'Alright, I've changed my mind on the border fence: I'll support it, just so long as it goes around Arizona too.'
Viscerally, this was satisfying. It's easy to look for scapegoats, and it's very easy to pin calamity on out-groups, especially when there's--at least--a loose connection. After sleeping on it however, this is where I'm at:
Even if it turns out that this lunatic was a huge Glenn Beck fan, I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame the tea party for this. Crazy, violent people will do crazy, violent things: if it wasn’t some weird ‘currency’ fixation, maybe a Katy Perry song would’ve done it.
If anything should be learned from this incident, it should be the following 3 things:
1) automatic weapons are way to easy to get a hold of in the U.S.
2) We need better mental health services in this country.
3) American students shouldn’t be able to leave high school without some training in psychology and critical thinking: If more members of our society were able to reason clearly, maybe fewer folks would be willing to offer up these ready-made John Birch fantasies for the mentally ill in our society to cling onto, and maybe there would be fewer folks out there ready to cling onto them.
There will be incidents like this in any society. The best thing to do is to figure out ways to make them happen as infrequently as possible.