Monday, January 10, 2011

The Shooting in Tucson

By: Bastiatarian

Well, since the incident happened only about 5 miles away from my home, and the shooter went to the same high school as my kids, I guess I should post something on it.

First of all, anybody that has learned about Jared Loughner's history, watched his videos, and read his other rantings, and still thinks that his acts were the result of adherence to either conservative or liberal ideology, is simply a moron.

Jared Loughner is nothing more nor less than a lunatic who was led by his psychological disorder to commit an evil act.

If one bothers to learn a little bit about him, it is easy to see that he hasn't been quite right for some years. There is no coherency in his ideology, which is nothing more than a mish-mash of things pulled from left, right, and everywhere else. He's a fan of totalitarian collectivists (Marx and Hitler), but he complains about governmental tyranny. He accuses residents of Arizona's 8th Congressional District of being illiterate, but seems himself to have no ability to construct a sentence that is not permeated by spelling and grammatical errors. Speaking of grammar, he believes that the government is brainwashing people by controlling grammar. He claims to be a "conscience dreamer." He's a Truther who loves Alice's Adventures in Wonderland.

One tendency of his seems quite clear. Many people, young and old, have an inclination toward the extreme, the bizarre, and the fringe. Part of this comes from the natural adolescent desire to break free, often resulting in a romanticization of "revolution" and things such as being weird for weirdness' sake. Adolescents that do not mature past that, but are otherwise basically sane, typically become part of some type of leftist movement as adults, holding for dear life to the idea that revolution is a virtue, and that "The Man" is always out to get them. They do a lot of stupid things, and make a lot of destructive policies, but they don't go around shooting people in front of grocery stores.

The point is that there are people who have a deep craving for things outside the mainstream, and when that craving is combined with a serious psychological disorder, it will always lead to something horrible. Jared Loughner's stated interests and ideologies are a chaotic collection of things outside the mainstream; the political or philosophical persuasion is irrelevant.

As horrible as it was, Saturday's incident was, in a sense, inevitable. Loughner's psychosis would have shown up in similar form somewhere, sometime. Gabrielle Giffords was just unfortunate enough to have been the one that Loughner latched onto a few years ago and picked for his further step into the fringe, and the other victims were just unfortunate enough to have been in the wrong place at the wrong time.

If Loughner's crime had been at "Tea Party hit" as has been suggested by some of the more imbecilic commentators, the selection of Gabrielle Giffords would not make sense. I'm not going to fawn all over her like so many are doing. She was bad for Arizona and bad for the United States, but when it comes right down to it, she was nothing more than a moderately dishonest former local TV personality with really stupid ideas, who was definitely not the worst Democrat around. That distinction would go to Raul Grijalva, the representative of the other Tucson-area district. Grijalva is a corrupt, racist, Marxist thug, who has worked actively against the liberty of the American people and the safety and sovereignty of our country. Targeting Giffords would make no sense if Loughner were an "extreme right-winger."

But, crazy people don't make decisions based on what makes sense. Why did Loughner pick Giffords? It's not clear at this point, but it appears that it was, at least in part, because Giffords did not give him the type of response that he wanted when he confronted her with his grammar issue at a meeting in 2007. Maybe it was that, or maybe it was just coincidence that he saw the opportunity when his insanity had reached critical mass. Maybe he was influenced by a possible second individual. Maybe he had a dream. Maybe he saw a vision in a burrito. Maybe, maybe, maybe.

Ultimately, it doesn't really matter. Jared Lee Loughner shot and killed 6 people and injured 13 others because he was crazy and/or evil. We often forget that many of the bad things that happen in the world happen because there are crazy and/or evil people in the world. Often, that's the only reason they need.

We live in that kind of world, with that kind of people. So, I will continue to carry always and practice often. My safety and the safety of my family are primarily my responsibility.

Maybe the fact that the shooting happened outside Safeway will teach us that it's time to stop being naive regarding the evil in the world. Evil exists, and it can do its work without any political ideology.

Cross-posted at Old-fashioned Clarity.


  1. I'm wondering if the shooter had a thing for her...


  2. I don't own a gun...I have nothing against them except when nuts like this guy get one. There really is no answer nor solution....crazy people get guns, angry people say things they don't mean. The 24/7 news cycle and the politicized blogging community turn and spin every little act into something....

    At this moment we spin Gifford, Jared, Palin, and the Tea Party....and the next moment it will be.....

    Some other major disaster....

    So, for the time being Sarah Palin is finished....the democrats will get their mileage out of this event....but crazy people will still get guns and innocent people will die.

    But one side wins and the other loses....and thus goes the game of politics

  3. @TAO,

    Yep. Politics is indeed a game. Such a shame, really.

    I wonder if there ever was truly a time in our Nation's history when we the people were actually represented by folks who weren't politicians, but were real public servants with no agendas?

    *sigh* Oh, how I wish I had a time machine.

    Donald in Bethel, CT

  4. He accuses residents of Arizona's 8th Congressional District of being illiterate, but seems himself to have no ability to construct a sentence that is not permeated by spelling and grammatical errors. Speaking of grammar, he believes that the government is brainwashing people by controlling grammar.-He himself was drop out of college because of alcohol poisoning. He's mental illness drives him to kill Giffords.

  5. Donald, at one time we were a nation of small towns with a rural based population...politics was local then.

    Now we are a superpower and when you have a government that rules the world...of course it will have to rule a nation....thus the focus shift from Main Street to Wall Street...


In light of all of this violence – both actual and threatened – is Arizona a state in which people who are not Republicans are able to participate freely and fully in the democratic process? Have right-wing reactionaries, through threats and acts of violence, intimidated people with different points of view from expressing their political positions?
    Bernie Sanders (D) VT...liberal jackass

    Here is a link to this awful, hate-filled, divisively aimed letter from the office of Bernie Sanders, in light of the shooting in AZ. Have these people no shame?

    Donald in Bethel, CT


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