I am an unarmed American--no gun, no hunting knife, not even a baseball bat. I don't want a gun. I don't hunt, don't want to do target practice, am not a survivalist. I don't want to shoot a miscreant youth to save my television or even my grandmother's silver. I don't believe that I'm safer if I'm packing heat. In fact, I'm a lot less safe. Twice over the last few years some idiot has broken into my car glove box and taken my car registration. I don't know why. It can't be of any use. The first time s/he got the original. We don't make that mistake now. We keep the original in the file at home and a copy in the glove box. What if I were one of those people with a gun in the glove box? My car registration can't hurt anyone. A gun could. Unarmed and proud of it.
I don't have much to say about the recent events in Tuscon that isn't just a rehash of what everyone else has said. But our pundits and politicians are making the same mistake they always do. "Civility" hasn't diminished because our politicians are too divided, but because there's barely a thimble-full of difference between them. Republicans and Democrats alike have become so wedded to the same political economy that they have to fight over relatively trivial points to distinguish themselves from one another. Hence the assaults on the "character" of the opposition. One need only compare the Schwarzenegger and Brown budgets to see that there's not enough difference between them to thread a needle.