One Man's Alaska

Sarah Palin's Alaska? Wasilla MEA customer threatens to "shoot everyone"

January 19, 2011

If Sarah Palin can be blamed for increasing a level of violent talk in public that may have contributed to the recent tragic shooting in Arizona, can she also be blamed for a customer in Wasilla, Alaska threatening to "shoot everyone" at the local MEA (Matanuska Electric Association)?

On a recent trip to the Wasilla MEA, I noticed they had built a new wall in the front lobby. When I asked about the wall, I was told that an irate customer had threatened to "shoot everyone", and the wall was then built as a response to that threat.

Public figures are role models

I don't have much more to add to this story at this time, other than to share my own personal belief that I don't think there is a place in society for leaders of our nation to vaguely refer to statements like it's time to "reload". I have to think that if children's shows like Mr. Rogers and Sesame Street are good for kids, negative and violent language must also be bad for children, and adults.

My own history is that public figures make behaviors more acceptable. A simple example of this is that although I was fascinated by Zen and yoga since as long as I can remember, I never did much about it until the 1990s, when Phil Jackson became coach of the Chicago Bulls, they won NBA championships, and he spoke openly about Zen. Not until then -- when I was in my thirties -- did I purchase a Zen book, or discuss this interest with anyone else.

So yes, in the same way that public figures can promote things like peace -- and cooperation between our political parties -- I believe that negative and violent talk can have negative effects on society, including people who may have mental difficulties and can easily be pushed in a violent direction.

I know Sarah Palin just responded that her family has received death threats, and while I would never condone such a thing, I hope she can see how her own extremist and violent speech could possibly bring those threats upon herself.

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