Wednesday, February 09, 2011

The violent, gun-loving rhetoric of Scott Beason, Alabama state senator

It's like the Arizona shooting, and the aftermath with all the talk of violent political rhetoric, never happened:

State Sen. Scott Beason said he's been flooded with phone calls since saying at the end of comments on illegal immigration Saturday that Republicans need to "empty the clip, and do what has to be done."

Beason said he was not urging violence against immigrants, but using an analogy.

"I did say that but it was completely taken out of context," said the Gardendale Republican. "Look, I'll take my beatings when I mess up. But no way was I urging anyone to do harm to Hispanics or illegal immigrants. I would never do that." 

Er, no, of course not, never. But his excuse is not just lame but, well, an expression of violence that hardly vindicates him:

Beason said the quote stemmed from a story he told at the beginning of the breakfast.

"I began telling the story about a family visiting a big city when some guy with a knife or gun jumps out from behind some bushes and comes at them," Beason said. "The story talks about how a Democrat handles the situation, I think I said the Democrat tells the guy he'll put together a charity basketball league or something to raise money to help him. The second family, that father has a gun but takes only one shot. The third family, and that father also has a gun, but he empties the clip. He solves the problem."

Solving problems was one of the themes of Saturday's speech, Beason said.

"I think we face a lot of problems and we need to tackle them with everything we have, with all of our brain power, our imagination and with courage," Beason said. "That's what I meant by emptying the clip."

First, it's a ridiculous straw-man argument against Democrats. If a Democrat were to be confronted by "some guy" with a gun, he'd "raise money to help him"? Please. That's simply idiotic.

Second, even as an analogy, Beason is still saying that a legitimate solution in some cases is to shoot someone to death with reckless aggression. (You kill someone by emptying an entire clip? Really?)

Third, yes, fine, taking that figuratively, the idea is to respond to problems with "everything we have," but then why not just say that? Why the violent, gun-loving analogy?

I'm not for censoring political speech, but a certain amount of responsibility is in order, especially from elected officials who are widely quoted and who have a great deal of influence.

Benson's right-wing (and mainstream Republican) views themselves are abhorrent. But he should have known better to express himself in such a way -- except that he expressed himself like so many on the right do, with just the sort of violent, gun-loving rhetoric that is so much a part of the problem in a violent society that loves guns.

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  • This is rediculous, what about Obama said the democrats would bring a gun to the table. Why is freedom of speech only for the democrats?

    By Anonymous Anonymous, at 11:46 AM  

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