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I am a former middle and high school science teacher pursuing a doctorate in Science Ed. at George Mason University, with a concentration in cognitive science and the evolution of cognition and learning. Postings on this blog represent my own views, not those of my employer or school. All writing displayed on this page is original work unless otherwise noted, and thus copyrighted.

10 January 2011

One side or other needs to be rational...

Dear fellow left-wingers,
  The recent shooting (I hate the overuse of the word tragedy, and I'm refusing to use it in this case) in Arizona my be the result of a deluded neo-nazi/tea party loon, but let's be frank here: those spewing right-wing rhetoric are no more responsible for the actions of a violent psychopath than those promoting left-of-Lenin politics are to blame for the actions of someone that might listen to them. If you'd like someone to blame, place it squarely on a) said violent psychopath, b) our lack of health care that failed to identify and treat someone that is clearly mentally ill, and c) whichever douchebag reviewed this man's pistol permit and concluded that despite a record of mental issues, he should be allowed to own a weapon.
  Is political rhetoric inflammatory on both sides? Yes. Is it possible that someone who is a paranoid schizophrenic might take right-wing talk radio a little too seriously? certainly. OTOH, unless someone can produce direct quotes that were intended to incite someone to violence, CAN IT. (Yes, Palin's "Don't retreat, RELOAD" tweet is ridiculous, but it's also the product of a mind simple enough to think that it was witty rather than particularly violent).

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