I obviously have my own conclusions about [what is being reported now] as the shooting of Congressman Gabrielle Giffords (DEMOCRAT, Arizona) in Tucson, at a constituent meeting in a grocery store there; a total of twelve people were shot during a shooting spree, and apparently six are dead as well. The L.A. Times reports that the gunman is in custody.
I suppose at the moment, until more information is available, I should restrain myself from making conclusions, other than to note that "civility" in our society has been breaking down for a long time, and, along with a failing economy and an ever-more-premissive gun culture, is the sort of thing that will lead to ever more troubling and tragic breakdowns of order and humanity.
This is just horrible.
Update: Among the six victims were a nine year old girl born on Sept. 11, 2001 no less and the Chief Judge of the U.S. District Court of Arizona, a George W. Bush appointee who was himself mired in Arizona's ongoing immigration controversy. Sarah Palin is (rightly) taking severe criticism for her posting cross-hair targets on "targeted" Democratic members of Congress posted on her web-site. The suspect, as is true in virtually all of these kinds of incidents, a White male, was "disturbed." To quote the great Pete Seeger... "when will we ever learn?" The answer to that, at least collectively, is that we won't, because, of course, gunz iz sooo kewl. America, fuck yeah.
"Will Congress be the same?" I'm not sure I really care all that much about that-- I don't really live in that rarefied world of privilege, corruption and asinine recitations of the pledge of allegiance and lock-step support of the total national security state... then again, the point of that last piece notes the new dangers of "retail democracy"-- Congresswoman Giffords, for example, was huge on meeting constituents at public events... perhaps something that many will now seriously reconsider... isolating our political "representatives" still more into their inside-the-Beltway bubbles of privilege and lobbyists' goodies, relying ever more on paid-media rather than "direct retail" for their reelections; it's an interesting point, actually, when American politicians have to be as worried about facing their constituents as do, say, politicians in Iraq, Afghanistan or Pakistan...