Poll: Only 15 Percent Think Tucson Shooting Caused by Heated Political Rhetoric

A new poll just released by Quinnipiac University finds very few Americans agree with the media's view that heated political rhetoric was responsible for Saturday's tragic shootings in Tucson, Arizona.

What should also surprise all of the so-called journalists that have been accusing conservative politicians and pundits for inciting Jared Lee Loughner to commit this heinous act is that people feel liberals are more responsible for this rhetoric than folks on the right (emphasis added throughout):

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. [...]

"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.'

All those that have been claiming since the first bullet was fired that Sarah Palin, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Sean Hannity, Bill O'Reilly, Mark Levin, and members of the Tea Party were to blame should be so proud of their reporting.

But there's more:

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.

Add it all up, and not only have Americans soundly rejected the media's dishonest claims that heated political rhetoric caused this tragedy, they also feel liberals are more guilty of this rhetoric than conservatives.

Maybe the folks in the press should be toning down their own vitriol rather than pointing fingers at others.

(H/T Ed Morrissey)

Jared Lee Loughner Rachel Maddow Lawrence O'Donnell Ed Schultz Sarah Palin Mark Levin Gabrielle Giffords
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