WISDOM OF THE PEOPLE – AT 6:35 P.M. ET: The American people continue to show far greater wisdom than some pundits and politicians in assigning blame for the Arizona shootings. Support for the idea that "rhetoric" caused the tragedy has dropped even further since a poll taken right after the event:
Saturday's shooting of Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, in which six people were killed, could not have been prevented, 40 percent of American voters say in a Quinnipiac University national poll released today. Another 23 percent blame the mental health system, while 15 percent say it was due to heated political rhetoric and 9 percent attribute the tragedy to lax gun control.
American voters say 52 - 41 percent that "heated political rhetoric drives unstable people to commit violence," the independent Quinnipiac (KWIN-uh-pe-ack) University poll finds. Liberals rather than conservatives are more responsible for such rhetoric, voters say 36 - 32 percent.
"Americans seem to be rejecting the blame game for the Arizona shooting. By far, the largest number thinks this tragedy could not have been prevented," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "Although a bare majority of voters say political rhetoric might drive unstable people to violence, less than one in seven blame it for the Arizona incident.
COMMENT: We note again what we reported this morning, that, despite the horror of Saturday's despicable act, attacks on members of Congress have only occurred five times in the nation's history.
Americans are ahead of the experts. Not that unusual, I've observed.
January 14, 2010