アリゾナ州トゥーソンで、Jared Lee Loughnerという男が集会中のGabrielle Giffords下院議員を銃撃し、周囲にいた6名が死亡し、頭部を撃たれた彼女は意識不明の重態。
Ben Quinn and Paul Gallagher “US congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords shot as six die in Arizona massacre”*3は次のように伝えている;

Giffords had been named as a political campaign target for conservatives in last November's mid-term elections by former Alaskan governor Sarah Palin because of her strong support for Obama's health reforms. Palin had published a "target map" on her website using images of gun sights to identify 20 House Democrats, including Giffords, for backing the new healthcare law.

While the motive for the shooting was not immediately clear, Giffords is one of 10 Democrat members of Congress who were the subject of harassment over their support for the healthcare overhaul. Giffords's Tucson constituency office was vandalised last March after she voted in favour of Obama's controversial health bill, which has been bitterly opposed by the American right.

In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her. "We're on Sarah Palin's targeted list," she said, "but the thing is, the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realise that there are consequences to that action."


PAUL KRUGMAN “Climate of Hate” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/opinion/10krugman.html

クルーグマン*4は2008年の大統領選挙以来、こういうことが起こるんじゃないかと薄々感じていたという。『ガーディアン』の記事にあるように、Gabrielle Giffordsの事務所も襲撃を受けているし、下院議員への脅迫は急増している;

It’s true that the shooter in Arizona appears to have been mentally troubled. But that doesn’t mean that his act can or should be treated as an isolated event, having nothing to do with the national climate.

Last spring Politico.com reported on a surge in threats against members of Congress, which were already up by 300 percent. A number of the people making those threats had a history of mental illness — but something about the current state of America has been causing far more disturbed people than before to act out their illness by threatening, or actually engaging in, political violence.

それを動機付けているのは右派系のラヂオなどのレトリックの過激化(クルーグマンは「毒性レトリック」と呼んでいる)。曰く、”The vast majority of those who listen to that toxic rhetoric stop short of actual violence, but some, inevitably, cross that line.”

It’s important to be clear here about the nature of our sickness. It’s not a general lack of “civility,” the favorite term of pundits who want to wish away fundamental policy disagreements. Politeness may be a virtue, but there’s a big difference between bad manners and calls, explicit or implicit, for violence; insults aren’t the same as incitement.

The point is that there’s room in a democracy for people who ridicule and denounce those who disagree with them; there isn’t any place for eliminationist rhetoric, for suggestions that those on the other side of a debate must be removed from that debate by whatever means necessary.

And it’s the saturation of our political discourse — and especially our airwaves — with eliminationist rhetoric that lies behind the rising tide of violence.

Where’s that toxic rhetoric coming from? Let’s not make a false pretense of balance: it’s coming, overwhelmingly, from the right. It’s hard to imagine a Democratic member of Congress urging constituents to be “armed and dangerous” without being ostracized; but Representative Michele Bachmann, who did just that, is a rising star in the G.O.P.


Alex Hannaford “The targeting of Gabrielle Giffords” http://www.guardian.co.uk/commentisfree/cifamerica/2011/jan/09/usa-arizona


KIRK JOHNSON, SERGE F. KOVALESKI, DAN FROSCH and ERIC LIPTON “Suspect’s Odd Behavior Caused Growing Alarm” http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/us/10shooter.html

犯人Jared Lee Loughnerの学業不振、キレやすい性格、社会的孤立などが、彼の通っていたコミュニティ・カレッジの同級生を含む関係者の証言によって報告されている。事件を彼のパーソナリティに還元することは危険だろう。勿論、「一線を越える(cross that line)」(クルーグマン)ことにそうした個人的な状況が大きく影響していたということは想像に難くないが。この記事で興味深いのは、Jared Lee Loughnerの思想的背景である。先ず通貨における金・銀本位制の主張;

Some people who study right-wing militia groups and those who align themselves with the so-called Patriot movement said Mr. Loughner’s comments on subjects like the American currency and the Constitution, which he posted online in various video clips, were strikingly similar in language and tone to the voices of the Internet’s more paranoid, extremist corners.

In the text on one of the videos, for example, Mr. Loughner states, “No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver.” He also argues that “the current government officials are in power for their currency” and he uses his videos to display text about becoming a treasurer of “a new money system.”

The position, for instance, that currency not backed by a gold or silver standard is worthless is a hallmark of the far right and the militia movement, said Mark Potok, who directs research on hate groups for the Southern Poverty Law Center.

“That idea is linked closely to the belief among militia supporters that the Federal Reserve is a completely private entity engaged in ripping off the American people,” Mr. Potok said.

それから、Jared Lee Loughnerが”government is seeking to control people through rules and structure of grammar and language”と主張していたというのには驚いた。また、そういうことを主張している有名な「陰謀理論家」もいる――David Wynn Miller。彼は”to correct, through a mathematical formula, what he sees as the erroneous and manipulative use of grammar and language worldwide”をしているのだそうな。また、彼がAmerican Renaissanceという白人至上主義雑誌の影響を受けていたことも指摘されている。

“We think that white Americans have an entirely legitimate reason to want to remain a majority in the United States because when a neighborhood or a school or an organization changes in demographics and becomes majority black or Hispanic, it is no longer the same institution or neighborhood,” said Jared Taylor, its editor.

Robert S. Mueller III, the F.B.I. director, who has taken charge of the investigation here, said at a news conference that possible links to extremist groups would be a continued focus.

“The ubiquitous nature of the Internet means that not only threats but also hate speech and other inciteful speech is much more readily available to individuals than quite clearly it was 8 or 10 or 15 years ago,” Mr. Mueller said. “That absolutely presents a challenge for us, particularly when it results in what would be lone wolves or lone offenders undertaking attacks.”