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The Arizona Shootings and the Role of Rhetoric

Monday, Jan. 10, 2011

Did the virtriolic quality of American political discourse contribute to the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and several bystanders? 

Interviewed by USA Today, Center Executive Director Kirk O. Hanson responded:

"Americans are trying to cope with diminished expectations. We will not be the richest and most successful country in the next 25 years," he said. The shootings reinforce "a soul-searching that many in Washington and around the country have been engaged in. The questions about violent rhetoric were already being asked even before the first shots were fired on Saturday."