Is it my fault? Yours?
Yes and yes.
Can you use lethal weapon imagery to rally voters? Sure. But should you?
Can you use your right to free speech to assign culpability with nothing more than a moment's emotion? Yeah. But should you?
Can you post inflammatory political remarks on Facebook in hopes of getting a rise out of people? You bet. But when was the last time you won someone over to your point of view doing that?
Can George Lucas create a ridiculous, pandering, computer-generated creature named Jar Jar Binks and destroy the legacy of…?
Sorry, I digress.
A little wisdom, that's all; a little discernment is in order.
Discernment to know that one very confused, troubled person pulled the trigger and is ultimately responsible. Casting blame anywhere else before the due process of an investigation is to incite as much hatred as one rallies against.
And wisdom to know that everything is connected. Professional wrestling isn't to blame when a 10-year-old paralyzes his kid sister with a body slam; TV shows that over-sexualize teenage girls aren't responsible when a pedophile abducts a young girl. But they do contribute in some way to our decaying moral standard.
How many sick individuals are one step away from committing a similar act here in our own congressional district? Impossible to say. But follow the string of comments on any online news story about this tragedy and you'll find a few anonymous individuals whose published musings should give us great concern, the kind of concern some of Loughner's friends had before last Saturday.
Such banter serves no purpose but to enflame and incite further hatred and has no chance of changing opinions or getting to the truth of any matter.
Stop feeding the spiraling, venomous debate one person at a time, and maybe the tide will turn. Maybe.
There's no Wisdom Amendment in the Constitution. But I wish there were.
PATRICK CANEDAY is author of the upcoming book "Crooked Little Birdhouse." Check it out at http://www.patrickcaneday.com. He may be reached on Facebook and at email@example.com.