1. Take a deranged person, preferably male (all those impotence issues and the allure of physical violence, which is supposedly so “masculine”);
2. Immerse said person in a culture which worships violence, especially gun violence, and glorifies it in most of its very effective and affective entertainment;
3. Put him in a nation which makes it absurdly easy for anyone to legally own automatic weapons with ammunition clips holding between 15 and 20 rounds (surely our Founders meant each of us to stockpile such automatic weapons when they wrote the Second Amendment, no? Wasn’t that their “original intent”?);
4. Locate him in a state, Arizona, not only filled with “rugged individuals” (Barry Goldwater’s home state!) who like guns, but where a cultural atmosphere of ethnic intolerance and hatred recently resulted in racist laws targeting Hispanic immigrants;
5. Place that state in a nation whose Corporate Media shines a constant spotlight on extreme right-wing fringe groups such as the Tea Party, some members of whom proudly display their guns at political rallies which reach a fever pitch ranting against so-called “Obamacare Death Panels” and threatening politicians who supported Obama’s flawed, “health” care gift to corporate Big Insurance;
6. Identify those such politicians running for office in 2010 by a national map with crosshairs on each one’s district and then use appeals to “take aim at” and “target” them, to come shoot an M-16 with a candidate (Jesse Kelly) opposing Rep. Giffords, and use “Second Amendment Remedies” if all else fails (Sharon Angle);
7. Put a FEMALE, JEWISH Democrat (though a conservative one) who supported that flawed, insurance-helping healthcare at an outdoor rally in Arizona;
8. Mix well.
Outcome: a massacre (no surprise).
Fail to consider the whole context of this shooting in the last 40 years (at least) of polarization and violence, mostly by the right wing, in a country which strongly supports “settling” issues by using massive violence (Iraq, Afghanistan, Pakistan, Yemen, and Somalia; 10,000 nuclear warheads; more than 800 military bases in foreign countries; nuclear-armed fleets on and under every ocean; TV commercials extolling “careers” in this imperialistic military), and you delude yourself that this massacre in Arizona is simply an anomaly, the act of one deranged individual, as though we all live in individual, hermetically-sealed cocoons unaffected by our socio-political-economic-media culture.
While we’re at it, compare left-wing violence in the U.S. to right-wing violence here since the 1950’s, including the followers of Joe McCarthy; the assassinations of Medgar Evers, JFK, Malcolm X, RFK. Martin Luther King, Jr., and so many others; right-wing racist anti-civil rights, anti-Jewish, anti-gay violence throughout the South and elsewhere in the 1950’s and 1960’s ( and much continuing today); anti-liberal and anti-Democrat (they are NOT the same, contrary to Republicans and other right-wing ignoramuses) violence and violent rhetoric; murders of doctors who performed abortions; bombing of abortion clinics; and fetishistic worship of guns.
The people who tried to kill Presidents Gerald Ford and Ronald Reagan cannot, by any stretch of imagination (or fiction) be described as “left-wing”.
If anyone still believes Lee Harvey Oswald was a “leftist” and acted alone, he should read JFK and the Unspeakable: Why He Was Killed and Why It Matters.
Most calls for violence and “Second Amendment Remedies” come from the right wing and its corporate-funded (see the Koch Brothers and Dick Armey) Tea Party extremists (the founder of Koch Industries, an oil & gas corporation which has also funded denial of anthropogenic climate change, was a co-founder of the infamous John Birch Society, and his sons have followed in his extremist right-wing footsteps).
Historically, the right wing is much more apt to resort to violence than the left. See the labor struggles in this country alone since the mid-19th century rise of the Robber Barons and corporate power.
Historically, especially in this country, and especially since 1945 (just three years before my birth), the right wing (alleged “conservatives” who only want to conserve their power and privilege, but not human rights nor the planet), has been the wing of intolerance, hatred, homophobia, extremist “Christianity”, racism, and misogyny.
But, then again, right-wingers have no use for history if it doesn’t suit their ideology.