Do politics make people violent?

many are wondering if heated political rhetoric is making people more violent

A day after an Arizona congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head, many are wondering if heated political rhetoric is making people more violent.

For those elected to public office it can be very scary to think about, the idea that someone armed with gun is targeting you.

"It shocked me," said Albany City Commissioner Roger Marietta. "You'd expect a congress person to be fairly well protected I would think."

He says while what happened in Arizona is scary, he can't worry about people who'd want to do him harm because of his policy making.

"I don't really worry about it too much, but it is something to think about, especially with our morning meetings when you sit with your back to the door. But the police are there and I feel pretty comfortable that nobody is going to come in there and start shooting," said Marietta.

Getting people upset might just come with the job of being a politician, but does today's heated political atmosphere make people more passionate and possibly more violent? We asked voters.

"Anybody that has tendencies that way, the rhetoric might swing them one way or the other and make them take action," said Glen Clack.

"I think folks are going crazy because they feel like the economy is dropping and they might feel like we're going into another great depression," said Jeremy Troup.

"As far as what happened with the violence in Arizona, I don't think it has anything to do with left or right politics. I think the guy was just a nut," said Bruce Jones.

"Almost 99 percent of the people that have strident opinions know how to keep themselves in check. I think some of the rhetoric is just standard procedure," said Marietta. "In America we've been having heated rhetoric since we were first started as a country."