I wonder if there's a connection between violent imagery or rhetoric and violent acts.
I doubt there's any connection at all, even though I'm sure you'll find some left wing nutcase who will find some way to make the case.
When evangelicals on the right call President Obama a socialist, a racist, anti-American, an abortionist, not a real American, and, echoing the former Vice President, someone who is weakening America's defenses and making us less safe, the logical conclusion is violence. If you take these words literally you might pull the trigger to "make America safe" and/or free us from communism or to even protect us from -- what some "Christian" leaders claim -- Obama as the Antichrist.Conservatives were right to decry the Department of Homeland Security's report on rightwing extremism. It was politically motivated and complete BS, especially this part:
(U) Rightwing extremism in the United States can be broadly divided into those groups, movements, and
adherents that are primarily hate-oriented (based on hatred of particular religious, racial or ethnic groups),
and those that are mainly antigovernment, rejecting federal authority in favor of state or local authority, or
rejecting government authority entirely. It may include groups and individuals that are dedicated to a
single issue, such as opposition to abortion or immigration.