There have always been times of bitter partisanship in politics, and times when hatred and intolerance rises to frightening levels.
I think the situation we currently have in our country began in the last Bush Administration, the members of which displayed arrogance, intolerance and outright contempt and mockery for not just Democrats but for anyone who countered their own agenda and world view.
We have seen this build through the years so that we are now to the point where politicians and would-be politicians think nothing of encouraging the full use of Second Amendment rights, or who like Sarah Palin regularly use seditious speech and threatening words and images, or those in the recent campaign who used tactics like inviting people to shoot photos of Congresswoman Giffords with their M-16s.
I believe the fire added to these flames has been the media from mainstream to the fringes on both sides. Everyone has their anger and their gripes, few have any positive solutions and are regularly drowned out by the others.
Ultimately, Jared Loughner is responsible for his own actions, but people like his hero Sarah Palin (or so I've read) and others played a big role in what happened yesterday. The fact that they will not take responsibility for their words and actions is a given.
Words have consequences. Free speech has consequences.
I don't have cable television and I don't listen to talk radio but there are three things I'm pretty sure we won't hear from the talking heads: They won't call this an act of terrorism, they won't call for gun restriction, and they won't make the point that after all the talk in Arizona about how dangerous illegal immigrants are (to the point of bald faced lies) this act was done by a white American.