As of this writing, the shooting of Arizona (district 8) Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords is the biggest news item. A crazy gunman shot up to 19 people, killing six. Among the dead was a federal judge, and a 9 year old girl. The police think the shooter's target was the Arizona Democrat.
Whether this shooting is political or not, the rhetoric in our politics is too overheated. All writers/speakers should really make sure they mean what they say, and take responsibility for the energy they put out into the world. I'm afraid of partisans who can employ rather simple logic and see where killed politicians would be replaced by someone on the other side.
We must pass a Constitutional Amendment to ensure that any vacancy at any level of government is filled by a person from a list submitted by the office holder. Or a person chosen by a person on a list submitted by the office holder. Otherwise we can have political chaos and assasinations at key moments. This replacement requirement should include natural death, incapacitation, scandal, etc.
We need to ensure that every elected term is fulfilled by that person or someone who agrees with them. The incentives to play truly dirty and evil politics is too strong. Their isn't enough restraint by various partisans.
If abortion really is murder, why wouldn't you kill people who make it possible in self defense? If thousands of innocent people are really being killed in a war, why wouldn't you do whatever you could to change that policy? If gay rights is really destroying the nation, don't you want to defend it by any means necessary? If illegal immigrants are destroying American exceptionalism shouldn't we attack the politicians who won't do anything and replace them with better ones?
For example if something should happen to the following people:
Scott Brown in Mass. would be replaced by a Democrat.
Mark Warner of Va. would be replaced by a Republican.
Bill Nelson of Fl. would be replaced by a Republican.
Mark Kirk of Ill. would be replaced by a Democrat.
Obama and Biden would be replaced by a Republican
Even if there wouldn't be a party change, there could be an issue change.
For example Robert Byrd of West Virginia supported Health Care reform.
His successor, a fellow Democrat Manchin, opposes it.
It very well could be that Byrd was the only Democrat in West Virginia that would have supported the new health care law in the Senate. And in an environment where 1 vote can often matter, and the nation's "freedom" is on the line, why not poison his food? He was old anyway, right?
I abhor all of the above suggestions. I believe in the Democratic process. I believe in politics as War without the bloodshed. That's why we are the best country in the world. We can't allow the extremes to take that away.
We should be pro-active and pass a Constitutional Amendment this week. I think it could be quickly ratified throughout the states, as it's purpose is to fulfill the wishes of the electorate. This would take away any logical reason to kill a politician. Of course that still leaves the crazy ones. For that we need strict gun control laws and vigorous enforcement from all angles. It is possible to do tremendous damage using weapons other than guns, but it takes much more planning, and emotional commitment. We should deal with the proliferation of guns now.