The Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords

Update: What will the shameless Democratic and left-wing hacks blaming Palin, Beck, and Limbaugh for today’s shooting say about images such as those covered here? One more thing: the shooter evidently had a problem with God, so I blame Christopher Hitchens. How’s that?

For those who haven’t heard yet, Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 11 other people, including a judge, were shot at public event in Tuscon, AZ. As far as I know, Giffords is alive and in critical condition. The judge, John Roll, did not survive.

Since this was apparently a politically motivated shooting – though details are still coming in on the shooter and his possible motivations – it has necessarily generated a great deal of political anger. Before I get to that, I think it is important to say first of all that each of us should say a prayer for Giffords, Roll, and the others who were gunned down today. Do it now, if you like.

Now to the business at hand.

All of us on the political right, and particularly those of us in the Tea Party, are going to have to bear the political consequences of this shooting, regardless of whether or not the shooter had anything to do with our movement. The left-wing mediasphere has wasted no time blaming the Tea Party and particularly Sarah Palin for Gifford’s shooting.

Yes, Sarah Palin is being singled out for blame because of the political ads she ran during the 2010 election season with the faces of various Democratic congressmen and women in crosshairs. But if she is to blame, so is the radical leftist and unbelievable hypocrite who runs the Daily Kos, Markos Moulitsas, who urged his readers to “target” and put a “bulls-eye” on Gifford’s district (she is, after all, a blue-dog Democrat). The truth of course is that neither of them are to blame.

It should be obvious to anyone who isn’t trying to use this tragedy to justify a wave of political repression that these images almost certainly had nothing to do with this shooting. No one who is mentally balanced would be driven to such a desperate act by merely seeing it, and someone who is already unbalanced could find a thousand different things to justify it.

We will also hear renewed calls for gun control, and undoubtedly AZ’s gun laws will be blamed for the shooting. Defenders of the 2nd amendment must stand firm in their resolve and not be intimidated. Our right to bear arms is constitutionally protected, and our right to self-defense is a natural right that does not come from governments but from God. Nothing can change that fact, though unfortunately there are many who will give into fear and panic and believe that restricting these rights will bring them all of the security they think they need.

Above all we cannot let this derail the movement for limited government and fiscal responsibility. We should consider moreover that as a blue-dog Democrat, Giffords is more and not less likely to cooperate with the Tea Party. She faced a very intense challenge from a Tea Party candidate in November, and I don’t think she would have been able to win the seat or keep it if she did not work with her opponents on key issues. That’s why she was on the Daily Kos’ “target” and “bulls-eye” list.

I have a feeling, though, that voices calling for political repression and censorship of “dangerous” political ideas will gain a great deal from this. I wonder, though, how many leftists blaming Sarah Palin for this have a problem with eco-fascist snuff films such as this, in which children are blown to bloody bits for failing to take simple measures to reduce their carbon footprints. I wonder if they would link such vile films to tragedies such as this one. Yes, we should “look into” the connection between global warming snuff films and global warming murder-suicides.

42 Responses to The Shooting of Congresswoman Giffords

  • So the shooter’s (Jared Lee Loughner) favorite book list has been making the rounds:

    “Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.”

    Apparently he’s declared that he won’t pay debts not backed by gold or silver (all of the leftists can scream “see he’s a gold bug! Glenn Beck and the Austrians made him do it!”) but that he also won’t “trust in God” (all the conservatives can scream “see he’s a Godless commie!”)

  • Prayers for the dead and the wounded. A nine year old child was among those murdered by the lunatic. The mind boggles at such a crime.

    Some people at Vox Nova are attempting to get political milage out of this tragedy. Unsurprising, but despicable nonetheless:

    http://vox-nova.com/2011/01/08/pray-for-the-victims-in-arizona/

  • In some ways he sounds similar to the guy who crashed the plane into the IRS building in Austin, Texas, about a year or so ago; his hatreds were all over the political spectrum and in all probability, he was simply looking for something — anything — to blame for his problems.

    Blaming the Tea Party for his action makes about as much sense as blaming the Beatles for the Manson family murders (because they wrote “Helter Skelter”), or blaming Jodie Foster and the producers of “Taxi Driver,” for the shooting of President Reagan.

  • Ed Morrissey at Hot Air has quite a bit on the loon:

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/01/08/breaking-congresswoman-five-others-shot-in-tucson-az/

    Always remember that early information like this may be incorrect. However, assuming it is accurate, he seems to be the type of grade A certified wacko who usually pulls off these types of mass shootings.

  • Also, it’s way too early to conclude that this attack is linked to any previous threats or actions (vandalism of her office) against Giffords.

    Some years ago the husband and mother of a federal judge in Chicago were murdered. Suspicion immediately turned to a white supremacist group which had made threats against the judge in the past. However, the actual perpetrator turned out to be a disgruntled plaintiff whose medical malpractice case she had dismissed from her court.

  • It strikes me that anyone who lists both Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifest among his “favorite books” is one seriously disturbed toon, and probably has more of an issue with humanity in general than with any mainstream ideology.

  • Well, actually, I take issue with that.

    There are a number of reasons why a person can list a book as “their favorite”, and I’m very cautious about labeling people “insane” because of their political preferences. This was done in the USSR to people who believed in insane things like capitalism, democracy, and Christianity. They were put in mental institutions for political dissent.

    This person happens to be, as far as I can tell, mentally damaged. I wouldn’t say that anyone who might conceivably list those two books among his favorites is necessarily also.

  • I remember when the Va Tech shooting happened a couple of years ago, Sadly No! published the following: “Shorter everyone on the Internet — The VA Tech shooting proves everything I’ve been saying all along.” Which I think sums up the situation pretty well. With very few exceptions, “political” violence in this country is the product of seriously disturbed people. The only conclusion I can ever draw from these incidents is that we need more research into mental disorders. We need to pray for the families and that’s really all.

  • “With very few exceptions, “political” violence in this country is the product of seriously disturbed people.”

    That is true Karen and it speaks well of us as a people.

    Joe, I have to disagree with you about Mein Kampf. Anyone who would list it as a favorite book is by definition deranged. What a crummy read, even leaving aside the evil it contains! In Nazi Germany it was an open secret that nobody could make their way through it without passing out from boredom. Even big shot Nazis used to joke that it was the book everyone in Germany bought and that no one in Germany, except Hitler, ever read. :)

  • This guy is a victim of the division sown by the Devil and encouraged by our moral decay. This guy was probably not insane, but he is a pot smoker and that tends to reduce brain function.

    He is a ranting fool, like so many of us at his age. He is a typical product of mass propaganda and Hegelian dialectic. His writings contain enough that can be highlighted to paint him as a Tea Party type cook and plenty to paint him as a lefty-nut job (although we probably won’t hear too much about that). More of this will be occurring and will be used to call all of us to a new ‘civility’ by reducing the vitriol on both sides (as if there are only two) and curbing misinformation that inspires people to violence on the Internet and new media – places like TAC with all of the anti-homosexual, anti-choice hate speech.

    Social chaos is the result of moral decay and this poor misguided atheist with a 2012 obsession turned murderer is a ‘crisis’ that will not go to waste. Watch the hype and lies. In the end it’s all because of Bush and Palin.

    May God have Mercy on us – this is one heck of a mess we’ve made.

  • The perp is a criminal and/or he is mentally deranged. Neither left nor right should be permitted to exploit/subvert this crime to advance an agenda/narrative.

    N.B. This massacre is a crime not a tragedy. A forest fire is a tragedy.

    That being said, America has been at war nearly my entire lifetime. This reinforces the need to be alert and prepared at all times, everywhere.

  • It would be one thing to list “Mein Kampf” as a book you were currently reading, or HAD read with the intent of attempting to understand the origins of Nazism, or even to list it as a book that influenced your life (perhaps because it helped you to recognize where similar evil ideas today come from). It’s another thing entirely, however, to label it as a “favorite,” which implies that you LIKE the book.

  • Ed Morrissey at Hot Air is staying on top of this:

    Update (AP): I suspect this story’s going to shift very quickly from an “ideological nutjob” narrative to one about an obviously ill man not getting the help he needed.

    “A former classmate of Loughner at Pima Community College said he was “obviously very disturbed.”
    “He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,” said Lynda Sorenson, who took a math class with Loughner last summer at Pima Community College’s Northwest campus.
    Sorenson doesn’t recall if he ever made any threats or uttered political statements but he was very disruptive, she said. He was asked to leave the pre-algebra class several times and eventually was barred from class, said Sorenson, a Tucson resident.”

    http://hotair.com/archives/2011/01/08/breaking-congresswoman-five-others-shot-in-tucson-az/

  • The Sheriff of Pima County where the shootings happened, seems to be saying that an atmosphere of extremism led to the shootings. There seems to be no evidence of this, but the Sheriff, a Democrat, has been against the Tea Party from its inception. These statements by him last September are typical:

    “Sheriff Clarence Dupnik went after the tea party this weekend at an immigration forum, saying its members are bigoted.

    “We didn’t have a tea party until we had a black president,” Dupnik said at a forum held at St. Francis Cabrini Roman Catholic church.

    Asked how it came up in the discussion, he said, “I brought it up. I think I was talking about how bigotry is alive and well in America.”

    He said aside from the timing of the movement’s birth, he’s seen bigoted messages at their rallies.

    “I think it bring out the worst in America,” he said. “Instead of sitting down and getting both parties to work together, they are part of a movement designed to stop Obama from accomplishing anything.””

    http://azstarnet.com/news/blogs/pueblo-politics/article_ea73f980-c4f4-11df-a52b-001cc4c03286.html

  • “This guy is a victim of the division sown by the Devil and encouraged by our moral decay . . .”

    I agree. I linked to a couple of the videos on HotAir that this kid had on Facebook. What struck me with unrest was the decadent music this kid was listening to. Music has the power of waking in us a divine or diverse power of the universe. Certainly, the kind of crap this kid was listening to wasn’t a heavenly melody with a message of eternal love. I can just envision this kid, stoned on pot, listening to this crap with his fragile psychological state, and conjuring up all sorts of evil and perverse plots with the assistance of the Devil. I’m rather reminded of King Saul who, most probably suffering from insanity, was soothed and calmed by the music of David.

  • I’m quite comfortable labeling anyone who lists “Mein Kampf” as a favorite as deranged.

  • Paul,

    You insult the truly deranged. I agree with Elaine, Mein Kampf may be important, it may be influential, it can top many lists, but not ‘favorite’.

    Moe,

    The Devil is smart, very smart, and he will use any means available to enter through the door of the human will. Pot smoking, crappy music, pornography (I refer to pop culture, not only hardcore), twisted ideologies, human sacrifice (abortion, euthanasia, ESC usage) all lead to hell and children are especially exposed. Once we are exposed to these evils and temptations at a young, impressionable, faithless age with a malformed conscience we are well on our way to being totally open to the darkness and the ministrations of the flesh and blood cooperators who use mass propaganda to make earth into hell.

    All the calls for civility, gun control, new media restrictions, ending the Tea Parties, etc. are just more discord and will be in the news for a long time. What will be missed is the call to morality, a national examination of conscience, a return to God, prayer or any other real solution to the problems we ignore in order to swing at the symptoms of the root causes.

    Why did this poor lost soul become an attempted murder of his Congressional representative? One of the reasons is that national politics has penetrated every aspect of our lives and in America this should not be the case. Think about all the issues this sad human being would have been interested in: Currency devaluation, unemployment, marijuana prohibition, 2nd amendment, NASA (perhaps he didn’t like that the Congresswoman was upset with Obama for making NASA into a Muslim outreach program), the oppression of atheists by the Christian right, it goes on and on. Perhaps if we had less general government and respected subsidiarity and lived as a moral Christians then maybe this poor fool would have gone a different way and six people may still be alive.

    Sadly, we will just spend the news-cycle attacking each other over this and the deceased will be mentioned fleetingly and this kid will be used as a political pawn to further or retard an agenda.

    God keeps giving us, as a nation, opportunities to repent and yet, we are disinterested because we are indifferent to sin. We probably even have a scientific government program in development to make sin disappear, ah Utopia.

  • I have to disagree with you about Mein Kampf. Anyone who would list it as a favorite book is by definition deranged.

    I don’t think someone who really likes Mein Kampf is necessarily crazy, just evil.

    Whatever may be true in the abstract, however, judging from his Youtube channel this particular shooter was seriously mentally ill.

  • AK,
    Yep, you hit the nail on the head. Leo XIII foresaw that the rejection of God and religion, the “fortgetfulness of future life” would destroy souls and fill nations with ruin. People pursue the false goods of this world as if nothing beyond them exist and as if sin doesn’t have any consequence.

  • My personal take is that this character (like the guy who flew the plane into the IRS building back in Austin) is so insanely wacky as not to fall clearly on either end of the political spectrum. However, FWIW (if this is even confirmed) this news story out of Arizona quotes someone who knew the shooter describing him as a “radical” and “left wing pothead”:

    http://blogs.phoenixnewtimes.com/valleyfever/2011/01/jared_loughner_alleged_shooter.php

    Though I note that the “it must have been Sarah Palin’s crosshairs” crowd is out busy peppering very news site with comments today. (Do they outsource this stuff, or are there really that many people stupid enough to think that seeing a map with crosshairs on it will send someone off to shoot people?)

  • According to AP, Rep. Giffords is herself a gun owner and strongly supports the right of individuals to bear arms. She is pro-choice and pro-ESCR and did vote for Obamacare. However, she also has somewhat of a reputation for fiscal conservatism.

    Her husband, Mark Kelly, is a NASA astronaut — which may explain why she objected to Obama’s alleged plan to turn NASA into a “Muslim outreach program.”

    Giffords was recently tagged by Real Clear Politics as a “rising star” likely to have great influence on immigration policy. Her district reaches to the Mexican border and is at ground zero of the immigration debate:

    http://news.yahoo.com/s/nm/20110108/pl_nm/us_usa_shooting_giffords

    “She has described the U.S. immigration system as “broken” and advocated a comprehensive reform compromise combining tough border security with a long-term path to citizenship for illegal immigrants.

    “Giffords criticized Arizona’s tough anti-immigration law passed last year, saying it would do nothing to secure the border or stop drug smuggling and gun running spilling over into her district.”

    Also, another AP story says this regarding Judge Roll, appointed to the federal bench by George H.W. Bush in 1991: “The judge attended Mass on Saturday morning like he does every day before stopping by (the shopping center) to say hello to his good friend Giffords.”

  • Darwin,

    Yes on both counts. The left employs professional bloggers to attack Sarah Palin and there are way too many people stupid enough to believe them.

  • “(Do they outsource this stuff, or are there really that many people stupid enough to think that seeing a map with crosshairs on it will send someone off to shoot people?)”

    The people writing it probably don’t believe it, but they hope there will be plenty of ignorant people who will. Knaves seeking to lead fools.

  • (Do they outsource this stuff, or are there really that many people stupid enough to think that seeing a map with crosshairs on it will send someone off to shoot people?)

    Actually, I was arguing with a couple of these fellas today. They actually believe this… I suppose she’s an easy target. They even changed their facebook profile photo linked here:

    http://shannynmoore.files.wordpress.com/2011/01/sarah-palins-target-list.jpg

  • Sarah Palin never made a video where children are blown up into bloody chunks for leaving the water running or the lights on. Left-wing eco-fascists in Britain did, though.

  • Persons that will use this tragedy for a political purpose are truly disgusting human beings. Trying to lInk this shooting to Sarah Palin’s web site is moronic. How low can these persons and blogs go?

  • Sad irony: the little girl who died was born on 9/11/01. She had been invited to the event by a neighbor “because she had just been elected to the student council and was interested in government.” She also had “just received her first Holy Communion at St. Odilia’s Catholic Church in Tuscon,” according to Diocese of Tuscon officials.

  • The judge who perished, Judge John McCarthy Roll, a Bush 41 appointee, was apparently a daily/frequent communicant. He had just come from Mass to thank Rep. Giffords for speaking/signing something on behalf of the judiciary’s need for more resources.

  • “Sad irony: the little girl who died was born on 9/11/01. She had been invited to the event by a neighbor “because she had just been elected to the student council and was interested in government.” She also had “just received her first Holy Communion at St. Odilia’s Catholic Church in Tuscon,” according to Diocese of Tuscon officials.”

    I can only imagine the grief of her poor parents. I am sure she is enjoying the Beatific Vision even now.

  • Glenn Reynolds, Instapundit, has appropriate words for those desperately seeking to use this lunatic multiple murderer for their political advantage:

    “Let me be clear, as a great man says: If you’re using this event to criticize the “rhetoric” of Sarah Palin or others with whom you disagree, then you’re either asserting a connection between the “rhetoric” and the shooting — which based on evidence to date would be what we call a vicious lie — or you’re not, in which case you’re just seizing on a tragedy to try to score unrelated political points, which is contemptible. So which is it?”

    http://pajamasmedia.com/instapundit/112816/

  • Update (AP): I suspect this story’s going to shift very quickly from an “ideological nutjob” narrative to one about an obviously ill man not getting the help he needed.

    Of course it is because this deranged soul’s “ideology” appears to have been leftist. An old school acquaintance who has been twittering about him says he was “very liberal” when she knew him back in 2006.

    Rule of thumb: if a disturbed shooter can be tied into the Right Wing by the media, he will be. And the MSM will be quick to blame and shame Limbaugh or any other right-winger they can for the shooting. From what I read about this earlier,you would have thought Sarah Palin pulled the trigger.

    However, if a Left Wing shooter kills people, well, that’s just craziness and has nothing at all to do with ideology.

    I pray for those killed and injured as a result of this terrible crime -especially the child murdered. A child murdered – how sickening is that!

  • I can only imagine the grief of her poor parents. I am sure she is enjoying the Beatific Vision even now.

    Oh, yes! And may God bless and help her poor parents!

    I spent a delightful day in the company of my youngest niece (age 8) and nephew (age 6). How anyone can level a gun at a child and pull the trigger – words fail me. Imagination itself fails me.

  • The gunman is obvisously mentally ill. I hope this tragedy will bring a focus on the need to have early detection and treatment of mental illnesses. However, I already see the left screaming for more gun control and monitering of ‘right-wing extremist’ groups. How restricting law-abiding citizens from self-protection and monitering so-called ‘right-wing extremist’ groups (when nearly all the the polictical violence in this country has come from the left) is going to help us, I haven’t a clue, and neither does the left!

  • Donna V.,

    Age 6 from birth, age 9 months, or age 13 weeks from conception – what difference does it make. When a society not only accepts murder but promotes it for a certain class (in this case the pre-born), then we have de facto embraced murder as a virtue and a right. This kid has grown up in a world in which murder is a politically protected right to choose, he simply made a choice that is different than most, but what right have we to question his choice?

    Being an atheist, he has no sight of the eternal, that makes it fare easier to fall victim to the lie that actions do not carry consequences.

  • The second man the police were looking for turns out to be a cab driver who drove the nutcase to the grocery store outside of which the shootings occurred.

    http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2011/01/09/AR2011010902464.html?wpisrc=nl_natlalert

    Looks more and more like a lunatic lone wolf, much to the chagrin of the conspiracy theorists on the Left, not that a little thing like the truth will stop them.

  • “The second man the police were looking for turns out to be a cab driver”

    I couldn’t help but wonder why the Pima County sheriff kept insisting that there was an “accomplice”. Of course he has been insisting from the start that the Tea Party was to blame for this, and when the actual shooter turned out to have no such connection, perhaps he grasped at the straw of a potential co-conspirator in hopes of proving his case?

  • The conduct of the Sheriff has struck me as unprofessional. I never had much contact with aught but bailiffs when I worked at the fringes of the legal profession. Do any of you lawyers have an opinion on this?

  • Very unprofessional. In the absence of any evidence connecting this crime to anything other than the lunacy of the murderer, the Sheriff has seized upon this case in order to score cheap political points.

  • Jack Shafer has Sheriff Dupnik in his “crosshairs”:

    “Sheriff Dupnik’s political sermon came before any conclusive or even circumstantial proof had been offered that the shooter had been incited by anything except the gas music from Jupiter playing inside his head.

    For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I’ve even gotten angry, for goodness’ sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

    From what I can tell, I’m not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people—most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds—can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

    The call by Sheriff Dupnik and others to take our political conversation down a few notches might make sense if anybody had been calling for the assassination in the first place, which they hadn’t. ”

    http://www.slate.com/id/2280616/pagenum/all/

  • Apparently this has been developing in his head long before there was even a Tea Party movement.

    AP article
    TUCSON, Ariz. – At an event roughly three years ago, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords took a question from Jared Loughner, the man accused of trying to assassinate her and killing six other people. According to two of his high school friends the question was essentially this: “What is government if words have no meaning?”

    Loughner was angry about her response — she read the question and had nothing to say.

    “He was like … ‘What do you think of these people who are working for the government and they can’t describe what they do?'” one friend told The Associated Press on Sunday. “He did not like government officials, how they spoke. Like they were just trying to cover up some conspiracy.”

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