A Tucson school district employee named Steve Martan was arrested yesterday after authorities identified him as the person who made death threats against Republican Rep. Martha McSally. From the Washington Post:
“Yeah this is for Martha McSally,” Martan allegedly said in the first recording, before saying he wanted to wring the congresswoman’s neck. “You need to get back where you came from and leave Arizona,” he added.
According to the complaint, Martan told McSally in the second message that he couldn’t wait to “pull the trigger” when she returned to Tucson and shoot her between the eyes. “Be careful when you come back to Tucson cause we hate you here, okay,” it said. In the third message, Martan allegedly told McSally her “days are numbered.”
Federal officials located Martan at his home with the cell phone used to call McSally’s office. There, Martan told authorities he called the congresswoman’s office because “he was venting frustrations with congressional votes in support of the President of the United States,” according to the complaint.
McSally represents the Arizona district where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in January 2011. A spokesman for McSally told the Post, “The January 2011 shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was followed by a national discussion about the importance of civility and respectfulness in our public debates. The vicious threats made against Congresswoman McSally are a sobering reminder of just how important that discussion continues to be.”
That’s a very good point. We seem to have these national discussions about civility in political discourse whenever the lack of civility can be blamed on a Republican (even unfairly as was the case with the Tucson shooting in 2011). We don’t seem to have these same discussions when Democrats are misbehaving. And Democrats have been misbehaving across the country. In fact, Rep. McSally isn’t even the only case of politically motivated death threats reported this month. From Politico:
“This is how we’re going to kill your wife.”
That’s the message Rep. Tom Garrett (R-Va.) said he received in a series of recent threats that targeted him, his family and even, at one point, his dog.
Add to that the woman who (allegedly) drove Rep. David Kustoff’s car off the road in Tennessee and the man who tried to physically intimidate Rep. Kevin Cramer at a town hall event in North Dakota and you have the beginning of a pattern.
As always, I prefer the idea that people are responsible for their own behavior, which means it’s not the fault of a party or group if an unhinged person takes things too far. But the moment there’s a shooting, the left blames the NRA. If someone attacks Planned Parenthood, it was the pro-life movement at fault. Someone flies a plane into a building, the Tea Party is responsible. On and on it goes. The left can point to a “climate of hate” that is responsible for every bad thing that happens in America except for all the bad things people on the left are doing.
People inspired by the Resistance are getting carried away. The media isn’t even pointing out the fact that there’s a pattern forming, much less suggesting anyone else is ultimately responsible. That would be fine if they’d just stick to those rules the moment someone on the right does some crazy. But they won’t. There are two sets of rules for how these things are handled by the media.