If you get your news from mainstream outlets you might have the impression that the August season of townhall meetings with elected representatives was a dangerous cauldron of simmering, possibly racist (or fascist) violence. The Weekly Standard's Mary Katherine Ham decided to do what so many journalists echoing this line did not–actually tally up the numbers of townhall meetings and notable incidents. Her conclusion was much different:
One public calendar, compiled by RedState.com, lists more than 400 congressional town hall meetings in the month of August. It's likely not an exhaustive list, but it represents an average of more than 13 live town halls conducted per day in America during the monthlong span. At these meetings, there were fewer than ten documented incidents that could be described as violent, and most of them involved very little physical contact. [...]
That's the full list of documented violence from the August meetings. In more than 400 events: one slap, one shove, three punches, two signs grabbed, one self-inflicted vandalism incident by a liberal, one unsolved vandalism incident, and one serious assault. Despite the left's insistence on the essentially barbaric nature of Obamacare critics, the video, photographic, and police report evidence is fairly clear in showing that 7 of the 10 incidents were perpetrated by Obama supporters and union members on Obama critics. If you add a phoned death threat to Democrat representative Brad Miller of N.C., from an Obama-care critic, the tally is 7 of 11.
And if you extend the census into September, you can add the most severe injury of all, which happened during a fight at a September 2 rally backing Obamacare in Thousand Oaks, Calif., hosted by the left-wing activist group MoveOn.org. Police have not determined who started the fight, but it ended when one of the Obamacare supporters "bit off the left pinky" of counterdemonstrator William Rice after Rice threw a punch, according to police. The Obamacare supporter, who could be charged with mayhem, left the scene before police arrived, and though Rice's missing digit was recovered, doctors were unable to reattach it because "a human bite has so much bacteria," Rice told me. Several liberal commentators took the opportunity to hail the forcible amputation as a victory of government-run medicine over a hypocritical Obama critic.
Whole thing here.