Like a lot of folks, I've been watching a lot of news coverage of this past weekend's shooting in Tuscon. My thoughts and prayers are with the victims and their families.
A couple of thoughts about the tragedy and its aftermath:
1. I never fail to be surprised at the lengths people will go to score political points from such a tragedy. I think most voters see such politicians for what they really are and they'll get their just desserts the next time an election rolls around.
2. A Predictable Tragedy in Tuscon in today's Wall Street Journal is a worthwhile read. And no, it doesn't have anything to do with political speech. Instead, it focuses on one of the most underreported aspects of the story: the fact that the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, had untreated mental illnesses. As long as we continue to ignore the problem of how we as a society deal with treatment of the mentally ill we'll see these type of events continue to occur. All you have to do is look back at similar events and see how many of the perpetrators had a history of mental illness.
3. A related point to #2 above: Tuscon police missed the warning signs about Loughner's behavior?
4. Another question that is begging to be asked and answered: why weren't the police at Congresswoman Giffords' event? If the political rhetoric is as dangerous as Sheriff Dupnik says then why didn't he have any deputies there to provide security?
5. A natural response in the aftermath of a tragedy such as this is to talk about passing tougher gun control laws. But consider this quote:
Laws that forbid the carrying of arms... disarm only those who are neither inclined nor determined to commit crimes... Such laws make things worse for the assaulted and better for the assailants; they serve rather to encourage than to prevent homicides, for an unarmed man may be attacked with greater confidence than an armed man." --Cesare Beccaria, On Crimes and Punishment, quoted by Thomas Jefferson in Commonplace Book
6. Leave it to Michael Ramirez to provide astute media analysis.