How did you expect this to turn out? How did you expect taking assault rifles to political rallies to end? Not that it's ended yet, of course. Most likely, this is only the beginning.
In July, some lunatic fan of Glenn Beck, taking his rants seriously, set off to attack the Tides Foundation. Luckily for them, he got into a shootout with the police while on the way there.
Now we've got Rep. Gabrielle Giffords with a bullet hole through her brain, six people dead - so far - including a nine-year-old girl, and 11 more injured. Don't tell me you're surprised.
Yes, both of these violent attackers were complete lunatics, no doubt. But what else did you expect? When you get a whole mob of people frothing at the mouth, shaking their assault rifles, it's not the relatively sane ones who'll be the first to start shooting people. No, it's the real lunatics who'll take you seriously.
Here's how Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik put it:
"When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government; the anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous," he said.
"And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
I've posted about this insanity before - before either of these two incidents. It's been building for a long time. It's been encouraged, as a deliberate tactic in right-wing politics. Republicans have blood on their hands, they really do.
And even "moderate Republicans" - if any still exist - are enabling these bloody-handed extremists. The loonies are still a minority, even today.
But when moderates and Independents overlook this kind of overheated rhetoric, when they vote for spittle-spewing extremists, when they watch Fox "News," when they deny the legitimacy of their own democratically-elected President, when they go along with the worst excesses in American politics, they help create incidents just like this.
My Republican friends, look at your own hands. How much scrubbing will it take to get the blood off?