All that said, Sarah Palin didn’t shoot Gabrielle Gifford.
I can’t believe I’m defending Palin, but she is not the problem - severely impressionable people who are unable or unwilling to think rationally for themselves are the problem.
People keep bringing up the “crosshairs map” as if Palin is complicit in murder - if she is so effective, so persuasive that she has followers that are willing to kill for her, why is she the laughing stock of the Western world, managing to stay in the limelight only through a (now-canceled) reality show? If she could activate gun-toting nutcases at whim, wouldn’t she President by now?
Take the crosshairs map for what it was: a piece of hyperbolic electioneering, and nothing more. Rational thinkers such as ourselves (perhaps I’m being generous now) can see that she meant that those are politicians and electoral districts that are opposing a piece of legislation that she supports, and that resources should be devoted to trying to win back those voters. To suggest otherwise is giving Palin too much credit.
Regarding the shooter, it can go two ways:
Either he is a normal, rational human being that believes so fervently in this cause that he is willing to kill for it, or
He is a loaded gun that was already willing to kill, just looking for an excuse.
I feel like we are trying to shoehorn the situation into a conspiracy theory, having it both ways that the killer was a whacko nutjob (plausible if he was a Palin supporter), and that Sarah Palin herself was singling out targets for murder.