Dave Weigel notes something different about this particular act of political violence—they`re attacking the First Amendment rather than the Second:
My friend Matt Zeitlin pointed out today that, in another era, the Tuscon shooting would spark a discussion about gun rights, not political rhetoric.
Oh, yes, it did.
Here`s libertarian L. Neil Smith explaining why and how he joined the NRA.
I`d been in Junior NRA as a Scout, but the course of my life had taken me away from shooting (it seems hard to believe now) until just before that surrealistic year of 1968 when, as a newly-fledged handgun owner (we`d had an incident in the neighborhood) I recall sitting in front of the TV watching the assassination of Bobby Kennedy, knowing the proclivity of liberals to blame everyone but the perpetrator, and thinking, “Boy, we`re gonna get it now.”
And so we did.
That was written in 1995–things are better now for gunowners.
Weigel goes on:
Worth noting: Giffords was a staunch supporter of the Second Amendment, and a gun owner. She signed an amicus brief in support of the D.C. v. Heller, the case that overturned Washington, D.C.`s gun ban.
Giffords is a pro-immigration Democrat, but she`s also an Arizona politician. The fact that this is her position shows how far the debate has shifted since 1968 or even 1995.
It`s possible the immigration debate will shift the same way