A televised town hall meeting in Tucson, moderated by ABC News Anchor Christiane Amanpour, has given righties their Grievance du Jour. One of the people in attendance was J. Eric Fuller, who was shot in the knee last Saturday. According to local news —
When Tucson Tea Party founder Trent Humphries rose to suggest that any conversation about gun control should be put off until after the funerals for all the victims, witnesses say Fuller became agitated. Two told KGUN9 News that finally, Fuller took a picture of Humphries, and said, “You’re dead.”
When State Rep. Terri Proud (R-Tucson) rose to explain and clarify current and proposed gun legislation in the state, several people groaned or booed her. One of those booing, according to several witnesses, was Fuller. Witnesses sitting near Fuller told KGUN9 News that Fuller was making them feel very uncomfortable.
The event wrapped up a short time later. Deputies then escorted Fuller from the room. As he was being led off, Fuller shouted loudly to the room at large. Several witnesses said that what they thought they heard him shout was, “You’re all whores!”
Now, Fuller’s anger may be understandable, but this behavior is the last thing anybody needs. It’s been reported that Fuller has been arrested for making death threats, and I think more people who make threats ought to be charged with something. I really dislike intimidation from anybody.
[Update: CNN says Fuller was involuntarily committed to a mental health facility. I hope someone on the staff can talk some sense into him.]
And naturally, the entire Right Blogosphere, Lulu on down, is going ballistic over this. The ever brilliant Jim Hoft has asked people to pray for the safety of Trent Humphries. These are the same people who have been screaming all week that there is no connection between hate speech and violence; and these are the same people who have equated requests that they tone down their rhetoric with “silencing” their opinions. George Will actually called such requests to tone it down “McCarthyism of the Left.”
So, by their own logic, Fuller was just exercising free speech, and Trent Humphries doesn’t have a thing to worry about. Funny how threats and hate look different when they’re aimed at you, huh, righties?
That said, I don’t want anyone hurt. And if your opinions can’t be properly expressed without threatening to kill someone, I’d say you have a problem. And that’s true no matter where you fall on the opinion spectrum.