Washington, Jan 12 (ANI): Slamming potential 2012 presidential candidate Sarah Palin over her Facebook comments she made last year, Patrick Kennedy, the recently retired Rhode Island congressman and the son of longtime Democratic Senator Ted Kennedy, has linked the Arizona shootings to violent rhetoric of today's politics.
Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and 18 others were shot on Saturday morning when a gunman opened fire outside a supermarket where Giffords was meeting with her constituents.
"When Sarah Palin puts targets on people's districts? Or you have 10,000 signs on the mall during the healthcare battle saying 'Bury Obamacare with Kennedy'? When the vitriol and the rhetoric is so violent, we have to connect consequences to that" Politico quoted Kennedy, as saying.
He praised Giffords by calling her a "very compassionate person, with a generous spirit."
Kennedy, who is the nephew of John F. Kennedy and Bobby Kennedy, both of whom were assassinated, said that this incident should be used as an example to debate on better public policy that can cater to needs of families in which individuals "suffer from violent, paranoid schizophrenia."
\"My family's seen it up close too much with assassinations and violence in political life. It's a terrible thing when people think that in order to get their point across they have to go to the edge of violent rhetoric and attack people personally," Kennedy said.
"There are consequences to violent rhetoric. Some people can see through TV ratings and right-wing talk show hosts that just try to create some theater, but unfortunately, there are some that can't see through it. And that's the danger in it. There is definitely freedom of speech, but freedom of speech does not allow yelling 'fire' in the middle of a crowded movie theater," he added.
Giffords, who represents Arizona's Eighth District in the south-eastern corner of the state, has been an outspoken critic of Arizona's tough immigration law, which is focused on identifying, prosecuting and deporting illegal immigrants. She had come under criticism for her vote in favour of the Democrats' health care law. (ANI)