“Take Steve Driehaus, for example,” Rep. John Boehner (R-OH) said. “He may be a dead man. He can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati.”
That was Boehner last week. Since then, Driehaus (D-OH) did vote for health care reform and he’s had several threats against his life. Photos of his children have been used in attack ads.
And over in Virginia Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother has been inadvertently targeted by right-wing extremists. A conservative blogger posted what he thought was the representative’s home address and told his followers to pay him a visit. It turned out to be Rep. Perriello’s brother’s address.
“Federal and local authorities are investigating a severed gas line at the home of U.S. Rep. Tom Perriello’s brother, discovered the day after Tea Party activists posted the address online so opponents could ‘drop by’ and ‘express their thanks’ for Perriello’s vote in favor of health care reform.”
When the blogger realized his mistake, he said, “Do you mean I posted his brother’s address on my Facebook? Oh well, collateral damage.”
Free speech has its limits. Inciting violence is not protected speech. Sooner or later someone is going to be injured or killed and these people will need to be held accountable for their recklessness.