Leftists have shifted their goal in manipulating the Arizona shooting to their political advantage. At first, they tried to tie the tragedy to the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, talk-radio and conservatives in general. Revelations that the murdering madman was a left-of-center lunatic, as well as a general public backlash against such brazen politicking in the wake of a national crisis, ended the "blame conservatives" campaign. So, the left is now trying to use the shootings to bolster their campaign against guns.
That's fair. Reasonable people can disagree about gun ownership. Just following a diatribe about inappropriate rhetoric and the need to restore reasoned debate to politics, liberals may risk seeming a bit disingenuous by capitalizing on the emotions roused by a tragic murder to push an agenda. Nevertheless, the incident deserves a debate. Conservatives successfully defended themselves against accusations of culpability for the crime due to alleged overheated rhetoric - now they need to defend their gun policies by the same rational method.
It is commendable that conservatives have not attempted to use revelations of the killer's apparent liberal ideology as an indictment of the left. Conservatives have thus far conducted themselves well and will not be seen at the conclusion of this sad episode as the breathless, hysterical faction of American politics.