It appears now clear that the shooter in today's spree at a Safeway in Tucson is a loon of the second amendment remedies kind. His My Space and You Tube pages seem to bear that out.
Whether the primary motivation for today's shooting spree is political or not (and the circumstantial evidence suggests that it is), this episode once again calls for a stop to the violent rhetoric employed by the right-wing, no longer just fringe but becoming mainstream day after day.
Think of the calls to second-amendment remedies invoked by Harry Reid's opponent, Sharron Angle, in the November election. Think about the rhetoric of people like Michael Savage, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, all of whom demonize their political opponents, often suggesting the very essence and future of America is in jeopardy and that liberals must be stopped at all costs.
The curtain of denial erected by right-wing extremists and endorsed by respectable conservatives (a class seemingly going the way of dinosaurs) must fall.
The anti-intellectualism that many right-wingers boast of leads to ridiculing civil discourse and to the less balanced elements on the right-end of the political spectrum literally thinking that they must take up arms to defend the Constitution (which they do not understand), the nation (against anyone who has a different opinion) and the idea of an America so retrograde as to induce horror in those of a progressive mind. Their ideal of America is so fantastic as to elicit sympathy for those who have conceived it, and so out of touch with the actual past that the likely future invoked by demagogues seems all too real to the extremist wing of the conservative movement. Because, after all, those who know nothing of the real struggles, the real injustices and the real horror of the real past are doomed to repeat it.