A Calabrian man attempted to shoot Italian politicians being sworn into office in Rome today. The gunman failed to reach politicians, but wounded several police officers before being apprehended.
Italy has a long history of political turmoil related to ideological disputes and party rivalries. The anni di piombo (years of lead) of the 1970s and early 1980s involved massive political violence, including numerous shootings and bombings by right-wing and left-wing militant groups.
Over the past twenty years, there have been changes of government and constitutional crises, but little political violence.
The most recent parliamentary elections in Italy created a confused situation of heightened tensions, with no party able to form a government. This constitutional crisis was apparently resolved this week by the creation of a grand coalition government.
The violence today may be an act of desperation by a lone gunman, but the possibility of organized political violence will surely be considered by suspicious Italians and their security forces.