It goes without saying that my thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the victims of this senseless act of violence. I mean that sincerely.
The sick and twisted individual - Jared Loughner - who did this deserves as tough a punishment as possible.
I want to be careful with what I say here. This act is horrendous and it rightly frightens most Americans that someone can be so disturbed as to gun down innocent people, but when these things happen it strikes me how quick so many people are to exploit a tragedy like this for their own means.
This is not a Left or Right issue. Political rhetoric on either side can get heated, and certainly cross the line of basic human decency on a regular basis. However, no one - not Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Kieth Olbermann, or anyone else - is responsible for this except Jared Loughner. His decision to open fire Saturday morning came out of his own paranoia and demented worldview, not rhetoric.
I think what may be hardest for people to comprehend is that sometimes very bad things happen and that there is nothing that can be done to stop it. Loughner is a sick man who would have found a way to harm those people with or without a gun. I sympathize with those who will try to find a reason for the tragic loss of life, but sadly, the only one is a product of a sick and paranoid mind.