Recommended reading in the aftermath of the terrible event in Tucson.
1. On the question of rhetoric and the atmosphere it creates, I highly recommend Conor Friedersdorf's post, "Tone Versus Substance."
2. For an introduction to social science findings on related questions, John Sides has a good post over at the Monkey Cage. While you're over there, see Henry Farrell show how to disentangle causal relationships; see also Brendon Nyhan's similar points.
3. Don't miss Jonathan Cohn on public policy and mental illness.
I think that's enough. Regular readers will know that I was born and raised in Phoenix, and I'm certainly as embarrassed as I've ever been to be an Arizonan. So I'll end with something more positive: as far as I'm aware, the most fun movie ever set in Tuscon is one of the great 1980s teen pictures, the excellently enjoyable "Can't Buy Me Love," featuring Patrick "Lawn Boy" Dempsey long before his second round of fame. Really, if I have to debate anything right now, I'd much rather it be the relative merits of John Hughes vs. non-John Hughes 1980s teen movies (my position? My top ten of 1980s teen movies would have exactly zero John Hughes efforts. Feel free to rip me to shreds in comments; this is the kind of fighting words that feel appropriate right now, at least to me).