The Arizona Republican Party is apparently incapable of learning from the past, or even just thinking things through, it would seem. Today they delivered a nifty little art project to the office of Ann Kirkpatrick, who is running against John McCain: a WANTED poster with her picture, complete with bullet holes.
Arizona Republicans would do well to remember where they are and the events of the not-so-distant past. They happen to be in the same state where Gabby Giffords, a sitting congresswoman, was shot in the head by a madman who had been spurred on by the words of a gun-loving conservative. Presumably, after a tragedy like this, they would learn that this type of rhetoric can be deadly. But they either can’t learn or don’t care.
In 2010, Sarah Palin went on an internet rant that featured her now-infamous “crosshairs” map, which targeted legislators who had voted in favor of the Affordable Care Act.
Don’t Retreat,” she tweeted, along with a picture of the map. “Instead – RELOAD”.
Giffords happened to be among the legislators targeted on Palin’s map. Just 10 months later, Giffords and 19 others were shot outside of a supermarket in Tuscon. Six of those people lost their lives.
Kirkpatrick has not yet responded. However, Giffords and her husband Mark Kelly issued a blistering statement slamming the Arizona Republican Party for “invoking the use of firearms in our politics” and “using this irresponsible imagery.”
In a state and country that knows the toll of gun violence too well, there is no room for invoking the use of firearms in our politics. Our political leaders have the responsibility to avoid a descent into messages that might suggest that elections are settled anywhere else than at the ballot box. We urge Arizonans of every political stripe to join us in asking the Arizona Republican Party to refrain from using this irresponsible imagery and to apologize.
Kirkpatrick can now only hope and pray that nobody takes the hint from the GOP’s latest visual aid, like the crazed gunman who attacked Giffords did.
Featured image via Twitter screenshot