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Carrboro alderman wants stronger condemnation of Arizona shootings

The Pittsboro Town Board has condemned Saturday's assassination attempt on Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the Arizona shootings that killed six people. An alderman in Carrboro, which may consider a similar resolution, says Pittsboro's resolution does not go far enough.

The resolution from the Chatham County seat supports the safety of public officials in open forums that are safe for civil debate.

"Now therefore be it resolved," the Monday resolution states, "the town of Pittsboro offers support for Congresswoman Giffords and its deepest sympathy for the victims of this attack. And further resolves to condemn the violence that was expressed in this attack ... as such actions have no place in a civil society."

In Carrboro, Mayor Mark Chilton asked his board members by e-mail if they would like to consider a similar statement at a future meeting.  

"Absolutely," Alderman Randee Haven-O'Donnell wrote back, "civil discourse is to be respected and upheld, all violence condemned."

Alderman Dan Coleman suggested Carrboro consider a more strongly worded resolution.  
"I would not vote against this, but I do not particularly support it. It strikes me as a fairly bland response," he wrote. "If we are to have a resolution, I prefer one that does not just single out he who pulled the trigger but also those who put the gun in his hand and aimed it."

The weekend shootings have got people asking whether political rhetoric has contributed to a breakdown in civil discourse. Former GOP vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin posted a video on her Facebook page today, accusing journalists and political analysts of inciting hatred in the wake of the  Arizona shootings.  Last spring, Palin targeted Giffords' district as one of 20 that the GOP should take back, each marked with the cross hairs of a gun sight, according to the Associated Press.

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