Angle beats back criticism in Arizona shooting aftermath
January 12th, 2011
08:41 AM ET
4 years ago

Angle beats back criticism in Arizona shooting aftermath

Washington (CNN) – In the aftermath of the Arizona shootings, some critics have accused Republican Sharron Angle of spewing potentially dangerous political rhetoric in her recent bid for Nevada's Senate seat. Now, Angle is responding: releasing a statement on Wednesday that denounces any form of violence - and calls the criticism of her dangerous.

"I condemn all acts of violence. The despicable act in Tucson is a horrifying and senseless tragedy, and should be condemned as a single act of violence, by a single unstable individual," Angle said in the statement.

"Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people's Constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant. The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger," Angle added.

Six people died, and six others - including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords - remain hospitalized after the shootings in Tucson. As Americans try to understand the actions of accused gunman Jared Lee Loughner, some critics have focused on Angle's words during her race against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid - a race that Angle lost in November.

In one especially eyebrow-raising comment from the campaign, Angle told a radio interviewer, "If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards those Second Amendment remedies." Many people believed Angle was invoking the Second Amendment's right to bear arms as a way to keep the federal government in check.

There is no evidence that Loughner's alleged acts were in reaction to any heated words or images from the recent political season. Despite that, some have referenced Angle's words and actions from other conservatives, like a map from Palin that used crosshairs to target Democrats - including Giffords - during the midterm elections.

In her statement, Angle calls that "finger pointing" an effort to boost news audiences. "It contradicts the facts as they are known - that the shooter was obsessed with his twisted plans long before the Tea Party movement began," Angle said.

"I have consistently called for reasonable political dialogue on policy issues to encourage civil political education and debate," she added.


Filed under: Sharron Angle
soundoff (83 Responses)
  1. Jeff in TX

    For the sake of argument, let's accept her apparently flimsy retort. Then we owe it to ourselves to allow her to explicate precisely what "second amendment remedies" she was referring to. That should be very eye-opening.

    January 12, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  2. befmed1

    ' "Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people's Constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant. The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger," Angle added.'

    How can verbal attacks on people's constitutional liberties be dangerous. Angle's entire commentary is devoted to saying that speech does not influence people's actions. The only thing irresponsible here is Angle's refusal to accept responsibility for irresponsible invocations of violence against individuals and government by her, by Palin and by the lunatics in the tea party.

    January 12, 2011 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  3. sean

    Loughner was just looking toward those "second amendment remedies" of yours, dirtbag. You'll say what you want to fire up your base, but won't own your words afterwards. You are disgusting.

    January 12, 2011 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. The unsub

    Hows that shellacking by Harry Reid werkin fer ya!

    January 12, 2011 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. jake1969

    I'm center-left and agree you really can't pin the Arizona attack on conservatives. The attacker was hardly a conservative activist...much more of a looney similar to the Va Tech shooter or the nut who killed Dimebag Darrel and 4 others at a Pantera concert several years ago. Paranoid, delusional, obssessive, ... However, Sharron Angle did cross the line several times during the last election season and the "people will have to turn to second amendment remedies" was an outrageous statement. As long as we can still vote in elections, violence will NEVER be an answer. Just because your party or candidate loses doesn't mean the system is broken. And I still say that even though I wasn't pleased with the recent November House changeover. So if anyone deserves criticism, it's Angle. Thank goodness she lost! (She's probably the only one out there who could get Reid re-elected!)

    January 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  6. Seriously?

    This woman is scary! She incites and divides. She should never be allowed to run for any elected office again!

    January 12, 2011 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. independent

    Hosea 8:1-14 – "They Sow the Wind, and Reap the Whirlwind"

    January 12, 2011 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  8. Rick McDaniel

    This is one of the more sensible things that Angle has said, and I agree with the content of the statement.

    January 12, 2011 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  9. Randy, San Francisco

    Reasonable dialogue like "Second amendment solutions?" These words are a call to arms and not to attend a peaceful afternoon tea party with cookies.

    January 12, 2011 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  10. Bill, NY

    I would only ask that Ms. Angle try to explain her point of view to Ms. Giffords Grieving husband and father. If this had happened to a republican or tea partyer they would be doing what they accuse the left of, but even more so.

    January 12, 2011 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  11. Denise

    While most intelligent and well grounded people know that Loughner acted on his own twisted accord, Angle's threatening and bullying monologues , as well as others, are intended to be inciteful. The constant 24-hour streaming of gun-analogied political speech (i.e. "Dont Retreat, Reload!' and "...Americans using their 2nd Amendment remedies" and "..come armed and dangerous") works like any well oiled propaganda machine. It's irresponsible and it's bullying and it's intentional. There should be a law. It's not tolerated in the workplace or in schools so we as American citizens should have zero tolerance for it from public officials and those with political aspirations.

    January 12, 2011 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  12. Guns don't kill people, nuts with access to 33 bullet clips kill people

    Threaten 2nd Amendment remedies and what do you expect the "crazies" to do?

    January 12, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  13. Left is right and right is WRONG

    "If this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking towards those Second Amendment remedies."

    Wow. Who knew she was an evil prophet. Can't make any excuses with this righties because this is exactly what Hannibal Lector did to the Congresswoman.

    January 12, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  14. ST

    Whats wrong with Sharron Angle and Sarah Palin. When anyone is accused of something and they think its not fair, always they come immediately and make their explanation. They don't wait all these days go-by, get ideas from friends of what they should say, and come later with their bogus explanations! Absurd!

    January 12, 2011 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  15. Chedar

    A source of extremism

    January 12, 2011 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  16. gary

    Another hate filled person who will not take rsponsibility of her actions.

    January 12, 2011 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  17. Clark Wilhelm Griswald

    Who would ever think that Palin, Angle and Limbaugh would deny all responsibility and blame liberals? What a change for them.

    January 12, 2011 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  18. Bart in Omaha

    This is another person who professes love for the Constitution but obviously does not understand it. A lesson on the 1st Amendment. One a person criticizes another, that is not an infringement on the right. Also, only the government can do this. If I, as a person, gagged another or threatened them from making a political statement, no infringement because I am just a citizen. If a police officer or government worker did this, yes, there woudl be an infringement. Passing legislation also is an infringement. Arizona passing the law about picketing at funerals, probably an infringement (although I highly support it). If I blame Palin or Angle, yes I may be ignorant (or have a political motive) but it is not an infringement of the 1st amendment. I do blame people like them for the stirring up fear and anger though, and it is my 1st amendment right to say so.

    January 12, 2011 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
  19. Me

    How ironic that one of few gov't leaders to condemn the violent statements last year is the very one fighting for her life. As Rep. Giffords said, these words have consequences.

    January 12, 2011 10:21 am at 10:21 am |
  20. sue

    Angle needs to MANUP and she is part of the hate speech alumni along with everyone else

    January 12, 2011 10:27 am at 10:27 am |
  21. Jaywing

    Kinda tough, ain't it Angle, when your language and imagery of violence pouring out of your mouth comes back to haunt you in a big way. Sorry, but you, Palin, Beck and Lambaugh, ARE responsible for stirring the pot of violence in politics and in society. Many commented on it during the campaign - but did you change your tactics? No, you intensified your verbage. Time to accept responsibility, loser. Time to MAN UP, or SHUT UP, SHARON ANGLE. I prefer shut up - and you can add, go away, as well.

    January 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  22. Lucullus

    Hey lady, all he did was exercise his second amendment option. You remember that don't you, you personally responsible republican?

    January 12, 2011 10:29 am at 10:29 am |
  23. sonny chapman

    "I didn't encourage anyone to take up guns if you don't like the way Guvment' is operating". It's the Liberal-Biased Media that made that up".

    January 12, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  24. indyreader

    "Expanding the context of the attack to blame and to infringe upon the people's Constitutional liberties is both dangerous and ignorant. The irresponsible assignment of blame to me, Sarah Palin or the Tea Party movement by commentators and elected officials puts all who gather to redress grievances in danger," Angle added.

    So, Sharron, some uses of free speech are indeed irresponsible, eh? How 'bout, those assigning blame to you agree that that was irresponsible, and agree stop that, and you agree that violent imagery and metaphors in political discourse are also irresponsible, and you stop that? I think everybody would pretty much be fine with that.

    January 12, 2011 10:30 am at 10:30 am |
  25. jess

    It isn't a matter of legality - Sharron Angle, Sarah Palin, and anyone else have a right to say whatever they want (so long as they aren't directly inciting violence or mass panic). It's a matter of good taste and morality. I would hope anyone would think twice before insinuating the need for armed responses to public policy, and using violent political metaphors. It's just plain tacky and it appeals to people's baser instincts. Right or left, I would expect something a little more enlightened from any public servant.

    January 12, 2011 10:35 am at 10:35 am |
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