Wow. I almost fell right into right-wing, redneck, bigoted, conservative violent rhetoric. But, I don’t care!
The day after the Tucson shootings, which killed six and injured 14, a reporter from the local San Francisco ABC TV station asked me if I would change what I say on my KSFO radio talk show?
Without hesitation, I said, “No.”
Why? I stand behind what I say. I only say what I believe. I don’t instigate violence and don’t encourage lawbreakers. I do criticize people, politics, government and society when I believe circumstances warrant it, but not with ulterior motives.
It’s called freedom of speech; the Constitution guarantees it.
I don’t speak for other talk hosts.
As I told the reporter, I’m only responsible for the words that come out of my mouth, not for what others say.
If people don’t like my opinions or disagree with my politics – so be it.
If they call me names and hold me responsible for everything they hate about conservatives and every conservative they individually hate, they only show what narrow-minded, ignorant, biased, hate-filled morons they really are.
I do have other choice descriptives for them but after all, I have to maintain some level of decorum!
On the other hand, you might be surprised by the possibilities of my invective!
The left in politics and the media had a field day after the Jan. 8 shootings. They hurled slurs, lies and insults at conservatives even when all they knew was that there was a mass shooting, a representative was targeted and gravely wounded and others were dead and injured.
Rather than lament the horror of the crimes, the pain of the victims and the terrible grief of the families, the left jumped on the political opportunity to lash out conservatives, Republicans, tea-party members, talk-show hosts – especially Rush Limbaugh – and of course, Sarah Palin.
Even when the shooter was identified and shown to be someone wacked-out from drugs, alcohol, conspiracy theorists and mental issues, the unfounded attacks continued and haven’t stopped.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik added fuel to the fire. His personal politics tainted everything he said as he attacked the so-called rhetoric of conservatives and piled on the hate.
He started with his first news conference the afternoon of the shootings and continued all week on every media outlet that would have him, and most did.
They loved it, since he added an “official” imprimatur to the unceasing media bias.
Dupnik clearly relished his “15 minutes of fame” by overstepping his job parameters and falling into the drama of the lying media scrum.
But not everyone loves him. Maricopa County Sheriff Joe Arpaio said anyone else would be fired and that such officials should shut their mouths. The Arizona Republic newspaper editorialized that Dupnik should “get a grip on his emotions and remember his duty.”
Dupnik may have jeopardized the case against the shooter. If so, he should face consequences.
After all – as we’ve been repeatedly told – words have consequences.
While he and the unfounded criticism of conservatives got the publicity, other stories were given scant coverage.
We heard about Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, who was shot through the brain and still fights for life. We learned of U.S. District Judge John Roll who was killed, as was 9-year-old Christina Taylor Green.
But the names of the other victims killed and injured were hard to learn as well as their heroism. Several died protecting others.
Gifford’s staffers also suffered. Gabe Zimmerman was killed, but several were injured. Their stories mostly ignored.
We did learn of Daniel Hernandez, a brave young staffer who ran to Rep. Giffords and literally held her head up so she wouldn’t choke on blood until help arrived.
Then there was the statement from Arizona Sen. John McCain. It was beautifully written, but the media virtually ignored it.
He spoke of his horror at the violence of the crime against innocents and continued: “I pray for Gabby and the other victims, and for the repose of the souls of the dead and comfort for their families. I beg our loving Creator to spare the lives of those who are still alive, heal them in body and spirit, and return them to their loved ones.
“Whoever did this; whatever their reason, they are a disgrace to Arizona, this country and the human race, and they deserve and will receive the contempt of all decent people and the strongest punishment of the law.”
One story has gone missing, and I’m not certain it wasn’t intentional – that of Joseph Zamudio.
He told a reporter he’d gone to buy cigarettes and heard shots. He knew it was trouble and ran toward the shooter. When he got there, the guy had been tackled. He helped by sitting on the shooter’s legs to hold him down.
He mentioned he had a gun but didn’t use it. When asked “why,” he responded that the guy was being held down, and it wasn’t his job to kill him. He added, he didn’t want to risk any other injuries.
He lamented the violence, injuries and deaths and beautifully and poignantly said, “A lot of mothers will be crying tonight.”
Why don’t we know about him? I saw that one short interview – then nothing.
I suspect it’s because it shows that honorable and smart people can, and do, carry concealed weapons in Arizona and elsewhere.
But that doesn’t suit media anti-gun zealots.
Publicizing that someone had a gun but chose not to use it for good reasons, doesn’t fit their scenario.
Ignoring that is disgraceful. Equating gun possession with criminal activity and aiming to further limit the Second Amendment is not only wrong, it’s dangerous to the security and stability of our country.
If you don’t like my opinion – tough.
It’s a free country.