Palin’s Facebook Target List: Did it play a part in Arizona shooting?

Two days ago we brought you the shocking news about the Arizona shootings by suspected gunman Jared Lee Loughner in which 6 people were killed and more critically injured, including US Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords. We also told you about Loughner’s links with MySpace and about the videos he’d posted on YouTube.

Now, as you might expect after such an incident, there is the usual debate about gun control going on and Sarah Palin is also facing a lot of criticism because of a ‘target list’ that was posted on her Facebook site last year. This was meant to depict to constituents the districts of 20 democratic politicians with the particular aim of beating them in the midterm elections because of the support they showed for President Obama’s health reforms. Graphics on the map included cross hair targets in the style of gunsights according to an article on the Mail Online. The words “It’s time to take a stand,” were also displayed next to the map.

There are now accusations against Palin that this sort of violent imagery could contribute to the vitriolic atmosphere surrounding politics that some feel could have contributed to the Arizona shootings. One of the politicians listed with a target was Gabrielle Giffords and Giffords later criticised the target imagery, saying on TV, “When people do that, they’ve got to realise there are consequences to that action.” This came after Gifford’s office in Tucson had been hit with shotgun pellets. After the Arizona shootings massacre the ‘target map’ has now been removed.

An article on the New York Daily News by Michael Daly also talks in detail about the accusations against Palin of incitement. Palin also used the following words on Twitter, “Don’t retreat! Instead – RELOAD,” and the article goes on to say that this sort of violent language “can incite actual violence.”

What are your thoughts on this terrible event and your take on Palin’s Facebook ‘target list’? Do you think this kind of imagery can incite actual violence and lead to this sort of incident? We’d be really interested to hear your thoughts on this so please do send us your comments.

  • paul crawford

    A lot of the support Sarah Palin may have gained with with her Alaska TV program will be lost now because of her facebook crosshairs! This type of thing definitely incites violence! This from a hunter!!!

  • Loura B

    Monkey say. Monkey see. Monkey do.

  • http://twitter.com/jbrianol @jbrianol

    What needs to be asked is whether Palin's website amounted to incitement to commit murder. That question can only be – and should be – determined in a court of law.

  • Eve

    She encourages hatred towards people who don't follow the way she thinks. And she calls herself a Christian? She's not a real Christian.

  • Helen Crump

    Sara Palin needs to just go back to Alaska and start taking care of her family. In stead of doing that she is just stiring up trouble and what she is saying is going to cause other crazy's to come out of the wood work. Make no mistake Sara Palin, knows just the HELL she is stiring up for her "OWN POLITICAL GAIN". She don't care about what happened to Congresswoman Gifford. Her only sadness is that Congresswoman didn't die. Well Sara Palin, thank God for "PRAYING" people like me who want's to see Congresswoman live and get back to her "FAMILY" just likke you. It is so sad that Sara Palin have to use her "BULLING TACTIC'S" to try and win POPULARITY!!! However, Sara Palin had better be careful, because God himself don't like UGLY!!! The Bible say's, whatsoever a man/woman SOWETH that shall he/she also REAP!! So look out Sara Palin, God is looking at what you are doing and you will reap what you have sowed!!!!!

  • Helen Crump

    Congresswoman Gifford, to you personally, GOD HAD YOUR BACK!!!!! You are going to be ok because you have people interceeding in prayer for you and your family. I am one of those people who are praying for your full recovery. Last, The devil thought he had you, but you had people interceeding in prayer for you. Be Strengthened and Be Blessed while you recover!!!!!!!

  • helen crump

    Congresswoman Gifford, pleast don't let what you have gone through make you "AFRAID", to get back out there to serve the people. You will be ok!!! Give Sara Palin and the devil a "BLACK EYE" by getting back on the TRAIL again!!! Don't forget, GOD yet has your BACK!!!!!!! Take your time and heal!!!! The President and the American people love you!!!!! Alway's continue to work with the President and give him your full support. The President is a GOOD Man and he like you want's what is best for the American People!!! Please remain in his corner and you will continue to be blessed.

  • Helen crump

    Sara Palin shame on you!!!!!!!!!!

  • Joyce G

    How could you be so stupid that you couldn't figure out that some unstable person wouldn't take a target list the wrong way. Why don't you go home and take care of your family. You didn't even know that your daughter was seeing Levi again until we all knew. John McCain made the biggest mistake of his life when he picked you. Go back to Alaska and stay there.

  • Marilyn

    I believe Mrs. Palin is incapable of self reflection she says whatever sounds clever or fits into her worldview .Whatever that may be at the moment. She had an opportunity to act like a decent human being after this tragedy but became defensive instead. Likewise Fox News has been attacking anyone who dared to criticize the rhetoric.

  • todd porter

    She was so fast to back track on the target picture, she even know's she is to blame in some way. Come on people, get some common sense.

  • Charlotte

    Sarah Palin has Real issues!! What Christian would ever promote the violence that she has over the past couple of years and still declare themselves a devout Christian. Some people should not have a microphone and those that do should be responsible and realize that thier words really do have consequences. My Prayers are with Congresswoman Giffords and the families of the other victims. May God be with you all.

  • gFG

    PAYBACKS ARE HELL.

  • Antonio Perales del Hierro

    The victimised cannot exist without a source or sources of their victimization. Demonisation of the cultural, sexual, religeous, class, political and skin-toned, or regional “Other” is a common thread throughout our history, and it can be an ugly, terrifying and obviously sometimes deadly experience to be assaulted verbally or physically by someone who does not even know you, but who at least in their mind “has your number”, when what they are actually heir to is something more akin to vicious and dehumanising gossip, which itself can be called “targeting”, with or without the maps and cross-hairs. However it is inescapable that graphics and illustration can help immensely to make a point and focus the reader or viewer. It is true that a picture is worth a thousand words. And it is clear that someone willing use the crude, inhumane and viloence-engendering tactic of maps and cross-hairs will deny reponsibility for the end result. This graphic media strategy is simply Palin’s history of small-minded feuding writ larger and decidedly empowered by a willing or unwilling media. At the same time the Tucson shooters broader cultural, literary, musical and philosophical influenced should not be ignored. Loughrans rants about “currency”, and his delving into Ayn Rand, attitutes toward government, all have meaning here. Especially we should consider the fact that politics involves not simply our choice of party, or how we vote, but how we choose, or feel required by time place and circumstance, to interact with our fellow human beings. Like it or not, the personal is political as well.

  • Marc

    Sarah Palin made a clear analogy to murder and now refuses to accept any responsibility. It doesn't much matter if her vicious Facebook posting had anything to do with the murders, the point is, she pinpointed Gifford to be taken down in whatever manner and now she has been. Palin doesn't have enough class to even admit that what she did was horribly wrong but she DOES know it. Otherwise she wouldn't have immediately removed her murder analogy (probably hoping no one would have saved it or would remember it).