What if things were just a little bit different? What if the alleged gunman wasn't named Jared Loughner but instead was named Ali Mohammed? What if he wasn't a mentally ill white, Christian-Jewish native-born U.S. citizen but rather a mentally ill Muslim Arab immigrant? What if his delusional rants seemed to channel not those found-on-the-Internet right-wing American rants about the gold standard and government invasion, but rather those found-on-the-Internet calls for violent jihad?
Would we still be so careful to deny any responsibility for those who spew hateful, violent rhetoric? Would we still be so certain that there's no link between violent crosshairs-laden rhetoric and the response of an unstable mind to that rhetoric?
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