In response to the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and others last Saturday, Sarah Palin has recorded a nearly eight-minute video condemning the attacks, praising "the heroism of those who overpowered a deranged gunman" and reaffirming "passionate exchange and debate of ideas" in American political discourse. The former vice presidential candidate expressed her condolences to victim's families and also voiced her concerns about the "irresponsible statements from people attempting to apportion blame for this terrible event." Here's part of what she had to say about the newly inflamed debate surrounding heated political rhetoric (full transcript at National Review):

There are those who claim political rhetoric is to blame for the despicable act of this deranged, apparently apolitical criminal. And they claim political debate has somehow gotten more heated just recently. But when was it less heated? Back in those “calm days” when political figures literally settled their differences with dueling pistols? In an ideal world all discourse would be civil and all disagreements cordial. But our Founding Fathers knew they weren’t designing a system for perfect men and women. If men and women were angels, there would be no need for government. Our Founders’ genius was to design a system that helped settle the inevitable conflicts caused by our imperfect passions in civil ways. So, we must condemn violence if our Republic is to endure.

Sarah Palin: "America's Enduring Strength" from Sarah Palin on Vimeo.