When we moved to Tucson we lived in Giffords' district. Only a few miles from the shopping center where she was shot. In fact we'd been by that Safeway many times. I can't recall if I'd ever been in that store but I have been in that parking lot. Had we still lived in the district, I might have considered going to that event. We now live in Grijalva's district who I thought would be a more likely target than Giffords. My thoughts are with the those affected by this terrible tragedy.
I do have a new hero. Sheriff Dupnik. He pointed out that the toxic political environment contributed to this event. I'd also like to add being able to buy 30 round magazines made the shooting a lot deadlier. If the assault weapons ban had been renewed, it would not have prevented the tragedy, the shooter may have chosen a larger caliber handgun. Who knows, but I think it would have been less deadly.
I'm not asking or telling conservatives/libertarians to shut up. Neither is Dupnik. We just want them to stop their eliminationist rhetoric treating their fellow Americans as enemies. We can still have heated debates, call each other names, nor do we have to be civil. As he said free speech is not without consequence. And he's received a lot of heat for his free speech.
Jon Stewart in his opening monologue last night said, "You know, it would be really nice if the ramblings of crazy people didn't in any way resemble how we actually talk to each other on TV. Let's at least make troubled individuals easier to spot."
We cannot make the world 100% safe, but we can make our world more resilient, more able to handle the slings and arrows of outrageous that come our way.
It's become clear that Loughner was the classic lone wolf type. To what extent the current climate affected him, I don't know. I saw his YouTube channel and read his rantings. His reading list covers all the bases to confirm anyone's bias about his political leanings. Though it was very clear he was very anti-government. Almost Unabomber-ish. I might even classify him of the sovereign citizen bent. The one video that disturbed me the most was of him obscured setting an American flag on fire. The soundtrack was a heavy metal song. The lyrics still haunt me. Repeated over and over and over. "Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor. Let the bodies hit the floor."