U.S. politician wants to outlaw threatening symbols, possibly including the Sarah Palin map

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A Democratic Congressman plans to bring in a bill to outlaw violent symbols targeting members of the U.S. House of Representatives, the Senate, or the judiciary.

In an inteview on CNN, Robert Brady (D-Penn) said he wants to make it a federal crime to use threatening language or symbols against federal officials.

"All we are trying to do is protect ourselves and our staff members," Brady said.

When asked when the legislation would be brought forward, he replied it would be on the "first day when we go back in session".

Brady made his comments following a bipartisan conference call involving members of Congress about how to enhance safety following yesterday's shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords outside a Safeway store in Tucson.

Six people were killed, including Giffords's aide Gabe Zimmerman.

Brady hinted that a controversial map created by Sarah Palin's political action committee—which featured targets on 20 House districts—would be illegal if his proposal is adopted.

The map included Arizona's eighth district, which is represented by Giffords in Congress.

The CNN interviewer pointed out that Palin's map only featured symbols over top of districts, but that didn't dissuade Brady from taking a hard line. "Everyone knows who represents that district," he said.

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waynesa98

Jan 9, 2011 at 3:12pm

the palin map uses the USGS location marker, and why is that violent? Now if they outlaw the democrats use of bullseyes and crosshairs all the better.

3 2 Rating: +1

Tracy Mangold

Jan 9, 2011 at 3:48pm

"In an inteview on CNN, Robert Brady (D-Penn) said he wants to make it a federal crime to use threatening language or symbols against federal officials."

So what exactly constitutes "threatening language"? What symbols will be considered threatening? What are the parameters here and just how far will it go?

2 1 Rating: +1

VanSteve

Jan 9, 2011 at 4:36pm

@waynesa98

It is violent because to the average viewer, it looks like gun sights, and Palin introduced the map through a tweet that said "Don't Retreat, RELOAD." [caps hers].

Tell me how that's not violent. I'm sure she meant no actual harm, but when you use directly firearms-related rhetoric in an environment where people are literally bringing guns to rallies on a regular basis and in an environment where there has already been a shooting on at least one of the representatives' offices, you have to accept your share of the responsibility, even as indirect as it is, when someone carries out the literal meaning of the words you used in your rhetoric.

8 3 Rating: +5

Lea

Jan 9, 2011 at 6:51pm

If it was a surveryor's symbol then why was Palin's motto reload not remeasure?

2 1 Rating: +1

Lector

Jan 9, 2011 at 8:17pm

Sarah tweeted last year that they were "bulleseyes." From the horse's mouth.

3 1 Rating: +2

Catchlight

Jan 9, 2011 at 9:15pm

If investigators find a link between Sarah Palin's assassin rhetoric, her crosshairs map, and the shooter's frame of mind, Palin should be arrested and charged with inciting this tragic crime. This terrible shooting is the logical outcome of the hate-mongering that now passes for news and commentary on the Fox network and on far-right radio shows in the USA.

2 2 Rating: 0

Morty

Jan 9, 2011 at 11:01pm

And gunsights are very different from the actual bullseyes drawn on the Democratic maps linked to by Jen06. Heck, one of those maps looks like it's just showing the locations of Target stores.

4 5 Rating: -1

Charles Booth

Jan 9, 2011 at 11:34pm

This senseless act of violence had nothing to do with free speech and anyone who is trying to capitalize on it to further their own agenda should be ashamed!How low can you sick people go to make sure only your side of the story is told???Censorship was the enemy of the left once and now it is their Goal!!!

2 3 Rating: -1
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