Saturday, January 12, 2013

Barron Co. Republicans should apologize to Pres. Obama

Notions that the president staged the Sandy Hook shooting should not be entertained

In light of the terrifying events that took place at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut last December, I wrote on the need to assess the Second Amendment for what it was: a right protected to individuals to defend themselves, but a right that, nonetheless, comes with reasonable restrictions, as do all rights.

Several gun owners across the country have shown that they disagree with such a notion. Alex Jones, who appeared on Piers Morgan’s CNN show to defend his beliefs, stated that “1776 would commence again” if the government attempted to institute any regulations. Others have (errantly) compared the push to regulate with Adolph Hitler, whose gun reforms actually increased access to weaponry during the Third Reich, making that comparison seem rather foolish.

But what’s most remarkable among the gun-toting maniacs out there (not responsible owners, mind you) who oppose any action whatsoever are those who place blame of the Sandy Hook massacre on the president himself, believing that the event was a “false flag” scenario, completely staged to garner support for gun regulation.

A couple of university professors have come out and stated such a theory, and other conservative bloggers have voiced their “concerns” as well.

Conspiracy theorists have forever been involved in describing such events as “something more,” with little or no evidence to prove their case. “Birtherism” has previously plagued President Obama, but was never taken seriously by the mainstream -- and nor should this idea, this idiotic belief that he was somehow involved in the shooting and killing of children, be entertained.

What’s puzzling is that, for how horrendous and outrageous an accusation this may be, some on the right have actually taken it seriously, including official members of the Republican Party.

The Barron County Republican Party recently posted a link on its Facebook page to a blog by a right-wing writer that described the Sandy Hook shooting as a plot by President Barack Obama to help him confiscate guns. They made that post on December 19, and though it has just received attention this week by mainstream audiences, they have since left it on their page without edit of any kind.

Dissemination of such radical ideas without basis or regard for fact like this is irresponsible, even for a small group of Republicans in northern Wisconsin. In a political climate that’s already hyper-charged in a negative way (in regards to ethics and etiquette), the last thing that a political party like this ought to do is add fuel to the fire...especially when it’s not based on any remote semblance of truth.

Rumors and innuendo are one thing. Blatantly entertaining the idea that the president was part of a greater conspiracy that took the lives of 20 innocent children (or of staging the whole thing) is, by contrast, a completely reprehensible action.

A proper debate on gun ownership and rights, and where those rights might end, cannot take place when those involved accusing the president of such outlandish crimes. When mistrust is perpetuated, when it is endorsed by a political party (even at the county level) and actively disseminated in an attempt to discredit opponents’ characters, the debate has nowhere else to go but down.

The Barron County Republicans have no courtesy, no respect whatsoever, for the office of the president. They should be ashamed of themselves, and if they wish to be taken seriously ever again, they need to remove that post, issue a statement explaining their actions, and apologize directly to President Obama.

You can contact the Barron County Republican Party by calling them at (715) 651-1684.


As of this posting, the Barron County Republicans have removed their posting from their Facebook page. There has not yet been a formal apology or acknowledgement of wrongdoing at this time by those involved.

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