Second Amendment solutions

There is no parity between "the right and the left" in the politics of hate in the America of 2011. Yes, some on the left say things I do not agree with, or approve of, and they should be criticized when they do. But the politics of hate, which I have been warning about for over a year, are heard far more from the right than the left these days.

Sarah Palin should not be blamed for the murders in Arizona, but she should be blamed for demeaning our political debate in ways unworthy of someone nominated by Republicans to stand a heartbeat from the presidency.

A serious national figure should not be using phrases such as "reloading" and putting shooting target signs over the district of any member of Congress.

Sharron Angle should never have used the despicable phrase "Second Amendment solutions" in her campaign against the Senate majority leader.

I do not recall anyone from the left going to town meetings of members of Congress and shouting down elected officials to prevent them from talking to constituents.

I do not recall anyone from the left going to town meetings brandishing guns. I do not recall anyone from the left suggesting that guns are a solution to political differences in any way, by any person, for any reason, as Angle did in Nevada.

America does not need right-wing ideologues or political haters questioning our president's faith in Christianity, or his Americanism, or comparing him to Adolf Hitler, and it is profoundly wrong and unwise when some party leaders refuse to unequivocally condemn these things.

Yes, some on the left go over the top. No doubt. When they do, they should be criticized. But what is happening today in the more violent and extreme political rhetoric is far more a phenomenon of the right that escalated dramatically after the last presidential election.

In this warped view, opponents are accused of being unpatriotic, treated as enemies, demeaned as Americans, accused of wanting to murder fellow Americans in death panels, compared to communists or fascists. The rhetoric of the target range and the gun has become a weapon of political warfare that has no place in America today, and this is coming far more from the right than the left.

The right talks often about individual initiative and responsibility. It is time to show some individual responsibility here. Let’s all denounce those who talk about Second Amendment solutions or put members of Congress in a bull's-eye that is appropriate for a target range, but vile when used as a weapon in the civic discourse of our nation.

And let’s be clear: In America in 2011 this is not a wrong that is equally committed by "the left and the right.” This false view is a slander of the left and an excuse for certain figures on the right that must not go unanswered in our politics or media after such a tragic event in our history.