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Group urges civility after GOP targetted in Alexandria shooting

Posted at 3:30 PM, Jun 15, 2017
and last updated 2017-06-15 18:30:07-04

Once again, someone has shot a member of Congress and once again there are those who say words incited the violence.

As Americans reacted to learning about the shooting in Alexandria, VA, Wednesday morning, some called into the conservative-leaning James T. Harris show on 104.1 KQTH-FM, to express their feelings. 
Some callers drew comparisons to January 8, 2011, shooting in Tucson.

'I’ve gone back and forth all day between massive amounts of anger, and literally crying. Like literally crying, I could start crying now,” one female called told Harris.

"The whole world is going up in flames and the liberals are sitting there lighting the match,” a man said.

Six years ago some believed the man who shot 19 people at a grocery store in Tucson was inspired by political talk. The National Institute for Civil Discourse was founded the following month.

"If you’re going to have a democracy you got to be able to talk to one another,” said Brint Milward, a NICD board member and Director of the School of Government and Public Policy at the University of Arizona. Milward believes, when it comes to politics, Americans increasingly live in echo chambers.

“We seem to be talking to the converted. We seem to be talking more and more to the people who agree with us. And less and less to the people who don’t," he said.

On his radio show the afternoon after the Alexandria shooting, Harris asked his listeners if they belived American political discussion had passed a point of no return.  “Yes,” a caller named Keith said. “It’s going to get worse until the government does something about it.”

After taking calls Harris said he believes something needs to change because he believes at some point American democracy will start to erode if the party which wins elections isn’t allowed to govern. Milward expressed a similar sentiment.

"We need to start to try to listen to one another and find areas where we can find some principled agreement or we're going to be in big trouble,” he said.