There are always going to be unbalanced people, just as there are always going to be viruses in our environment -- but what most determines whether those viruses make us sick is the strength of our immune system.
Nobody but Loughner can be blamed for Saturday's violence. But that does not absolve any of us from the duty to consider the impact of our words and to approach political discourse with honesty and responsibility.
Gabby is always engaging, but never polarizing, and was the least likely person to be targeted by an angry man. But she was. In the midst of tragedy and violence, I believe every Christian must ask themselves: "How am I responsible?"
It was last March when I wondered if "going rogue" meant going off the deep end. This was when Palin strayed from the realm of politics and directed a particularly toxic stream of consciousness into the world of sports.
Arizona: If you look Mexican, we need to see your papers. If you're smoking pot, we need to throw you in jail. But if you want to take a concealed gun to a political rally, we don't need to see any papers and we won't throw you in jail.
Amid the conjecture, pop psychologizing, hand-wringing and condemnation provoked by this weekend's terrible carnage in Arizona, only one inescapable fact emerges: A young man who had decided to kill people was able to get a gun.
We can do more than rage about what others did and continue to do to contribute to incivility of our political culture. Every one of us could speak a bit more gently, with a bit more appreciation of those with whom we come into contact.
I can't help but wonder why folks are so afraid to call the mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona an act of terrorism. The fear of the "T" word seems almost palpable in describing the gruesome events that took place this past Saturday.