A moment of silence on the White House lawn was a gesture by President Obama for the victims of Jared Lee Loughner. The moment of silence was observed in places ranging from the U.S. Supreme court to the Detroit Auto Show. A moment of silence was not observed by right wing media personalities, who used the tragedy to draw attention to themselves.
Moment of silence falls on many places
A national moment of silence at 11 a.m. EST Monday was led by President Obama and first lady Michelle Obama on the south lawn of the White House. The Supreme Court adjusted its schedule to observe the moment of silence and honor U.S. District Judge John McCarthy Roll, who was killed along with five others in Tucson, Ariz., Saturday. Rep Gabrielle Giffords was critically wounded in the attack and 13 others were wounded. Other locations around the nation observing the moment of silence included the Detroit Auto Show, where the cacophony of the event fell silent for a minute before resuming at a more subdued level.
Shooting linked to toxic political environment
At a press conference after the shooting, Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik said it was time for the country “to do a little soul-searching.” Dupnik blamed the increasingly toxic political environment in the U.S. for the shooting. A graphic on Sara Palin’s website showing Democratic congressional districts, which included Gifford’s, marked on a map with gunsight crosshairs got a lot of media attention. Pseudo-violent political rhetoric from such lawmakers as Rep. Michelle Bachman, R-Minn., and failed Nevada senatorial candidate Sharon Angle were used as examples in stories about the nature of political discourse in the U.S.
Moment of silence falls on deaf ears
Right wing media personalities such as Glenn Beck and Rush Limbaugh used the suggestion that the Arizona shooting may be a consequence to Republican rhetoric by blaming liberals and the mainstream media. Rush Limbaugh accused Democrats of playing politics with the shooting and the media of turning people against conservatives. Glenn Beck called Sarah Palin a victim of the tragedy and warned her to protect her family. He also used the occasion to tell his viewers to denounce progressives and those who wish to “tear down our system.”