Sunday on CNN’s “State of the Union,” Gov. John Hickenlooper (D-CO) blamed Friday’s shooting in Colorado Springs, CO that killed three people on “inflammatory rhetoric” from bloggers and talk shows.
Guest host Brianna Keilar asked, “I do want to ask you a final question here. Planned Parenthood, almost immediately, even before we exactly knew the facts or anything about the motivation here. We now know that the shooter referenced ‘baby parts’ when he was arrested. Planned Parenthood is calling this domestic terrorism. Do you agree with that assessment?”
Hickenlooper said, “Certainly it’s a form of terrorism, and maybe in some way it’s a function of the inflammatory rhetoric we see on all — so many issues now, there are bloggers and talk shows where they really focus on trying to get people to that point of boiling over. Just intense anger. Maybe it’s time to look at how do we tone down some that rhetoric. Obviously no one is going to try to reduce free speech in that country but that rhetoric — if people are in some way emotionally unstable or psychologically unbalanced, that intensity of rhetoric sometimes seems to pull a trigger in their brain that they lose contact with what reality is.”
Keilar asked, “Are you calling — just to sort of see what you’re saying here more clearly, are you calling for changes in blogging and in video games?”
Hickenlooper said, “No, I’m not in no way trying to limit free speech. I think that — our community, right? — the the United States of America ought to begin a discussion. How do you begin to tone back the inflammatory rhetoric that in some ways might be good for I don’t know, selling products in advertisements or whatever, but in some way it is inflaming people to the point where they can’t stand it and go out and they lose connection with reality in some way and commit these acts of unthinkable violence. I’m not saying we restrict people’s freedom of speech. Nowhere, nowhere near that. I think we should have a discussion of at least urging caution when we discuss some of these issues so that we don’t get people to a point of going out and committing senseless violence.”
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