Just Talk or Real Threat? Shooting Raises Questions About Rhetoric

The shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords has sparked an intense debate over whether incendiary political talk is a real danger or merely vivid political rhetoric. Jerrold Post, M.D., clinical professor of Psychiatry and Behavioral Sciences in the School of Medicine and Health Sciences, says that while most people will perceive even extreme rhetoric as within the bounds of acceptable discourse, a few will hear the message differently.

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