Anyone still wondering whether political debate in American would change in the wake of the shooting of 20 in Tucson that left six dead and Rep. Gabrielle Giffords grievously injured got their answer this morning as Sarah Palin delivered a resounding no.
The former GOP vice presidential nominee, who has been little heard from since making a brief Facebook statement on Saturday and later passing a note to Glenn Beck to read on air, released a seven-and-a-half minute video Wednesday morning defiantly defending the right to free speech and seeking to shift debate over responsibility for the shooting from the consequences of heated political rhetoric to the actions of the shooter, alone.
"Like many, I've spent the past few days reflecting on what happened and praying for guidance. After this shocking tragedy, I listened at first puzzled, then with concern, and now with sadness, to the irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event," Palin said.
"President Reagan said, 'We must reject the idea that every time a law's broken, society is guilty rather than the lawbreaker. It is time to restore the American precept that each individual is accountable for his actions.' Acts of monstrous criminality stand on their own. They begin and end with the criminals who commit them, not collectively with all the citizens of a state, not with those who listen to talk radio, not with maps of swing districts used by both sides of the aisle, not with law-abiding citizens who respectfully exercise their First Amendment rights at campaign rallies, not with those who proudly voted in the last election," she continued.