I have no insight about the Arizona shootings and toxic political rhetoric that hasn’t already been expressed.
Although it seems disingenuous to deny that crosshairs have base-appealing, gun-scope connotations, that is fuzzy compared to the fervent emotions engendered by political discussions that recognize no middle ground. No one has a truth monopoly on complex issues.
Obviously, the shooter was a bitter, disturbed young man whom neither side need claim. He bears sole responsibility for his actions. However, miscreants can use mindless vitriol to rationalize their own inferiority complexes and reinforce resultant behavior.
Since he bought his handgun legally, perhaps pragmatic gun regulation is worth discussing.
As a veteran who supports gun ownership, I have no problem with self-defense weapons being regulated at least as strictly as driver’s licenses — including verbal or written mental-evaluation tests.
Since rifles are harder to conceal, I’d compromise by letting law-abiding hunters own rifles without registration.
I have no irrational fear about Big Brother taking citizens’ guns away. That is for conspiracy theorists who feel better about themselves by bonding against imaginary New-World-Order enemies.
Our country is still too unified and patriotic against dictatorial threats — and world domination is far too difficult in such a divisive world — for that to happen.
May all the survivors fully recover.