Common Cause

For Immediate Release

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Mary Boyle, (202) 736-5770

Simple Decency Demands No Less

WASHINGTON - Whatever we ultimately learn about the motives of Jared Loughner, the shooter behind Saturday's tragedy in Tucson, his twisted acts should trigger reflection by every American on the sorry and potentially dangerous state of our public discourse.

"We believe, absolutely and unequivocally, in free speech," said Bob Edgar, Common Cause's president and CEO. "But everyone must understand that words have consequences. Our political dialog is now sated with violent imagery. We've grown accustomed to phrases like ‘second amendment solutions' and ‘don't retreat, reload,' that to twisted minds may incite violent acts.

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"No one questions the power of well-chosen words and images to sell automobiles or beer or pharmaceuticals," Edgar added. "Surely we should acknowledge that when poorly chosen they can provoke despicable acts like those we've now witnessed in Tucson."

As people of good will continue to pray for the recovery of Congresswoman Giffords and offer solace to other survivors and victims and their families, Common Cause calls on all who enter the public square -- in print, on the air or online -- to weigh their words, to speak vigorously but respectfully to and about one another. Simple decency demands no less."

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Common Cause is a nonpartisan, nonprofit advocacy organization founded in 1970 by John Gardner as a vehicle for citizens to make their voices heard in the political process and to hold their elected leaders accountable to the public interest.

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