NOTE: I do NOT want this to be focused on any particular event but rather debated on its own merits please. According to "The Hill" and his appearance on Fox News this morning, Rep. Robert Brady (D-Pa.) plans to introduce legislation that would make it a federal crime to use language or symbols that could be perceived as threatening or inciting violence against a federal official or member of Congress. He told Fox News that he wants federal lawmakers and officials to have the same protections as the President. He doesn't know whether graphics or language using crosshairs or targets or similar inflammatory language has been implicated in any violence, but he would rather be safe than sorry. And that comes amidst a fresh round of accusations of various conservative figures instigating and encouraging violence through their various speeches and programs. You know there have been tens of thousands of vitriolic political ads in my lifetime and I don't recall any inciting anybody to violence. Alos, tens of millions of people listen to Hannity, Beck, Limbaugh, Savage et al every weekday and also read Malkin, Coulter, and others equally as provocative. Sarah Palin has appeard at several dozen Tea Party events where there was no violence of any kind. And though their audiences are tiny by comparison, none are any more explicit in their rhetoric or any more negative toward those they criticize than are Olbermann, Matthews, Maher, some of the folks on the View, etc. etc. etc. And words like 'target' or 'crosshairs' are commonplace and often used. And that doesn't even include the other talking heads spewing hate speech toward this person or that group or whatever. Wouldn't you think if such rhetoric had any power to inspire violence that we would see wholesale violence with so much exposure and so many opportunities and hours devoted to political criticism? This morning Jack Shafer at Slate, not exactly the last bastion of conservatism, opposed this kind of extremist government control and defended heated political rhetoric: So what do you think. Do you approve of restrictions on the everybody words and imagery used in political ads and promotions? Or is this an unacceptable assault on free speech?