I went to my favorite places to read news and opinion, various articles linked by others that I see on Twitter or Facebook, and searched for more on my own and compiled them here. If you want to learn more, get information, or see what people are talking about regarding the shooting, I think these are your best sources.
Here is a broad overview from the Christian Science Monitor’s editorial board: Arizona shooting: An isolated case with broad ramifications
Here is a sample of assassin Jared Lee Loughner’s social media posts over at CNN.
Before the shooting, Congresswoman Giffords wrote a Republican friend about toning down rhetoric and partisanship.
UPDATE: Mediaite’s Rachel Sklar and conservative radio host Steve Malzberg debated the issue on CNN. Sklar is a personal favorite of mine when it comes to writing/talking about the media. Here is the debate.
Fox News’ website has its lead story as “Left rushes to spin act of madman into blame game.”
UPDATE: Here is an interview with Fox News’ Roger Ailes regarding what has taken place and his network’s role. “I told all of our guys, shut up, tone it down, make your argument intellectually. You don’t have to do it with bombast. I hope the other side does that.”
Salon.com has a piece on revolutionary rhetoric that spawns political violence.
Also at Salon, Steve Kornacki says the weekend attack wasn’t about Tea Party rage.
New York Times Columnist Paul Krugman’s first thoughts on the shooting.
Slate.com’s Brian Palmer looks at why so many assassins go by three names. Also at Slate, Vaughan Bell says we are all too quick to blame mental illness in situations like this. A third one from Slate (you should probably just go to Slate.com as they have about 5 or 6 good reads on the subject) by Jack Shafer says calls to end inflamed rhetoric aren’t good for free speech.
Looking over tweets regarding Loughner, it appears that nothing will be “mended” as a result of this shooting. Many people are calling for soul searching, healing, etc., as a result of the shooting that many believe are the result of a country boiling over with angry political rhetoric.
But the talk about such things seems to have only heightened that rhetoric, rather than tone it done. People are jumping to blame one side or the other, using any “evidence” they can to support an argument. Is Loughner a registered Democrat or Republican appears to be the latest meaningless fact being thrown around to cast blame (or deflect it). Those types of debates, sadly, miss the point.
UPDATE: Fittingly, it seems the meaningless and absurd debate of Loughner’s political party has become even more meaningless. He is an independent.