Note that I don't think we can draw many lessons from the Tucson shooting. Only these:
- U.S. political discourse is stupid.
- The mental health system in this country sucks.
- As a country, we have decided that citizens should have access to practically unlimited quantities of assault weapons and ammunition.
- If you combine #2 and #3, it is not hard to see that massacres like Tucson are inevitable, since there will always be some small percentage of the population that is batsh*t crazy, will buy assault weapons, and will use them to kill lots of people from time to time.
If you give batsh*t crazy people access to assault weapons, this country will occasionally face massacres like that in Tucson - it's a statistical inevitability. So, unless the U.S. wants to completely change its approach to mental health and/or assault weapons in the hands of citizens, we are just going to have to get used to paying the price of the occasional massacre. Since the U.S. is a pretty violent society, I'm guessing that we'll just stick with the status quo and act "shocked, shocked I tell you" when things like this happen, even though a quick analysis demonstrates that massacres like this are a statistical inevitability.
It sucks, I know, that massacres like this are inevitable - but since we know they're inevitable, can we at least stop pretending to be so shocked when they happen?