Listen to the Average Blogger

I’ve been observing a self-imposed moment of silence on the Gifford shooting. In part, it’s because I wanted to know more before I said anything. In other part, it is because I wasn’t sure what to say. Fortunately, The Average Blogger has already said it better than I could have.

Here, from the perspective of someone who covers politics for a living, is an opinion I can respect.

Go read the whole thing. Here’s a nibble.

And I suppose if there is a way to make some good come of this horrific event, this is as acceptable an avenue as any. I’m a big fan of anything that goads our generally savage natures into being a little more civilized and polite. I think we all — and I do mean all: politicians, my colleagues in the media, and most of all the Great Unwashed Commenting Public — would get a lot farther in getting things done if we could just say, “Hm. You know, from where I’m sitting that argument doesn’t really hang together, and here is why, let’s figure out how to fix it,” than when we do things like, say, compare our opponents to Hitler, or throw bricks through their windows, or start talking about how such and such a policy is the worst thing since forever and we are all going to die.

But that’s sort of the point. Most people don’t throw bricks. Most people don’t buy a Glock and rip into a crowd of bystanders. In a face-to-face exchange, only those brimming with vitriol who have zero interest in results bother to bring up Hitler.

My husband is fond of saying that we don’t write highway laws based solely on the way Gary Busey rides a motorcycle. I’m pretty sure we should not rewrite our mores based solely on the way Jared Loughner might have interpreted something someone said some time.

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