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Tuscon shooting may further distance US lawmakers from public

Published time: January 10, 2011 23:23
Edited time: January 11, 2011 20:51

America is in a very dangerous period right now, and it is not surprising at all that there is violent action directed against political figures, believes Professor Joseph Palermo from California State University.

Some politicians use violent rhetoric, and while they are not forcing the hand of the unbalanced people to come out of the woodwork and do these act of violence, they are certainly not helping the situation says the expert in political history.

“The loudness, the noise of the far-right machine in this country in the last two years has been extraordinary. And despite the efforts of more sane people trying to call for more civil discourse, more civil dialogue, trying to tamp down the tone, it’s really not happening. Unfortunately the American news media is not doing a good job of helping to tamp down the tone as well,” says Professor Palermo.

On Monday, 22-year-old Jared Loughner was charged in a federal court with the attempted murder of a US congresswoman.

Loughner is accused of going on a shooting rampage outside a supermarket in the state of Arizona, where Democrat Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head.

She remains in critical condition. Six other people were killed, including a 9-year-old girl and a federal judge.

According to a columnist for Forbes.com, T.J. Walker, the average congressman receives death threats from kooks and nuts, but now they have taken been taken to a whole new level. Many members of Congress, he predicted, are going to be much more skeptical about public speaking events.

“Unfortunately, it is going to really shut down a lot of communication of voters with their officials because elected officials in America are now running scared,” stated Walker.

Still, stricter gun control to help curb the violence is out of the question because “Americans have a passionate love affair for guns and it is basically politically impossible for any politician to try to propose limiting handguns,” he said.

“There is a lot of militaristic rhetoric used by the American politicians and commentators, principally on the right, when talking about how to defeat their Democratic competitors,” Walker added.

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