So since the shooting we've heard a lot about the dangers of harsh rhetoric, suggesting it egged on the killer. We've also been told that incited anger contributed a " dangerous back drop," also egging on the killer.
But these claims are little more than attempts to limit free expression and capitalize on tragedy by creeps with an ideological axe to grind.
So what's the right response?
I remember a song I heard on the Doctor Demento show decades ago:
That Napoleon XIV thing was always the top pick on Demento, a creepy ditty about involuntary commitment.
The idea that men in white coats with butterfly nets might one day come and take you away seemed plausible.
But sadly, it wasn't. As William Galston points out in the New Republic, civil libertarians worked to banish involuntary commitment, often making the burden of proof so high that no one could meet it. Also: cementing the right to refuse psychotropic drugs.
The result: Saturday.
And a lot of other tragedies.
The fact is, we now know the killer's a nut.
But we also know that a lot of people knew he was a nut. Long before we did.
As Galston points out, Pima Community College suspended him after five contacts with the police. The guy scared everyone, for he had no connection with reality. He was an Internet troll, in real skin.
But no one could do anything. Which raises the question: should the civil rights of one sick guy put the rest of us at risk?
I say no.
For it is mental illness that prevents the mentally ill person from seeking help for his mental illness. And you're not acting against their will, if their will isn't present. So rather than spew fake outrage for political gain, perhaps we should look at laws preventing us from helping the sick. I'd rather get these folks on meds, before they get us with bullets.