Boston Herald | Monday, October 7, 2013 | Op-Ed |
Leave it to Rep. Charlie Rangel (D-N.Y.) to blame the Capitol Hill violence of last week on congressional Republicans.
“People are so frustrated and angry with members of Congress, particularly Republicans,” Rangel told Politicker.com, “My first thought was that frustration ignited somebody already imbalanced.”
Yeah, right. Miriam Carey was ticked off at Republicans. That’s why she started her rampage by slamming her car into the White House.
Rangel’s logic may be distorted, but unfortunately it is emblematic of the blame-the-GOP-derangement-syndrome that seems to have infected many liberals as of late.
When schizophrenic Jared Loughner shot U.S. Rep. Gabby Giffords, liberals claimed that Republican rhetoric was to blame and demanded that conservatives “accept some responsibility” for the tragedy.
When mentally disturbed shooter Michael Brandon Hill attacked a school in DeKalb County, Ga., Twitter users like @michaelmark12 dubbed it: “Another @GOP #NRA sponsored school shooting!”
And on Thursday, when word of the violence on the Hill got out, Twitter lit up with little gems like this from @downwithtyranny: “The Capitol Hill shooter was arrested. No report yet if he is a card carrying teabagger… or just an ordinary #NRA fan hopped up on Beck.”
Navy Yard shooter Aaron Alexis may have been a liberal who drove a Prius and was reportedly “happy with Obama,” but according to Washington Mayor Vincent Gray (Democrat), Republicans were at fault for not stopping Alexis’s shooting spree on account of the sequester.
Beginning to see the logic here? The perpetrator was either: (1) a right-wing gun nut in his own right; (2) a vulnerable, mentally ill person whose fuse was lit by Republican rhetoric; or (3) someone so angered by the actions of Republicans that he simply lost it. Whatever the case, blame the GOP.
To be sure, not all liberals go so far as to say that Republicans caused these violent incidents. But most are at least willing to use violent crises to score political points by painting Republicans opposed to stricter gun control laws as insensitive to victims. (Because, after all, what Republican doesn’t like dead children?)
The irony, of course, is that while liberals accuse the GOP of violence-inspiring rhetoric and callous indifference to gun violence, it is liberals who express violent thoughts about killing Republicans in the Twittersphere. To wit:
“@thrill_pool: on the bright side, perhaps some of the people getting gunned down are pro-NRA lobbyists? i always have my fingers x’d”
“@therealmundzy: Is it wrong to wish Cruz Boehner Cantor Ryan were in the path of the bullets? No.. not really. #capitol #shooting #GOPshutdown”
Of course, loose cannons on Twitter don’t speak for Democratic officials. But the notion that our society is more violent on account of conservatives is all the more laughable in light of such tweets and recent liberal rhetoric about Republicans “holding a gun to the head” of the president over Obamacare.
If liberals are disingenuous in their condemnation of Republican rhetoric, they are at least earnest in their belief that guns are to blame for such tragedies.
The larger problem, however — the one truly common denominator in all of these crises, and the one that liberals seem not to want to confront — is mental illness.
Mental illness, not politics, is what Adam Lanza (Newtown), Jared Loughner (Gabby Giffords), Seung-Hi Cho (Virginia Tech), James Holmes (Aurora), Michael Brandon Hill (DeKalb), Aaron Alexis (Navy Yard), and now Miriam Carey have in common.
Rational people understand that this is not about Republicans. It is not about Democrats. And it’s not even really about guns. It’s about crazy people. So, what are we going to do about that?