The shooting of Congresswoman Giffords and the people next to her who have been fatially wounded to me has parallels to the Drumcree dispute in the 1990's. Around July 1998 when they whole thing was threatening to spiral out of control at Drumcree itself, three young brothers
were burned to death in the house they lived in from a sectarian attack. That led to a massive elephant in the room that the Orange Order could not ignore, though they could never publicly bring themselves to say so, namely that their protest at not being allowed to have a parade on the Garvaghy Road in Portadown saw it turned into a focal point for loyalist paramilitaries as the perfect excuse for them on the fringes of their ceasefire, especially for Billy Wright and his supporters. They effectively threatened to turn the place into one with bloodshed with slurry tankers filled with petrol, machine guns, explosive devices etc. and the Orange Order did nothing to distance themselves from and at times some of the main men involved were happy enough to be photographed with Loyalists.
There had been a related murder two years previously, but this murder of three young boys brought it to a head - the elephant shone on to those in the Orange Order that their words, threats and actions inspired the murderer to commit his actions. There was no way that the protests that were becoming an annual Summer feature could remain credible and they had to stand down, although these days a protest still remains and applications to parade on the Garvaghy Road are still made, but it's all very low key these days.
About a month after this, the Omagh bombing took place, and the vast majority of people in Northern Ireland said enough was enough. Fringe loyalists and republicans were effectively driven out from having any significant support in communities, although Billy Wright's reign of terror continued until after his death.
The exact motive of Loughner (suspect for now, but seems pretty certain to be the person who carried out the shooting) has yet to be identified, but at least being in custody alive and able bodied can see him being interrogated as to his exact motives, not that I recommend waterboarding him. If it turns out that he was inspired to take his actions like he did because of the words of political or media personalities, there will be hell to pay. However, looking at the social media evidence gathered up, the guy seems to be mentally unstable in a big way and I wouldn't be surprised if an insanity plea is entered, wherever he faces a state or federal courtroom.