When Jerry Coyne said,
While it does seem that this kind of violence is whipped up more by conservatives than liberals (viz. abortion-doctor killings), conservatives too can be the targets of gun-equipped crazies. (Remember John Hinkley, who tried to kill Ronald Reagan just to get the attention of Jodie Foster?)
I realized it’s time for a handy guide to determining if the left is equivalent to the right in terms of inciting violence. So here we go:
1. Is the violence recent?
Incident less than ten years old – provisionally equivalent. You may proceed to the next question.
Incident more than ten years old – NOT EQUIVALENT. Full stop.
2. Did the violence take place in a pervasive atmosphere of eliminationist rhetoric spewed by liberal political leaders, media outlets including network news channels, and activist groups embraced by elected leaders?
Yes – provisionally equivalent. You may proceed to the next question.
No - NOT EQUIVALENT. Full stop.
3. Is there more than one example of such violence?
Yes – you managed a miracle. Please provide evidence to back up your assertion, because no one else has been able to find any.
No – NOT EQUIVALENT. Full stop.
Perhaps someone with some time and more skill with graphics than I’ve got could whip us up an easy-to-use reference chart.
Outside of the false-equivalence quibble, which in this case was weak tea anyway, and the over-reliance on the “but he was ker-azy!” trope, the rest of Jerry’s post is wonderful and thought-provoking and definitely worth reading in full. I shall be returning to it later in the week, in fact.