In the halls of Congress, the Arizona shooting has prompted calls to tone down violent rhetoric. But it will take more than reformed lawmakers to change politics' tough-talking culture.
Saturday’s mass shooting in Tucson, Ariz., reset the political clock on Capitol Hill Monday, as Congress swept aside the legislative agenda out of respect for those killed or injured, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D) of Arizona and her aide, Gabriel Zimmerman.
The motive for the mass shooting in Tucson is not clear, but that hasn’t stopped speculation about what is to blame or how tragedy can be averted in the future.
The most frequent comment on Capitol Hill – short of ubiquitous calls to exercise prudence – is to tone down the toxic rhetoric, especially gun-infused metaphors.
But critics acknowledge that it will take more than just members of Congress altering their tough-talking ways to change the overall culture. Political consultants, fundraisers, the news media are all also addicted to tough talk – and for the same reason, it sells.
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