Today 22 year old Jared Loughner went to a grocery store and started shooting people, and since two of those people were public officials, we will now have the requisite over-analysis, replete with musings on whether or not Loughner was a leftist or a rightist or whether or not the Second Amendment should be disposed of altogether. Let us be clear: Jared Loughner was a disturbed young man, and his political leanings have little if anything to do with what occurred today in Arizona. I have read Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto, and I own a gun. I have a long-documented and oft-lamented history of fulminating and fuming to no end about the U.S. government and monetary policy. I will not be killing any public officials any time in the near future, if ever.
People on both sides in the rapidly boiling debate over various issues need to realize that using a mentally ill 22 year old as a brush to tar each other simply doesn't work to provide a coherent pictures of why Loughner did what he did. It doesn't work, because your average liberal or Tea Party enthusiast does not pick up a gun and go to a public event with the intention of shooting other individuals. Your average mentally ill individual who expresses sentiments about the United States government controlling minds through grammar, on the other hand...
We have a problem in this country, and it isn't that we disagree politically. We're intellectually incoherent. Everyone seizes on to these events as a means of explaining the problem with the world at large, but this events do not illuminate anything other than the importance of trying to get obviously disturbed people help before they act. If you know someone who posts Youtube rants linking mind control with proper grammar, it behooves you to notify family members and authorities about their likely unhinged state. At the very least, you ought to go and talk to them in order to persuade them to get help.
The intellectual incoherence of this nation stems from the inability of average folks to reason through matters in order to see the obvious absurdity in blaming the Second Amendment for what a mentally unbalanced 22 year old did. Hell, the average pundit on CNN can't reason through matters to see such absurdities. Jared Loughner had what in hindsight were obvious mental issues, and he made a decision based on his impaired cognition thereof to go shoot people at a public gathering. The entire matter begins and ends with that analysis. Anything beyond that simple summation is speculative and risks maligning other people who may share a few book selections and beliefs in gold backed currency, and even though they may have a few things in common with Jared Loughner, the overwhelming majority of those people are not going to go shoot anyone.
The average leftist in this country, while abhorred by myself and others, is not a murderer. He does not aspire to be a murderer, any more than your average rightist or Tea Party enthusiast does. We have a common commitment to the idea that human life should not be destroyed by senseless violence, and 99% of us are capable of understanding that it is inappropriate and even asinine to go shooting individuals you disagree with politically. It's not going to advance your agenda, and it certainly won't reflect well on your ideas.
To those who have lit up the blogosphere, the Internet, Twitter, and other forms of social media and mass media with such irresponsible speculation and tit-for-tat today, I say this: stop it. Have some decency. Good people died today while exercising a legal, constitutionally guaranteed right to gather publicly. This is not an opportunity to bludgeon your political opponents and ideological nemeses. It's a tragedy. It's not a means to an end. Shut up and say a prayer for the families of those who died, and for the family of Jared Loughner, because their lives are about to be turned upside down by a culture obsessed with picking over every little detail of their past in order to make sense of an event that makes no sense at all no matter how much information you have. It's the decent thing to do, and I'd like to believe that no matter how ideologically or politically divided we are, we all possess some sense of dignity and compassion which enables us to take the simple, quiet, and decent route through this event. God bless the victims of this shooting, and God have mercy on their families and Jared Loughner.