“There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those 'calm days' when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.”
She closed with a call to be “better” than the political arguments the nation has seen in the last few days.
“America must be stronger than the evil we saw displayed last week. We are better than the mindless finger-pointing we endured in the wake of the tragedy. We will come out of this stronger and more united in our desire to peacefully engage in the great debates of our time, to respectfully embrace our differences in a positive manner, and to unite in the knowledge that, though our ideas may be different, we must all strive for a better future for our country,” she said.
Also commenting on the shootings for the first time Wednesday was former Senate candidate Sharron Angle, who has been mentioned along with Palin this week because she discussed “Second Amendment remedies” in her attempt to defeat Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D).
The Nevada Republican said the events should be condemned as isolated violence from an unstable man and defended both herself and Palin.
“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 said in a statement on her Facebook page released after midnight. “Finger-pointing towards political figures is an audience-rating game and contradicts the facts as they are known. ... I have consistently called for reasonable political dialogue on policy issues to encourage civil political education and debate. Inappropriately attributing blame of a singular tragedy to achieve a political agenda is contrary to civil discourse, and is a media ploy to which I refuse to belong."
Following the speeches from elected officials, the crowd stands at long tables as they dig into BBQ, brunswick stew, cadillac rice at the Law Enforcement Cookout at Wayne Dasher's pond house in Glennville, Ga., on Thursday, April 17, 2014.