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The Voice - Student Newspaper

Death threats resulting from Healthcare Reform

By Kharli Mandeville
Reporter, The VOICE

Bricks through windows, death threats via telephone and mail, a faxed picture of a noose, broken glass doors, this is just a taste of what many supporters of the recent health care bill have been facing these past few weeks.

Its obvious many conservative Americans are completely outraged at the passing of this bill, but some conservatives or "tea party" activists have gone too far.

Many acts of violence have ensued as a result, including a severed propane gas line at the home of the brother of a democratic congressman who supported the bill.

The brother's home address was posted online by an activist with the tea party movement who apparently thought it was the congressman's address.

Though this incident is still under investigation, it is just one of many frightening messages the far right have been sending.

At least four democratic offices and ten members of congress have reported some sort of vandalism or threat, and the democrats have accused republicans of fanning the fire and not speaking out enough against these acts.

However, House Republican leader John Boehner of Ohio has said in a statement, "Violence and threats are unacceptable… that's not the American way", and House Republican Whip Eric Cantor of Virginia has also said of the violence, "Enough is enough. It has to stop".

So far, no arrests have been reported, and these violent acts have persuaded many politicians to move their spouses and families out of their constituencies while they are still in Washington.

MSNBC reported a bipartisan agreement was reached on Thursday which was that "No act of Congress — health care reform or anything else — merits threats of violence against lawmakers or their families".

A threat against a congressman in retaliation for the official duties performed is punishable by up to a year in prison or worse, depending upon the situation.

Let us hope however, that no one is hurt as a result of these violent acts, and that the threats are all just talk.

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The Voice is the student newspaper of Glendale Community College and is published bi-weekly during the fall and spring semesters. It is distributed on campus with a circulation of 5,000.

The Voice
(623) 845-3822

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Content revised 3/31/10