We still don't know exactly what was going through Jared Lee Loughner's mind when he attempted to assassinate Gabrielle Giffords, but whatever his motives may have been, we've now seen the horrifying reality of the "Second Amendment remedies" of which Sharron Angle spoke during her campaign against Harry Reid.
You know, our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government. And in fact Thomas Jefferson said it's good for a country to have a revolution every 20 years.
I hope that's not where we're going, but, you know, if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I'll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out.
Angle's comments came to light in in June -- five months before the election. Needless to say, she never once backed off them, even though by any reasonable standard her words were shocking and outrageous. And, tellingly, not a single leader of the national GOP repudiated her candidacy. Instead, they looked the other way, ignoring her endorsement of political violence, and offering their full support for her campaign to "take Harry Reid out."
The point here isn't to equate what Sharron Angle said with what Jared Lee Loughner did on Saturday. But whether or not they shared the exact same political philosophy, they both embraced political violence. The obvious difference is that Sharron Angle did so with her rhetoric and ideology, and Loughner did so with his actions and brutality.
But while Loughner must and will face judgment in a court of law, Angle and the Republicans who supported her must also grapple with and repudiate their support for political violence. They might not have had Loughner in mind when they thought of "Second Amendment remedies," but if that's so, they shouldn't have so glibly embraced "Second Amendment remedies" in the first place.