It's tragically comic — but mostly just sad and pathetic — to listen to conservative pundits do their damndest to get huffy and worked up that the Giffords shooting in Arizona could IN ANY WAY have ANYTHING to do with the paranoid, us-against-them rhetoric which so many of their bulwarks spew day in and day out.
But I'm not strictly blaming conservatives. I've made my fair share of vitriolic President Bush jokes, and Democratic politicians ratchet up their rhetoric to ridiculous levels as well. But sorry to say, they just can't match hardcore conservatives in the "violence-tinged rhetoric veiled as patriotism and halfway masked as fact" department.
But like so many things in this country, it really comes down to money. It always does. The people who receive massive gun-lobby contributions could care less WHAT motivated this Jared Lee Loughner douchebag to go apeshit and start shooting people. They're gonna do whatever is necessary to ensure that gun companies can still sell all the guns they want.
I'll be honest, my eyes just glaze over when someone starts talking about gun rights in the U.S., or about how "They want to take our guns away." That's a paranoid, stupid thing to say... then again, a whole lot of the people who own guns are apparently paranoid and/or stupid, because they seem to shoot a lot of their own families and friends.
Of the 13,636 murder victims in 2009, the FBI reports that SEVENTY-SIX MOTHERF**KING PERCENT were killed either by a family member, or by someone they knew. (Source here). So if your argument is "I need to be able to protect my home from intruders," well, your home is probably going to need more protection from the people already in it. Nothing, though, will beat my favorite argument, which is "Someday we'll need to protect ourselves from the government, a well-regulated militia is essential, etc., etc."
Give... me... a f**king... BREAK.
I don't care how many of your hillbilly friends show up, even if they bring every single gun in the house and arm their damn toddlers... you aren't gonna beat the military. They turned Iraq into a giant pile of dirt in like three months. What do you think they're gonna do to your front lawn?
If you're looking for someone to blame for the Arizona tragedy, look to the legislators who lobbied for gun laws that somehow made it legal for this unstable dickhead to LEGALLY BUY A GUN. According to the BBC, two members of Congress have now said that they will start carrying a gun at all times.
Well, I would keep an eye out for a news story about a Congressman accidentally shooting his nephew, because that's the likeliest thing to happen. That's juuuust what we need: old white men walking around Washington, D.C., strapped. Noooo way THAT could ever go wrong. You'll NEVER see a story about a young black male being gunned down by a nervous, prejudiced Congressman once THAT happens.
Oh, and gee, I almost forgot, as long as we're looking to place reasonable blame: if the Bush-controlled Congress hadn't let the Brady Bill lapse in 2004, Lougher wouldn't have been able to buy the high-capacity clip he used to mow down all those people.
But hey, we have to be able to defend our homes!