After the shooting of Gabrielle Giffords last month, a lot of people called for a moratorium on guns-and-bullets talk in public discourse. But this week, at a town hall meeting in Oglethorpe County, Georgia, someone stood up and asked Representative Paul Broun, "Who is going to shoot Obama?" And, according to the Athens Banner-Herald report, this question "got a big laugh."
Broun, a hard-line Republican, responded by saying, "The thing is, I know there's a lot of frustration with this president. We're going to have an election next year. Hopefully, we'll elect somebody that's going to be a conservative, limited-government president that will take a smaller, who will sign a bill to repeal and replace Obamacare." Blake Aued for the Banner-Herald later contacted Broun's press secretary, Jessica Morris, who said, "Obviously, the question was inappropriate, so Congressman Broun moved on."
Broun has drawn criticism for his attacks on Obama in the past. In 2008, a week after Obama was elected, Broun compared him to Hitler, and last year, during an interview, he said "I don't know" when asked if he thought Obama was a Christian and a citizen of the U.S. Whoever asked the question at the town hall this week, they're definitely not the first to use violent language in a political context post-Giffords. The battle over Wisconsin's budget has furnished any number of examples, from a Democratic Congressman saying it's time to "get a little bloody" fighting the bill to an Indiana attorney general urging police to "use live ammunition" to disperse protesters in Madison. So, that age of civility was nice while it lasted.