Sunday, January 9, 2011

Tucson



Here at Hope n' Change, our modest goal is just to try and make sense of the world, and perhaps even find something to laugh about. But sometimes that's impossible.

Yesterday in Tucson, a lunatic went to a Safeway parking lot and opened fire on a U.S. congresswoman, a federal judge, and every innocent person within range of his automatic weapon. And immediately the speculation started: was the shooter white? Black? Hispanic? A veteran? A tea party member? A gang member?

Was Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords targeted because she was a Democrat... or perhaps because she was too conservative and had voted against Nancy Pelosi?

We all wanted to know the narrative. We wanted to know who to blame. Because any tangible logic at all at least gives us hope that future tragedies can be averted.

But then we started to learn about the shooter, Jared Lee Loughner. And within 30 seconds of watching the YouTube videos he'd recently posted, his whole story became clear: the man is simply insane. Schizophrenic. Howling at the moon, foaming at the mouth, "hearing voices" crazy.

He claimed that his murder spree was intended to make everyone aware of conscious dreaming - although he couldn't even spell it right. He called it "conscience dreaming," which is particularly ironic since he clearly has no conscience.

As of this writing, Gabrielle Giffords is fighting for her life with traumatic head wounds. US District Judge John M. Roll, who was appointed by President George Bush, was among the six dead...as was a nine year old girl. And Jared Lee Loughner is in custody and expected to mount an insanity defense.

On Loughner's YouTube profile, he says that one of his favorite books is "To Kill A Mockingbird." In it, a mad dog is a danger to everyone in town, forcing mild-mannered attorney Atticus Finch to pick up a rifle. He does not hate the dog, nor blame the dog for its madness. But he unflinchingly pulls the trigger...simultaneously protecting his family and community, and putting the dog out of its misery.

It was clearly the right thing to do. And insanity defense or not, it would be the right thing for our justice system to do now.

More information will be coming soon. But predictably, there are already people trying to spin this tragedy for political purposes.

And that, in its own way, is another kind of madness.

-

28 comments:

Shang said...

Very well stated Mr. Jarlsberg. May the wounded heal and the dead rest in peace.

CT Yankee said...

Our prayers and thoughts are with all of the victims and their families. May Rep. Giffords and all those wounded recover fully and speedily.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

It is a sad fact that every horror man may visit upon another will be used to someone's political ends. That is inevitable and may even be justified eventually. But for now, we pray for the dead and wounded.

John the Econ said...

Democrats waste little time using these kinds of tragedies to pump their agenda. Last night, there was no shortage of liberals pumping the "right wing rhetoric caused this" narrative.

A year ago, this might have been enough to push forward the "fairness doctrine" and other anti-free-speech initiatives in Congress to be quickly signed without reading by the President. Fortunately, that won't be likely, this time.

alan markus said...

Two Sicknesses On Display

Professor William Jacobson over at Legal Insurrection had this to say:

"Unfortunately, this is not the first time we have seen this type of reaction. The meme that opponents of Obama are crazy and dangerous has been an explicit Democratic Party campaign strategy for over two years. Here is just a partial list of events in which the left-wing and Democratic Party media operation has immediately blamed right-wing rhetoric, only to be proven wrong when the facts finally came out: Bill Sparkman, Amy Bishop, The Fort Hood Shooter, The IRS Plane Crasher, The Cabbie Stabbing, and The Pentagon Shooter."

Jim said...

I have read things where people have gone so far as to blame Sarah Palin for this shooting. As if she was the one who pulled the trigger. Of course it was members of the left leaning Obamunist media who were doing it. That kind depravity of thought is almost as sad and tragic as the shooting itself. And you are right Stilton, it is it's own kind of madness. It won't bring back the dead or make the wounded heal any faster.

Suzy said...

So sad.

And almost equally sad is how many people will try to use this for the further destruction of America.

I hope that Ms. Giffords, when she recovers....will be able to help everyone realize that they cannot use insane, crazy people who deserve the death penalty for politcal ends.

He was working independently of politics...we should keep it that way....

A moment of silence for these people and their families....

Pete(Detroit) said...

When you try to base policy / position on the actions of the insane, what is the likely hood of them (the policies) being remotely rational?
Just askin'...

And yes, certainly, all prayers for the victims, families, etc...

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Readers- As usual, fine comments from all above. I've been watching and reading Sunday news, and am sickened by the tortured logic that people on the Left are using to try to score political points. I could easily get on my soapbox about that - but not today. As Suzy wisely suggests, what is most appropriate is a moment of silence.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Pete: You'd think politicians never heard the old truism "Act in haste, repent in leisure". Who wants to bet some camera-hogging pol will be on the floor of some chamber Monday morning calling for a ridiculous and over-reaching restriction on human freedom? As if any previous action actually made any American safer.

Angry Hoosier Dad said...

Stilton:
Sorry, I posted my last comment before your last comment was on-line.

John the Econ said...

Stilton: Let the left try to exploit this. If last November demonstrated anything, it's that the majority isn't buying it anymore, and now all they hold for these sycophants is contempt.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Angry Hoosier Dad- No need for apology; I certainly wasn't discouraging anyone from commenting or voicing their thoughts today! All I meant is that I'm going to try to bite my tongue for 24 hours... because there's a lot of anger building in me about this.

Doc - Northern Nevada said...

I was at work when I first heard about this. Two news snippets ... the first said it happened & they believed Giffords was dead. The second claimed it was done because Sarah Palin "targeted" 20 politicians during the last election "that needed removing" and the shooter was just "following orders". How completely ludicrous is that? Unfortunately, when I turned to the guys in the shop I told them ... just watch how the Obummers lackeys will use this as a poitical tool, spin-it-up and blame it ALL on the Tea Party and the Conservative 2nd Amendment groups. Sure enough later that day, they tried to do exactly that!
I am almost sure if someone did a timeline on the events of yesterday ... the anti-gun groups and Obummers Gang were putting out statements to the "leak machine" and main stream media - probably before the lifeflights lifted off to the hospital! Maybe even before the Paramedics arrived on scene! Can't waste a good crisis you know!
Too bad I was not there ... I may not have saved the first couple of victims ... but I guarantee I would have put a 'couple in his ten ring' and saved some of them, to say nothing of the millions of dollars that I would have saved the taxpayers, who are now going to spend time, money and energy to support this whack job for the rest of his life!

Larry Sheldon said...

I wonder if this guy was talking about "Lucid Dreaming".

Are there any books by Rheingold or LaBerge in his library?

Dr. Paulie said...

I have a concealed handgun license in the state of Texas, valid, I believe in Arizona. I commonly go armed wherever and whenever it's legal to do so, at the express advice of my CHL instructor, a Texas peace officer. Oh, how I wish I had been just behind this monster as he began to shoot!

John said...

Just a slight correction to your story. The shooter, who obviously is a nut, was using a SEMI-automatic weapon. Not an automatic. While that may seem like a minor thing, the anti 2nd amendment types love to confuse people into thinking that our streets are overrun with machine guns.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

John- Thanks for the correction. I think the news source I was using at the time had said it was an automatic weapon...but of course, the early reports tend to be sketchy and inaccurate (for quite awhile, Giffords was reported to have been killed).

Anonymous said...

"Just a slight correction to your story. The shooter, who obviously is a nut, was using a SEMI-automatic weapon. Not an automatic. While that may seem like a minor thing, the anti 2nd amendment types love to confuse people into thinking that our streets are overrun with machine guns."

Exactly John... The sad truth is the anti-2nd amendment types love to capitalize on random incidents like this tragic shooting involving an isolated nut job so they can target the vast majority of law abiding fire arms owners who may never fire a single shot in anger their entire lives, while happily ignoring the criminal thugs & terrorists who illegally possess weapons of a much deadlier variety and use them daily to commit atrocities.

moronpolitics said...

The gun controllers were out immediately. Of course, it isn't guns but people that are the problem. The assasin seems likely to be diagnosed as schizophrenic. Why now? The next night my deeply troubled middle child called from 1500 miles away claiming he was about to kill himself. Again. Can I get him treatment. Hell no. All I can do it kick him out on the street when it is obvious he is a danger to myself and my family. period. I had him in "counseling" and actually confined I don't remember how many times as a minor. Now.... just wait for the phone call these parents dreaded. Or shoot him. He isn't a danger to others. I don't think. Who really knows?

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Moronpolitics- I'm sorry for your situation and your son. These days, it seems like we should be able to clear up such mental problems via therapy, medication, or magic...but the human brain is far too complex for that. And all too often, there really isn't anything you can do other than what you're describing. As a parent myself, I can hardly imagine the pain...and the strength it takes to take such a difficult path, even if its the only one available.

I'm not going to hold anything against Loughner's parents (assuming they didn't somehow prevent him from getting treatment). And I'm not holding anything against those on the Right OR Left (or friends, or college professors, or authors) who may have inadvertently influenced Loughner.

I am, however, lividly mad at those on the Left who are gleefully using this tragedy as another "crisis that should not be wasted." More on that topic tomorrow...

Mitch said...

sure, let me exploit this: Remember the "funny" cartoon where an object of malice was pointed at the head of a political opponent and your "fans" responded joyfully (the bats come flying out)?

Of course you do.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Mitch- It must be wonderful to have a life in which so little is going on that you can haunt this forum in hopes of finally, eventually, scoring a single point. Which, for the record, you have yet to do.

On my site, I made a point of saying that Boehner didn't bop Pelosi with a gavel. There was no "object of malice" pointed at anyone's head. It didn't happen. It's not on the page. End of story.

Meanwhile, liberal Jimmy Kimmel gets coverage all over the web with a video in which Boehner really DOES whack Nancy with the mallet... and EVERYONE LAUGHS. Because they know "it's a joke" (ask someone what joke means; maybe they can explain it to you).

Meanwhile, you seem to be implying that Loughner, who shot a CONSERVATIVE democrat, who murdered a BUSH-appointee, who murdered a child (an actual Democrat party platform!), who burned flags, hated cops, and considered Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto to be great books... was somehow politically conservative?

He's practically a clone of Bill Ayres! You remember, Bill - right? Radical? Bomber? Cop-Killer? Started Barack Obama's political campaign in his living room?

Mitch, do you really think your liberal compatriots (and at this point we do know that Loughner was a left-leaning liberal) are so easily moved to violence? That they see a cartoon on a website or a skit on a late night talk show, and completely lose their shit? That doesn't speak particularly well of your ideological brethren.

Apart from all of that, I don't know why you're still so upset about the image of a man holding a hammer in his hands while standing near a strong woman... but I'm starting to think I understand a lot about the dynamic between your mother and father, and why you are the way you are.

Not that there's anything wrong with that...

Mitch said...

Gosh, Mr. Cheese, you didn't yell "SOROS!" in the crowded theatre of the absurd.

Are you slipping?

Bobo said...

Mitch - the comment about bats flying out of Pelosi's belfry was mine. The point of my comment is that Pelosi, in my humble opinion, is a nut-job with nothing substantial between the ears in regards to being political leader. Her own statement of "we need to pass this bill to find out what's in it" is completely and utterly absurd when it come to making laws in this country. She is loony as they come. Why her compardres made her minority leader (albeit by a slim margin) is a reflection on how incompent her associates are, too.

I give my sympathies to the families of the dead and those injured.

Stilton Jarlsberg said...

Mitch- Interesting; I didn't mention "Soros"... and you didn't refute a single one of my points.

Game. Set. Match.

Anonymous said...

Pete(Detroit) had the most cogent comment on the possible outpouring of proposed legislation to come from the Demo_rats:

"When you try to base policy / position on the actions of the insane, what is the likely hood of them (the policies) being remotely rational?"

I wait with bated breath to see what they come up with...

JustaJeepGuy

Pete(Detroit) said...

Thanx, Anon!
And gosh, you spelled 'bated' properly too! That's nice to see, for a change! (in general, that is - not a specific comment on you, other than it's nice to see proper lang skillz employed)