TPM Guide for the Perplexed

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In the aftermath of the Giffords shooting there’s been a lot of talk about political speech, politicians and whether there’s a climate of violent political rhetoric. And it’s been clear that a lot of politicians weren’t clear that certain phrases and statements — like calling for armed revolution or target practice at fundraisers — might lead to misunderstandings. So in the spirit of ettiquette manuals, I thought I’d start putting together a list of things it’s probably best not to say simply to avoid misunderstandings or criticisms the next time there’s an attempt on the life of a politician.1. Refrain from telling supporters that winning the election may require active exercise of their “second amendment” rights.

2. Refrain from suggesting it’s time for “armed revolution”, even if Thomas Jefferson once kinda sorta suggested that.

3. Refrain from holding political fundraisers focused around use of automatic weapons, especially target practices with initials, name or images of your political opponent.

4. Refrain from telling supporters you want them to be “armed and dangerous.”

5. Refrain from making campaign posters with opponent’s head in gun sights.

6. Refrain from saying that bullets will work if ballots don’t.

7. Suggest that supporters not bring weapons to opponents’ political rallies.

What else should be added to the list?

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Josh Marshall is editor and publisher of TalkingPointsMemo.com.
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