10 January 2011


Words have power. Violent political rhetoric has power.

A couple months ago I ran into another hiker out in the woods. He was carrying a folding saw and looking for firewood, and jokingly I put my hands up in the air.

He waved the thing at me. "You don't look like Pelosi or Obama, so you're safe."

It's out there, this idea that assassination is a possible solution to what many perceive as the dire threat of a black man (and some women) in power. And when a kid gets unhinged, the presence of that rhetoric may encourage one path, rather than another.

That kid also wrote on his MySpace page that Mein Kampf was one of his favorite books -- and Rep. Giffords is Jewish. Relevant? Who knows. Maybe we'll never know.

But this, I do know: bullets also have power. And a semi-automatic gun with dozens of bullets, that has more power. And that it should be that easy to buy these things, this is a problem.