Proposed Ban on Surveyor's Symbols

Proposed Ban on Surveyor's Symbols January 10, 2011

Here’s another entry in the “Things I should have seen coming” file. According to the Atlantic, one of Sarah Palin’s aides, Rebecca Mansour, is saying that the symbols on the now famous gun sights map were not actually gun sights. They were surveyor’s symbols. And anyway, somebody else put them there. Here she is on the Tammy Bruce show:

MANSOUR: I just want to clarify again, and maybe it wasn’t done on the record enough by us when this came out, the graphic, is just, it’s basically — we never, ever, ever intended it to be gunsights. It was simply crosshairs like you see on maps.

BRUCE: Well, it’s a surveyor’s symbol. It’s a surveyor’s symbol.

MANSOUR: It’s a surveyor’s symbol. I just want to say this, Tammy, if I can. This graphic was done, not even done in house — we had a political graphics professional who did this for us.

That’s an evasion worthy of Palin herself. I’m still not convinced that something as simple as a set of cross hairs on a map could incite political violence, even from the deranged. But this type of dodging doesn’t impress.

On the flip side, a Representative is proposing a ban on certain symbols. Details are sparse as of yet, but the NYT’s Caucus Blog has what there is:

Representative Bob Brady of Pennsylvania told The Caucus he plans to introduce a bill that would ban symbols like that now-infamous campaign crosshair map.

“You can’t threaten the president with a bullseye or a crosshair,” Mr. Brady, a Democrat, said, and his measure would make it a crime to do so to a member of Congress or federal employee, as well.

Asked if he believed the map incited the gunman in Tucson, he replied, “I don’t know what’s in that nut’s head. I would rather be safe than sorry.”

He continued, “This is not a wakeup call. This is a major alarm going off. We need to be more civil with each other. We need to tone down this rhetoric.”

Obviously this isn’t even really in the planning stages yet. I hope this will get quashed in the early stages. There is no problem so bad that it cannot be made worse with legislative overreaction.

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