Whether it is Susan Angle's "Second Ammendment remedies" or the Sarah PAC's targeting of Democrats with the crosshairs of a gun's scope, or the Democrats' use of target images for their political strategy in 2004, violent rhetoric in political discourse only contributes to an environment where shootings like the one today in Arizona can take place. No online graphic or politician's reckless rhetoric caused today's shooting, but it sure didn't help.
Please, can political opponents simply be opponents, and not "enemies" at whom we are urged to take a shot? Let's tone down the rhetoric, please.
Note that the blood red crosshairs stand for opponents who have retired – and thus are politically dead. The goal is to have this map full of blood red crosshairs, symbolizing politically dead Democrats. Graphic can be found in many places online, including here.
This graphic, posted on the Democratic Leadership Committee's website in 2004 as an illustration alongside an essay on election strategy, was posted in one discussion to rebut criticism of the Sarah PAC graphic, above. This graphic and it's language is not helpful. "Behind Enemy Lines"? Last I saw, Republicans were opponents, not enemies, of the Democrats. Such polarizing language is bad for our country. Nonetheless, this graphic simply targets states, not individuals. Not as bad as the Palin graphic.