As details emerge about the life of Gabrielle Giffords shooter Jared Loughner–his deranged manifestos, his Salvia habit, the ease with which he acquired a gun–it’s clear that the rhetoric of the Tea Party belongs pretty far down on the list of possible causes (if it belongs there at all).
Whatever one thinks of Sarah Palin—or the unseemly defensive crouch she adopted after her target map itself became a target—she clearly got a bit of a bum rap (at least on Twitter) in the first hours after the massacre.
At least she’s in good company. High-profile killings are often pinned on cultural scapegoats. It’s a way to deflect responsibility, grab the moral high ground, and maybe avoid confronting the sheer horror of a terrible tragedy. Here, a few favorite scapegoats for homicide. >>