The shooting in Arizona, the deaths and the wounding of Rep. Giffords are sad, and the political vitriol so common in America is disgusting, but to say that there's a connection between the two without demonstrating a connection between them is intellectual and moral laziness of the first degree. So many commentators just know that the two are linked via Sarah Palin, even if we can't show that Jaren Loughner followed, liked or even listened to Palin.
I don't care for Ms Palin and her rhetoric; I think she's playing with a loaded gun. It makes more sense to me, though, to blame the Giffords' shooting on the abbysmal state of mental health care in our country than on political hate. A lot of hate is being directed at Sarah Palin. I wish her a long and healthy life, but if anyone were to take a shot at her, I'd be fascinated to see whether the press would don sack-cloth and begin a round of mea culpas.