Conservatives have condemned these acts, but that hasn't stopped liberals from attempting to use them as a cudgel to bash conservatives. For example, Matthew Yglesias of the liberal blog liberal blog Think Progress recently wrote:
"Following up on the assassination of George Tiller, we appear to have a new outbreak of right-wing domestic terrorism as white supremacist James Von Brunn goes on a shooting spree at the U.S. Holocaust Museum.There are also hints that the Left may try to use these shootings as a way to begin infringing on Second Amendment rights. As Open Left's Chris Bowers blogged:
"Outside of the 60-vote rule in the Senate, the NRA is emerging as the right-wing's top weapon against progressive legislation."Personally, I think both these murderers were insane nuts. If we're going to look at using these events as a catalyst to change policy, perhaps we should consider talking about the issue of mental health.
For example, the Virginia Tech shooter, Cho, was declared mentally ill in Virginia, but was still free to attend classes, and ultimately kill his fellow students. Clearly, the failure here was a mental health issue -- not a "gun" issue. If we are going to begin looking to pass legislation to curb these violent incidents, why don't we consider doing something that might actually work -- like looking at changing laws regarding mental health issues?
... Because taking up the cause of mental health does not advance the cause of liberalism.
Frankly, though, those of us who value not just the Second Amendment -- but the First Amendment -- are getting a bit nervous over accusations that conservative talkers somehow inspired these killings. Might this be used as an excuse to silence "dangerous" commentators like Bill O'Reilly and Rush Limbaugh?
Personally, I find it interesting that the same people who decry censorship of explicit material, arguing that it is ridiculous to say a child who played violent video games or listening to heavy metal or rap music might be influenced by it -- seem to now believe adults are easily influenced by ... Bill O'Reilly ... If Cop Killer cannot inspire an inner-city youth to commit a crime -- and Ozzy's "Suicide Solution" cannot push a suicidal kid over the edge -- how am I to believe that Bill O'Reilly can lead someone to murder?
... Meanwhile, conservatives have pointed out this clearly isn't a "right-wing" problem. Anti-Semitic statements, for example, were recently made by long-time Obama pastor, Jeremiah Wright.
Additionally, as Leon Wolf noted at RedState, the Holocaust shooter,
- "Hated Christians.
- Despised Bush and McCain.
- Posted lengthy rants about "Neocons" involved in Jewish conspiracies to alter U.S. foreign policy in favor of Israel.
- He placed credence in 9/11 "truther" theories."
Wolff goes on to note anti-Jewish rants on diaries at the liberal website Daily Kos, writing: "I imagine it goes something like this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this. Or this."
Ultimately, though, this is merely another case of hypocrisy. As Libertarian-leaning blogger Jon Henke wrote on his Facebook page today,
"The people who objected to connecting Obama to socialists and Ayers now want to lump all conservatives in with militant radicals."
It's funny how that works ...