Giffords shooting: Rhetoric blameless

2011-01-11 22:50

Washington - A majority of Americans reject the view that heated political rhetoric was a factor in the weekend shootings in Arizona which killed six and critically wounded a congresswoman, CBS News reported in a poll released on Tuesday.

Since the Saturday incident in which Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords was shot at point-blank range, various politicians and commentators have said a climate in which strong language and ideological polarisation is common may have contributed to the attack.

Some of the analysts cited anti-government statements from the man arrested in the shooting, Jared Lee Loughner, as support for that view.

But CBS said its nationwide telephone poll found that, "57% of respondents said the harsh political tone had nothing to do with the shooting, compared to 32% who felt it did."

Rejection of a link was strongest among Republicans, 69% of whom felt harsh rhetoric was not related to the attack, while 19% thought it played a part.

Among Democrats 49% placed no blame on the heated political tone against 42% who did. Among independents the split was 56% to 33%, CBS said.

It said its poll of 673 adults had a margin of error of plus or minus four percentage points. The poll was conducted January 9-10, CBS said.

  • piet.strydom - 2011-01-11 23:17

    Ja, and funny enough, it's the Republican's that are most guilty of the rhetoric. So they would say that, wouldn't they?

  • lmduplessis - 2011-01-12 00:10

    The day and age of never having to take responsibility for any of your actions anymore. No wonder the world is going the way it is.

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