Wednesday, August 13, 2008

Arkansas Democratic Party chairman shot, critical condition

This is from MSNBC News:

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - A gunman entered the Arkansas Democratic Party headquarters Wednesday and shot the party chairman, who was hospitalized in critical condition, authorities said.

The gunman asked to speak to the party chairman, Bill Gwatney, and fired three shots at the office near the state Capitol.

"He came in and went into this office and started shooting," police Lt. Terry Hastings told reporters near the party headquarters.

Gwatney, a former legislator, was in critical condition, Hastings said. Party officials confirmed the victim was Gwatney.

Law enforcement officials identify the man suspected of shooting the Arkansas Democratic party chairman as Tim Johnson, age 50, of Searcy, Arkansas.

Johnson was chased into Grant County, south of Little Rock, and fatally wounded during a 30-mile chase, Little Rock police said. The suspect's motive is not known.

Reading this story makes me seriously wonder just how much the Republican hate speech, in the media and on radio, may be responsible for this attack. Granted, I do not know the motive behind Johnson's shooting of Gwatney, but I find it very interesting that the shooting took place 1) during a presidential election which Democrat Barack Obama has a serious shot of defeating John McCain for the presidency, 2) the shooting took place in Arkansas, a red Republican state, 3) GOP hate speech has been directed against the Obama campaign, and I would imagine GOP hate speech in the media and radio has also been directed against liberals and Democrats. 4) the U.S. economy has been slowing, which makes me wonder if Johnson is having economic troubles and blames the worsening U.S. economy on the Democrats. Granted, I am speculating here, but I do find it interesting.

Update: Arkansas state Democratic chairman Bill Gwatney has died from the shooting.

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