Do I detest it? Yes, ever since the nineties when I became aware of it. The right wing was ratcheting it against Bill Clinton then.

I would very much want for it to stop.

But is there any connection between hate speech and the recent tragedy?

Apparently not. The shooter was a mentally ill man with a fixation on Gifford dating since 2007. It was more the celebrity element that led to the killing of John Lennon than any political coherent thought.

I tend to agree with this point of view from Slate which considers

The awesome stupidity of the calls to tamp down political speech in the wake of the Giffords shooting.

The article goes to tackle the inflammatory pronouncements of the sheriff in the case

Embedded in Sheriff Dupnik’s ad hoc wisdom were several assumptions. First, that strident, anti-government political views can be easily categorized as vitriolic, bigoted, and prejudicial. Second, that those voicing strident political views are guilty of issuing Manchurian Candidate-style instructions to commit murder and mayhem to the “unbalanced.” Third, that the Tucson shooter was inspired to kill by political debate or by Sarah Palin’s “target” map or other inflammatory outbursts. Fourth, that we should calibrate our political speech in such a manner that we do not awaken the Manchurian candidates among us.

And, fifth, that it’s a cop’s role to set the proper dimensions of our political debate. Hey, Dupnik, if you’ve got spare time on your hands, go write somebody a ticket.

Indeed, it was what sent this in the stratosphere of recriminations and excitement over political opportunity to score points.

Hardly the right response to this tragedy.

Again, a madman shot into a crowd – aiming at a woman he was obsessed with. She happened to be a Congresswoman.

One can take it in as the tragedy that it is, or use it to escalate the atmosphere of vitriol in politics today.

I say, look at the facts. It was not about politics.

Now go home put the pitchforks and torches down and chill out.