Dear Sarah Palin

A cousin of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, an abortion rights advocate by the name of Lynn Paltrow, posted what I found to be a very reasonable letter to Sarah Palin today. I’d encourage you to read the whole thing, but here’s how it ends.

…Your response so far, has been to defend the images and language you use. In an e-mail to Mr. Glenn Beck you said, “Our children will not have peace if politicos just capitalize on this to succeed in portraying anyone as inciting terror and violence.”

Ms. Palin, the moment calls for more than this. I am a strong supporter of the First Amendment and of your right to defend your words and to challenge those who seek to connect them to the assassination attempt and murders in Tucson, Arizona. I also know that there is often a very long distance between words and actions.

But even if your map and your language had nothing to do with these murders or any others that might occur in the future, a compassionate response would acknowledge that possibility and indicate a willingness, in her honor, in honor of the people who died, to consider this concern.

Whether or not you are willing to take this concern seriously, it is, nevertheless a critical moment to clarify your beliefs and principles. Now is the time to answer these questions and lead.

Do you believe it is appropriate to bring about political change in America through the use of or threat of violence?

When you suggest targeting candidates, use gun-sight crosshairs to do so, and speak repeatedly about guns, locking and reloading do you mean that violence is or could be properly used to encourage or ensure certain outcomes of elections or legislative votes?

If you do not mean literally that elected officials should be targeted with rifles and threatened by political activists armed with loaded weapons, what do you mean? What should politically frustrated Americans do when their views are not prevailing?

Throughout the course of history people have demonstrated that the most effective change comes through non-violent action. Many of us believe that the most courageous leaders and activists are those who are willing to be attacked for their beliefs not those who threaten to attack.

Ms. Palin, if you are among those who believe that political change can come about non-violently, without hate, violence, or the threat of violence, now would be an excellent time to say so.

Speaking of the horrible events of this past weekend, I’m not sure what it says about the world we live in, but word is that sales of Glocks are way up in Arizona. Yes, apparently quite a few saw the handiwork of this deranged Glock-wielding madman as a persuasive testimonial, and the guns are flying off the shelves.

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  1. Knox
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 7:53 am | Permalink

    Not all families have the capacity for this. My cousin would have just threatened her with bodily harm.

  2. Edward
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:06 am | Permalink

    Yeah, that was great product placement for Glock. 6 dead from a single clip! And 19 wounds in 30 rounds. Sounds pretty good, right?

  3. Knox
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:27 am | Permalink

    I found a term for what my cousin would do to her. It’s called “Bash Bouldering”.

  4. Urine Hands
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:37 am | Permalink

    I’d like to take this time to say sorry about the comments that I made about Bash. They were 100% untrue and false. I’m an idiot, and moron. Bash has helped me to see the errors of my ways on more than one occasion. He is a 1st class stand up person and I humblily apoligize to the great people of Ypsi, Mark Maynard dot com, and especially MR Bash Boulder. I pray you all can forgive me. I’M SORRY BASH. goodbye

  5. bash
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 10:41 am | Permalink

    apology accepted tom (uh)

  6. Kim
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 1:13 pm | Permalink

    OK, now I’m convinced that Bash threatened Urine Hands to make him get back online and recant. What a fucked up, thread hopping, exchange this has been.

    Urine Hands, I hope it didn’t break your cat’s other back leg.

  7. Steph's Dad
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 3:02 pm | Permalink

    Terrific letter. Thank you for sharing it. Regardless of whether or not this young man was influenced by the political rhetoric, this is a time to acknowledge that we can do better and be more responsible. We need to heed this warning.

  8. Bonnie
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 4:11 pm | Permalink

    Having friends who are Republicans/Tea Partiers (…they’re people too, come on), I would bet it’s not so much a “WHOA, GLOCKS ROCK” but rather, “Well shit, they’re going to be banned pretty soon, let’s get while the getting is good.”

  9. Lee T
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 5:38 pm | Permalink

    Speaking of guns and the hate mongering of the right, did you see this……..

    Rep. Joe Wilson’s (R-S.C.) health care-era “you lie” interruption of President Obama is now reportedly being commemorated with a place on a new, limited edition line of assault rifle components.

    The Columbia Free Times reports that the words are being engraved on a series of lower receivers manufactured for popular AR-15 assault rifles. Lower receivers are one of the primary pieces of the firearms.

    Here’s the article:

  10. Robert
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 7:41 pm | Permalink

    I do not condone violence as a means of making political change in America. But I am 100% behind sabotage and I hope every asshole who gets the idea will join Palin’s campaign and tear it to shreds from the inside out.

  11. Kip
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 7:51 pm | Permalink

    Where are the left wing White Panthers when you need them?

  12. Bob
    Posted January 12, 2011 at 9:27 pm | Permalink

    “Where are the left wing White Panthers when you need them?”

    Smoking dope and listening to the Five. They also loved to take photos of themselves with assault rifles.

  13. John Galt
    Posted January 13, 2011 at 12:15 pm | Permalink

    I can’t wait for the first killing with an official Joe “YOU LIE” Wilson assault riffle.

  14. bash
    Posted January 17, 2011 at 11:07 pm | Permalink

    @ robert… this great country was founded on political violence or have you not heard there was a revolution in 1776.

  15. Meta
    Posted January 24, 2011 at 4:13 pm | Permalink

    Utah senator Mike Lee says that to tone down the rhetoric would be letting the shooter win.

    Sen. Mike Lee (R-Utah) seemed to imply recently that any change to the behavior of elected officials spurred by the shooting in Arizona earlier this month would be tantamount to making a concession to the alleged shooter.

    “The shooter wins if we, who’ve been elected, change what we do just because of what he did,” Lee said on ABC News’s “This Week,” during a segment about members of Congress being more sensitive about their use of inflammatory political rhetoric.

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