Joe Rosenthal, founder of Stop Handgun Violence says Loudoun County, Va., Republicans threatened President Obama when they sent a picture of him as a zombie with a bullet hole in his head in an E-mail to volunteers. [Check out photos of Obama behind the scenes.]
"For a political party to depict their opponent, who happens to be the president, with a bloodied bullet hole in his head, is horrifically inappropriate and could certainly incite violence against the president," says Rosenthal. [Photo Gallery: Gabrielle Giffords Shooting in Arizona.]
Loudoun County Republican Committee chairman Mark Sell issued a statement of regret about the E-mail and said it was not meant to be a message to harm elected officials, but rather a Halloween joke "to portray people as zombies." "It was nothing beyond that," Sell said.
Democratic organizer and pundit Robert Creamer says this is just the sort of political misstep that damages the GOP's reputation. [Take the poll: Is Political Rhetoric To Blame for Arizona Shooting?]
"That kind of thing is just repugnant," Creamer says, "It is one thing to attack your opponent's character or politics, but this is beyond the pale." [Check out U.S. News Weekly, now available on iPad.]
The Republican Party of Virginia distanced itself from the E-mail issuing a statement saying that, "The Republican Party of Virginia condemns the image and its use in the strongest possible terms."
Robert Jesionowski, the Loudoun county communications committee chairman who sent the image, resigned from his position Monday.
"It is indicative how far afield the political extremism has evolved in this country," Rosenthal says. "There isn't room for this. It is too easy to pull the trigger."