Giffords assassination attempt: some background reading...
In March last year I blogged here on the subject of "angry America". I make no comment on the motives of the man accused of the murders and attempted assassination of Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona - but the US media is now full of recrimination over the "violent" language and "confrontational politics" much of its media stokes up, so it's relevant again. Here's the link.
Last September I toured the American midwest speaking to people - on both sides of the political divide - who are indeed angry but also see the dangers ahead if politics in America becomes even sporadically violent. Again, here's the link - also to a video report.
Since then one phrase keeps coming back to me - thrown at me during a discussion meeting with playwright David Hare, by a despairing American in the audience: "America is the Weimar Republic with 250 million guns". It's stuck with me not because it is true - it is manifestly an extreme judgement - but because it vividly reminds us why you would not want any kind of descent into political violence in the USA.
There's more from my colleague on the ground, Mark Mardell, here.