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Well said, Angela. I've been trying to formulate all that's been bothering me about this whole situation. It seems that immediately there was finger pointing in both directions: the left at the right, and right at the left. So many people, especially the media, are using this as an opportunity to bash the other side for political gain, yet I've seen no evidence that actually suggests any correlation or causality with the Palin ad. This is ludicrous. I'm no fan of Palin, but even looking at the guy's reading list, I certainly can't tell what kind of political ideology he was into, and frankly I don't see how that matters much. There are other issues at stake here that actually do matter, and I believe you listed them off well.

The glaring irony of this tactic is that all political recourse is founded on hyperbole by necessity. It is very difficult to convince a person or group to reconsider their own beliefs without exaggeration and all sides do it. If the gunman did indeed commit these atrocious acts due to fearful rhetoric, how does that rhetoric differ from that which sends troops half way around the world to shoot their guns? State-sanctioned killing is killing nonetheless and is always preceded by the terrorizing words of government officials intent on frightening the general public. Yet, for some reason, innocent deaths abroad do not weigh as heavily on our collective conscience.

Slightly less disturbing but no less true are the terrorizing words which have justified all legislation from drugs wars to social security. "Society itself would end if not for the point of a gun." according to the state. So they point them, and sometimes shoot them, in order to assuage our state-generated fears.

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