Sheriff attacks “vitriol” about “tearing down” govt. after Arizona shooting

An Arizona sheriff has attacked "the vitriol... the anger, the hatred, the bigotry" in America following the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords.

One of Arizona’s top law officials has attacked “the vitriol… the anger, the hatred, the bigotry” in America today following the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Giffords in a shooting in Tucson on Saturday. Six people were killed in the incident, including a federal judge, a nine-year-old girl and an aide to Ms Giffords, who remains in hospital though this afternoon was described by surgeons as “doing well”.

Sheriff Clarence Dupnik spoke as it emerged that Sarah Palin had placed Gabrielle Giffords on a ‘target list’ of lawmakers she wished to see the back of – each represented by a pair of crosshairs.

At the time, Palin had written of Ms Gifford:

“If the vote failed, don’t retreat — RELOAD.”

The sheriff said:

“I’m not aware of any public officials that have not been receiving threats, she had two very unfortunate incidents occur during a very vitriolic campaign that just occured… She had an incident around the same time where windows were broken out of her headquarters. We understand that at her headquarters right now, that there’s a suspicous package that’s being investigated.

“I can tell you this, that the 22-year-old individual does have a criminal background and there are reports that he was a Prima college student and that there have been some difficulties with him but again I’d just like to say that when you look at unbalanced people, how they are, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government…

“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country, is getting to be outrageous, and, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

The vitriol of which the sheriff speaks is typified by Glenn Beck, whose inflammatory rhetoric is given oxygen on the Rupert Murdoch owned Fox News. A chilling video of just some of his vitriol, focusing on his obsession with Nazism, was shown at yesterday’s Netroots conference by Ari Rabin-Havt, the executive vice president of Media Matters.

Watch it:

In it Beck says:

“I’m gonna be like the Israeli Nazi hunters, I’m telling you, I’m gonna find these big progressives, and to the day I die, I’m gonna be a progressive hunter.”

While in this Media Matters compilation, he warns:

“I’m gonna find these big progressives, and to the day I die, I’m gonna be a progressive hunter… drive a stake through the heart of the bloodsuckers.”

Meanwhile Palin’s fellow tea party extremist Sharron Angle said during the midterms:

“This congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards those second amendment remedies. And I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.”

These are just a handful of examples of the vitriol of which Sheriff Dupnik railed against; many more can be found here and on the Media Matters blog.

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