explains, “His intentions were to construct a dirty bomb and take it to Washington to kill President Obama. He was planning to hide it in the undercarriage of our motor home.”

April 4, 2009:

Neo-Nazi Richard Poplawski shoots and kills three police officers responding to a 911 call to his home in Pittsburgh. His friend Edward Perkovic tells reporters that Poplawski feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on its way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.” Perkovic also commented that Poplawski carried out the shooting because “if anyone tried to take his firearms, he was gonna’ stand by what his forefathers told him to do.”

June 10, 2009:

James W. von Brunn, a convicted felon and a “hardcore Neo-Nazi,” walks into the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum in Washington, D.C. and shoots and kills a security guard. Von Brunn believed that Western civilization was going to be replaced with a “ONE WORLD ILLUMINATI GOVERNMENT” that would “confiscate private weapons” in order to accomplish its goals.

July 15, 2009:

Katherine Crabill, a Republican candidate for the Virginia House of Delegates in the state’s 99th District makes headlines by calling on Americans to resist the course President Obama has set for the country. Appearing at a “Tea Party” rally, Crabill quotes a 1775 speech by Patrick Henry and then states, “We have a chance to fight this battle at the ballot box before we have to resort to the bullet box. But that’s the beauty of our Second Amendment right. I am glad for all of us who enjoy the use of firearms for hunting. But make no mistake. That was not the intent of the Founding Fathers. Our Second Amendment right was to guard against tyranny.”

2010 Republican/Tea Party  candidate Catherine Crabill’s Facebook page says that she likes:

* The Bible
* Being Conservative

Other Facebook comments by Ms. Crabill:

* I Bet Jesus Can Break The Record For Most Fans On Face-book!
* I hate it when I wake up in the morning and Barack Obama is President.

Feb 18, 2010

“A small plane crashed into a seven-story office building in Austin, Texas, and signs are now pointing to a deliberate act. CNN reports that the pilot—identified as Joseph Andrew Stack—set his house on fire, took off in his own plane from a local airport, and crashed it into the building at full throttle. The building houses IRS offices in the area that got hit, notes the Austin American-Statesman. Stack left behind an anti-IRS screed posted online, apparently written to be read after the crash.”

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Funny, when I note the racial and religious characteristics of modern American terrorists, for the first time I’m almost inclined to agree with the right wing commentators who are urging racial, religious, and ethnic profiling to protect Americans from terrorism. Not that I want to see conservative, Republican leaning, nutcase white Christians locked up in Guantanamo or water boarded until they confess. But they shouldn’t be allowed to be around firearms or sharp objects.

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About the author

Owner / Editor / Writer

Tom Knighton is the publisher of The Albany Journal. In November, 2011, he became the first blogger to take over a newspaper anywhere in the world. In August of 2012, he made the difficult decision to take the Journal out of print circulation and become an online news agency, a first for the Albany area.

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