Herewith a string of disconnected thoughts and a litany of links to many things you likely already know, simply because at the moment there feels like so little else I’ve been able to do. Like so many of us, since about midday Saturday I’ve been off-and-on glued to my news sources of choice (in my case, various trusted journalists, bloggers, and Twitterers online), trying to first understand what happened in Arizona, and then why.
Like many left-leaning folk, when I learned the congresswoman was a democrat who’d beenÂ vandalized and targeted in the past (most notoriously by Sarah Palin’s PAC’s “gun sights” map, and by the congresswoman’s Tea PartyÂ opponent’s campaign imagery), I immediately assumed the gunman was a right-wing extremist. Â Dr. MaddowÂ rightly urged folks to hold off on the speculation before adequate information about him was in, and we all began to learn more about him.
In just a day or so, it has become clear only thatÂ he intended to shoot the congresswoman,Â he last registered to vote as an independent, and is obviously mentally unstable. As if planning to assassinate a congresswoman and everyone near her is anything but insane. Â (ThisÂ Mother Jones exclusive interview with a friend seems to confirm the free-form nature of that insanity.) Though he’d been suspended from his community college until he received certification that he was mentally stable and no threat to himself and others, he faced no barrier to buying his gun. Which, as it happens, was the same kind that Congresswoman Giffords —who supports “concealed carry” laws –Â said she owned.