THE BLOG

The Tucson Shooting's Most Important Questions

01/11/2011 09:59 am ET | Updated May 25, 2011

Since the shooting in Tucson on Saturday, lots of important questions have been raised - questions that go to issues than transcend even the monumentally horrific shooting itself. In the interest of summation, here are the best questions I've seen on Twitter, Facebook, in the blogosphere, on radio and elsewhere.

- If after a calculated political assassination attempt we cannot talk about the downsides of a right-wing media that effectively endorses political violence, when can we talk about this subject? Or should we never talk about this problem?

- Aren't calculated political assassination attempts by definition "political?" If so, then how can anyone argue that anyone is trying to "politicize" the Tucson shooting?

- If an Islamic cleric prominently posted a graphic on the Internet with a target on a particular congresswoman, and then a Muslim shot that congresswoman, would the GOP and the conservative media call it terrorism and in part blame the cleric? If the answer is yes, why isn't the same standard applied to Sarah Palin?

- Knowing that Rep. Giffords publicly worried about the "conseqeuences" of Palin's violent rhetoric, don't we owe it to her to now talk about those consequences in a sober and serious way?

- Since the shooting, has a single conservative movement leader denounced violence-glorifying political rhetoric?

- If cultural conservatives believe violent video games and comic books are dangerous because they can foment violence, why don't those same conservatives believe violent rhetoric broadcast on TV and radio won't do the same thing?

- Do conservatives really expect America to believe someone can't be both crazy/deranged and also motivated by a culture that says violence is an acceptable form of political expression?

- Even if there is no direct/literal connection between right-wing rhetoric that glorifies violence and the shooting in Tucson, wouldn't society be better off without such violence-glorifying rhetoric being so ubiquitous? What would be such a terrible tragedy if this horrific shooting resulted in less such rhetoric?

Use the comments section to give us your honest answers to these queries. These are really important questions - and they remain unanswered.