Pundits are reacting with gross (but predictable) inconsistency to the Tucson shooting: denouncing all calls for violence even purely metaphorical ones only to issue their own calls for violence of a decidedly non-metaphorical sort, in the form of restrictions on free speech or gun ownership or equal protection or whatever.
So far is our political culture in the grip of what Ive elsewhere called the incantational model of state violence that they cannot even see their own everyday political advocacy as an instance of incitement to violence, let alone consider what role the institutionalised violence they support might play in creating a culture in which freelance statists like Jared Loughner can view firing into a crowd as an acceptable way of addressing their grievances.
The deaths and maimings of the victims in the Tucson shooting are horrendous; but the medias selective focus on them, while similar but far more frequent massacres by American soldiers and police officers are ignored, is yet another a sign of profound moral blindness.
There was a further inconsistency in Sheriff Dupniks blaming the incident on vitriol … about tearing down the government, while simultaneously condemning Arizona as a mecca for prejudice and bigotry presumably a reference to the states draconian anti-immigrant policies. After all, Arizonas ethnic-cleansing laws are not exactly the product of anti-government sentiment; on the contrary, they represent government at its most intrusive and virulent. But to the statist mind, the state is such a noble institution that its greatest crimes must somehow be reinterpreted as the fruit of antistatist rhetoric!