Already we've lost the thread of the actual event that took place in Tucson, the killing, the wounding, the shock and horror.
The President wants us to be more civil. You know, why can't we all just get along?
The punditocracy says they didn't do it and that the people who blame them are the ones who should be blamed.
Sarah Palin says she's a victim of a blood libel. But you get the impression that she has no idea what gibberish is going to come out of her pie-hole next, and that's okay as long as it keeps her in the public eye.
The fat guy on the radio says that the killer is going to be cuddled by the Democrats, because we live in a society where personal responsibility has gone missing. As if that made any sense whatsoever.
Let's look at this for what it is: one more time, a semi-automatic handgun in the hands of a disturbed person has created a national tragedy.
Civil discourse would be nice. But wouldn't have made any difference in Tucson.
Blaming talk radio is always fun. Kicking it off the air wouldn't have changed things in Tucson.
Sarah and Rush and all the gang? Background noise.
Why do we allow people to buy and own and walk around with semi-automatic handguns?
That's the question.
Why is that legal? Why is that deemed appropriate, necessary, part of being American?
The shooting in Tucson is another fire bell in the night, calling on us to take a hard look at Americans and our weapons. Not guns for hunting or sport. Guns for squeezing off 19 or 20 bullets in rapid fire, to kill or maim another person.
That's what Tucson wants the President to talk about, the pundits to address, Sarah and Rush to say something about, the Congress to do something about.
The old saying goes, "When a wise man points at the moon, only an idiot looks at his finger."
Here we are, from the President on down, staring at the wise man's finger.
Maybe it's the trigger finger.
All Rights Reserved 2009 (c) Alan Webber, Rules Of Thumb