Musings on the Arizona Shootings

Although the recent killings of six and the wounding of 14 others, including a member of U.S. Congress, at a political event outside a supermarket in Tucson has no direct connection to Colorado or the purpose of this blog, we would like to make some observations.
Here are some of the things that we believe no “liberal” or “conservative” political party or pundit or anyone else really knows about the incident at this time:
1. Did “targeting” of the congressional district by a political party somehow cause the shootings?
2. Did national political divisiveness or dissension have anything to do with the shooter’s decision process or his state of mind?
3. Did the shooter have any “rational” basis for his actions?
4. Would more restrictive gun control laws have prevented the tragedy?
5. Did constitutionally protected speech by any television or radio talk show personality influence or provoke the shooter’s actions and, if so, can or should anything be done about it?
6. Is it feasible or even possible to provide adequate protection to elected officials in public places that would prevent the same kind of tragedy in the future?
7. Can any state or federal law absolutely prevent a deranged person from gaining access to a deadly weapon and using it against an elected official or the public at large?
Everyone seems to have opinions on at least some of the issues raised by the questions. It is our belief that there are no ready or simple answers to the questions. The issues will be the subject of vigorous debate for quite some time.
One thing we do know is that we must allow our justice system to run its course, hopefully in an atmosphere of objectivity and calm. And irrespective of why the tragedy occurred, we want to extend our deepest sympathy to the victims, their families and friends. The killing or shooting of any innocent person diminishes us all.

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