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January 8, 2011 10:32 AM   Subscribe

Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords Shot In Arizona.

At least five other people, including members of her staff, were hurt. Giffords was transported to University Medical Center in Tucson. Her condition was not immediately known.

Giffords was talking to a couple when the man ran up firing indiscriminately, and then ran off, Michaels said. According to other witnesses, the was tackled by a bystander and taken into custody.


Only one United States representative has been killed in the line of duty, Leo Ryan at the hands of the Jonestown cult.
posted by furiousxgeorge (2579 comments total) 59 users marked this as a favorite

 
Tuscon Citizen (site currently down) reports that she was shot point blank in the head. I hope for the best.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:33 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


.
posted by AwkwardPause at 10:34 AM on January 8, 2011


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?....
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?....

I did the same thing and felt bad immediately afterward.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:35 AM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Crikey, she's not dead as far as we know. Hold off on the .'s
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:36 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Could somebody please cobble together some links here giving some background about Giffords and the political climate in Arizona? It'd be great to have the socio-political context here, to inform our discussion, as the events unfold.

This is just awful news and i am hoping that she and all of the other victims will pull through.
posted by iamkimiam at 10:37 AM on January 8, 2011


I checked and have no guilt. An assassination attempt on a political official typically has a political motive. Learning about her politics may allow one to understand the motivation for the shooting.
posted by banal evil at 10:38 AM on January 8, 2011 [55 favorites]


She is a pro-gun blue dog who just beat a teabagger who considered Palin too moderate. No, don't jump to conclusions. Could be jilted lover or a nut who had no idea who he was shooting or a million other things.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am somewhat heartened to hear that the gunman was apprehended and taken into custody where he or she will be held accountable for his or her actions. We have no idea if this act was motivated by politics, business, a personal relationship, or delusions, but because the gunman did not take his or her own life, we hopefully will be able to understand the reasons behind why someone would commit such a heinous and pointless act.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


This is horrible, and I'm glad the gunman was caught.
posted by spinifex23 at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011


I schedked, and I don't. That doesn't not mean I would feel differently about whether an R or a D gets shot. It's all part of the unfortunate story, which elicits, 'Why?'
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?

she's a Democrat if anyone else wanted to know... i did.
posted by ennui.bz at 10:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


schedked=checked. Oof
posted by nj_subgenius at 10:40 AM on January 8, 2011


Could somebody please cobble together some links here

Nobody seems to have any real info at this time. There are a lot of headlines, but nothing concrete.
posted by lampshade at 10:42 AM on January 8, 2011


I don't want to make any intemperate comments before all the facts are in, so I'll just say that I hope for the best.
posted by empath at 10:43 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Too early for this thread. But while we're going to engage in uninformed speculation...Giffords was on the infamous SarahPAC Target map.

Let's all hope that's not what happened.
posted by T.D. Strange at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


Palin was interested in her...
posted by HuronBob at 10:45 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I checked party affiliation and feel no guilt about it. I don't want to see anyone shot but I have no problem rushing to the conclusion that it's most likely someone driven to violence by a right-wing talk piece like Beck or Malkin.
posted by inthe80s at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Holy shit.
posted by craichead at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2011


If every (R) from John Boehner down to Beck and Limbaugh doesn't unequivocally condemn violence after this, I'm going to lose my fucking mind. I don't want to hear "But this is what happens when."

I just want to hear in plain English and without caveats that no one endorses violence as a solution to political disagreements. Period.
posted by notion at 10:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [161 favorites]


I'm glad that this FPP didn't include her party affiliation. Thank you, fxg, for your moderation.
posted by Etrigan at 10:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I have no problem rushing to the conclusion that it's most likely someone driven to violence by a right-wing talk piece like Beck or Malkin.

You may not have a problem with it but it's still wrong and imprudent. Reports are saying that the gunman shot up to 12 people and was firing indiscriminately. That does not necessarily sound like a political assassination. In time the story and the motivation for the act will come out. For now, let's please not turn this into a "Republicans are horrible people" thread.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:48 AM on January 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


This is unbelievable, somehow. I'm also concerned for the 9 (?!) other people who were 'injured'... if this guy came up firing indiscriminately, well. I guess all I can really do at the moment is be hoping fervently for the best.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2011


How long till illegal immigrants are blamed?
posted by tylerkaraszewski at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


My husband and I live in Tucson. We both voted for her in this election. I just now got the call that she died. I hope the source is wrong.

.
posted by lizjohn at 10:49 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Big ups to the bystander who tackled the gunman. I don't care who's doing the shooting and who got shot, if you do that you are brave.

My first thoughts upon hearing about this related to eliminationism and RWA... also, she was on that Palin "Target" map a little bit back
posted by jtron at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Reports are saying that the gunman shot up to 12 people and was firing indiscriminately. That does not necessarily sound like a political assassination.
Reports say that he shot Gifford point blank in the head and then started shooting indiscriminately. It doesn't sound like a well-planned hit, but that doesn't sound random to me, either.
posted by craichead at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


How long till illegal immigrants are blamed?

I've already seen a few comments doing just that in the NPR Facebook thread of this story.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:50 AM on January 8, 2011


Jesus fuck.
posted by rtha at 10:51 AM on January 8, 2011


Can we turn it into "Tea Baggers are horrible people"?

'cause it sure would be nice if the crazyness were to finally start receding. If there can be a positive outcome from this, the end of right-wing extremism is one I'd support.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


I would be careful about assuming that it's a right-winger or a Beck fan at this time. She seems to be popular at Free Republic(I read it so you don't have to) and she was just on Fox News yesterday.
posted by empath at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If the Congresswoman dies from this, and Gov. Brewer appoints a Republican to the seat, well, I SURE BET there won't be any copycat shootings
posted by jtron at 10:52 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Some people are saying it might have to do with the Mexican drug cartels. That seems like a big stretch to me, but what the fuck do I know?
posted by josher71 at 10:53 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reports say that he shot Gifford point blank in the head and then started shooting indiscriminately. It doesn't sound like a well-planned hit, but that doesn't sound random to me, either.

Yes, perhaps. But all we're going on right now is conjecture.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2011


Also I just saw "David Bowie" underneath Rep. Gifford's name on Twitter's trending topics list and got REALLY worried.

it's his birthday!
posted by jtron at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


holy shit. that link from huronbob...the sarahpac/gun sights thing. i know that isn't supposed to be a hint to anyone to shoot elected officials. but talk about bad fucking form. come on.

also, fuck guns.
posted by rainperimeter at 10:54 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


and Gov. Brewer appoints a Republican to the seat

I'm going to guess that her spouse(assuming she is married) or someone like a chief of staff would get appointed.
posted by empath at 10:55 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


They are already vandalizing her Wikipedia page.
posted by fixedgear at 10:55 AM on January 8, 2011


God help her.
A suspect has be tackled and is in custody.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:56 AM on January 8, 2011


Maybe this is silly, but when I clicked on the link I immediately thought "She has a beautiful and warm smile."

.
posted by melissam at 10:56 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Can we turn it into...

Any sentiment following that beginning is just crass and creepy Machiavellian.
posted by Babblesort at 10:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Illegal immigrants? My assumption when I hear about domestic terrorism is that it's one or more disgruntled white guys. Not to be all 'racial/demographic profiling' about it or anything.

Good luck to the injured.
posted by rmd1023 at 10:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Some people are saying it might have to do with the Mexican drug cartels. That seems like a big stretch to me, but what the fuck do I know?

Some people say that about every bad thing in the Southwest.

the sarahpac/gun sights thing. i know that isn't supposed to be a hint to anyone to shoot elected officials.

Ahhhh, naivete.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Here's the Arizona Daily Star's endorsement of Giffords from the last election cycle: Giffords a fierce advocate for Southern Arizona.
posted by carsonb at 10:58 AM on January 8, 2011


Giffords was on the infamous SarahPAC Target map.

As of writing this that map is still on her Facebook page. I'm betting it doesn't stay there much longer.

This is a reprehensible crime, it goes without saying, and speculation is idle.
posted by octobersurprise at 10:59 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it weird that I just considered loading up cnn.com or hooking up my digital tv receiver but figured just refreshing this thread would probably give me the best info? I guess that's why they call it a Metafilter
posted by jtron at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


I'm going to guess that her spouse(assuming she is married) or someone like a chief of staff would get appointed.

Apropos of nothing, her husband is an astronaut.
posted by condour75 at 11:00 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


August 2009: Gun left behind at Town Hall meeting with Giffords.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:01 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


NPR says "shot and killed."
posted by AwkwardPause at 11:01 AM on January 8, 2011


The idea that this has something to do with Mexican drug cartels is ridiculous.

For whoever asked earlier, the political climate in Arizona is putrid. The state economy has been in terrible shape for the past 8-10 years, and then Arizona was hard hit by the housing crisis. Tucson is a some-what liberal, and racially intergrated city, constantly at odds with its larger, whiter, more conservative neighbor to the north, the greater Phoenix metro area. The (I don't even know what to call them) anti-immigrants, Tea Party crowd is seems huge and vocal. The Arizona legislature has banned ethnic studies in school, which are already some of the lowest ranked in the US. I don't have a link, but I once read that much of the Arizona legislature doesn't have 4-year university degree, and they see little to no value in funding higher education. Some of the racist, anti-public spending misanthropic conservatism was held in check while we had a Democratic governor, Janet Napolitano. However, now we have Republican governor Jan Brewer, and laws that allow people to concealed carry weapons into bars, and that require police to racially profile.

The state is a crap hole full of abandoned or under-water tacky homes, and angry white people who need to blame the brown people. I would encourage all of you to never move here, let alone visit.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2011 [50 favorites]


FWIW, the Washington Post says this:

Last March, Giffords was one of ten House Democrats who were the subject of harassment over their support for the national health care overhaul. At the time, the front door of Giffords' Tucson office had been shattered in an early morning incident.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Good lord, the SarahPAC thing is terrible but this graphic is even worse: the take back the 20 campaign not only has the gun sights but also the words "We've diagnosed the problems... Help us prescribe the solution."

Regardless of the cause of all of this, that is incredible.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:02 AM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


NPR says "shot and killed."

I'm still just seeing "shot" there. Although I'm sure there are a number of places where they've written it.
posted by Alt F4 at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2011


.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:04 AM on January 8, 2011


Oh. I was refreshing the original article. It does, in fact, say "shot and killed."

http://www.npr.org/2011/01/08/132764367/congresswoman-shot-in-arizona
posted by Alt F4 at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2011


The (I don't even know what to call them) anti-immigrants

Nativists.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
posted by porn in the woods at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2011


"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords died after being shot in the head at a public event on Saturday, Pima County, Ariz., sheriff's office confirms."



.
posted by Flunkie at 11:05 AM on January 8, 2011


The shooter was described as being in his teens or early 20s. So it was a male. No racial description was provided.

As has been mentioned earlier, this is nearly unprecedented in American history. It is a monumental day for the country and will shape the direction of national politics for at least this next cycle and perhaps for many more. This will not soon be forgotten. It is absolutely incredible that a Congresswoman was just murdered in the street. I pray for cool heads from all sides of the political aisle and swift justice for the gunman.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:06 AM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


This is terrifying. I don't want to believe that she was really assassinated. I don't want to believe that my country has come to this.

.
posted by sugarfish at 11:07 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is terrible.

.
posted by Harry at 11:07 AM on January 8, 2011


.
posted by jayder at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011


can someone please explain blue dog democrat? What an awful, awful thing, my thoughts are with all the families involved. Thank you Metafites for the background info in your posts here, it's really useful for those of us from the other side of the Pond.
posted by Wilder at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?....

I hear you. Is it cynical of me to want to read the post immediately following this one (Black Swan) before reading about a national political figure being shot?

Seriously, I had to decide whether this was important enough to me to read first. Hard to explain the jaded, cynical feeling I felt about the welfare of another human being before reading about a movie...
posted by sundrop at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011


Shit. Now it says "And Six Others".

Jesus.
posted by Ron Thanagar at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011


A blue dog Democrat is essentially a conservative Democrat. They hold moderate political views.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:09 AM on January 8, 2011


.
posted by condour75 at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011


If you want an example of what a shithole Arizona is, our single daily newspaper left in Tucson is just regurgitating NPR news right now. Their only headline for almost 2 hours after the incident was that the intersection of streets affected was closed. God forbid one of them should go down to the hospital and do some actual reporting when they can just crib off the internet.
posted by Squeak Attack at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Local news station KOLD in Tuscon reports four dead and at least seven injured. This is terrible.

.
posted by six-or-six-thirty at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011


Blue Dog democrats are southern, conservative democrats. It's a reference to the idea that loyal democrats would vote for a yellow dog with a D next to its name.
posted by empath at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


God damn it. I really, really hope that this was just a mentally imbalanced kid, but given all the violence from the RW over the past few years against anything seen to be a liberal threat, I would really be surprised if this guy doesn't listen to Glenn Beck every day. NPR now says that 6 other people were killed in the shooting, as well.

.
posted by KGMoney at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011


Disgraceful. No other words for it.
posted by tapeguy at 11:10 AM on January 8, 2011


this person just shot the USA in the metaphorical head.
posted by Wilder at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


can someone please explain blue dog democrat?
The Blue Dog Democrats are a group of Democrats who are generally considered more moderate or conservative than the typical Democrat, though not nearly as conservative as the typical Republican.
posted by Flunkie at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2011


Tragic day for her family, her staffers, the other victims and for America.
posted by fixedgear at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2011


News reports: CNN, , NPR, Local station (KVOA)
Congresswoman Giffords' official House page
Wikipedia article on Congresswoman Giffords
Twitter search for Gabrielle Giffords (it's a trending topic)
Congresswoman Giffords' Twitter feed
posted by booksherpa at 11:11 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Oh my God. I can't believe someone killed a congresswoman.

.
posted by limeonaire at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is messed up. My thoughts are with the families involved.

An assassination attempt on a political official typically has a political motive. Learning about her politics may allow one to understand the motivation for the shooting.

Recently, in America, all our assassination attempts have been batshit-insane motivated rather than politically motivated. My gut tells me this is the same thing.

I just hope this gets everyone to calm the fuck down.
posted by chemoboy at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


God damn it. I really, really hope that this was just a mentally imbalanced kid, but given all the violence from the RW over the past few years against anything seen to be a liberal threat, I would really be surprised if this guy doesn't listen to Glenn Beck every day.
These two possibilities are not mutually exclusive.
posted by Flunkie at 11:12 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Just checked the cable news channels. MSNBC is talking to their Washington bureau chief about Congressional security measures. CNN is interviewing by phone an eyewitness to the shooting. Fox News is talking to a "Republican former Congress member" and referring to Rep. Giffords as "Gabby".
posted by BitterOldPunk at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's a reference to the idea that loyal democrats would vote for a yellow dog with a D next to its name.

A Yellow Dog and Blue Dog Democrat are not the same things.
posted by Salieri at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Meant to link to Fox News as well up there.
posted by booksherpa at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011


has the revolution begun?
posted by robbyrobs at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011


.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011


can someone please explain blue dog democrat?

It means conservative Democrat. Pro-life, pro-gun, strong on border security, stuff like that.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011


This is just horrible.


.
posted by rogueepicurean at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011


This makes me ill. I have little doubt the Becks and Palins of the world provoked this, and I also have no doubt they'll come out quickly with a defensive "How dare the liberals use this terrible tragedy for political purposes!" Putting a gun sight over someone who subsequently gets shot? Absolutely disgusting.
posted by MegoSteve at 11:13 AM on January 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


Wilder: while the US has two major political parties, and they have overall ideological characters, regionally ideology and identity can shift like crazy as both parties are really "big tent" coalitions of various elements in society. For instance, pretty much until LBJ's civil rights leadership, if someone was a racist Caucasian from a former Confederate state it was pretty safe to assume he was a Democrat. That shift is another story, though...

to get back to your question, a "Blue Dog" Democrat is a more conservative Dem. Conversely there used to be "Rockefeller Republicans" (in the Northeast especially) who were social liberals who were also big business types; these days we call people like that "Democrats" as they mostly got chased out of the party as the Republicans went more nativist/religious/nationalist.
posted by jtron at 11:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


The state is a crap hole full of abandoned or under-water tacky homes, and angry white people who need to blame the brown people. I would encourage all of you to never move here, let alone visit...If you want an example of what a shithole Arizona is....
posted by Squeak Attack


Maybe you should move away?
posted by palacewalls at 11:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's poster originally had the tag line "don't retreat, reload!"
posted by five fresh fish at 11:14 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't help but wonder if the gunman listed to Sharron Angle in the neighboring state of Nevada, when she said

“Our Founding Fathers, they put that Second Amendment in there for a good reason, and that was for the people to protect themselves against a tyrannical government,”
And

“I’m hoping that we’re not getting to Second Amendment remedies,” Angle said. “I hope that the vote will be the cure for the Harry Reid problems.
posted by orthogonality at 11:15 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Some basic background:

She was born in 1970, "in medias res".

She's married to a Space Shuttle pilot and she has spent time at Harvard.

She's Jewish, and native of AZ.

She has a "D+ rating from the NRA" (on gun control).

She won in 2010 against a Tea Party candidate in a race so close it took three days to untangle. The Tea Party guy is an Iraq War vet described as "so conservative that he's slammed Palin for endorsing candidates who are too moderate."
posted by stbalbach at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


can someone please explain blue dog democrat?

The Blue Dogs are a group of moderate and conservative Democratic congresspeople, and are a minority but an important and powerful one. The Blue Dogs are much more conservative than the remaining moderate Republicans are liberal. Common points of difference with the more liberal wings of the party include strong gun rights support, greater concern over illegal immigration, pro-life abortion views, and opposition to gay marriage. For example, Rep. Giffords was strongly pro-choice (in line with the Democratic Party's platform) but praised the now-infamous Arizona law that more or less allows police to arrest people on suspicion of being illegal immigrants.
posted by Tomorrowful at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


.

For a moment let's not speculate on why this happened and simply mourn the loss. Details will emerge and fill in the blanks that we can't know the answers to now.
posted by jz at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2011


has the revolution begun?

I hope that the tea party nut jobs don't take this as a signal.
posted by empath at 11:16 AM on January 8, 2011


A caution about "thinking you know why" - Remember the hung Census worker with "FED" on the body here on the Blue? The "why" seemed to escape the 'hive mind of the blue' and odds are most will be wrong this time 'round.

Plenty of things can be talked about with politics and death - the 'anarchist killing of a duke' at the start of the 20th century, things like the article "Assassination Politics" , the idea of killing Upton Sinclair had he won the California Governorship, or even Sam Byeck and his thoughts on Nixon. But they all seem like fodder not for "NewsBlue - Congresswoman is shot" edition but post trial analysis.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Most of the Blue Dogs in Congress right now came in on the anti-Bush backlash of 2006, as a result of Howard Dean's 50-state strategy. They get the number of people with D next to their name up, but they're very unreliable when it comes time to vote in Congress.
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


How come NPR is so quick with the info? They were first (it seems) with the first report without an "unconfirmed" or "report says" qualification, and now with the report of her death.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2011


has the revolution begun?

Don't even.
posted by cmoj at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


It means conservative Democrat. Pro-life, pro-gun, strong on border security, stuff like that.

given the woman had a 100% approval rating from NARAL, was very pro-solar, supported comprehensive immigration reform, and called herself a "bluedog" I don't think your definition makes sense.

Reading her bio and her words I thought to myself "I wish she were my congressperson"
posted by JPD at 11:17 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Is it weird that I just considered loading up cnn.com or hooking up my digital tv receiver but figured just refreshing this thread would probably give me the best info? I guess that's why they call it a Metafilter

I was just gonna say—FUCK—of course there's still nothing but sports and old movies and infomercials on local TV. I hope the TV media fucking takes something like this seriously where you are, jtron; they sure don't in St. Louis.
posted by limeonaire at 11:18 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


http://gawker.com/5728501/

Eyewitness report.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:18 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You guys have really got to get over that whole "second amendment" thing and remember what the second word there suggests about the Holy Inviolable Constitution.

Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. Separate most of the people from the guns for an improvement. Not a cure-all. An improvement. What the hell is so fucking important about the right to own deadly weapons anyway? Get over it. Grow out of it. Do you really want to cling on to the frontier days forever? The frontier days are over. Move on.

Also, this is bloody awful.


.
posted by Decani at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


CNN is saying 12 shot, 6 dead.
posted by foggy out there now at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2011


FFF's link:We spoke to an eyewitness, Steven Rayle, who was on the scene at the time of the shooting and helped to hold the suspect down while waiting for police. Here's what he said:

The event was very informal: Gifford had set up a table outside the Safeway and about 20-30 people were gathered to talk to her. The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first. According to Rayle, who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot.

After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old. Rayle hid behind a concrete pole and pretended to be dead. When the gunman apparently ran out of ammunition he attempted to flee, but a member of Gifford's staff tackled him. Rayle helped hold the gunman down while waiting for the sheriff to arrive, about 15-to-20 minutes later. The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was "stunned" by how long it took medical help to arrive.

The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," Rayle said. The sheriff's department arrived, arrested the gunman and cordoned off the parking lot.

posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:19 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


this is tragic
posted by clavdivs at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2011


The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character,"
posted by empath at 11:20 AM on January 8, 2011


Gawker has a report from a former ER doctor here. She was deliberately targeted. She may never have been able to survive that point-blank shot, but if the report is accurate, it took 30-50 minutes for EMS to arrive. Some of the other people who died may have been saved if they had arrived earlier. (Again, this is a single report, and the witness' time estimates haven't been confirmed by anyone else).
posted by maudlin at 11:21 AM on January 8, 2011


MSNBC is saying 7 dead total. I'm turning off the TV and going for a walk.
posted by foggy out there now at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2011


According to the eyewitness report that five fresh fish linked to, "indiscriminate" refers to the shootings after Gifford:
After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old.
posted by Flunkie at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2011


RT @mattyglesias: Fun campaign event: "Help remove Gabrille Giffords
from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly" http://yfrog.com/h5p7wp

Apropos of nothing, the SarahPAC website is offline.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


According to the Gawker report, it took half an hour for EMS to arrive. I'm really hoping that's just the unreliable memory of someone in a terrifying situation and not reality.
posted by sugarfish at 11:22 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


thank you all for your responses to my blue dog query. And links. Myself & hubby kairab are glued to the news, utterly & totally horrified at this. He turned to me and said....."maybe this is what it takes...." what an awful thought to have.
posted by Wilder at 11:23 AM on January 8, 2011


sources with the u.s. capitol police say there were no known threats against rep. giffords other than the one by sarah palin which was widely distrituted on fox news
posted by kitchenrat at 11:23 AM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


You guys have really got to get over that whole "second amendment" thing and remember what the second word there suggests about the Holy Inviolable Constitution.

Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. Separate most of the people from the guns for an improvement. Not a cure-all. An improvement. What the hell is so fucking important about the right to own deadly weapons anyway? Get over it. Grow out of it. Do you really want to cling on to the frontier days forever? The frontier days are over. Move on.


Do I have to go drag out the NRA's stats about the number of crimes committed with legal, registered firearms as compared to the number of crimes committed with illegal, unregistered firearms?

On preview: 30-50 minutes for EMS response? THIRTY TO FIFTY GODDAMN MINUTES? Seriously?
posted by Pope Guilty at 11:24 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Could it really have taken so long for LEOs and EMTs to arrive? How is that possible?
posted by rtha at 11:24 AM on January 8, 2011


It's certainly a horrible thing anytime someone loses their hold on reality and humanity enough to believe that the only solution is to kill another person. My thoughts are with the families of those who have been impacted, including those of the suspected shooter - no one should have to deal with this.

That being said: combined with the exploding packages on the east coast, and stories from the last year of candidates for United States Senate threatening to "pursue Second Amendment Remedies" if they're not elected and random acts that would be called terrorism if they didn't involve Americans committing the acts on their own soil ( flying a small plane into an IRS building, for example , or shooting up the Holocaust Museum ), I'm wondering when the media narrative will tick over from "crazed lone actor" or "embittered local man" to pointing out how they got that way.

Sadly, I don't think it'll get much traction beyond the initial shock wave: our collective memory lasts for about three news cycles, it seems.
posted by HannoverFist at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


limeonaire: I live in Chicago so the local network affiliates are a bit beefier than most. But yeah, still haven't hooked the tuner up. we also have better baseball teams than st louis ;)
posted by jtron at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


her husband is an astronaut
Jesus, such an accomplished family.

As has been mentioned earlier, this is nearly unprecedented in American history.

By unprecedented I guess you mean because she was a US Rep.? Because I'm old enough to recall the 60s and the deaths of a Dem president and a few years later, within the space of two months, a world-renowned civil rights activist and a Dem Senator/ presidential candidate.

I've been fearing we were going to have that kind of violence return given the insane hysterics of a certain portion of America. I see people on the Net already talking about how certain media and political figures better tone down their rhetoric and stricter gun control blah-blah-blah. And all I can think is - there'll be lip service to all of the above and then that same portion of people will go back to batshit as usual.
posted by NorthernLite at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The SarahPAC is up and down. How odd. Would it be a place to look when a politician and their supporters suffer violence? See for yourself.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was "stunned" by how long it took medical help to arrive.

Well, Arizonans have to give something up for their low taxes.
posted by jayder at 11:25 AM on January 8, 2011 [35 favorites]


A comment (since removed?) on the NPR article:
Robert Morgan (1776Patroit) wrote: If she voted for ObamaCare, then she has just paid the price for treason. Regardless, I hope she recovers because I sure her family loves her.
Gee, I wonder what might have motivated the gunman? Surely not Teabaggery!
posted by orthogonality at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


MSNBC is now reporting that Gifforrds and 6 others have actually been killed. This is just from the tv.
posted by lampshade at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2011


Here's a copy of Sarah Palin's assassination map. In case, you know, it's needed as evidence for conspiracy.

Here's Rep. Giffords' last tweet
My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later.
posted by Nelson at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Assuming that this was a right wing assassination, then I think congressional hearings are warranted about violent rhetoric from right wing politicians and news media, at a minimum...
posted by empath at 11:26 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I'm doubting the 50 part of the 30-50 minutes right now: the sentence from the Gawker report was ambiguous. I cannot imagine 50 minutes to respond in any American city.

It might have felt as high as 30 minutes to the witness, who also said the sheriffs took 15-20 minutes to arrive. That is also hard to believe: a mass shooting at a grocery store inside the city, and it took that long? I'm waiting to hear from other sources.

This is just horrible. Just fucking horrible.
posted by maudlin at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2011


that Gawker story also said Rayle helped hold down the gunman, is a former ER doctor and reported it took EMS 30 minutes to arrive.
WTF? wouldn't you go to the injured first?????
posted by Wilder at 11:27 AM on January 8, 2011


"The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing"

Pretty much what I expected.
posted by aerotive at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You guys have really got to get over that whole "second amendment" thing...

Not gonna happen. That's such a third-rail of US politics that there's no way that anyone could build enough support for repealing it.
posted by octothorpe at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2011


How fucked up is it that the Golden Voice guy's picture/story is about 3x the size of this news story on the front page of CNN.com? *throws up hands*
posted by mynameisluka at 11:28 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly

Jesse Kelly is the radical Tea Party candidate she ran against in 2010.
posted by stbalbach at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2011


Aaaaand here's the now-offline SarahPAC webpage screencapped just a couple minutes before it went offline
posted by jtron at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


As has been mentioned earlier, this is nearly unprecedented in American history.

By unprecedented I guess you mean because she was a US Rep.?


Yes, that was what I meant. Not that other political figures have been assassinated, but that a representative was killed. In fact, it's even more shocking, as she was killed in her home district giving a speech to constituents and not in the remote jungle of Guyana. My intent in saying that this event is monumental was not to compare today to times past - rather I just strongly think that today will be seen as a significant day in the history of our country.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:29 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


AZ journalist David Fitzsimmons on the phone with CNN just called this "inevitable" in Arizona because of how far gone "the Right" has become.
posted by aaronetc at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



Now they are reporting that she is alive in critical condition. I am just gong to wait till the print comes out cause nobody really knows.
posted by lampshade at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


wouldn't you go to the injured first?

An ounce of prevention, etc..
posted by empath at 11:30 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


.

Now they're reporting that she passed away.
posted by spinifex23 at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Cue FOX News "lone gunman" theroy in 3... 2...

At least this time the guy survived to tell his motives. If he was inspired by Beck, Rush, FOX et al, it will be nice to hear him alive to say so. Much more difficult for his accomplices in the media to spin out of it that way.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2011


MSNBC now reporting that Giffords is alive and in very critical condition.

This is insane.
posted by HostBryan at 11:31 AM on January 8, 2011


You guys have really got to get over that whole "second amendment" thing...

Too right. And put an end to language like "Don't retreat, reload"
posted by marvin at 11:32 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Could it really have taken so long for LEOs and EMTs to arrive? How is that possible?

It's Arizona. Presumably the police were doing more important things, like demanding of brown people "your papers, bitte".

As far as the EMS, this a a state that's just allowed two people to die (and more to come) because it stopped funding Medicaid organ transplants.

Actions have consequences. Elections have consequences. Voters get what they pay for. Promote a philosophy of "me first" and "government is bad", and prioritizing low taxes and making life miserable for immigrants, and unsurprisingly, the quality of government services like police and EMS response declines.
posted by orthogonality at 11:33 AM on January 8, 2011 [107 favorites]


But we need those guns to protect ourselves against the (Indians|British|Mexicans|Negroes|Irish|Catholic|Italians|Portuguese|Liberals|Gays)
posted by jtron at 11:33 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


empath, I agree. First rule of ATLS is to ensure your safety as a responder but I'm sure there were plenty of people willing to sit on the shooter and free up a former ER doctor to give assistance.

sorry just the stupid questions that occur to you while contemplating a disaster...
posted by Wilder at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2011


NPR has just changed to "There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed."
posted by Flunkie at 11:35 AM on January 8, 2011


T.D Strange> where is that screen cap from?
posted by mr.marx at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2011


CNN also backtracking.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:36 AM on January 8, 2011


wait so in recent memory we have mail bombs, museum shootings, and out right assassinations.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


...says "In surgery" now.
posted by The Whelk at 11:37 AM on January 8, 2011


Actions have consequences. Elections have consequences. Voters get what they pay for. Promote a philosophy of "me first" and "government is bad", and prioritizing low taxes and making life miserable for immigrants, and unsurprisingly, the quality of government services like police and EMS response declines.

This, if I could favorite it 100 times I would.
posted by blucevalo at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reuters says still alive.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2011


I hope she survives. I hope she survives and is okay. This is horrifying.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:38 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


She is apparently not dead. She is in surgery.

This is terrifying and horrible.
posted by bibliogrrl at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2011


And put an end to language like "Don't retreat, reload"

Amen to that. This is what a "second amendment solution" looks like, goddammit.
posted by octobersurprise at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


FLASH: Congresswoman Giffords still alive, in surgery, nine other patients brought in from shooting: hospital spokeswoman
http://twitter.com/Reuters/status/23824996635770880
posted by jng at 11:39 AM on January 8, 2011


"Palin Puts Gun Sights On “Target” Map; Urges We “Reload”.

Gifford was one of the targeted Representatives.
posted by orthogonality at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


I am glad that I am not at work today. Every time that there is a well publicized shooting, at least one of my many conservative co-workers comments that now "they'll come for our guns."

If I heard this, I would throw up on someone's shoes right now,
posted by Danf at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


.
and a (dot) for what this says about humanity
posted by angrycat at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2011


Could it really have taken so long for LEOs and EMTs to arrive? How is that possible?

I would wager that EMTs were not allowed on the scene until the police were sure that they had secured it and that no other attacks were forthcoming. That can take a frustratingly long time.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


It's sad to think that our Congressional representatives may start needing bodyguards to deal with their constituents. Wasn't this the kind of thing people were afraid of with some of the local meetings with constituents over health care reform last year?

If I believed in a higher power, I'd pray for Giffords, and for my country.

On preview: yes to the "slow EMS response is a consequence of tax cuts". But we have the best health care in the world, donchaknow?
posted by immlass at 11:40 AM on January 8, 2011


T.D Strange> where is that screen cap from?

The website of her tea party challenger Jesse Kelly.
posted by T.D. Strange at 11:41 AM on January 8, 2011


Both CNN and MSNBC saying "conflicting reports." Hospital spokeswoman says she is in surgery.
posted by fixedgear at 11:41 AM on January 8, 2011


I would wager that EMTs were not allowed on the scene until the police were sure that they had secured it and that no other attacks were forthcoming. That can take a frustratingly long time.

Yeah, I wouldn't be too fast to condemn EMTs or anyone until more information comes out.
posted by Bookhouse at 11:42 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry if this is off-topic, but don't news media do retractions anymore? CNN went from "CNN has confirmed" to "conflicting reports" as if they had never reported Giffords' supposed death. Everyone makes mistakes, but what's "confirmation" worth if you can just take it back?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:42 AM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Fox News just spent five solid minutes of airtime explaining how conservative Giffords is.
posted by downing street memo at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Rumor has it her husband is currently in space?
posted by josher71 at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2011


Jesus, this is terrifying and infuriating. I can't think straight.

Yeah, it was only a matter of time before something like this happened.
posted by brundlefly at 11:43 AM on January 8, 2011


The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was "stunned" by how long it took medical help to arrive.

Well, Arizonans have to give something up for their low taxes.


Arizona is home to Rural/Metro, a for-profit fire and EMS provider. Their history page claims they were started to provide fire protection in an Arizona community that lacked municipal emergency services. I couldn't find a photo that showed the ambulances at this tragedy but this wouldn't be the first time that Rural/Metro has stirred up controversy over response times.
posted by tommasz at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a link to Representative Giffords on Open Congress, which lists her voting record and short bio. It lists her as voting with Democrats 100% of the time and abstaining 0 times. I like congresscritters that don't abstain.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Skip to around 2:10 in this MSNBC interview for your chilling quote of the day.
posted by Benjy at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's Arizona. Presumably the police were doing more important things, like demanding of brown people "your papers, bitte".

Can this sort of rhetoric be toned down a bit?

I'm not gonna apologize for anyone here, but the Safeway Giffords was set up at isn't exactly in the middle of a city—it's way out in the suburbs, at least a couple miles outside of city limits. Things in Tucson are very spread out, especially in that part of town, and yeah in my experience it often takes a while to get emergency services.

Anyway, I've voted for Giffords in the past (am in CA now though) and am sad to see politics come to this at all, let alone so close to home. Hoping for the best for Giffords and all who were injured.

For those who've already died:
.
posted by carsonb at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Apparently her husband's twin brother is in space right now. The husband is scheduled to GO to space but is not currently IN space.
posted by Medieval Maven at 11:44 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can we call this an assassination? That's the term we use when it happens in other countries.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Assuming that this was a right wing assassination, then I think congressional hearings are warranted about violent rhetoric from right wing politicians and news media, at a minimum...

Whoa. Slow down there. The violent language from Republican politicians and pundits both is vile, and every one of them needs to come out and publicly repudiate it. But congressional hearings aimed at suppressing political speech are the last thing America needs right now.
posted by EarBucket at 11:45 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Or, come to think of it, ever.
posted by EarBucket at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Guns don't kill people, people with guns kill people. Separate most of the people from the guns for an improvement. Not a cure-all. An improvement.

Like I've said before, feel free to explain how this can be done in America without triggering something that'd make the War On Drugs look like triple-A ball. Practically speaking, doing something about the core causes of violence and ignorance is both easier and more effective than banning objects we have a Constitutional right to possess, the vast majority of which don't hurt anybody. I think it's pretty damned obvious where this sort of violence and unrest is coming from, and it's not any gun club I've ever been to...

As for the story: I'm shocked this happened, but not exactly surprised to hear that it happened in Arizona. They seem to have channeled all the crazy of the Southwest into one big angry mess over the last few years.
posted by vorfeed at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Conflicting reports. This is March 30, 1981 all over again.

I hope she makes it. I hope she makes it, retains function and goes back to Congress. Then leads a commission on the impact of campaign rhetoric and the responsibility of candidates to encourage civility.
posted by grabbingsand at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Ugh. This is what it comes down to. I have no words for how sad and angry this makes me.

I'm guessing that because it was a Democrat, which is to say someone who is not considered human by the owners of our national media, this will be gone from the news within days.

Congress will not give a shit. There will be no hearings, no condemnations of the hate speech which leads to stuff like this, (thankfully) no random bombing of some country with brown people in it in response to this. Hell, I bet the word "terrorism" never even comes up (which is fine, but you know if it was a Republican that's all that would be on every screen, front page and radio bulletin).

We totally give a free pass to the scariest threats to our freedom in this country, which is ultra-conservative white dudes. You could have ten bombs go off simultaneously in this country and when it was discovered it was a Christian "militia" that did it, that would be the end of the story. I don't know what, if anything, can be done.
posted by maxwelton at 11:46 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Rumor has it her husband is currently in space?

Her BIL is also an astronaut, he is in space.
posted by fixedgear at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



Can we call this an assassination? That's the term we use when it happens in other countries.


Sure, if she dies. Regardless of motive this is an assassination.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 11:47 AM on January 8, 2011


MSNBC now reporting that Giffords is alive and in very critical condition.

This is insane.


Insane, but perhaps typical of how media works in general, and right now. There's a local TV station there, KOLD-TV, that's got a live stream with continuous coverage.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Calling for assassination isn't political speech, and a lot of these people have done it time and again.
posted by empath at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


It might help to remind the folks in charge that 'terrorist' is a description of behavior, not a racial/religious category. Utterly disgusting.
posted by cmyk at 11:48 AM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


But congressional hearings aimed at suppressing political speech are the last thing America needs right now.

And congressional hearings needn't be about suppressing anything, just naming and shaming people.
posted by empath at 11:49 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If she dies, she becomes a martyr, and we might see a backlash against right wing extremism. If she survives, I guarantee that NOTHING WILL HAPPEN to stop this bullshit.

That said, she does not deserve to die. I hope she pulls through.
posted by SansPoint at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2011


She is apparently not dead. She is in surgery.
This is terrifying and horrible.


Thinking of a crude cart and an English Accent of "I'm not dead" is horrible.

The news media not getting things right is hardly terrifying.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:50 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, according to my mother's report of local news, Giffords was air-lifted from the Safeway to the only Trauma-1 hospital in Tucson, UMC. That could be another explanation for the time it took to arrive.
posted by carsonb at 11:51 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Apparently her husband's twin brother is in space right now. The husband is scheduled to GO to space but is not currently IN space.

I don't mean this facetiously as this is not a time for humour, but I must say that that is a sentence I never expected to read.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:51 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Rumor has it her husband is currently in space?

Her BIL is also an astronaut, he is in space.


Her husband is Mark Kelly, a NASA astronaut and pilot who is scheduled to command the last Shuttle flight later this spring. Her BIL, and Mark's twin brother, is Scott Kelly, currently commander of the ISS.
posted by ZeusHumms at 11:51 AM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


This is a terrible tragedy, for the United States and for the whole world. I'm sure the thoughts of people all over the world, in my own country and many others, are with Ms. Giffords and her family.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 11:52 AM on January 8, 2011


If she dies, she becomes a martyr, and we might see a backlash against right wing extremism. If she survives, I guarantee that NOTHING WILL HAPPEN to stop this bullshit.

Only if we are silent.
posted by Ironmouth at 11:53 AM on January 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


Skip to around 2:10 in this MSNBC interview for your chilling quote of the day.

And, of course, when Giffords says what she says in that clip about the consequences of violent rhetoric, Charlie Cook jumps in and says, "Well, in fairness, campaign rhetoric and war rhetoric have been interchangeable for years. So, is there a line here?"
posted by blucevalo at 11:53 AM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Skip to around 2:10 in this MSNBC interview for your chilling quote of the day.

Wow, we're going to see that replayed often in the coming days.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 11:54 AM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Yeah, the Charlie Cook reply made my stomach turn. I hope it does the same to him, now.
posted by AwkwardPause at 11:55 AM on January 8, 2011


This thread is the classic definition of the word "knee-jerk." We don't even know if the woman is alive or dead, and some of you have already tried and convicted the gunman and the entire American Right wing for assassinating her.
posted by crunchland at 11:55 AM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


.
posted by DreamerFi at 11:56 AM on January 8, 2011


Hospital spokeswoman confirming on CNN that Giffords is "in surgery."
posted by blucevalo at 11:56 AM on January 8, 2011


We don't even know if the woman is alive or dead, and some of you have already tried and convicted the gunman and the entire American Right wing for assassinating her.

Good point. This may have simply been a case of self-defense.
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 11:56 AM on January 8, 2011 [124 favorites]


I'm at work right now about 2 miles from that Safeway. It's apx. 8 miles from there to UMC. Work is very quiet and customers, for the most part, seem subdued. I volunteer at UMC, it's a good hospital. It's the only level 1 trama center until phx, I believe.

Just a few months ago a man was shot point-blank in the head at a chick-fil-a across the street. This is not a bad part of town. The Safeway is in an even nicer part of town. It wasn't like she was "across the tracks".
posted by lizjohn at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is very, very upsetting. My thoughts and prayers go to these people and their families.
posted by TooFewShoes at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Watching CNN right now. I guess Boenner has made the correct sort of political statement. She is alive and in surgery according to CNN. One child is among the wounded, all injured are in critical or serious condition.
posted by Katjusa Roquette at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011


There sure are a lot of amateur police officers, lawyers, juries, and judges in here.
posted by proj at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


we might see a backlash against right wing extremism.

Don't forget that in the US of A you have the Right wing and a lesser Right wing when you compare to other nations.

I'd much rather see the extremists out in the open talking as much as possible about their plans so that its FAR easier for them to be spotted by the security parts of the security State.
posted by rough ashlar at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


CNN just said she's alive and in surgery. And apparently one of the wounded is a child.
posted by homunculus at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011


.
posted by spitefulcrow at 11:57 AM on January 8, 2011


And no, not the entire right wing:

Rush Limbaugh
Glenn Beck
Sharron Angle
Sarah Palin
Michelle Bachmann
posted by empath at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2011


Charlie Cook apparently espouses that nouveau investigative journo stereotype of playing devil's advocate regardless of the facts. What an asshat, but it's been happening for years now, so I guess it's ok for Charlie to do it as well.
posted by jsavimbi at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Expect much crying and complaints along the line of "We were only calling for metaphorical gun violence while encouraging psople to stalk our opponents with the real thing! Wah wah wah!"
posted by Artw at 11:58 AM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


KOLD is reporting that the parking lot is cordoned off and you should find another place to shop if you usually go to that store.
posted by boo_radley at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Right below the big headline on the NYT site there is a pull quote from a typical carrying-water-for-the-right both-sides-do-it "think" piece:
House Democrats Unleash Rapid Attacks
By CARL HULSE 1:07 PM ET

Being in the minority allows Democrats to assault Republicans with the same kind of attacks that Republicans so effectively used against them.
Not, as it turns out, the very same kind, after all.
posted by enn at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


My wife asks a question: When can a spokesperson for a hospital give statements about the status of a patient? Do they have to get a release? Is there a public-interest exception to medical privacy?
posted by Bookhouse at 11:59 AM on January 8, 2011


you should find another place to shop if you usually go to that store.

That is top quality journalism, there.
posted by empath at 12:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Thank you to Squeak Attack, stbalbach and others for providing some background info about Giffords and Arizona state and politics.
posted by iamkimiam at 12:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Times like these (and the public response to them) never fail to bring the end Robert Altman's Nashville, after (SPOILER) singer Barbara Jean is killed at a political rally.

Songs for our times.

Also, someone really needs to do something about the ad at the bottom of this thread.
posted by hermitosis at 12:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


>>> There sure are a lot of amateur police officers, lawyers, juries, and judges in here.

Are you new here? No, you've been around since '06. Speculation might be ultimately counterproductive, but sitting and stewing and ignoring the 800-pound rhetorical gorilla is just as fruitless.
posted by grabbingsand at 12:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


While we don't know about the shooter...we know about the manufactured political climate in Arizona. If I were to pour gasoline all over your house and not light a match am I responsible after someone does light one?

The American media is in over their heads. To be fair, they are just corporate mouthpieces.
posted by zerobyproxy at 12:02 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


(Sorry, I meant to say "bring to mind," not just "bring.")
posted by hermitosis at 12:02 PM on January 8, 2011


I hope that this will lead to soul-searching and real change from the Republicans who have been inciting this kind of violence for the last 2–3 years. But I fear that we will instead only see empty "condemnations" with no acknowledgment of responsibility by those who are so responsible for this.
posted by grouse at 12:02 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yeah, the Charlie Cook reply made my stomach turn. I hope it does the same to him, now.

Was that Charlie Cook? I thought it was Chuck Todd, which made my stomach roil even harder... I used to have a little crush on him, but that whole "in fairness" bit was the last nail in that coffin.
posted by palomar at 12:03 PM on January 8, 2011


Conflicting reports. This is March 30, 1981 all over again.

That's exactly what I thought of as well. I was 12, and I recall watching dinner in front of the television (which NEVER happened) and hearing reports of deaths that were later retracted.

I hope she makes it. I hope she makes it, retains function and goes back to Congress. Then leads a commission on the impact of campaign rhetoric and the responsibility of candidates to encourage civility.

QFT. I would like to think that this wasn't politically related, but I don't have a lot of faith in that possibility.
posted by booksherpa at 12:04 PM on January 8, 2011


The monster at the end of this thread.
posted by hermitosis at 12:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Meanwhile, on right wing websites: Breaking: Did a Radical Daily Kos Reader try to Assassinate Rep. Giffords?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's a link to Representative Giffords on Open Congress, which lists her voting record and short bio. It lists her as voting with Democrats 100% of the time and abstaining 0 times. I like congresscritters that don't abstain.

That's from the 112th congress. There have been like eight votes.
posted by xorry at 12:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Always a class act, Glenn Reynolds is saying that the Gifford shooting is exactly what Democrats wanted, an Oklahoma City moment to help Obama to get his poll numbers up.

And Reynolds accusing others of using the Gifford shooting to score political points.
posted by jayder at 12:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


You are right -- Chuck Todd. My apologies.
posted by AwkwardPause at 12:08 PM on January 8, 2011


Meanwhile, on right wing websites: Breaking: Did a Radical Daily Kos Reader try to Assassinate Rep. Giffords?

Oh, man...
Update: BoyBlue has made several comments on DailyKos today, including that he was "gonna go" to the rally today. This means that it is unlikely that he shot Giffords. This does not mean that he was not involved, however.
I'd laugh if I weren't so pissed off.
posted by brundlefly at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2011


Local Arizona live newsfeed.
posted by crunchland at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2011


Sarah Palin:
My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2011


Reynolds appears to be editing his post.

It started as

And judging from the comments to this post, people are already trying to score political points. Well, they kind of telegraphed this strategy, didn’t they?

Now it says:

And judging from the comments to this post, people are already trying to score political points. Well, they kind of telegraphed this strategy, didn’t they? Remember Bloomberg making a fool of himself by blaming the Times Square bombing on the Tea Party? How about waiting until we actually know something, this time.

posted by jayder at 12:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


And I'm certainly not a proponent of the man, buuuut~ I recall that Boehner's been consistent in saying that violent rhetoric is a bad and divisive thing.
posted by boo_radley at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Boehner can bite me with his feigned "horror."
posted by blucevalo at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The 24 hour news cycle is killing our country. It gives airtime and credence to too many nutjobs of every persuasion.
posted by DaddyNewt at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


We don't even know if the woman is alive or dead, and some of you have already tried and convicted the gunman and the entire American Right wing for assassinating her.

That's right! Also: We can't say anything about Iraq until we find out about those WMDs!

And besides, the Oscar Grant murder manslaughter case has shown us that shooting unarmed people in front of dozens of witnesses might always be a case of terrible misunderstanding.

I'm sure dude was reaching to offer her a stick of gum and mixed it up with his guns (which he had to keep on himself at all times, unless Obama would be sending his Secret Muslims to steal from his house).
posted by yeloson at 12:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


That target image is still on Palin's servers, though it's been removed from the site's front page.

Guess they'll put it back in a couple of days when this blows over.

(yes, grar, because when your political organization uses the metaphor of SHOOTING PEOPLE WITH GUNS to explain to your followers who your political opponents are, that's just fucking asking for one of your more unhinged followers to take it literally)
posted by cmyk at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

Not good enough.
posted by empath at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


Dr. Rayle said he performed CPR on some of the victims.
posted by warbaby at 12:12 PM on January 8, 2011


Something worse. With headlines like these, how can anyone be surprised? This is the most horrible thing I can think of, really, since 9/11. And in some ways, it's even more insidious because most likely, the person who committed this act was an American citizen. I was hoping 2011 was going to maybe give a break - people might ease up a little. No such luck.
posted by PuppyCat at 12:13 PM on January 8, 2011


As far as I can tell, the target map is still online at "Take Back the 20", although the site is under heavy load.

And so it should be IMO: either you think this kind of rhetoric and imagery is okay, or you don't. Removing it after the fact just incriminates yourself.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


My sincere condolences apologies are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

FTFY.
posted by MuffinMan at 12:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sarah Palin: "On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice."

Bullshit.
posted by blucevalo at 12:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


hermitosis and anyone else who's seeing an inappropriate ad on the page:
grab the URL that the ad points to, and use the contact form (bottom right of the page) to send it to the mods, and they can block that ad.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, do you typically give your condolences to someone's family when they are still alive?
posted by empath at 12:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This make me ill. I was born in AZ. I returned to AZ for school. From Ev Mecham to Sheriff Joe and Pam Brewer to SB1070 it has been an embarrassment having to list AZ as my state of birth. And now this.

As I switched through channels looking for more information I stopped on FoxNews and I'm happy to see they've pre-empt a Glenn Beck for live coverage that for now, are covering the facts and not making this political yet and being very measured. Shep Smith asking the spokesperson at the hospital if there's something people can do like give blood for those that were injured.

I didn't know the Rep. Giffords but this is hitting me harder that I've thought. We're not supposed to shoot our representatives. Palin's gunshot map doesn't help matters. This whole environment in this country scares the fuck out of me.
posted by birdherder at 12:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Also, do you typically give your condolences to someone's family when they are still alive?

According to precedent and classical etiquette, it is often considered appropriate to express empathy and sorrow when a tragic event occurs, whether or not the outcome of that event is ultimately fatal.
posted by malusmoriendumest at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Condolences are an expression of sympathy to someone who has experienced grief arising from death, deep mental anguish, or misfortune."
posted by crunchland at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, do you typically give your condolences to someone's family when they are still alive?

In fairness, numerous news media were reporting that she was "confirmed dead", so this seems like a reasonable thing to do.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.


...but we're not gonna do anything like go out onna limb an' actually condemn violence in the political arena also, you betcha.
posted by scody at 12:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [40 favorites]


furiousxgeorge writes "Rayle helped hold the gunman down while waiting for the sheriff to arrive, about 15-to-20 minutes later. The EMS came about 30 minutes later. Rayle said he was 'stunned' by how long it took medical help to arrive."

Someone else mentioned that Tuscon is spread out. Do they not have fire and ambulance station spread out as well? Around here medical first response is in less than 7 minutes (well the goal is less than 7 minutes, I'm not sure the actual response rate) because fire crews have medical training and fire stations are spread around to minimize travel time. If 50 minutes turns out to be accurate (or even 40 minutes) that's just unbelievable.
posted by Mitheral at 12:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is the most horrible thing I can think of, really, since 9/11.

I don't know about that. We went into one war that had no legitimate cause, at the cost of hundreds of thousands of lives. We've got the Patriot Act, the end of warrants and privacy laws, no habeas corpus, unlimited detention, extraordinary rendition and violations of the Geneva conventions, firebombings at mosques, etc.

And if we're talking about JUST crazed shooters, there was the Holocaust museum shooter and the guy who was cruising over the Bay Bridge to go shoot up non-profit organizations, to name two political shooters right off the bat.

Both in terms of threats to democracy and general terrorism, this is horrible, but it's not been all underwear bombers and Aqua Teen Hunger Force night light scares since 9/11.
posted by yeloson at 12:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


The KOLD website has a headline on their front page as well --apparently the Tucson city council is being forced to rescind a city gun ban in parks in response to a law passed by Republicans in the Arizona legislature.
posted by gimonca at 12:23 PM on January 8, 2011


Andrew Sullivan is saying that she was pronounced dead at 3:23 eastern
posted by empath at 12:24 PM on January 8, 2011


blucevalo writes "Sarah Palin: 'On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.'

"Bullshit."


They probably do. The powers of cognitive dissonance are probably strong with Sarah Palin.
posted by Mitheral at 12:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Are you sure this happened in Arizona? Because it says the shooter was tackled, not gunned down by heroic citizens carrying their legally concealed firearms.
posted by swift at 12:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [59 favorites]


Such a wise quote from Marty Kaplan's blog post about this:

I'm not saying that putting a bullseye on Arizona Democrat Rep. Gabrielle Giffords' congressional race - as Sarah Palin did - was an explicit or intentional invitation to violence. Nor am I saying that the "Get on Target for Victory" events held by the guy Giffords beat - "Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly" - was the reason her assassin went after her. This tragedy is still unfolding, and the questions of motive and incitement will be argued about for a long time to come.

But I am saying that the "lock and load"/"take up your arms" rhetoric of American politics isn't just an overheated metaphor.

If you're worried that violent video games may make kids prone to bad behavior; if you think that mysogenic and homophobic rap lyrics are dangerous to society; if you believe that a nipple in a Superbowl halftime show is a threat to our moral fabric - then surely you should also fear that the way public and media figures have framed political participation as a shooting gallery imagery is just as potentially lethal.

posted by jeanmari at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [84 favorites]


NYPost talks to Giffords' Dad. "'Entire Tea Party' her enemy."
posted by hermitosis at 12:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Okay... last one out of the crumbling republic.... please turn out the lights.

.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 12:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The NRA response is going to be that if everyone in her entourage and every shopper in the store was carrying concealed weapons they could have killed the shooter after the fact instead of going through the messy and expensive process of arresting him and bringing him to trial.
posted by thecjm at 12:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I am a Tucson native and am home for the holidays. I was watching Idiocracy on Comedy Central when my dad told me to change the channel. How appropriate.

I've met Gabby twice. The first time was during the Democratic primary (2006?) at a friend of a friend's house who was hosting a meet the candidates type thing. She was a very intelligent, sweet person. I didn't vote for her in the primary because she was too far to the right for me, but when she got won the primary I sent her $20 to help defeat the troglodyte the Republicans selected. I have supported her every election since. This is just unbelievable.

I would also like to point out that this was not a political rally. She and her staff set up a table in front of the grocery store to help address constituent issues. Social security, VA benefits, etc. She was doing the most important job a congressperson has and some asshole shot her for it.

I live in another country now. My parents were worried about political violence where I live. Today their Safeway was more dangerous.
posted by nestor_makhno at 12:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [88 favorites]


I believe Aaron Sorkin just said about everything that needs to be said about Palin and her subhuman kind, among whom I am fairly certain we'll learn this shitstain assassin counted himself, with specific (dis)respect to her Potemkin Village version of "hunting" on her reality TV show:



Like 95% of the people I know, I don't have a visceral (look it up) problem eating meat or wearing a belt. But like absolutely everybody I know, I don't relish the idea of torturing animals. I don't enjoy the fact that they're dead and I certainly don't want to volunteer to be the one to kill them and if I were picked to be the one to kill them in some kind of Lottery-from-Hell, I wouldn't do a little dance of joy while I was slicing the animal apart.

I'm able to make a distinction between you and me without feeling the least bit hypocritical. I don't watch snuff films and you make them. You weren't killing that animal for food or shelter or even fashion, you were killing it for fun. You enjoy killing animals. I can make the distinction between the two of us but I've tried and tried and for the life of me, I can't make a distinction between what you get paid to do and what Michael Vick went to prison for doing. I'm able to make the distinction with no pangs of hypocrisy even though I get happy every time one of you faux-macho shitheads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face.



These are people who like to have blood on their hands. Politics is just their excuse.
posted by spitbull at 12:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


the Safeway Giffords was set up at isn't exactly in the middle of a city—it's way out in the suburbs

I'm going to disagree that Ina and Oracle are out in the suburbs. Ina/Oracle is one of the main intersections of the very populous northwest side. Both Ina and Oracle are huge arterials. The intersection is not too far from Northwest Hospital.

Giffords was air-lifted from the Safeway to the only Trauma-1 hospital in Tucson, UMC
Yes, another huge problem for Tucson is that it only has one Trauma-1 hospital. It's hard to imagine a whole half a state of car accidents and other emergencies being covered by one hospital but there you go.
posted by Squeak Attack at 12:29 PM on January 8, 2011


It astounds me that the same people who were inciting violence now claim that the only one to blame is the gunman himself, who acted alone.

As if these events happen in a social/cultural vacuum.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Federal judge among those shot
posted by lukemeister at 12:29 PM on January 8, 2011


Unsafeway.
posted by stbalbach at 12:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Palin was interested in her...

Yep. Congressman Gifford's name was highlighted on the now infamous Sarah PAC poster map -- 'Take Back The 20' -- which included sniper scope graphics focused on the congressional districts and representatives they sought to take aim at.
posted by ericb at 12:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You are right -- Chuck Todd. My apologies.

Mine as well.
posted by blucevalo at 12:31 PM on January 8, 2011


Marty Kaplan is an idiot. None of those examples are from people in with real government power. You know the people who write laws, put people in jail, execute people, start wars, and sometimes start revolutions. Speech in games and rap videos is 100% different than speech from a politician or a political organization hiting that violent response is justified and gun violence is very much part of the real America.

Kanye telling me to take up arms against P-Ditty is different than a popular conservative movement telling me that Democrats are stealing elections, putting in spies, and its justified to fight back.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:32 PM on January 8, 2011


I used to work for a member of congress and would run just these kinds of events. I was surprised at first at the lack of security, not so much as an off duty policeman. The only time the capitol hill police came in to the district was to scare off a local loon who left a number of vaguely threatening phone calls. The members are basically sitting ducks as their schedules are largely public. An organized terrorist group (foreign or domestic) could coordinate to target scores of representatives and senators in their home states. My boss said he thought about it once in awhile, but that being able to talk to constituents without sending them through metal detectors was worth the risk. The House is supposed to be for regular people, he said. I wonder how the current members are feeling right now...
posted by the christopher hundreds at 12:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


According to a perfunctory Google Maps search, there is a Sheriff's office 10 minutes from the shooting site. UMC appears to be a 20-minute drive away. Not being familiar with Tuscon, I don't know how accurate these things are - and EMS/Ambulance stations would probably be more informantive, but anyhoo.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 12:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Grouse,
This violence is what they want. That's the point of the rhetoric.
posted by wuwei at 12:36 PM on January 8, 2011


I get happy every time one of you faux-macho shitheads accidentally shoots another one of you in the face.

Look, this is not a good direction to go. I'm going to go way out on a limb here and say it's bad when people get killed in hunting accidents, and it's bad when people get killed in general. The rhetoric of "I'm happy when people who are on the other side [of whatever issue] get killed" is bad, and this is a bad day to endorse it.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [47 favorites]


With what we know now, it would be hasty to conclude that this is the result of the American Right Wing's rhetoric and calls for assassination. That said, that's exactly what this will turn out to be.
posted by kafziel at 12:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Lobstermitten -- I assumed he was referring to Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face, which did not involve any fatalities as the victim was able to apologize for Dick for putting his face in the wrong place or something like that.
posted by rmd1023 at 12:38 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is appalling.

I do so wonder what's going to happen. You would think with this, the firebombings, the museum murder, the census worker, that the media will finally have to start admitting to the idea of "right wing terrorism" whether or not they use exactly those words.

I'd like to believe that our speaking out about this would have some effect, as Ironmouth claims - but it's been 30 years and more since anyone not on the right has had the slightest effect in America by "speaking out".

Unfortunately, my theory, preposterous as it is, is that nothing at all will change, except that we'll get even more security. The murderer will be executed or jailed forever, he'll be marked as a lone nutcase. It will be impossible not to discuss the connection between the violent rhetoric on the right and the actual violence for a while, but the obedient media will "present both sides" on the issue, talk about free speech, and then it'll just vanish.

It's really hard not to get all conspiracy theory these days. Remember when people were showing up to Obama's political rallies with unloaded guns and not being detained - because they had a "right" to carry that gun? Perhaps so, but as we know, the current theory is that the police state can immediately detain you without any form of due process or evidence if you are a possible "terrorist".

I deplore that claim - but do I think it would be unreasonable for the authorities to detain someone for a couple of days for questioning if they showed up with a gun to the President's rally - particular one who is constantly receiving death threats, even publicly? Heck, no!

The strange laissez-faire attitude with respect to threats to our elected representatives contrasts very strangely to the paranoia at our borders. It's hard to know what to think.

Anyway, this is dreadful, and let's hope that it marks the beginning of the end of something - rather than the end of the beginning.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:38 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


That said, that's exactly what this will turn out to be.

Worry not, I'll be connecting the dots to Breitbart once we learn the shooter's name.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2011


Damn dirty ape, I don't think Kaplan was writing that to you or I (I don't agree with censoring video games or music). He was writing to the people that my parents hang out with who will "tut, tut" with "But HOW can violent rhetoric from Our Boy Beck or Princess Palin create real violence? That's absurd!" But these are the same people who fuss and fret over the examples Kaplan listed. He seems to be pointing out their hypocrisy, not calling for the heads of video game makers.
posted by jeanmari at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I'm going to disagree that Ina and Oracle are out in the suburbs.

This is totally pedantic, but I stand by what I said. Ina/Oracle is no Dove Mountain, but it's not Sam Hughes either. It, like many populous areas of metro Tucson, is pretty far away from the center of town. And like much of Tucson, for as populous as that part of town is, it is very spread out.

Ack, what a dumb derail.
posted by carsonb at 12:39 PM on January 8, 2011


Eh, I'm not going to contribute to a derail with a long defense of hunting, but that Sorkin post is just bullshit.
posted by Bookhouse at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


the census worker

Killed himself.
posted by hermitosis at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Mitheral: They probably do. The powers of cognitive dissonance are probably strong with Sarah Palin.

I don't doubt that they have prayed because they're very public -- like the Pharisees -- about making sure everyone in the world knows that they pray. Doesn't make it any less sanctimonious or any less of a bullshit move for her to say that she hopes for peace and justice when she has done more in the last two years than any public figure to foment the opposite.
posted by blucevalo at 12:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


It doesn't seem hasty to conclude this to me. Utterly predictable and deplorable. It's long past time for those on the right and in the media to strongly condemn the kind of rhetoric that is pervasive on the right from Sarah Palin's target list, Giffords' oppenent's fundraiser, Sharon Angle's call for "2nd amendment remedies".
posted by leslies at 12:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


CNN reports she is out of surgery and is going to survive. I hope that's true
posted by empath at 12:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


NBC is reporting that one of the shooting victims is US District Court Judge John Roll.
posted by BitterOldPunk at 12:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Lobstermitten -- I assumed he was referring to Dick Cheney shooting his friend in the face, which did not involve any fatalities

Sure, I know. And I'm pretty sure that Sorkin doesn't actually think it's good when people get killed in hunting accidents either (again, way out on my limb here). I just mean, I think Palin is crummy and her hunting show is gross, but taking the rhetoric up to those overheated levels ("ha ha you got shot") is a bad way to go and not a sentiment I'm excited to hear directed against anybody even in jest today.
posted by LobsterMitten at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


damn dirty ape: so, the violent rhetoric in politics is even worse than those other things, assuming you believe those other things to be a problem? I can't figure out what you're arguing.
posted by ctmf at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2011


Robert Reich is/was reportedly a close friend and attended her wedding. Although he is out of the country, his last Twitter post is worth reading:

The greatest corrosive of civil virtue is cynicism that we can accomplish anything of great value together. Do not succumb to it.
posted by dhartung at 12:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Second suspect arrested in connection with shooting; third suspect being sought.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


At least Boehner's statement made it clear that it is never OK to use violence. Palin's statement is similar to what a public person might have said if it was a car wreck. Fuck her. But if she were assassinated I'd be just as outraged by the violence.
posted by birdherder at 12:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


With what we know now, it would be hasty to conclude that this is the result of the American Right Wing's rhetoric and calls for assassination. That said, that's exactly what this will turn out to be.

But you can't hold a whole fraternity responsible for the behavior of a few, sick twisted individuals. For if you do, then shouldn't we blame the whole fraternity system? And if the whole fraternity system is guilty, then isn't this an indictment of our educational institutions in general? I put it to you, kafziel - isn't this an indictment of our entire American society? Well, you can do whatever you want to us, but we're not going to sit here and listen to you badmouth the United States of America. Gentlemen!
posted by three blind mice at 12:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


CNN reports she is out of surgery and is going to survive. I hope that's true

Really? Is it the website, or something other than the main station?
posted by cashman at 12:46 PM on January 8, 2011


Shooter was born in 1988, 22 years old. He is talking. Appears to be a single shooter.
posted by stbalbach at 12:46 PM on January 8, 2011


> most horrible since 9/11.

I think the anthrax was much worse, partly because of the long and awful deaths involved, partly because of the huge disruptions and expensive cleanup (they had to decontam huge areas of the USPS and the magazines), but mainly because of the damage that you could do to society at all levels if this became at all uncommon.

By the way, it seems almost certain to me at least that the anthrax was another right-wing terrorist activity, given the nature of the targets as Democrats (the one apparent exception was the poor photo editor who died - but it turns out he had printed pictures of the Bush twins disgracing themselves not one week before...) and the fact that the anthrax turned out to be US-made.

Right-wing terrorists. Repeat that phrase until it sinks in to everyone you know.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Im arguing that those other things are powerless expression while assassination requests from those in power are legitimate dangerous and irresponsible speech. Equating violence in a science fiction novel with shooting people in the face because right-wing politicians and commentators are constantly drawing up conspiracy theories and demanding "2nd Amendment solutions" is being idiotic and only empowers extremists because the Palins, Limbaughs, and Becks of the world will claim "Hey, we're just entertainers! Like Kanye!" No you are fucking not.
posted by damn dirty ape at 12:47 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Thanks for the info on the census worker - very sad...)
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 12:48 PM on January 8, 2011


Obama statement.
posted by hermitosis at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Deputy City Manager according to MSNBC: She is expected to pull through.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 12:49 PM on January 8, 2011


CRS Report for Congress: (PDF)

Members of the U.S. Congress Who Have Died of
Other Than Natural Causes While in Office.


Insanity. Palin is political history.
posted by clavdivs at 12:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


AP names gunman as Jared Laughner
posted by Wilder at 12:50 PM on January 8, 2011


You have to wonder how the other 19 individuals on Sarah's hit list are responding to this.

You realize, of course, if a student in a high school produced the list that Sarah did, he/she would be expelled, and probably charged. But we allow these adults the privilege of making threats and encouraging violence, and we don't stand up against them... The disheartening part isn't that Palin, Rush, and their ilk say what they say, the disheartening part is that we don't do shit about it.

My thoughts are with Giffords' family.
posted by HuronBob at 12:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [43 favorites]


The federal judge who was shot had previously received death threats, one guess who from (screenshot in case servers go down)
posted by jtron at 12:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really? Is it the website, or something other than the main station?

It was the live feed on the website.
posted by empath at 12:53 PM on January 8, 2011


AP is spelling it wrong. It's "Jared Loughner".
posted by jeanmari at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2011


Insanity. Palin is political history.

Not at all.

AP names gunman as Jared Laughner

And the internet will immediately scour. Reddit will probably find something notable by the next hour.
posted by cashman at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Update: I see that Sarah Palin has called the shooting “tragic”. OK, a bit of history: right-wingers went wild over anyone who called 9/11 a tragedy, insisting that it wasn’t a tragedy, it was an atrocity.

It's high time our nation rid itself of this woman and her family. We didn't ask for her and we don't need her.
posted by jsavimbi at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Spelling is wrong. It's Jared Loughner (I think)

Youtube videos.
posted by Lord_Pall at 12:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Everyone saying how this is obviously the fault of the Right Wing just needs to chill the fuck out. We don't know anything about this guy. For all we know he's a communist pissed that Gifford wasn't liberal enough.

Seriously. can we maybe, just once, try to deal with a tragedy without automatically reading our own political narrative into it?
posted by valkyryn at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


please let him not be "Mefi's Own" Jared Loughner
posted by jtron at 12:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


.
posted by ananda gale at 12:56 PM on January 8, 2011


This video begins with the title "My Final Thoughts". It's full of TimeCube style ramblings, including some stuff about government control of citizens.
posted by EarBucket at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Uploaded December 15th. He was planning this.
posted by EarBucket at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Funny name for a Mexican.
posted by Artw at 12:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Press conference streaming now on KOLD.
posted by jokeefe at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2011


His YouTube page (at least, the YouTube page of a person with that name involved with Pima CC with "tucson" in his tags). His one video marked as "favorite."
posted by jtron at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Wow, his youtube channel is woo-woo crazy. I don't think you can pin ideology on that kind of insanity.
posted by empath at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2011


Chief Judge John Roll, threatened with death in '09, killed in shooting.
posted by octobersurprise at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2011


My wife asks a question: When can a spokesperson for a hospital give statements about the status of a patient? Do they have to get a release? Is there a public-interest exception to medical privacy?

Good question, and now I would like to know the answer. I imagine that public figures should have no expectation of privacy in times of crisis. I wonder if it is part of written policy.

The link to tucsoncitizen.com you posted, octobersurprise, is already broken. But it seems to conflict with the unreferenced "lone gunman" claim by stbalbach.

For those who haven't read the whole thread, ZeusHumms posted a link to the KOLM streaming broadcast. The KOLD news anchors were just chiding the national news organizations for prematurely reporting the congresswoman's death. They make clear distinctions on what they do and do not know. I think I already trust these people I have never seen more than Wolf Blitzer.
posted by chemoboy at 12:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Youtube videos.

Even for a guy who just shot a member of congress, that guy is fucking shithouse-rat-crazy.
posted by enn at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


his myspace page has already gone down, spelling loughner, thanks jeanmari
posted by Wilder at 12:59 PM on January 8, 2011


I am sitting at a bar fighting back tears. So sad for her and a tragedy for representative democracy in this country.
posted by stargell at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2011


KOLD just reported the updated number of injured at 18.
posted by faineant at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2011


Sorry, that was previously filmed, I think; conference scheduled for 6:00 p.m. local time. Stream is now talking about whether or not "the game" at the college is going to take place tonight.
posted by jokeefe at 1:00 PM on January 8, 2011


His MySpace page has been taken down.
posted by swift at 1:01 PM on January 8, 2011


Wait....US Military recruit?

Oh ...boy
posted by The Whelk at 1:01 PM on January 8, 2011


Wow, his youtube channel is woo-woo crazy. I don't think you can pin ideology on that kind of insanity.

Agreed, but that's precisely why conservative leaders need to tone down their rhetoric and stop talking about shooting Democrats. Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered, but she has a lot of people who follow her, and it only takes one nutjob who doesn't understand that she's speaking metaphorically. The shooter is ultimately responsible for his actions, but Palin, Beck, and the rest need to understand that they're not blameless here.
posted by EarBucket at 1:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [39 favorites]


Insanity. Palin is political history.

Not at all.


empath, mark my words.
she is political history and will not run for public office, at least the presidency.
amirite
posted by clavdivs at 1:01 PM on January 8, 2011


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it. This is why you wait.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


She's alive! Ship it one time god!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 1:02 PM on January 8, 2011



Dude was psycho.
posted by Pogo_Fuzzybutt at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2011


Press conference: the dead person is a child. The Congresswoman is still alive but in critical condition. 5 still in surgery.
posted by jokeefe at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2011


the nuerosurgeons are optimistic!!!!!!! wow she's following commands through & through head shot. that fucking incredible. she's responding to commands

but a child died.

.
posted by Wilder at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2011


Surgeon: Giffords was shot once through the head. She's out of surgery, and he's "very optimistic." "As optimistic as I could be in this situation."
posted by craichead at 1:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am quite a bit less sane after watching two of those YouTube videos. Seriously, seriously creepy. While we're conjecturing, you have to wonder if this was planned and the videos were planted to help establish an insanity alibi.
posted by ladybird at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it.

I don't think that follows. The videos are full of stuff about higher education being unconstitutional, the government using mind control on citizens, US currency being invalid--all beliefs that square with a particularly nutty brand of right-wing politics. Just because he's crazy doesn't mean this wasn't politically motivated.
posted by EarBucket at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


From the press conference: "The one fatality here at the hospital is a child."

I just. Cannot.
posted by mephron at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


insanity *defense* not alibi
posted by ladybird at 1:04 PM on January 8, 2011


Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered,

No, but I bet people like that, deep down, don't mind. How many of them thought "another seat open"?
posted by gjc at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2011


Tucson festival of books
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it.

No -- the videos make it clear that he was obsessed with the "illiteracy" of people in the 8th District and convinced that the government was watching him.

Politics sure as hell does factor into it.
posted by blucevalo at 1:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it.

They have already arrested one other person aside from Loughner and they have stated they are looking for a third. He's a nut, but he's not a lone nut.
posted by enn at 1:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is this him?

http://azstarnet.com/events/collection_aebeb63c-2f9e-11df-9021-001cc4c002e0.html?mode=image&photo=8

http://knol.google.com/k/jared-loughner/jared-loughner/s94rk2g8o4ye/0#
posted by NorthernLite at 1:06 PM on January 8, 2011



I don't think that follows. The videos are full of stuff about higher education being unconstitutional, the government using mind control on citizens, US currency being invalid--all beliefs that square with a particularly nutty brand of right-wing politics. Just because he's crazy doesn't mean this wasn't politically motivated.


Sarah Palin wasn't putting targets on people who participated in mind control. She doesn't preach about how paying for community college classes is unconstitutional. His views are not the views of Beck or Palin.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The part where the shooter - if those YouTube videos are his - may be woo-woo jinglefuck crazy does not excuse Palin etc from putting crosshairs on political opponents. It's still a hideous visual.
posted by cmyk at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


If it is Loughner, and this is his video, I quote:


"In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is imply mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!

No! I won't trust in God!

What's government if words don't have meaning?"


It reads like his mind is the place where Glenn Beck and Derrida meet on the other side.
posted by banal evil at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


How does it follow that because his views are not those of Beck or Palin that politics doesn't enter into it?
posted by blucevalo at 1:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it. This is why you wait.

Bullshit. People who shoot other people are nuts. Always. I could have told you he was a nut as soon as I heard he shot someone, because people who shoot other people are nuts. You don't get to absolve everyone with incendiary rhetoric just because the shooter is nuts -- all shooters are nuts. They don't live in a vacuum, after all; they're influenced by the rhetoric of the people around them and yes, if you say violent things which would only incite a crazy person, and a crazy person goes and does something terrible, you still incited them.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [85 favorites]


Judging by his youtube video, he seems to be an atheist ("No! I won't trust in God!", "I didn't write a belief on my Army application, and the recruiter wrote on the application: None.") I am absolutely dreading when the media picks up on that, as if atheists weren't already demonized on this country enough as it is.

Also interesting, that he was evidently in the Army (in training? Not exactly sure what MEPS is).
posted by Hargrimm at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it. This is why you wait.

No, this is why you don't metaphorically suggest assassination as a remedy for political disagreement. Because it contributes to political hysteria that incites the nuts.
posted by scody at 1:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [70 favorites]


The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.
posted by xmutex at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


"Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered"...

I certainly believe that she's encouraging just that to happen and is fucking smart enough to realize it. Smart enough to realize that with enough sex appeal she'll find some crazy fool to pick up a gun and show up at a shopping mall...
posted by HuronBob at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


His views are not the views of Beck or Palin.

His views on currency sure seem like he's been listening to Beck and Ron Paul. He's farther out on the crazy fringe than they are, sure. That doesn't mean he's not influenced by what they say.
posted by EarBucket at 1:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does anyone have a good one-stop shop listing all the recent thinly-veiled gun/violence rhetoric from Republicans?

A friend of mine doesnt agree that this climate exists, let alone that it had anything to do with today's events (which I know remains to be seen) but I'd like to show him some sort of collection of Angles', Palin's, others statements like this.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 1:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


If Loughner is the shooter, the videos make it clear he is just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it. This is why you wait.

His particular nuttiness ("new currency"/"gold and silver", brainwashing/mind control, "if I had my civil rights this video wouldn't be here", etc) dovetails quite nicely with right-wing stuff like the Freeman on the Land weirdness.
posted by vorfeed at 1:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]



How does it follow that because his views are not those of Beck or Palin that politics doesn't enter into it?


I shall clarify. His views are not the views of Beck and Palin, his crime was not inspired by anything they said to him as has been suggested and implied here and elsewhere. As bad as the maps are, they have nothing to do with this crime if the person who made that video is the shooter.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Hargrimm -- MEPS == Military Entrance Processing Station. Basically, pre-basic training place where they check that they can actually send you off to basic.
posted by rmd1023 at 1:11 PM on January 8, 2011


He's farther out on the crazy fringe than they are, sure.

Well, yeah, to the point of unintelligibility. There's a difference between the insanity of Tim McVeigh and well, straight-up insanity. These YouTube videos lean towards the latter, IMO.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2011


YouTube: "The majority of people, who reside in District-8, are illiterate -- hilarious."

How long until these videos are reported on the mainstream news?

While I'm as wary and tired of the Tea Party, et al, as the next guy, I think it's worth keeping in mind that there have always been, and always will be, assassination attempts. I don't think this tragedy warrants descending too far into "this is the collapse of our society" rhetoric.
posted by dixiecupdrinking at 1:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sounds very Glenn Beck-like to me.

Also here.

It's not hard to find similar crazy via Glenn Beck.
posted by jeanmari at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


His YouTube videos definitely make him sound like a nutbar, but they also make some hostile references to things like "federalist laws" and a refusal to pay for debt with a currency not backed by precious metals. (There's also a bit about terrorism in there -- claiming those who call him a terrorist are using ad hominem arguments. I'd link, but I'm on a cell right now.)
posted by Rhaomi at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2011


just a nut, and right wing politics don't really factor in to it

With all due respect, those two attributes aren't mutually exclusive.
posted by gimonca at 1:13 PM on January 8, 2011


The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.

How is it not connected? Did you watch the video linked upthread? People warned that a bad thing might happen as a result of Palin's reckless actions -- then that thing happened. Whether or not A caused B, who can say for sure, but the link is there to be explored.

Stow your embarrassment.
posted by hermitosis at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


A nine year old girl.




.
posted by fixedgear at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Jared Loughner's Youtube page:
Books:I had favorite books: 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.
posted by tapeguy at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


apparently the child is a baby. I'm reading 9 month old in a few places.

There are no words.
posted by Medieval Maven at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011



His views on currency sure seem like he's been listening to Beck and Ron Paul


But not his views on God. People, you can't map this type of crazy on to a political system. The same thing happened with the guy who crashed his plane into the IRS building. If you want a scapegoat, let's talk about how we handle mental health treatment in this country.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


The government is imply mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

David Wynn Miller, is that you?
"According to Miller's teaching, the addition of hyphens and colons to one's name turns one from an ordinary, taxable human into a non-taxable “prepositional phrase.”

posted by octobersurprise at 1:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Since I posted the Sorkin excerpt, in a state of rage at Palin and the far right, to be sure, let me say that a) I agree that the bit about enjoying hunting accidents is over the top; and b)I didn't read it as opposed to hunting at all, in fact quite the contrary. Revulsion at Sarah Palin's perversion of hunting is widespread among hunters. Sorkin was referring specifically to the abundant evidence on her TV show that she had no knowledge of or experience with ethical hunting practices, let alone basic hunting safety.

The point is that there is an essential cruelty to the right wing character type, a reveling in violence. It's a species of the extremist character type in general. In this respect, it's all just terrorism -- being savage to other people under the guise of an ideological cause.

Terrorism is terrorism. The point is precisely to distinguish "hunting" as a venerable, basic human activity with an inherent ethics and nobility of purpose, from "animal cruelty," which is what Sarah Palin's Alaska put on display.

And we all know what people who are cruel to animals grow up to be.
posted by spitbull at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


His views are not the views of Beck or Palin.

I can think of no similarities between those who advocate the hoarding precious metals, food, weaponry along with the killing of political foes with those who actually do it. No similarities, none whatsoever.

Beck, Palin et al are charismatic to their kind of people and are smart enough to recognize the psychological triggers that will evoke emotions in their favor and they exploit this mental loophole to their gain. The problem is that they do it on a universal scale, so it's likely that it will trigger a response and subsequent action in people who are not 100% aligned with their published ideology, but rest assure that when you advocate mass violence and it happens the way you asked for it, in my view, you're a co-conspirator.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Yes, Sarah Palin has NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL in this, which is exactly why she's furiously scrubbing her website, Twitter feed, Facebook feed, and PAC sites to make sure that all the violent rhetoric she put out in the past is deleted before anyone else links to it. NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL delete delete delete delete delete.
posted by 0xFCAF at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [122 favorites]


Not exactly sure what MEPS is

military entrance processing station. Recruits make at least two visits there, first for processing, then later it's the last stop before you head to basic training.

I'm watching fox news with my dad and Shep Smith says they think the shooter is a war vet. And that there are multiple reports (unconfirmed) a second shooter was arrested.
posted by lullaby at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011


thank fuck he didn't get trained by the military is all I can say. If this is what he could do as an amateur...... shiver....
posted by Wilder at 1:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


There's a difference between the insanity of Tim McVeigh and well, straight-up insanity. These YouTube videos lean towards the latter, IMO.

Right. I don't actually think McVeigh was insane. Evil perhaps, but not insane. He knew exactly what he was doing and why he was doing it, and he expressed both of them in understandable terms. Disagree with him if you will--I do--but you can't just pass him off as unhinged.

This guy, on the other hand, is serving up heaping portions of word salad. There's as much of Chris Carter here than there is of anyone else.
posted by valkyryn at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


WBUR (NPR):
The only confirmed death in the Giffords' shooting was a nine-year-old girl.
posted by kpht at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2011


My feed is getting disrupted. KOLD is probably getting hammered. But someone just asked if a Rabbi gave last rites to the Congresswoman. My Judaism is rusty, do we do that now?

It is pretty remarkable that she survived a through-and-through head shot and didn't bleed out after 30 minutes with minimal medical attention.

Even for a guy who just shot a member of congress, that guy is fucking shithouse-rat-crazy.

Called it. Still, I hope this helps bring some of these issues out of the blue to make changes for the better.
posted by chemoboy at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2011


This is the only video he links to. Guy burns a flag.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2011


Guys, you are losing your minds if you can't take the political blinders off here. Take some time out and think before you keep going down this road.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.

She putting a fucking target on this woman. Jesus Christ.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [54 favorites]


This is horrid; just heard the news. Fingers crossed for all the survivors.
posted by never used baby shoes at 1:17 PM on January 8, 2011


People, you can't map this type of crazy on to a political system. The same thing happened with the guy who crashed his plane into the IRS building.

Uh, aren't they both libertarians?
posted by entropicamericana at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin wasn't putting targets on people who participated in mind control. She doesn't preach about how paying for community college classes is unconstitutional. His views are not the views of Beck or Palin.

I don't think anyone here is suggesting that Beck and Palin's incendiary political rhetoric would prompt a reasonable/sane person to kill a politician.
posted by jayder at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


There is a relationship between the fear-mongering and demonizing on the far right and a particular kind of gun-fixated, me-against-the-world crazy. The insane things people like Beck say really resonate with a certain kind of extroverted lunatic. These shootyt types tend to be lonely and in a good deal of emotional pain. Then along comes Rush to tell them their way of life is under attack from Big Govt., that that is why they are in pain, under seige, being followed, etc.
posted by vrakatar at 1:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.

I think the idea that the target-a-Congressperson maps have nothing to do with the crime is very mistaken. I'm not saying that Sarah Palin or Glenn Beck somehow got into this guy's head and told him to go out and shoot people in a Tucson supermarket, either.

I'm not accusing Sarah Palin of being involved in any way, directly or indirectly, with this crime. What I am saying is that her rhetoric and her incendiary politics helps make shootings like this possible. If you don't see that, it's you who looks lunatic, not me.
posted by blucevalo at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


Does anyone have a good one-stop shop listing all the recent thinly-veiled gun/violence rhetoric from Republicans?

Probably Dave Niewert or someone closely associated. For googling, use the term eliminationist rhetoric.
posted by dhartung at 1:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The one video he favorited is seven minutes long and features a masked man clad in a sweatshirt and garbage bag pants, slowly setting an American flag on fire. The soundtrack consists of "Let the Bodies Hit the Floor" by Drowning Pool and then there's just silence for the rest of it. The flag burning is around the 5:00 mark.

It's super creepy, actually. I suspect he made it under a different username, as the comments underneath the video feature that same "If/Then/Therefore" logic he used in his other videos.
posted by castlebravo at 1:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


She putting a fucking target on this woman. Jesus Christ.

Yeah. Comments like this. They aren't helping. Stop it.
posted by xmutex at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


EarBucket: Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered....

I do. I have absolutely no trouble believing that.
posted by tzikeh at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Jonathan Alter on Twitter: Early reports of Giffords death are yet another reminder of decline of journalism. Real reporters know the early rumors are often wrong.

Blame the 24 hour news cycle, blame decline in standards, whatever. I just think it is pretty damning that 'everyone' is so quick to report something that so much that is just outright wrong, let alone conjecture, is being reported as news.

As for those slamming people talking about the possible 'whys' of this here on Metafilter - frankly, I thought that was what this place was for at a time like this? It's commentary, and opinion. Why is it all the sudden different now?
posted by Megami at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]



People, you can't map this type of crazy on to a political system. The same thing happened with the guy who crashed his plane into the IRS building.

Uh, aren't they both libertarians?


They both held some libertarian views, some nutty views, and some views that are more closely identified with liberals.


The communist creed: From each according to his ability, to each according to his need.
The capitalist creed: From each according to his gullibility, to each according to his greed.
Joe Stack (1956-2010)

posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011


Do I have to go drag out the NRA's stats about the number of crimes committed with legal, registered firearms as compared to the number of crimes committed with illegal, unregistered firearms?

And would you also like to explain how most "unregistered firearms" in this country go through the hands of firearms dealers? It must be hard keeping track of those weapons; there's a huge loss/stolen rate. Well at least we can all trust the dealers not to sell "unregistered" weapons at 200-1000% markup for their own profit. I mean these Constitutional scholars are in the firearms business because they are such staunch supporters of the law, civil rights, and justice.

Fuck guns, fuck the retailers...and fuck the entire dirty business.
posted by hal_c_on at 1:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I have to agree—the videos strike me as more "laying the groundwork for an insanity defense" than genuine, organic batshit craziness.
posted by Lazlo at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2011


Amen, OXFCAF: people who shoot other people are fucking nuts. Even if they are politically motivated, or religiously motivated, or jealousy motivated.

Fucking nuts.

I just took a walk around my block to clear my head over this. I like Dan Gillmor's suggestion that we all need to take a "slow news" approach to this, but still it is really not to see this as a sign of terrible days ahead. Mostly I'm reminded of the novel by Womack "Random Acts of Senseless Violence". Each little thing that falls apart seems almost innocuous in itself and suddenly you're at the end of civilization.
posted by crush-onastick at 1:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Here's a copy of the Palin map

The article for me now says:
Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event in Tucson on Saturday. There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed.
She is a pro-gun blue dog who just beat a teabagger who considered Palin too moderate. No, don't jump to conclusions. Could be jilted lover or a nut who had no idea who he was shooting or a million other things.

...


I am somewhat heartened to hear that the gunman was apprehended and taken into custody where he or she will be held accountable for his or her actions.
Come on With the hysterical apocalyptic bullshit flying around from the right it's not surprising that something like this would happen. The gunman probably thought he was fighting the conquest of AZ by Mexican demographic reconquest or something like that. Likely the guy was operating alone, but of course he was inspired by the insanity on the right. It wouldn't even be the first time, remember that guy in SF who was going after the Tides foundation (which no one had ever heard of since Beck started freaking out about them?) Or the anti-tax nut flew his plane into the IRS building? There was the guy who shot up the Unitarian church, and the guy who shot George Tiller. All of them were "lone nuts" but they were all motivated by right-wing craziness.
that Gawker story also said Rayle helped hold down the gunman, is a former ER doctor and reported it took EMS 30 minutes to arrive.
WTF? wouldn't you go to the injured first?????
So he doesn't reload?
Congress will not give a shit. There will be no hearings, no condemnations of the hate speech which leads to stuff like this, (thankfully) no random bombing of some country with brown people in it in response to this. Hell, I bet the word "terrorism" never even comes up (which is fine, but you know if it was a Republican that's all that would be on every screen, front page and radio bulletin).
I don't know, people tend to get a lot more upset about people they know and work with and identify with getting shot in the head then random people.
posted by delmoi at 1:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


His views are not the views of Beck or Palin.

You mean he doesn't believe that Democrats are so bad that a "second amendment solution" is warranted, and that when democracy doesn't do what you want you should "reload"?

Judging by results, his beliefs and those of the more vile right wing politicos are exactly in alignment.

Loughner instantiated the views of the most public Republicans. Do not dare to hold them unaccountable for their powerful, public calls to action!
posted by five fresh fish at 1:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think this is him as well.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:23 PM on January 8, 2011


aren't they both libertarians

This guy wasn't a libertarian. Libertarianism is an internally consistent political system based on a fairly well-developed political philosophy. It may be a bad, but it's not insane.

This guy didn't have a political system. His mind was completely disordered. Hell, watch his videos: he's either barely literate or mentally disturbed.

Y'all are assigning Palin and Beck almost magical powers to do bad stuff. It's like they and Bush are official scapegoats or something.

This reminds me of something.
posted by valkyryn at 1:24 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.

Oh really? So how come he didn't kill a Republican congressperson?
posted by spitbull at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


So I went through this man's YouTube site, and I have to say that he sounds like the perfect target demographic for Beck and Palin.

He isn't hearing voices, or believing he's Jesus - he believes in the gold standard, that the government is nefariously plotting against us, he distrusts academia and institutions and doesn't want his taxes going for education.

I can't see why you think his beliefs are particularly different from the average tea-partier's.

And for those of you rudely telling us not to jump to conclusions, I assume there will be apologies forthcoming if it is, in fact, a bunch of right-wing extremists as every indication has showed from the very beginning?
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


What the fuck is conscience dreaming, you miserable piece of waste? /angry
posted by Ambrosia Voyeur at 1:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This might be a picture of Loughner. Right age, right place, right name, right interest (books).
posted by stbalbach at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2011


the census worker
Killed himself.


And what was the 'hive mind' conclusion as to the "why" on the day of the news?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This thread is the classic definition of the word "knee-jerk." We don't even know if the woman is alive or dead, and some of you have already tried and convicted the gunman and the entire American Right wing for assassinating her.

Prescient comment I just read on Twitter:

Remember: angry Muslim shooter is a terrorist but an angry white Christian shooter is...hey, it's complicated, okay? Don't rush to judgment!
posted by Jimbob at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [48 favorites]


And there has *already* been plenty of violence -- by now a long list of shootings and attempted shootings, head stompings, vandalism, and intimidation -- linked directly to the violent rhetoric of the far right in America in the last few years alone.

When you hear hoofbeats . . .
posted by spitbull at 1:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Okay... last one out of the crumbling republic.... please turn out the lights.

Never.
posted by Ironmouth at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Laughner Facebook
posted by aaronetc at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2011


And for those of you rudely telling us not to jump to conclusions, I assume there will be apologies forthcoming if it is, in fact, a bunch of right-wing extremists as every indication has showed from the very beginning?

"Don't jump to conclusions" is not the same thing as "You are wrong."
posted by dfan at 1:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Yeah, if you want a clear-cut instance of fringe-right terrorism, look to the case of that guy who shot up that Unitarian church -- his home was stocked with incendiary books by Beck and Hannity, and he explicitly said he targeted the church because the congregation was full of liberals who were destroying America.

It's possible this gunman was inspired to violence by some of the same dire, eliminationist rhetoric, but there's clearly a pre-existing case of Total Crazy there, too.

I'm interested in learning more about the alleged co-conspirators. Were they similarly kooky, or were they people with a coherent agenda who manipulate the man now in custody?
posted by Rhaomi at 1:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


you don't tend to bleed out from head-shots, hypoxia is the real danger as well obviously as gross injury. Following commands is very, very good but still doesn't say she''ll make a full recovery. It would be incredibly lucky is she survives with very minor impairment.

Unfortunately it is far more likely that she will have significant brain damage. Whatever you think about the politicisation of this act, the democrats have some new martyrs as a result of this shooter, I'm not even going into the image of a brain damaged Giffords considering the interviews I've just spent the last few hours reviewing to learn more about her. It is cruel & cynical in the extreme for Glenn Reynolds to make those comments, but it is a fact that this will help the Democrats. Of course there will be a sympathy pay-off. There are enough empathetic people out there to ensure that. That's not exactly a bad thing.

I have no stake in this I live in the UK but as far as I can see she was a bright intelligent & hard-working woman.
posted by Wilder at 1:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: you're the one who titled your post "Lone nut or something worse?" You can't seriously think you have a righteous leg to stand on ("this is why you wait" "you're looking like lunatics") when you opened the discussion as to what the greater implications could possibly be.
posted by scody at 1:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


Jared Loughner's Youtube page:

Books:I had favorite books: 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.

posted by tapeguy at 1:14 PM on January 8

I don't really think the appearance of Brave New World, the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf say a whole lot--I imagine a lot of us would have made a similar list somewhere between the ages of 12 and, say, 25 at the high end, thinking we were clever. Including Mein Kampf could be indicative of incipient nazism (though that wouldn't go well with the Communist Manifesto) or just immature shit.
posted by hoyland at 1:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


the facebook page looks like a hoax to me.
posted by empath at 1:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Libertarianism is an internally consistent political system based on a fairly well-developed political philosophy.

With all the rumours flying around it doesn't help that you're making things up.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [29 favorites]


Here's a quick transcript of one of his videos.
My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner


Most people, who read this text, forget in the next 2 second!


The population of dreamers in the United States of America is less than 5%!


If 987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 is the year in B.C.E. then the previous year of 987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 B.C.E. is 987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,619 B.C.E.

987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 is the year in B.C.E.

Therefore, the previous year of 987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 B.C.E. is 987,123,478962,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,619 B.C.E.


If B.C.E. years are unable to start then A.D.E. years are unable to begin.

B.C.E. years are unable to start.

Thus, A.D.E. years are unable to begin.

If A.D.E. is endless in year then the years in A.D.E. don't cease.

A.D.E. is endless in year.

Therefore, the years in A.D.E. don't cease.


If I teach a mentally capable 8 year old for 20 consecutive minutes to replace an alphabet letter with a new letter and pronunciation then the mentally capable 8 year old writes and pronounces the new letter and pronunciation that's replacing an alphabet letter in 20 consecutive minutes.

I teach a mentally capable 8 year old for 20 consecutive minutes to replace an alphabet letter with a new letter and pronunciation.

Thus, the mentally capable 8 year old writes and pronounces the new letter and pronunciation that replaces an alphabet letter in 20 consecutive minutes.


Every human who's mentally capable is always able to be treasurer of their new currency.

If you create one new currency then you're able to create a second new currency.

If you're able to create second new currency then you're able to create third new currency.

You create one new currency.

Thus, you're able to create a third currency.


You're a treasurer for a new currency, listener?

You create and distribute your new currency, listener?

You don't allow the government to control your grammar structure, listener?


If you create one new language then you're able to create a second new language.

If you're able to create a second new language then you're able to create a third new language.

You create one new language.

Thus, you're able to create a third new language.


All humans are in need of sleep.

Jared Loughner is a human.

Hence, Jared Loughner is in need of sleep.

Sleepwalking.

If I define sleepwalking then sleepwalking is thte act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening.

I define sleepwalking.

Thus, sleepwalking is the act or state of walking, eating, or performing other motor acts while asleep, of which one is unaware upon awakening.


All conscience dreaming at this moment is asleep.

Jared Loughner is conscience dreaming at this moment.

Thus, Jared Loughner is asleep.


Terrorist

If I define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

I define terrorist.

Thus, a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.
You call me a terrorist.
Thus the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.


Every United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix is receiving one mini bible before the tests.

Jared Loughner is a United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phoenix.

Therefore, Jared Loughner is receiving one mini bible before the tests.

I didn't write a belief on my Army application, and the recruiter wrote on the application: None.


The majority of the citizens of the United States of America have never read the United States of America's Constitution.

You don't have to accept the federalist laws.

Nonetheless, read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws.


You're literate, listener?


If the property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land laws from a revolution then the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.

The property owners and government officials are no longer in ownership of their land laws from a revolution.

Thus, the revolutionary's from the revolution are in control of the land and laws.


In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.

No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver!

No! I won't trust in God!


What's government if words don't have meaning?
posted by swift at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


one mefite said: She putting a fucking target on this woman. Jesus Christ.

xmutex said: Yeah. Comments like this. They aren't helping. Stop it.

Aren't helping what, exactly? This is a discussion, what are the comments supposed to "help"?
posted by jayder at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


From the facebook link:


Jared Laughner likes:

Other
Tea Party Patriots
Sara Palin

posted by absalom at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that FB thread is a hoax, because when I searched earlier it didn't exist. People are starting with the fun and games already.
posted by hermitosis at 1:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, FB profile.
posted by hermitosis at 1:32 PM on January 8, 2011


> The fact that you people are talking about Sarah Palin in this thread makes you look like a bunch of slack-jawed moon-eyed lunatics. It's embarrassing.

Such rudeness would be uncalled-for, even if you were right.

Had you bothered to read the thread, you would have found out that Palin put out a widely-publicized map with crosshairs on the very Congresswoman who was shot (as well as other lesser but still significant incitements to violence).

Read that again - Palin put up an image that unmistakably suggests shooting specific political opponents of her, and then one of those very opponents is shot.

This is, therefore, completely relevant. You owe us an apology; and I'll thank you to keep a civilized tongue in your head in future discourse.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [48 favorites]


From the Introduction: Jared Loughner YouTube video:
"No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by
gold and silver.
posted by octobersurprise at 1:33 PM on January 8, 2011


Laughner Facebook


Calling bullshit on this. Friend count still rising, no activity aside from adding palin as an interest, etc.
posted by iamabot at 1:33 PM on January 8, 2011


Including Mein Kampf could be indicative of incipient nazism (though that wouldn't go well with the Communist Manifesto)

LIBERAL FASCISM

Expect that on Beck or the Corner.
posted by empath at 1:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Don Wright - June 5, 1968. More true than ever.
posted by squalor at 1:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I imagine any FB profile you will find at this hour is more likely fake than not.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:33 PM on January 8, 2011


I believe Aaron Sorkin just said about everything that needs to be said about Palin and her subhuman kind...

Hateful, violence-provoking rhetoric is a civic evil, no matter which side is spewing it. Please, in your anger, don't stoop to the level of the Becks and Limbaughs of this world.
posted by Atom Eyes at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


That Facebook page misspells his name, which is a pretty big hint that it isn't real.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Words have consequences.

Not everyone in the Republican/Tea Party is a racist, or a bigot, or a terrorist.
Not everyone in the Republican/Tea Party is someone who believes in "Second Amendment Remedies."
Not everyone in the Republican/Tea Party believes that their way is the right way, consequences be damned.

It only takes one. I am in shock that the Congresswoman is not dead, and I am glad that is true. But a child did die and a dozen other were shot. Words have consequences. Sarah Palin suggested that conservatives "RELOAD!" It isn't clear if the shooter needed to reload, or if one clip was enough. It is clear that words matter, and those with supreme political power should be very careful when they use those words publicly.
posted by andreaazure at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


nbc says that when the House read the constitution the other day, Giffords read the part about a right to peaceful assembly.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]



furiousxgeorge: you're the one who titled your post "Lone nut or something worse?" You can't seriously think you have a righteous leg to stand on ("this is why you wait" "you're looking like lunatics") when you opened the discussion as to what the greater implications could possibly be.


I asked a question, that is far different from stating a conclusion which is what I am suggesting people avoid.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Did Sarah Palin and the Tea Party force this guy to shoot Gifford and others?

No.

Did the Rhetoric espoused by Palin, Beck and the Tea Party have a direct influence on his decision to open fire?

Probably. It's hard for me to separate the 2. Yes, he's crazy, but I believe that the aggressive discourse and promotion of political violence pushed him over the edge, or at least gave him a specific target.
posted by Lord_Pall at 1:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think that FB thread is a hoax, because when I searched earlier it didn't exist.

Also it's titled "Jared Laughner," while the shooter consistently spells his name "Loughner" and always seems to use his middle name, "Lee."

Of course he uses his middle name.
posted by EarBucket at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Before y'all go off on an insanity crusade based on some youtubely-produced youtube videos, please do a search for "performance art". These videos from the purported shooter are tame in comparison and make little or no reference to his current state of mind. At least none that would conclude any jury to believe that he's insane.
posted by jsavimbi at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Yeah, that FB profile is BS -- it wasn't there an hour ago.
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


> This guy

Upthread it was reported that one more person was arrested and another sought...
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Obama to speak on video any minute now. Watch here.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


the facebook page looks like a hoax to me.

First thing I thought too.
posted by cashman at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Yeah, what Lord_Pall said. Batshit crazy beliefs don't form in a vaccuum; like all people, his beliefs are shaped by the ideas he's exposed to.
posted by Pope Guilty at 1:35 PM on January 8, 2011


the facebook page looks like a hoax to me.

If it is they turned it around in record time. Friend requests have to be confirmed and the linked accounts all have plenty of friends as well. Unless a bunch of people who already knew each other decided to all make and connect to a fake page within five minutes of Laughner's name getting out...
posted by Lazlo at 1:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Y'all are assigning Palin and Beck almost magical powers to do bad stuff. It's like they and Bush are official scapegoats or something.

No. I'm not. Sarah Palin's political action committee put out a diagram with a legend that read "We've diagnosed the problem ..... help us prescribe the solution." The diagram contained 19 districts with gun sights on them. One of the districts was Gifford's. Sarah Palin's catchphrase is "Don't retreat, reload!"

That's not magic. That's agitprop.
posted by blucevalo at 1:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [32 favorites]


President Obama to speak to the press about the tragedy, watch live.
posted by donnagirl at 1:36 PM on January 8, 2011


Laughner Facebook
posted by aaronetc at 4:28 PM on January 8 [+] [!] Other (2/2):


I think that's either fake or coincidental. It doesn't seem to be the correct spelling of the last name, and the friends don't appear to have an Arizona connection. I did searches on Facebook and Zabasearch for the name and got nothing.

On preview, what they said.
posted by booksherpa at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2011


Of course he uses his middle name.

?
posted by Hargrimm at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2011


I wondered about that - I looked for the facebook page, myself. There *is* a myspace page linked from YouTube, but it's zotted.
posted by absalom at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2011


The Facebook page is totally fake. It's misspelled, and lists his interests only as Palin, the Tea Party and men.
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:37 PM on January 8, 2011


Yeah, that FB profile is BS -- it wasn't there an hour ago.

Just curious - how do you know this?
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2011


The name on the Facebook page is Laughner. He's Loughner, right?
posted by AwkwardPause at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2011


Yeah. Comments like this. They aren't helping. Stop it.
posted by xmutex at 1:21 PM on January 8 [+] [!]


Truth's a bitch, eh?
posted by obiwanwasabi at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2011


tapeguy: Jared Loughner's Youtube page: Books:I had favorite books: 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.

Most of those are really good books. I've read most of the same ones, and I haven't shot anybody. I can see why The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf might stick out to you, but why did you bold Brave New World? What does that have to do with anything?
posted by limeonaire at 1:38 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


There are a bunch of FB profiles out there right now. For instance.
posted by brundlefly at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2011


...which I now have to agree seems plausible. Ugh.
posted by Lazlo at 1:39 PM on January 8, 2011


Just curious - how do you know this?

How do you think? The moment the name was released, we INSTANTLY checked FB.

To be fair, I do this not long after I hear anything scandalous about anyone.
posted by hermitosis at 1:40 PM on January 8, 2011


Just curious - how do you know this?
I looked for it an hour ago. If you look at his Wall, it shows he only just joined Facebook.
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:40 PM on January 8, 2011


Brave New World might resonate with him if he feels that the vast majority of the populace is asleep, mind controlled by the government. I'm a bit surprised not to see 1984 on his list, honestly.
posted by EarBucket at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm interested in learning more about the alleged co-conspirators. Were they similarly kooky, or were they people with a coherent agenda who manipulate the man now in custody?

That is what I'm wondering. Of course, it could be neither of those things; they may just be going after someone who sold him the gun illegally or something similar.
posted by enn at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2011


Palin put up an image that unmistakably suggests shooting specific political opponents of her, and then one of those very opponents is shot.

A favorite and oft repeated phrase on Metafilter is "correlation does not equal causation." Right now we know NOTHING about this person. There's a chance that he had never seen that map before as I hadn't. We don't know if his Facebook or Youtube pages are real. Hell, even the spelling of his name is up for debate. Overheated rhetoric with no information to back it up makes you look like a ghoul trying to score political points on the back of someone else's very real tragedy.

and I'll thank you to keep a civilized tongue in your head in future discourse.

Yeah, that's fucking bullshit. Cut that out. Now.
posted by orville sash at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I think that FB thread is a hoax
Sorry, FB
profile.

Spend too much time on MetaFilter and everything is a thread.
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


what is it with Arizona? the basically pass some of the most outrageously racist legislation since desegregation, they cheer assholes like Arpaio, they give us empire-loving "liberated women" like Brewer and Napolitano and let's not even talk about John McCain.

seriously, what is the matter with Arizona?
posted by liza at 1:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I assume there will be apologies forthcoming if it is, in fact, a bunch of right-wing extremists as every indication has showed from the very beginning?

Just as many as were given over mistaken assumptions with the death of the census worker I'd bet.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Okay, I was under the impression that 1) it hadn't been an hour that the name had been out and 2) you can't tell from a FB profile when they joined.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:42 PM on January 8, 2011


seriously, what is the matter with Arizona?

I'm asking, what's the matter with all of us?
posted by malusmoriendumest at 1:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


?
posted by Hargrimm


The middle name is customarily included when referring to a well-publicized killer. Often it is Wayne.
posted by swift at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Looking at my gmail correspondence, I got an email 50 minutes ago w/ his name -- so a minor overstatement on my part.
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, you are losing your minds if you can't take the political blinders off here.

Sarah Palin's PAC has a graphic on their site with a gun sight over this woman's district!

Right now, Palin's staff are furiously scrubbing the web of any dog-whistle "metaphors" that could be construed as violent; in other words, they're trying to destroy evidence. From now on, I'm referring to Sarah Palin as "Unindicted Co-conspirator Sarah Palin," and I'm only half joking.

Of course, the guy's a nut... but his nuttiness was directly fueled by Palin, Beck, et al, who have been feeding people like him frightening end-of-the-world scenarios and wild conspiracies about liberal government takeover since Obama was elected.

I just don't understand how someone can look at that graphic and not see a direct line from the violent rhetoric of the last two years to what happened today.
posted by MegoSteve at 1:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


Prediction: the attempted assassination is incidental to this guy's primary goal, in the way Kaczynski's victims were incidental to his primary goal (getting his manifesto published).

Speculation: his real goal is to go on trial with the eyes of the nation upon him, thereby presenting him the opportunity to get his message out to the populace. Based on what's been found already we have some guesses as to what that message may be, although due to his clearly being a little off mentally I'd advise against inferring too much from what we know.

Based on the contents of his thoughts as delineated here I suspect that the reception he receives will not be the sort of reception he is hoping for (though, perhaps, it will be the kind of reception he has been expecting).

The real lesson here is a concrete example of the dangers inherent in the teleological suspension of the ethical.
posted by hoople at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


What I am saying is that her rhetoric and her incendiary politics helps make shootings like this possible. If you don't see that, it's you who looks lunatic, not me.

QFT
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


(Sorry, that was in reply to goodnewsfortheinsane.)
posted by cowboy_sally at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2011


My wife asks a question: When can a spokesperson for a hospital give statements about the status of a patient? Do they have to get a release? Is there a public-interest exception to medical privacy?

Not the hospital's spokesperson, the Congresswoman's spokesperson.
posted by orthogonality at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2011


In the middle of all this seriousness, I have to say this sentence just spoken on MSNBC made me smile: "Her astronaut husband just landed in Tuscon in a NASA jet."

I mean, that's badass.
posted by Bookhouse at 1:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


or Lee
posted by Wilder at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Same here bookhouse
posted by CunningLinguist at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2011


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?

Probably not necessary. In contemporary America, conservatives tend to be a lot more shooty than liberals.
posted by Afroblanco at 1:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Books tended be largely dystopias, political philosophy or fantasy. The odd books out seem to be To Kill a Mocking Bird, Hemingway and Bukowski

Animal Farm - Dystopia
Brave New World - Dystopia,
The Wizard Of OZ - Fantasy,
Aesop Fables - Fantasy,
The Odyssey -- Fantasy
Alice Adventures Into Wonderland -- Fantasy,
Fahrenheit 451, -- Dystopia
Peter Pan, -- Fantasy
To Kill A Mockingbird - ??,
We The Living - Ayn Rand - Political Philosophy
Phantom Toll Booth - Fantasy
One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - novel about insanity
Pulp --??
Through The Looking Glass - fantasy
The Communist Manifesto - political philosophy,
Siddhartha - philosophy,
The Old Man And The Sea, --?
Gulliver's Travels - fantasy,
Mein Kampf - political philosophy,
The Republic-- political philosophy, and
Meno -- philosophy
posted by empath at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


[...] so a minor overstatement on my part.

That's cool, thank you. I just thought maybe you had a magical Facebook profile age analyzer plugin or something. Carry on.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2011


"Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered"...

Right, the map just had crosshairs because that's what you get when you type a 'j' in Wingdings? Actually, it requires an ALT code.
posted by rhizome at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2011


A woman on twitter is claiming to have known him: @catieparker. Unconfirmed as far as I know.
posted by Skorgu at 1:47 PM on January 8, 2011


I asked a question, that is far different from stating a conclusion which is what I am suggesting people avoid.

I'm not suggesting that you stated a conclusion. I'm saying that it's disingenuous to tut-tut people for exploring the question that you explicitly raised. (However, I apologize for attributing the "lunatic" comment to you -- I realized belatedly it came from xmutex.)
posted by scody at 1:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


they may just be going after someone who sold him the gun illegally or something similar.

Could be drink'n buddies, could be people who talk smack with him in some 1st person shooter video game, could be people who are local who said nice things about his youtube/myspace/whatever, could be the last people he sent SMS messages to, could even be people who drove him to the store to do some shopping.

Too bad the odds are there will not be a trial so we'll know why.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:48 PM on January 8, 2011



Of course, the guy's a nut... but his nuttiness was directly fueled by Palin, Beck, et al, who have been feeding people like him frightening end-of-the-world scenarios and wild conspiracies about liberal government takeover since Obama was elected.


Are you sure? People like HIM? An apparently extremely literate, crazy, athiest? That doesn't strike me as their demographic. Of course, the gold standard and such I know but that stuff comes from a million different sources.

Really, take a step back. It's a tragedy, we don't know exactly what happened yet.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]



I'm not suggesting that you stated a conclusion. I'm saying that it's disingenuous to tut-tut people for exploring the question that you explicitly raised.


EXPLORE AWAY. Just don't plant your flag.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 1:49 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


you don't tend to bleed out from head-shots, hypoxia is the real danger as well obviously as gross injury. Following commands is very, very good but still doesn't say she''ll make a full recovery. It would be incredibly lucky is she survives with very minor impairment.

Thank you Wilder, I was hoping someone with more knowledge than I would weigh in. From what I understood, surviving a bullet to the head isn't always a good thing.
posted by chemoboy at 1:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Also there are two photos allegedly from his myspace page (which I've heard is only suspended not deleted). No good sources for either, they're just floating around.
posted by Skorgu at 1:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Obama confirmed the death of the Federal Judge John Roll.
posted by arveale at 1:50 PM on January 8, 2011


His MySpace page is reproduced here.
posted by EarBucket at 1:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oof. Giffords' Twitter update from 5 hours ago makes me so sad: "My 1st Congress on Your Corner starts now. Please stop by to let me know what is on your mind or tweet me later."
posted by hermitosis at 1:51 PM on January 8, 2011


From Jared Laughner's facebook profile:
Jared Laughner likes:
Other
Tea Party Patriots
Sara Palin
posted by cstross at 1:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


cstross: fyi, fake profile
posted by Mach5 at 1:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered"...

No reasonable person believes that. But there's a bunch of people out there that aren't so reasonable. What makes the hyperbolic crap that Palin, Beck, Limbaugh spew scary for me is reasonable people like us see through it. But other people might hear what the people are saying as marching orders.

Jared Lee Loughner believes Section 10 of the Constitution means you don't have to pay for school:
All purchases for an educational course in The United States as of now are unconstitutional in the United States of America because of Section 10 in the United States of America's Constitution. A student paying for a Pima Community College course is a purchase for an educational course in the United States as of now. Therefore, a student paying for a Pima Community College course is unconstitutional in the United States of America because of Section 10 in the United States of America's Constitution.
Here is Art 1; Section 10 of the constitution...
Section 10.

No state shall enter into any treaty, alliance, or confederation; grant letters of marque and reprisal; coin money; emit bills of credit; make anything but gold and silver coin a tender in payment of debts; pass any bill of attainder, ex post facto law, or law impairing the obligation of contracts, or grant any title of nobility.

No state shall, without the consent of the Congress, lay any imposts or duties on imports or exports, except what may be absolutely necessary for executing it's inspection laws: and the net produce of all duties and imposts, laid by any state on imports or exports, shall be for the use of the treasury of the United States; and all such laws shall be subject to the revision and control of the Congress.

No state shall, without the consent of Congress, lay any duty of tonnage, keep troops, or ships of war in time of peace, enter into any agreement or compact with another state, or with a foreign power, or engage in war, unless actually invaded, or in such imminent danger as will not admit of delay.?
Not sure I see how he makes that leap. So I guess I'm not due a check from the State of Arizona for the tuition I paid at ASU and Scottsdale CC. So, yeah, everyone hears the same thing.
posted by birdherder at 1:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Probably not necessary. In contemporary America, conservatives tend to be a lot more shooty than liberals.

Huh, this makes me think of an analysis I'd like to see: the correlation between apolitical killings and subsequent suicide. That is, if fewer assassins shoot themselves after committing a political (in the mind of the killer, not the media) killing. In this case, if she had been shot by a Lefter (not assuming any party for the actual shooter), I wonder if they would have been more likely to shoot themselves.

At any rate, I'm kind of curious whether TLP will write about this event.
posted by rhizome at 1:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If the guy was worried about the government was controlling its citizens through brainwashing and grammar, and then he shot a representative of that government, I don't think it's reasonable to say that Sarah Palin and Glen Beck share the blame. Palin should not have put out that crosshair map, and the loony right wing needs to seriously stop with all of their violent rhetoric because it can and will incite some McVeigh-type, but Loughner, if he even pays attention to Palin and Beck, didn't need any encouragement. His crime may be political, but I don't think you can claim it was partisan.
posted by shakespeherian at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


This is apparently a yearbook photo of Loughner.
posted by davey_darling at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2011


A favorite and oft repeated phrase on Metafilter is "correlation does not equal causation."

Who's invoking causation? I'm talking about conditions that make other conditions possible -- not "causation." To paraphrase Whitman, we are land of the maker of the axe -- and the loaded gun, and the command to reload, and the political fundraising flyer with gunsights drawn over elected representatives' districts, and supermarket parking lot shootings. What we reap, we sow.
posted by blucevalo at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


cstross: fyi, fake profile

We don't know that, yet.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 1:56 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Yes we do.
posted by hermitosis at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


cstross: fyi, fake profile
Isn't the number in the URL http://www.facebook.com/people/Jared-Laughner/100001935064664 a sequence number and not random thus one can determine when something happened?
posted by rough ashlar at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2011


Considering that the profile was made after the shooting, we can be pretty sure.
posted by empath at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


AZ Supreme Court finds a few hits for his last name: S-1100-CV-99047033, M-1041-TR-7119663, and M-1044-CR-20080778 . The site is freaking out so I can't get any more details.
posted by Skorgu at 1:57 PM on January 8, 2011


The target map is 'fair game' (sorry) since Rep. Giffords is on record saying that Palin would be responsible if something like this were to happen:

'I think it’s important for all leaders … to say look, we can’t stand for this … They really need to realize that the rhetoric, and firing people up … for example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s ‘Targeted’ list, but the thing is that the way she has it depicted, we’re in the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they’ve got to realize that there are consequences to that action.' (via)
posted by xowie at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [70 favorites]


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister who was similarly murdered in public. And not the first Swedish politician to meet such a surprisingly bloody fate. These days, Swedish politicians are always attended by a security detail.

I thought of this immediately. This is certainly going to change what it means to be a politician in this country.
posted by melissam at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2011


We don't know that, yet.
It's not even his name, as has been mentioned several times in this thread.
posted by Flunkie at 1:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Books tended be largely dystopias, political philosophy or fantasy. The odd books out seem to be To Kill a Mocking Bird, Hemingway and Bukowski

The mood of the last three falls in line with the others just fine: fairly dark, exploring mature themes involving enmity and the depths of the human spirit. They're not what most would call "happy" books. But again, as hoyland also pointed out, this is a fairly common book list among disaffected youth of all stripes. I'm sure Loughner felt like his book list said a lot about him or that these books "speak for him" in some way, hence their inclusion on his YouTube page. But a lot of people have read all of these books and haven't—and never will—do what he's done.
posted by limeonaire at 1:59 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


We don't know that, yet.

Real profiles don't go up a couple hours after you're taken into custody, and not until after your name is released.
posted by kafziel at 2:00 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm not sure if call letters are chosen at random or what, but I'm kind of grossed out by Arizona affiliate KGUN right now.
posted by theredpen at 2:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Do we know when the President is supposed to speak?
posted by ocherdraco at 2:00 PM on January 8, 2011


You have to wonder how the other 19 individuals on Sarah's hit list are responding to this.

Worth noting that some of them have been targeted in the past: Previously.
Also, I checked the rest of the folks on the list and unless I missed something, it looks like Giffords and Nick Rahall were the only 2 of the 20 to be reelected in 2010 - the rest of them are no longer in office.
posted by naoko at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2011


One Flew Over The Cuckoo's Nest - novel about insanity

You might want to re-read that one, empath.
posted by fixedgear at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


I'm not looking forward to the blaming and finger-pointing we'll encounter over the next couple of days from the cable news channels. The right will point out everything that makes the shooter's (or shooters') ideologies line up with the left. At the same time, though, the talking heads on the left will be playing the exact same spin game.

I think the blame has less to do with the ideologies that the shooter may have been influenced by and more to do with the policies that could have allowed this to happen in the first place.
posted by dcheeno at 2:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So could someone who thinks we're "slack-jawed, moon-eyed" crazy liberals explain to me why the Palin machine is scrubbing the hit list images and text now? It was okay before but now it must be taken down?

I had to erase five or six versions of what I'm thinking right now -- I just can't put it into words that I will be fine having up here forever. I'm so sad and angry. I just feel like we are damned. I feel helpless.
posted by theredpen at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


In my conscience dreams, that's where I'm Jared Lee Loughner!
posted by scalefree at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "second arrest" doesn't appear in the latest versions of the Tucson Citizen/AZ Republic article. I wish they'd explicitly call out substantive changes in fast-breaking stories like this.
posted by Lazlo at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm not sure if call letters are chosen at random or what, but I'm kind of grossed out by Arizona affiliate KGUN right now.

Yeah, er, not really relevant at all right now. Check yourself.

Do we know when the President is supposed to speak?

He spoke for about ten minutes, starting about 20 minutes ago.
posted by carsonb at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011


Ocherdraco, the president spoke about 15 minutes ago.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm surprised no one has mentioned Anna Lindh, the Swedish Foreign Minister who was similarly murdered in public. ... I thought of this immediately.

You must be Swedish. We are not yet used to this in America. I really hope this does not result in people with guns accompanying politicians who are speaking to their constituents. That thought is very unsettling.
posted by chemoboy at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Prez already spoke
posted by CunningLinguist at 2:03 PM on January 8, 2011


But a lot of people have read all of these books and haven't—and never will—do what he's done.

The safest bet is not to read books at all! (Just magazines... "all of 'em, Katie.")

posted by scody at 2:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just got off the phone with my brother in Tucson. His wife was going to go to the Gifford event, but couldn't make it into the store parking lot, which was jammed. She realized something was wrong when she saw the police tape and emergency vehicles. One of their friends was there during the shooting and had her arm grazed by a bullet.
posted by gamera at 2:04 PM on January 8, 2011


Thanks, will find video.
posted by ocherdraco at 2:04 PM on January 8, 2011


Do we know when the President is supposed to speak?

He did about half an hour ago.
posted by reductiondesign at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011


His MySpace page is reproduced here.

Why did he have to go do it? Someone loved him!
posted by sourwookie at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You might want to re-read that one, empath.

Ha.. I actually haven't read it, watched the movie once, while high as a kite. Impression I got was that it was about who gets to define insanity, not about the experience of actually being insane. (Or of being sane in an insane world).
posted by empath at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The Wizard Of OZ - Fantasy,

Encourages murdering female political opponents by dousing them in fatal chemicals.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Anne Coulter just tweeted:

... AZ shooter a Tea Partier ... OOPS! Among shooter's fav books: Communist Manifesto

OOPS this, you bitch.
posted by theredpen at 2:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [35 favorites]


Nobody seriously believes Sarah Palin wants liberal politicians to be murdered

The crosshairs are just a typo. That's the reason why her website is being cleaned up.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


A woman on twitter is claiming to have known him: @catieparker. Unconfirmed as far as I know.

She says he was "left wing", "quite liberal", at least in '07. Course, that was before Mr. Obama got elected.
posted by cashman at 2:07 PM on January 8, 2011


The crosshairs are just a typo. That's the reason why her website is being cleaned up.

She would never refudiate anything from her past.
posted by empath at 2:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Can Google Cache be relied on to call forth the pre-scrubbing websites, or do they overwrite the old cache with new images as they scrape the web?

Alternatively, would archive.org have indexed this stuff?

I still find it hard to believe that people think they can actually delete stuff from the internet in this day and age, but am curious about how well these two services would work in cases like this.
posted by hippybear at 2:09 PM on January 8, 2011


dcheeno: I think it'll be more: lone nut(s) vs. conspiracy. We saw it before with the Fort Dix "terrorists," who were identified as "Islamic radicals," just like the real bad guys.
posted by rhizome at 2:09 PM on January 8, 2011


You must be Swedish. We are not yet used to this in America.

We are not used to what, public shootings? Violent assassinations of political officials? What?
posted by blucevalo at 2:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


that's where I'm Jared Lee Loughner!

Why do these rednecks always have three names?
posted by octobersurprise at 2:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This was on the kid's myspace page: The extended magazine.
posted by chainlinkspiral at 2:10 PM on January 8, 2011


It's obvious from the videos that the shooter intended to cause this sort of oswallian argument regarding his political motivation - time will tell.
posted by onesidys at 2:10 PM on January 8, 2011


Arizona does not equal redneck.

Redneck does not equal murderer.
posted by hermitosis at 2:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


Someone on Something Awful knows the shooter.
posted by empath at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Thank you Wilder, I was hoping someone with more knowledge than I would weigh in. From what I understood, surviving a bullet to the head isn't always a good thing.
posted by chemoboy at 9:49 PM on January 8 [+] [!]
IANANeurosurgeon, or clin active, although I put together the training programmes for juniors (mix of all 9 specialities, soon to be 10 as vascular has gone independant now in the UK) and inspect them. (I'm also sitting next to an intensivist and we've been discussing this for a few hours now).
I can say that every single Neurosurgeon I know is an optimist. That team will have been high-fiving at the response to command. While those weird and wonderful images of that man with the spike through his skull get passed around it is because of the rarity. The reality is truly pitiable. NS do not expect 100% recovery, but they STRIVE for Quality of Life. .
I sincerely hope she recovers well.
posted by Wilder at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Was just looking at EarBucket's link to Loughner's MySpace page (copy of it). Something that hasn't come up yet: Giffords is part of the LGBT Caucus, i.e., she's pro-LGBT.

From Loughner's MySpace:
Yo! I saw what a transexual looks like today; my esteem is better, I don't act like a woman.
Granted, lots (and lots, sigh) of kids make that kind of insensitive, ignorant remark. But knowing that Giffords is pro-LGBT, there's ths possibility that Loughner's intolerance could have been yet another part of his motivations.
posted by fraula at 2:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


At least 5 dead in Arizona shooting.
posted by ericb at 2:12 PM on January 8, 2011


dcheeno: I'm not looking forward to the blaming and finger-pointing we'll encounter over the next couple of days from the cable news channels.

There's enough of that in this thread to satisfy about anyone...
posted by Artful Codger at 2:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I have three names but I do not go by all three. I believe it is often the media that uses the three names when reporting on these type things. I assume they would refer to me by all three of my names if I were to assassinate someone.
posted by arveale at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I suspect a fair number of people in this thread want this guy to be a right-wing loonbag in the same way they didn't want the Times Square bomber to be a Muslim when that story first broke.

And I get it. I had a flash of both feelings now and then. And I'm still fighting them a bit about the whole Sarah Palin map thing.

But I'm not going to take a "Gotcha!" moment at the price of a piece of what seems like a decent woman's skull.
posted by Cyrano at 2:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


We are not used to what, public shootings? Violent assassinations of political officials? What?

Violent assassinations of political officials. I thought my selective pruning of the quote made that clear. I apologize, I wasn't completely clear. It is hard to keep up with this thread. Also, by "we" I meant recent generations. Yes, yes, the Kennedys, I know.
posted by chemoboy at 2:14 PM on January 8, 2011


Why do these rednecks always have three names?

That's actually a booking thing.
posted by rhizome at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2011


Do we have any proof that he actually read any of those books?
posted by jsavimbi at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Redneck does not equal murderer.

I know, but Sondheim just wouldn't listen to me.
posted by octobersurprise at 2:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Gov. Jan Brewer cut $36 million from AZ Dept. of Health in 2010, including treatments/services for the mentally ill. via Twitter.
posted by The Whelk at 2:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


by "we" I meant recent generations - At least three "recent generations" were alive when the Kennedys were assassinated.
posted by Ardiril at 2:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


You must be Swedish. We are not yet used to this in America. I really hope this does not result in people with guns accompanying politicians who are speaking to their constituents. That thought is very unsettling.

Unfortunately I am not Swedish, though I was fortunate enough to be allowed to live there for a time while I studied.

This probably will result in people with guns accompanying politicians or politicians carrying them themselves. Sweden hasn't fallen apart because of this...
posted by melissam at 2:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


>> Palin put up an image that unmistakably suggests shooting specific political opponents of her, and then one of those very opponents is shot.

> A favorite and oft repeated phrase on Metafilter is "correlation does not equal causation."

I did not say it did, I said that it quite reasonably made Palin relevant to this thread, and calling people names for bringing it up wasn't right.
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:16 PM on January 8, 2011


Predictions:
shooter's politics are too confused and misspelled to understand, but thankfully he's alive so he can say all kinds of crazy shit that doesn't really fit any sane person's definition of an opinion so that both sides can claim the other one made him do it.

in the end, the democrats win for 2 reasons:
1. they look like the sane ones cuz of the palin target etc.
2. other terrorist gunmen will be less likely to shoot them given possible bulletproof heads.
3. she's alive and is awesome. Yay! Stay alive please!
posted by Potomac Avenue at 2:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


The shooting comes amid a highly charged political environment that has seen several dangerous threats against lawmakers but nothing that reached the point of actual violence.

... In July, a California man known for his anger over left-leaning politics engaged in a shootout with highway patrol officers after planning an attack on the ACLU and another nonprofit group. The man said he wanted to "start a revolution" by killing people at the ACLU and the Tides Foundation.

Giffords herself has drawn the ire of the right, especially for her support of the health care bill from politicians like Sarah Palin.

Her Tucson office was vandalized a few hours after the House vote to approve the health care law in March, with someone either kicking or shooting out a glass door and window. In an interview after the vandalism, Giffords referred to the animosity against her by conservatives. Palin listed Giffords' seat as one of the top "targets" in the midterm elections because of the lawmakers' support for the health care law.

"For example, we're on Sarah Palin's targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action," Giffords said in an interview with MSNBC.

In the hours after the shooting, Palin issued a statement in which she expressed her "sincere condolences" to the family of Giffords and the other victims.*
posted by ericb at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why do these rednecks always have three names?

When you're poor, when the educational system has failed you (in both senses of the phrase), when you're just a pawn in the games of demagogues who tell you that your unhappy life isn't the planned result of a capitalist system but instead a perpetrated by liberal Mexican-lovin' Eastern-elitist race-mixers, sometimes the only things you have left are a reckless pride, a hodgepodge of conspiracy theories, and your two first names.

These people have mined our coal, fought our wars, and have been kept ignorant, reactionary, and thus pliable for centuries.
posted by orthogonality at 2:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [20 favorites]


Hey sorry, I met him in one of my classes sophmore year (one year apart) I didn't hang out with him much but we talked a lot in class, we only hung out once outside of school. I don't know what his political beliefs were but he was a huge stoner.

http://www.gonrad.com/201101/img_0977.jpg
far right, no pun intended


Can't wait for the drug warriors to comment!
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2011


^ That is from the SomethingAwful link above.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:19 PM on January 8, 2011


also, not to be too facetious but a recovery like this can takes months, even years of quite intensive and high-quality care. While a congresswoman has a good health plan,I assume, doesn't the Health Care Bill she espoused ensure that poorer Americans can get the kind of opportunity to recover as much function as possible in a case like this? All the Democrats have to do is find a Thru & thru from before it was passed and now.
posted by Wilder at 2:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Some people like to read allegories about the gold standard into the Wizard of Oz.
posted by Ad hominem at 2:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


His high school yearbook photo.
posted by scalefree at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2011


Right now, Palin's staff are furiously scrubbing the web of any dog-whistle "metaphors" that could be construed as violent; in other words, they're trying to destroy evidence.

Sorry, this thread is moving crazy fast, so I might have missed the link: is there a good rundown of this somewhere (ideally with before and after screenshots)?
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


in the end, the democrats win for 2 reasons

I don't think anyone wins.
posted by dcheeno at 2:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


NS do not expect 100% recovery, but they STRIVE for Quality of Life.

This is probably the most hopeful news I have heard. The doctor who said he was optimistic later backpedaled to "optimistic given the situation." I am assuming that means that given the event, the damage was minimized and maybe she caught a lucky break. And they were able to get any swelling under control.

I guess we will have to wait until they bring her around before we know the damage.
posted by chemoboy at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2011



Some people like to read allegories about the gold standard into the Wizard of Oz.


Welp, between that and the obvious demonization of political opponents as witches, I think Sarah and Beck are off the hook.


/no, but really, he's fucking crazy guys, it could have been anything. Wait and see.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:22 PM on January 8, 2011


I just don't understand how someone can look at that graphic and not see a direct line from the violent rhetoric of the last two years to what happened today.

Because we simply don't have any proof that this person was motivated in any way by the violent rhetoric of the last two years. It may be likely, it may be highly probable, but applying direct causation at this point is a stretch.

Sarah Palin's putting crosshairs on political opponents made her an evil asshole, not because it causes something like this to happen. It makes her an evil asshole because things like this have already happened, and at the time that she put that map out could have been reasonably expected to happen again. The fact that the victim was someone on her map could very well be the mother of all coincidences. Even so, no amount of wordplay or spin puts her on the right side of this issue.

The worst thing you can do in this situation is blame Palin or Beck for this, because it's impossible to prove, nad too easy to circumstantially weasel out of. "hey that guy read a Communist Book, and we hate Communists. Not one of us! End of story."

Hold them accountable for what they actually do. Make Sarah Palin explain why in a world where this sort of thing happens, she chose not to err on the side of caution and decency. I hate that this story is even remotely related to Palin, but it does provide me with one bit of certainty among all the rumor and conjecture around this story. I never believed that Sarah Palin had any political future in this country. But I would bet actual money that unless she flat out admits to being wrong for putting that map out and apologizes for it, she's done for in the realm of public opinion. Judging by past behavior, I don't think she has it in her.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [51 favorites]


The shooting comes amid a highly charged political environment that has seen several dangerous threats against lawmakers but nothing that reached the point of actual violence.

Ugh, awful editorializing, or bad writing, or simply not saying what I want it to say, this seems like it could also be rewritten, "After months of heated rhetoric, something something shot..." or "Escalating political threats resulted in actual violence today..."
posted by rhizome at 2:23 PM on January 8, 2011


Hopefully the lesson of this will be: When you lie to a national audience, your concern should be not so much what the average person will do with your lie, but what the crazy person will do. And that's your responsibility.
posted by East Manitoba Regional Junior Kabaddi Champion '94 at 2:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


Man it would be nice to live in a country where attempted assassinations weren't seen as ways to score political points.

The killer was a crazy righty! He was a leftwing nut!


*sigh*
posted by graventy at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


billyfleetwood: "seeing a direct line" absolutely doesn't "[imply] direct causation"...!
posted by lupus_yonderboy at 2:27 PM on January 8, 2011


East Man': It may be that not realizing how stupid people can be is what makes the violent rhetoriticians stupid.
posted by rhizome at 2:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Guys, you are losing your minds if you can't take the political blinders off here. Take some time out and think before you keep going down this road.
I think it's more the other way around. People who are demanding a-political discussion of this are, in a sense, asking that blinders be put on, that we limit the way we think about this and refuse to connect the dots because the image that emerges is so ugly. I think that's kind of naïve.

Clearly, this guy is nuts. But. The fact that he's nuts doesn't mean he exists in a vacuum. Listen to the rhetoric on fox news and in the right-wing-crazysphere. if you got most of your information from that crazysphere then a rational conclusion would be that our country is under politic siege and that it would actually be heroic and good for you to take out some democrats who are trying to destroy "our country" and take it away from "real Americans".

Remember, the "Second amendment remedies" lady was Sharon Angle, who was running against Reid in Navada, right next door.
A favorite and oft repeated phrase on Metafilter is "correlation does not equal causation."
Yeah, and I hate that phrase and complain about it all the time! First of all, your formulation (with 'equal' instead of 'imply') is actually totally wrong. Even the implies form is often misued. What it actually means that if A and B are correlated it does not imply that A causes B. But We do know that there is a causal relationship in some direction, possibly both are caused by some hidden variable.

That said, the person on twitter said he was a Liberal in '07. It's possible he still was.
I have three names but I do not go by all three. I believe it is often the media that uses the three names when reporting on these type things. I assume they would refer to me by all three of my names if I were to assassinate someone.
Maybe to make it easier for people with the same name.
posted by delmoi at 2:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


I really hope that she survives and one day confronts Palin in public about the map with crosshairs.
posted by overglow at 2:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


Why do these rednecks always have three names?

I was taught at some point that the reason for using the middle name by law enforcement and the press is to not have any confusion with other people having that same name. There might be a lot of guys named "Jimmy Ray" in Tennessee , but "James Earl Ray" is one specific person.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


There's something I think merits consideration when speculating about the motivations of Loughner and those who commit similar crimes. It's often remarked that republicans have an advantage over democrats due to their inner consistency, soundbite-friendly rhetoric, and ability to work in lockstep. Contrast this with democrats, who are criticized for having an unclear, inconsistent message and disagreement within their ranks. Right wing language is less nuanced, it's easier to spot elements of it in the statements of mentally unstable individuals. This lack of nuance also makes it easier for the unstable to interpret it as something that fulfills their own misguided agenda.

I lean pretty far left, but I wonder if the perceived connection between these kind of crimes and the right wing has less do do with political beliefs, and more to do with their consistency making them easier to identify/re-appropriate. That said, I disagree with using anger as a motivator and violent imagery such as crosshairs to express political beliefs, but I'm wary of putting politicians I consider misguided in the same roster as murderers.
posted by yorick at 2:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"James Earl Ray" is one specific person. - That's a big assumption.
posted by Ardiril at 2:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Violence is what happen when you create a climate of hate. It doesn't matter if the shooter and his accomplices never listened to Palin or Beck in their life (though if my time in Tucson is any indication, this is highly unlikely), their anti-government and anti-American rhetoric inflames shitheels like this, directly or indirectly.

Keeping them accountable for their words is the absolute least we should do in this situation.

There's a reason why my Tucson-originating boyfriend called me in tears about this earlier this afternoon. And it's not because his family shops at Tucson Safeways or he is a fan of Gabrielle Giffords (though both are true) -- it's because he "doesn't want to be afraid to be a liberal...doesn't want his family to have those fears." And anyone who doesn't think that the actions of not a fringe group but one of the two major political parties in this country doesn't cause such fears from relatively sane people and cause relatively insane people to take horrific actions is really, really unaware of what's happening on the ground in a large part of this country.
posted by MCMikeNamara at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [58 favorites]


This probably will result in people with guns accompanying politicians or politicians carrying them themselves. Sweden hasn't fallen apart because of this...

Again, I really hope it doesn't. I mean, apart from the obvious exceptions of top ranking political officials. Maybe it's the socialist in me, but I don't think most people should be protected just by doing their job. If their lives are in jeopardy, there is an underlying problem with society that should be addressed instead.

Gov. Jan Brewer cut $36 million from AZ Dept. of Health in 2010, including treatments/services for the mentally ill. via Twitter.

When I was watching the alleged assassin's YouTube videos, I was making check marks on DSM-IV symptoms. Given his behavior and his ... ahem ... videos, I'm pretty sure he was well into shizophrenia. It probably won't happen, but it would be nice if the good that became of this was better understanding, diagnosis and treatment of mental illnesses. My fantasy is that Giffords becomes the Bill Bradley of mental health.

Oh, and now his YouTube and MySpace assets are now all over mainstream media.
posted by chemoboy at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Hold them accountable for what they actually do. Make Sarah Palin explain why in a world where this sort of thing happens, she chose not to err on the side of caution and decency.

Hell, if one sticks to just facts (vs caution/decency) - explain the scrubbing of their web sites of what was said in the past. Palin won't be the 1st or the last who's got some 'splain to do.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2011


But I would bet actual money that unless she flat out admits to being wrong for putting that map out and apologizes for it, she's done for in the realm of public opinion.

How much you got?
posted by cashman at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Today someone took their nine-year-old to this store, perhaps to give her the experience of talking to her representative.

And that parent is going home alone.
posted by NorthernLite at 2:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [62 favorites]


Clearly, this guy is nuts. But. The fact that he's nuts doesn't mean he exists in a vacuum. Listen to the rhetoric on fox news and in the right-wing-crazysphere. if you got most of your information from that crazysphere then a rational conclusion would be that our country is under politic siege and that it would actually be heroic and good for you to take out some democrats who are trying to destroy "our country" and take it away from "real Americans".

Remember, the "Second amendment remedies" lady was Sharon Angle, who was running against Reid in Navada, right next door.


So your idea of a Sharon Angle voter is an early twenties, literate, stoner, atheist who thinks everyone should be able to print their own currency? This is what I mean by blinders, take a look at the whole person not just the views that line up the way you want them to and it gets a bit more difficult to assign any blame at this point.

It just as well could have been Oz that did it, he is crazy.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 2:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Howard Fineman: The End Of Access
The shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is a watershed event in many ways, some of which we cannot yet know, but one of the clearest and simplest is this: Congress and its members are about to be permanently quarantined, physically isolated, from the people it and they represent.

... even more restrictive rules are now inevitable. It's even possible that the general public will be banned from the hallways of the Capitol Complex, at least at certain times and under certain circumstances.

As for personal protection, that is likely to be increased substantially. For the last year or two, some House members and senators have had unpublicized but substantial security details dispatched to their side when deemed warranted.

The Huffington Post has learned that one Democratic senator had a special security detail detailed to him for two weeks after concerns were raised about personal threats.

But rather than have extensive details for each member, the members are likely to change their behavior -- which means they will stay behind closed doors here in DC and in their home districts and states.
posted by ericb at 2:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


Arizona Daily Star, June 9:

Jesse Kelly, meanwhile, doesn’t seem to be bothered in the least by the Sarah Palin controversy earlier this year, when she released a list of targeted races in crosshairs, urging followers to “reload” and “aim” for Democrats. Critics said she was inciting violence.

He seems to be embracing his fellow tea partier’s idea. Kelly’s campaign event website has a stern-looking photo of the former Marine in military garb holding his weapon. It includes the headline: “Get on Target for Victory in November. Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

The event costs $50.


No, politics doesn't enter into this at all. At all!
posted by blucevalo at 2:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


I really hope that she survives and one day confronts Palin in public about the map with crosshairs.

I hope that confrontation takes place in court.
posted by Brian B. at 2:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


But a lot of people have read all of these books and haven't—and never will—do what he's done.

Absolutely. I have read most of them, own several of the non-political ones, am most certainly not right-leaning, and can't fathom how any of them could trigger something like this (but Ayn Rand usually gives me pause).

The safest bet is not to read books at all! (Just magazines... "all of 'em, Katie.")

I imagine some teapartiers and Palin followers will look at that list of books and call for them all to be banned in schools (at least the ones that aren't already).

The Wizard Of OZ - Fantasy,
Encourages murdering female political opponents by dousing them in fatal chemicals.

Almost ashamed that I laughed.

Hopefully the lesson of this will be: When you lie to a national audience, your concern should be not so much what the average person will do with your lie, but what the crazy person will do. And that's your responsibility.

But isn't that precisely what Glen Beck is allowed and paid to do, deliberately poke the crazies with a stick, in hopes that one of them will do what he can't and then take the fall for everybody in his "gang"?

It's often remarked that republicans have an...ability to work in lockstep

Yep, which often leads to the evil of groupthink.
posted by fuse theorem at 2:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'll never understand Palin supporters. Ever. I can't possibly begin to comprehend the level of irrational logic they operate under.
posted by Evernix at 2:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Giffords' opponent in the recent election, Jesse Kelly, held a campaign event in June where participants were invited to shoot an automatic weapon with the candidate, which was advertised as a chance to "get on target for victory in November help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office"*
posted by ericb at 2:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


billyfleetwood: "seeing a direct line" absolutely doesn't "[imply] direct causation"...!

fine. I will edit my comment.

Seeing a direct line is also a stretch.

Right now we have very little information, a lot of guessing, and tons of theorizing. Anybody who can show me any sort of provable "direct line" leading to this act should march themselves down to the CNN studio and demand to be put on the air. Or be made acting director of Homeland Security or something.

In the days and months to come, I'm sure we'll know more. Chances are it won't be as clean cut as anybody wants it to be.
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:45 PM on January 8, 2011


Congress and its members are about to be permanently quarantined, physically isolated, from the people it and they represent.

Not at all.

The lobbyists of Corporations will have the same access as before.
posted by rough ashlar at 2:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


TakeBackThe20.com has been scrubbed. Here's a site rip.
posted by kafziel at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


in the end, the democrats win

but a pity for those that died.

For fuck sake
posted by the noob at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


How much you got?

My momma taught me to never gamble with nobody named "cashman"
posted by billyfleetwood at 2:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


TakeBackThe20.com has been scrubbed. Here's a site rip.

It may just be hammered. But thank you for the site rip.
posted by chemoboy at 2:50 PM on January 8, 2011


Fineman: But rather than have extensive details for each member, the members are likely to change their behavior -- which means they will stay behind closed doors here in DC and in their home districts and states.

No, I can't see that happening. They will make themselves vulnerable to challlengers and possibly lose their next election if they quarantine themselves very much.
posted by jayder at 2:52 PM on January 8, 2011


So your idea of a Sharon Angle voter is an early twenties, literate, stoner, atheist who thinks everyone should be able to print their own currency?

I don't know any Nevadans, but I do know Ron Johnson voters in Wisconsin who fit this description.
posted by aaronetc at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Robert Kennedy's words seem appropriate here:

Surely, we can learn, at least, to look at those around us as fellow men, and surely we can begin to work a little harder to bind up the wounds among us and to become in our own hearts brothers and countrymen once again.

Let us dedicate ourselves to what the Greeks wrote so many years ago: to tame the savageness of man and make gentle the life of this world. Let us dedicate ourselves to that, and say a prayer for our country and for our people.

posted by naoko at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


Okay, so I'm trying not to jump to conclusions, but good luck to me with that.

I did not feel guilty about checking her party affiliation as soon as I heard the news. For this reason: I was confused. This was a prominent public official who had been shot in public, but she represented Arizona, which made it highly likely that she was Republican. I had to confirm that she was a democrat just to make the story make sense.

My apologies. I'm pretty angry right now.

Angry at a rising death toll of citizens who came out to meet with their elected official about the operation of their government, at least one of whom was a child.

Angry at the state of things in Arizona that it took so log for help to arrive.

(Thankful the the Congresswoman has survived so far.)

Angry at Palin for making blatant calls for violence against congresspeople, couched in the thinnest veneer of "I mean shoot them dead with your votes and money of course." Listen everybody. Those in power on the Right don't want this sort of thing to happen. They don't want to inspire actual violence. They want to inspire just short of this. Palin and Beck don't want their audience to shoot people, they want their audience to want to shoot people, but feel like they can't, and that the next best thing is to give money to Palin and Beck.

Also angry at Palin for her bullshit press release, and angrier at the feeling that she probably believes in it.

Angry at Beck for his relentless campaign to convince people that the country is falling apart and that the only thing you can trust in is that gold has some magical power of intrinsic value by virtue of being shiny.

Angry at knowing that while two miles from the Safeway where this occurred, people are mourning, two miles from where I am people are working furiously to put the "right spin" on the incident.

Angry that those offices are where I'm trying desperately to find work.

Angry at reality that this isn't simple. That the shooter didn't conform to the necessary stereotype to make this make sense.

Angry at furiousxgeorge for his repeated assertions that because the shooter is crazy that politics had nothing to do with it, as if mental imbalance prohibits people from being swayed by political rhetoric, and as if the rhetoric of a madman has to sync up precisely with that of public persons in order for the influence to be seen. For Christ's Sake, he's spouting revolutionary shit about gold standards and the unconstitutionality of paying taxes for education and his stuff about literacy is clearly tied to ENGLISH in a state with a very large populace of Spanish speakers whom the right has been demonizing like, well, crazy.

Angry that I really don't know anything here.

But I'm reminded of "The Dark Night," when Harvey Dent is beating and questioning the one guy in the alley, and Batman shows up to say. "He's a paranoid schizophrenic. Just the sort of mind the Joker attracts. What to you expect to learn from him?"

And so I'm angry that I know we're not going to learn anything useful from this guy. But it appears there were others working with him. Do you think those others, the ones who evaded capture for a little bit longer, were really bogged down with obsessions with "conscience dreaming" or misunderstandings/misinterpretations of the BCE/CE convention? No. This is, again, exactly the kind of mind the Joker attracts. Or in this case, the kind of mind attracted to the Palin/Beck rhetoric. But I don't know anything yet.

In offices two miles from where I sit, people are working furiously on spin. And most of them will say exactly the same thing furiousxgeorge is saying. The message will be "shh, shh. Shut up. He was a crazy person. Nothing to see here. This was a tragedy for all of us." And then some will continue that the liberals are trying to spin the tragedy for their own gain.

Fuck that shit, and I'm calling bullshit now. I don't know anything, but this was about politics. One way or another, it was. And saying that this particular guy was crazy so we can't draw any conclusions is actively burying one's head in the sand. This guy was a tool. bin Laden didn't fly the planes into the towers himself, after all.
posted by Navelgazer at 2:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [107 favorites]


girl on twitter claims to have known gunman.
posted by crunchland at 2:56 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So your idea of a Sharon Angle voter is an early twenties, literate, stoner, atheist who thinks everyone should be able to print their own currency?
Of course not, despite the proximity, it's still a different state. But the print their own currency stuff is straight up crazy libertarianism that's popular in the teaparty.

(And why call him "literate", He derided other people for being illiterate, but his own writing was pretty damn wonky. The fact that he considered himself literate and everyone else illiterate doesn't actually make it so)
This is what I mean by blinders, take a look at the whole person not just the views that line up the way you want them to and it gets a bit more difficult to assign any blame at this point.
Disagreeing with someone doesn't mean the other person had "blinders" on, it just means they've reached different conclusions with the given facts. What facts, specifically do you think people are ignoring?

When you get into the deep weeds of crazy republicanism you see a lot more diversity of thought. There were, for example, 9/11 truthers at Glenn Beck's 9/12 rally. There's a lot of conspiracy theory crazyness.

No one is saying he was following the Beck/Palin ideology to the letter, but rather that he was influenced by people like that into thinking democratic politicians were the harbingers of an oppressive totalitarian state that would crush everything and/or not expel all the Mexicans. There is a also a lot more support for Marijuana reform.

Simply looking at the demographic profile and saying "not a typical republican" doesn't mean that no republicans fit the profile. Objectivists tend to be atheists and conservative. And, obviously, he was a gun owner.
posted by delmoi at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Man it would be nice to live in a country where attempted assassinations weren't seen as ways to score political points.

Please let us know where this utopia is; I can't think of anywhere that hasn't had episodes of this kind of violence.

This is really sad, and it's always amazing to me how much influence one nut with a willingness to kill can end up having.
posted by Forktine at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2011


Anybody who can show me any sort of provable "direct line" leading to this act should march themselves down to the CNN studio and demand to be put on the air.

Oh course, when it comes to Islamic terrorism, we don't have to look for a direct line. In fact we're not even allowed to look for a direct line. They're just crazy evil moozlims who want to kill freedom. No further analysis is allowed to be entered into. But when it's a white American? Oooh we need a direct line before drawing any conclusions.
posted by Jimbob at 2:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [36 favorites]


Re: Palin scrubbing stuff, this tweet was recently deleted.
posted by troika at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


And, obviously, he was a gun owner.

Guns are painfully easy to procure illegally. I hate to be that guy, but we still don't know anything about the shooter.
posted by orville sash at 2:59 PM on January 8, 2011


God, is there anything lamer than a self promoting former criminal profiler seizing on a shooter's love for Mein Kampf on the teevee?
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


USA, Inc. will no longer allow visitors at the corporate office?

Unfortunately, I think Howard Fineman is right and the upcoming Giffords Law forbidding unwanted contact with an elected representative is something that many a pol would enjoy, if not outright beg for. Sadly though, I think that it's a direct reflection on our society as a whole, as we transitioned from the front porch to the family room in the back or basement in order to escape and entertain ourselves. For one, I'm honestly surprised that Rep. Giffords would hold such a public event, given what I know about my local reps, two of whom will be granting audiences during visiting hours in a federal jail soon enough.

But that all pales in comparison to my thoughts regarding all of the other families that are suffering the consequences of today's actions. Nobody should lose their child like that.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2011


Angry at furiousxgeorge for his repeated assertions that because the shooter is crazy that politics had nothing to do with it

angry at people not reading what I write.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Have any influential figures (politicians, celebrities, anybody??) made a public statement yet that includes a sentiment or directly addresses the culture of violence and political rhetoric that may have influenced this tragedy? I'm just wondering if anybody with a wider audience is admonishing with similar sentiment as I'm seeing here on MeFi, Twitter, Facebook, etc.
posted by iamkimiam at 3:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Re: Palin scrubbing stuff, this tweet was recently deleted.


I'm of the mind that Tweets should be undeletable.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


angry at people not reading what I write.

Fair enough. As I hoped to make clear, I'm not in my best mind right now.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:05 PM on January 8, 2011


angry at people not reading what I write.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:00 PM


George is getting upset!
posted by chemoboy at 3:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Does anyone know what condition Giffords is in???? Or the extent of her injuries
posted by goalyeehah at 3:07 PM on January 8, 2011


For Christ's Sake, he's spouting revolutionary shit about gold standards and the unconstitutionality of paying taxes for education and his stuff about literacy is clearly tied to ENGLISH in a state with a very large populace of Spanish speakers whom the right has been demonizing like, well, crazy.

Again, take off the blinders. He is complaining about paying tuition for college, not taxes. I can ASSURE you Sarah Palin does not think tuition is unconstitutional. His stuff about literacy reads more like the proper word would be enlightened. He thinks practically no one is literate, not that those damn Mexicans don't learn English. I refer to him as literate for his diverse reading list, his writing is clearly insane and unintelligible which is why you can not diagnose his politics through them.

Can someone provide evidence that he was registered as Republican, or Libertarian, or at all? Has he ever endorsed a candidate in any of his writings?
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:07 PM on January 8, 2011


George is getting upset!


Furious even

/Snagglepuss
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Anybody who shoots a public figure, then into a crowd, is by any reasonable definition crazy. But crazy comes in degrees.

And it's clear that from Loughner's YouTube videos, assuming that they are sincere (and not some sort of pre-planned insanity plea evidence, or what have you), that he is a long way into woo-hoo cuckoo land. But woo-hoo cuckoo land is a big, big place, with lots of ways to get there.

It's equally clear from the videos that the bus that took Loughner deep into woo-hoo cuckoo land passed through an obsession with a literal, limited reading of the Constitution, and right past the Return to the Gold Standard. These are pretty strongly characteristic of the current right wing fringe.

He didn't arrive in the depths of woo-hoo cuckoo land as others have; through an obsession with the industrial-technological system, or through a fucked-up cult, or to impress Jodie Foster. And I don't think it's appropriate to dismiss him entirely as a random nut with no political significance.
posted by Homeboy Trouble at 3:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm a bit shocked that Metafilter is trying to tie the rantings and actions of someone who is clearly mentally deficient to the political right. The shooter apparently is a right-wing extremist but also very, very ill. Let's be careful about branding a whole political movement based on this, please?

This isn't the first time that someone who disagreed with a politician went out and killed him, nor, sadly, will it be the last.
posted by tgrundke at 3:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm going to bet this had little or nothing to do with Giffords.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:10 PM on January 8, 2011


Interview with David Neiwert author of "The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right".

This clearly spells out what's wrong with the eliminationist rhetoric and why the right wing is morally culpable in the violence.

Actually, Palin's site-scrubbing (and accompanying silence) is the guilty fleeing when no man pursueth.

Saying the shooter is crazy doesn't cut it. That red herring was thrashed out 25 years ago in the Goldmark murders.
posted by warbaby at 3:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Fox News: "According to the law enforcement official, the suspect began shouting something before shooting wildly with an automatic weapon. Shots then rang out from the crowd -- a security agent or someone else fired at the suspect who survived."
posted by Jahaza at 3:11 PM on January 8, 2011


tgrundke: No it is not to first time, nor is the left the only group that is ever targeted (see: Hinckley, or the guy who held the Discovery Channel hostage last year, though his views were really all over the map as well.)

The point here is that the Right is actually regularly calling their listeners to violence. When said violence occurs, I think it makes sense for people to demand accountability for it.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Forget the politicizing and the overanalysis for a while. There will be plenty of time for that. I was shaking for a while after I heard, and I'm not the only one. The community is in shock, like much of the nation. I was out with my wife when I got a call about this. We had things to do. She said, "Why don't we just go home now?" Say a prayer or send some thoughts towards the victims and their families. There will be plenty of time to dissect this.
posted by azpenguin at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The Guardian reports that Loughner is an Afghanistan War veteran, which I haven't seen reported elsewhere.
posted by Rumple at 3:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Angry that those offices are where I'm trying desperately to find work.

And this has exactly what to do with the dead and injured victims of the Tucson shooting???
posted by jgirl at 3:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am stunned that her prognosis is so positive. Go, Gabby!
posted by Civil_Disobedient at 3:13 PM on January 8, 2011


Man it would be nice to live in a country where attempted assassinations weren't seen as ways to score political points.

Bingo. Wouldn't it be nice if everybody just shut the fuck up about this guy's political motivations until they had some actual evidence? Ann Coulter is an evil, evil person -- and the rest of us should forbear emulating her tactics.
posted by steambadger at 3:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


The shooter apparently is a right-wing extremist

Even that seems very unclear.
posted by deern the headlice at 3:16 PM on January 8, 2011


But the problem of nutty people who want to shoot people is not going away. So maybe we tone down the right-wing rhetoric that really speaks to them?

Also, take away the guns. Every gun owner is a nice, law-abiding citizen, untill they are not. Then people die.

Not that we know how this one loon got his gun. Perhaps that is what the other arrests were about, but that might not be confirmed.

Fascinating, joyless, teeming, and disturbing. I need to step back, stop refreshing, play Blood Bowl, drink, think.

Hug your loved ones. Hug a stranger.
posted by vrakatar at 3:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm going to bet this had little or nothing to do with Giffords.

Agreed. I think there has been a bit too much hate and fear mongering in my country's politics. But while politics might have had something to do with it, it would be so insignificant of a cause that you should probably be burning the butterflies instead of the effigies.

@Homeboy Trouble - Thanks for the links. They lend some credibility to this thread full of speculation and ire. I had no idea (or I forgot) that Fromme was released. Very interesting.
posted by chemoboy at 3:18 PM on January 8, 2011


Again, take off the blinders. He is complaining about paying tuition for college, not taxes. I can ASSURE you Sarah Palin does not think tuition is unconstitutional.

Wow, you don't know any teabaggers, do you? They do not make any connection between the public policies they affect and their own actions and entitlements. Every one of them that I know grabs for all the government goodies they can get. The same ones who demand that government "leave their medicare alone" joyfully vote for candidates who want to eliminate it. This is equally true of officeholders Republicans don't hesitate to demand the stimulus money they denounced and voted against.

Besides, you started out by saying the guy is random batshit crazy, and end by saying he can't hold contradictory views because it's irrational. Hoo-kay. Even when that precise form of irrationality is a Tea Party hallmark.
posted by George_Spiggott at 3:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


The Guardian reports that Loughner is an Afghanistan War veteran, which I haven't seen reported elsewhere.

Some TV reported that early on, then dropped it. I don't think it's true.
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:20 PM on January 8, 2011


The Guardian reports that Loughner is an Afghanistan War veteran, which I haven't seen reported elsewhere.

FYI, both Army Knowledge Online and Marine On-Line have zero record of a Jared Loughner having served. Could still be a Navy or Air Force vet, I guess.
posted by lullaby at 3:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Who could have seen this coming? No wait—

Whether this is a direct result of Palin being a dumbaclot or not is really besides the point. It's bad PR for her regardless. I mean, you should expect some blowback when you put out campaign literature with violent overtones and targets and all that jazz.

America needs better public schools. WORD.
posted by chunking express at 3:21 PM on January 8, 2011


furiousxgeorge: "extremely literate" people know the difference between the words "then" and "than".
posted by onesidys at 3:23 PM on January 8, 2011


I am very thankful that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will survive. Hopefully she will make a full recovery, as we can only hope.

May the wounded have all the support to help them deal with this tragedy.

May the dead by grieved for, and their loved ones find some sort of solace.

May we find the courage to build a stronger and more representative republic... may we remain civil.

It's really hard to believe it will be possible... but I will resign to embracing hope.

My earlier comment was made from a darker place.
posted by PROD_TPSL at 3:24 PM on January 8, 2011


I hope someone is cataloging Palin and co's site scrubbing and deletions. Seriously, we need someone to archive this shit for research purposes.
posted by Think_Long at 3:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



The shooter apparently is a right-wing extremist


The shooter sounds more like my former, mentally imbalanced roomie who had not taken his medications. Really...he does.

His political affiliations are secondary to his mental health.
posted by lampshade at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



furiousxgeorge: "extremely literate" people know the difference between the words "then" and "than".


Sometimes.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


The AZ Daily Star's article has expanded to include statements from Giffords' seatmate Raul Grijalva, as well as several eyewitness accounts.
Dr. Steven Aryle, a hospice doctor who used to work in the emergency department at St. Mary's Hospital, went to the event to meet the congresswoman, whom he'd never met before.

Aryle said he was walking toward her, about 8 to 10 feet away, when he saw a man about 2 feet away from her side shoot her in the head.

There was no warning of the shot, he said. The man didn't say a word.

The congresswoman fell to the ground and a staff member ran to her side. She was conscious and he saw her sitting up against a wall - signs he considered encouraging.

He said he heard another 15 to 20 rounds. He helped hold the suspect down after other witnesses tackled and disarmed him.

'It was surreal. Gunshots sound less real in person," he said. "I thought someone was staging a protest. It just didn't feel real."

Alex Villec, a 19-year-old volunteer, organized the line of constituents when the shooter approached the line outside Safeway.

The shooter said "Can I talk to the congresswoman?", or something to that effect, Villec said. He told him to stand at the back of a line to wait for about 20 minutes.

A few minutes later, the shooter left the back of the line and walked toward Giffords amid a group of 20 to 25 constituents, employees and volunteers.

"He was intent," Villec said. "He was intent when he came back - a pretty stone-cold glance and glare. ... I didn't see his gun, but it was clear who he was going for. He was going for the congresswoman.

"A few staff members were caught in the crossfire ... . His goal was the congresswoman."

The shooter walked past Villec and to his left, past tables and toward Gifford. Villec saw him raise his hand and heard gunshots before ducking behind a pillar and later running across the Safeway parking lot to a bank for safety. "It was bedlam," he said. "People were getting down on the ground. They were screaming. I just did what I could to keep myself protected."
Grijalva:
U.S. Rep. Raul Grijalva, Giffords' seatmate from Southern Arizona, said, "It's horrific. It's heartbreaking. It's very frightening. I hope she comes out of it. This is not what public service is all about."

The heated rhetoric and civil discord creates an environment for something like this to happen, he said.

He lamented a series of incidents demonstrating the buildup that leads to something like this, including an envelope of white powder sent to his Tucson office as well as a shot fired at his Yuma office.
posted by carsonb at 3:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Just maybe we should blame the sorry state of mental health care and treatment in this country.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [24 favorites]


chunking express: "Who could have seen this coming? No wait—

Whether this is a direct result of Palin being a dumbaclot or not...
"

"Bumbaclot." It's "bumbaclot".
posted by symbioid at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2011


"He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent""
posted by atomicmedia at 3:29 PM on January 8, 2011


"Bumbaclot." It's "bumbaclot".


Yes, but in this case it seems to work.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2011


Just maybe throwing around blame isn't the correct response to this sort of thing, Alia.
posted by carsonb at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2011


Echoing chemoboy, let's hope she sticks around and does as much as good as Jim Brady has.

How's this for a weird parallel: Brady was 14,823 days old when he was shot in the head. Congresswoman Giffords turned 14,823 days old just yesterday. (Brady, like Giffords, was also falsely reported by the TV networks to have died.)
posted by Knappster at 3:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I am very thankful that Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords will survive. Hopefully she will make a full recovery, as we can only hope.

I am thankful as well. She was shot in the head and the hospital staff member at the press conference said she had been shot and it "passed through and through", going through her brain. So I suspect she will not be able to make a full recovery. But I hope she fully achieves the best recovery possible.

I'd like to see more information from people who knew him (actively) and interacted with him. The one person who seems to have known him said he was a liberal, a leftie, when she last saw him in 2007. Certainly there have to be people who have interacted with him and talked with him. Like the Tuscon Festival of Books staff, from the picture posted earlier.
posted by cashman at 3:32 PM on January 8, 2011


Wow, you don't know any teabaggers, do you?

@George_Spiggott: I know a LOT of them. College tutition being unconstitutional is NOT ONE OF THEIR POLICIES.

I have no idea what the hell you are trying to say with the rest of your comment, please restate and explain precisely what you are trying to respond to.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:33 PM on January 8, 2011


See also: Glen Beck's persistant paranoid urging to "action" - seems to be a sort of right wing mantra coming from Fox, from the view of someone outside the US, to suggest that "something STRONG needs to be done" and implying violence by use of words and graphics without ever actually saying it. Very creepy, insidious.

Whether or not that's relevant remains to be seen. Either way this does not bode well.
My apologies if this has been posted above, it's a long thread and I only have a few minutes.

My condolences to friends and family.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 3:34 PM on January 8, 2011


Just maybe we should blame the sorry state of mental health care and treatment in this country.

Don't we have Reagan to thank for a lot of that?
posted by hippybear at 3:35 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


Tucson, people, not Tuscon
posted by atomicmedia at 3:35 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


@George_Spiggott: I know a LOT of them. College tutition being unconstitutional is NOT ONE OF THEIR POLICIES.

Except that Loughner's claim isn't that tuition is unconstitutional. It's that payment in currency not backed by gold or silver is unconstitutional. Which is exactly Tea Party rhetoric.
posted by kafziel at 3:37 PM on January 8, 2011


Howard Fineman @ Huffpo is predicting that this will be the "end of access" to your representatives.

I just sent a note to my congresscritter asking her not to be intimidated by this. (Seeing as how my congresscritter is Louise Slaughter, the odds are good she won't be.)
posted by lodurr at 3:38 PM on January 8, 2011


The Times ran a really nice Vows column when she married the astronaut.
They courted over prison tours and shuttle launches.

"About 300 guests wore yarmulkes, military medals, silver concho studs or designer creations."
posted by CunningLinguist at 3:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


This is all just horrible in every way. I hope she pulls through, and it's sickening to hear that a nine-year old and a federal judge are among the ones confirmed dead.
posted by flatluigi at 3:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Really, we should be feeling sorry for Sarah Palin right now. Of the people on her "Crosshairs" map, only 2 are still in office. Since this nutjob was obviously acting completely randomly, and there are 535 people in Congress, it was a 0.3% chance for this particular Congresswoman to have been on her map which told people to set their sights on Democrats. Talk about bad luck!
posted by 0xFCAF at 3:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [25 favorites]



Except that Loughner's claim isn't that tuition is unconstitutional. It's that payment in currency not backed by gold or silver is unconstitutional. Which is exactly Tea Party rhetoric.


His argument is that he does not have to pay tuition because currency is unconstitutional. This is not the tea party argument. It is closer to a Freeman on the Land argument in which one attempts to use legal magic words to escape criminal charges or taxes. Sarah Palin paid her tutition. Ron Paul did too.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Just maybe we should blame the sorry state of
mental health care and treatment in this country.


It is not just the system entirely. As citizens, many MI people often stray from their medications after they have been diagnosed and treated. Of course, yes our health system is a mess and it does turn away a huge number of persons who qualify for treatment. However, it does rely on the individual to reach out to it to some degree - whether it be voluntary or by a third party.

It is a slippery slope. Making a couple of non-sensical rantings on YouTube is not enough to get a person into treatment. Often it takes a "large" event like this to get a person the help they needed after the event that is the result of not having a diagnosis. It happens every day.
---
Regarding constitutional/education/currency line that Lougher is lamenting, anyone can connect a square and a circle and call it a triangle with enough effort.
posted by lampshade at 3:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Again, take off the blinders. He is complaining about paying tuition for college, not taxes. I can ASSURE you Sarah Palin does not think tuition is unconstitutional.
Okay, it seems obvious that you are using the word "blinders" to mean, "disagree with me" about his motivations. It's kind of obnoxious.

Still, it's possible he was a liberal if he was in the past. We'll have to see. But again this issue isn't being a doctrinaire conservative, but rather whether or not he was influenced by the crazy right-wing nonsense out there.

And on top of that, the violent rhetoric in Arizona seems a lot more violent then in other places.
posted by delmoi at 3:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I wonder if it's possible the Judge was the real target, and the Rep was just collateral.
posted by crunchland at 3:48 PM on January 8, 2011


There might be a lot of guys named "Jimmy Ray" in Tennessee

Who wants to know?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 3:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


And this has exactly what to do with the dead and injured victims of the Tucson shooting???

Nothing directly. I'm just stating that my anger is directed somewhat at myself as well, knowing that given slightly different circumstances I be doing the exact same spin-job. I didn't mean for that to come off as self-pitying, but I see now how it would.
posted by Navelgazer at 3:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Wahtever his motivations, he killed a child, and a judge and threatened to kill a congressman. He's 23 and he just threw his life away along with those of innocent people. Good work, asshole.
posted by jonmc at 3:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


"Bumbaclot." It's "bumbaclot".

I know how to type and I know what a bumbaclot is. Plain is a dumbaclot.
posted by chunking express at 3:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


http://twitter.com/caitieparker
posted by atomicmedia at 3:52 PM on January 8, 2011


And as if to answer my question, Mark Knoller says: "...eyewitness to shooting says gunman targeted Rep Giffords & then randomly shot others at her event."
posted by crunchland at 3:52 PM on January 8, 2011


I have begun to be genuinely frightened for the future of this nation.

We have never, ever been united in ideology or outlook. Our entire system was designed for one purpose and for one purpose only: to safeguard the people from the tyranny of other people.

The system only works if we use it. The peaceful transition of power is the most beautiful thing that happens regularly in America.

And for the first time in 150 years, individual ideologies are threatening to overwhelm the delicate balance of the system.

If we loose our willingness to compromise, we turn into Liberia or some other chaotic place.

The peace we have here is so much more fragile than anyone believes.

I am afraid.
posted by jefficator at 3:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]



Again, take off the blinders. He is complaining about paying tuition for college, not taxes. I can ASSURE you Sarah Palin does not think tuition is unconstitutional.

Okay, it seems obvious that you are using the word "blinders" to mean, "disagree with me" about his motivations. It's kind of obnoxious.


No, I am using blinders to refer to disregarding facts that don't fit your agenda, which to me is the most obnoxious thing in the world. His views on currency are unintelligible but clearly distinct from mainstream tea party thought. I guarantee you they don't think it is workable for everyone to be the treasurer of their own money systems.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 3:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Whether this is a direct result of Palin being a dumbaclot or not..."

"Bumbaclot." It's "bumbaclot".
posted by symbioid


Woosh!
posted by chillmost at 3:56 PM on January 8, 2011


I wonder if it's possible the Judge was the real target, and the Rep was just collateral.

Not from what I'm reading. Apparently, he requested to speak with the congresswoman and was waiting in line when he decided to walk up in silence and shoot the congresswoman from close range.

This story will differ from propaganda outlets, but the fact remains that he showed up to the congresswoman's event, armed, with the intent to either speak with or shoot her, not the judge, the kid or anyone else there.
posted by jsavimbi at 3:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I've followed the Tea Party for a a year and a half as a political reporter, and I assure that there is no overarching mainstream ideology behind the movement. There is, however, a sizable mix of anti-government, anti-tax, taxes are illegal, anything done with our tax money is unconstitutional types in the movement. Your claims that his viewpoint is somehow outside regular Tea Party rhetoric does not jibe with my experiences at all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 3:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [35 favorites]


This is an incredibly terrible crime and I hope that all of the victims who are injured recover as fully as possible.

Incidentally, my little sister met Rep. Giffords once a couple of years ago when she was speaking at her alma mater in California. She was a rising young woman in politics; now the martyr of rising young women in politics.

The Tea Party idiocy has certainly hardened some hearts...

Some posters here seem to be on the verge of assuming that the killer was not sane. I wouldn't assume that at all.
posted by knoyers at 4:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]



I've followed the Tea Party for a a year and a half as a political reporter, and I assure that there is no overarching mainstream ideology behind the movement. There is, however, a sizable mix of anti-government, anti-tax, taxes are illegal, anything done with our tax money is unconstitutional types in the movement. Your claims that his viewpoint is somehow outside regular Tea Party rhetoric does not jibe with my experiences at all.


Gold standard, low taxes, cut spending. That kind of thing is mainstream tea party thought.

--
Every human who's mentally capable is always able to be treasurer of their new currency.

If you create one new currency then you're able to create a second new currency.

If you're able to create second new currency then you're able to create third new currency.

You create one new currency.

Thus, you're able to create a third currency.


You're a treasurer for a new currency, listener?

You create and distribute your new currency, listener?

You don't allow the government to control your grammar structure, listener?
--

This is not. There is no ambiguity about this fact.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Again, I say to you: There are plenty of lunatics in the Tea Party, and their rhetoric is all over the map. I am not sure where you get this sense that there is some sort of reasonable mainstream. Try talking to them some time. You only need to talk to three or four before somebody hands you tracts explaining these lunatic anti-tax schemes.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]




The man
shoots a democratic politician at a public event,

in the southern us -

he's obviously a raving socialist upset at the lack of progress on farm collectivisation, yes ?
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


The loss of any life - and the injury of any American - is unacceptable. While we do not yet know exactly what motivated this deranged gunman, improving the tenor of our public debate can only help.

Letter from the National Jewish Democratic Council.
posted by stoneweaver at 4:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I don't think it's necessarily material what the shooter's motivations were when some segment of society creates an atmosphere of social acceptability for violet acts. Violence is going to follow the path of least resistance, and the guy could have been a hobbit with a grudge against Cap'n Crunch and shot Snooki if a large segment of society was using the same metaphors against MTV as they were against Democratic politicians. In short, I think what a lot of people are bouncing off of is the question of what else could possibly motivate someone, even a stupid and/or crazy person, to target this gathering? He could have just done a Huberty and shot up a Denny's.
posted by rhizome at 4:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


No, I am using blinders to refer to disregarding facts that don't fit your agenda, which to me is the most obnoxious thing in the world. His views on currency are unintelligible but clearly distinct from mainstream tea party thought. I guarantee you they don't think it is workable for everyone to be the treasurer of their own money systems.
No, you're using "blinders" to refer to people disagreeing about the implication of various facts. No one is literally denying that he wrote those things in that video. But we disagree that they are that different from what crazy teabaggers have been saying. In fact:
I guarantee you they don't think it is workable for everyone to be the treasurer of their own money systems.
Guarentee? Really?
"Federal Reserve Note" (FRN). This means they were authorized for issue by the Federal Reserve System (the Fed), a national bank created by Congress. The legal tender law gives the Fed a monopoly over what you use for money.
When a currency is legal tender you are legally compelled to accept it in payment for debts, even if you've made a contract to be paid in some other currency or commodity, such as gold. The Free Competition in Currency Act would free you to use other currencies, gold, silver, or all of them at the same time, including FRNs
and would make gold contracts legally enforceable in court.
If this seems like a strange new world to you, please realize that you already live in this world to a certain extent.
...
Congressman Paul has hit upon the easiest way to end monetary inflation, and the booms and busts that follow in its wake. Simply repeal the legal tender monopoly enjoyed by FRNs, and the coinage monopoly held by the United States government. Stop taxing exchanges in commodity metals. Allow monetary competition. This would help end inflation. But that's not all . . .
He's clearly nuts, but the hamming distance isn't all that far away from the conservative craziness that's been stewing. And clearly you are wrong about the "everyone should be able to print their own currency" thing.
posted by delmoi at 4:11 PM on January 8, 2011


AZ, I'm not sure what your point is. I'm aware there are crazy people in every political movement. I am primarily arguing against premature certainty that people like Palin contributed to this violent act with their rhetoric. If the tea party is just a hodge podge of lunatic mavericks that doesn't really answer the question of Palin's responsibility with this particular crime, right?

It would seem to suggest he was above her influence.

As for anti-tax lunatics, I referenced them above. And I referenced Joe Stack as well. There is an area of crazy which can not be defined as left or right even though it is clearly political.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am stunned that her prognosis is so positive. Go, Gabby!

I'm crossing my fingers. The more I read about her, the more I wished she had been my congressperson.

America needs better public schools. WORD.

Word.

Just maybe we should blame the sorry state of mental health care and treatment in this country.

Word.

As citizens, many MI people often stray from their medications after they have been diagnosed and treated.

This probably is because many of these medications have serious side effects. Perhaps if more money was spent on research, better medications could be discovered.

I have to agree with lampshade, though. While giving those afflicted the medication they need might help, it is impossible to mandate their dosing. Not while allowing people their basic human rights. The psychiatric community has a giant, collective ulcer over this dilemma. In many cases they know what is best for people, but they cannot on good conscious force the medicine on the sick. In the case of schizophrenia, it does not help that paranoia of authority or doctors might make you even less likely to take your meds.
posted by chemoboy at 4:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I guarantee you they don't think it is workable for everyone to be the treasurer of their own money systems.

You'd be wrong.
posted by empath at 4:12 PM on January 8, 2011


One insane person among 300 million does not a movement make. This whole thing is terribly sad and the repercussions will be long-lasting and too widespread. That said, I hope the families of the dead and wounded are able to find justice.
posted by tmt at 4:12 PM on January 8, 2011


His youtube videos, if they are his, are highly suggestive of deep mental disorder. Jared Loughner.
posted by cogneuro at 4:13 PM on January 8, 2011


One insane person among 300 million does not a movement make.

Three. Three people.
posted by Navelgazer at 4:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


He's clearly nuts, but the hamming distance isn't all that far away from the conservative craziness that's been stewing. And clearly you are wrong about the "everyone should be able to print their own currency" thing.

Again, no. You have to stop looking for what you want to see. The Ron Paul position you listed is not:

Every human who's mentally capable is always able to be treasurer of their new currency.

If you create one new currency then you're able to create a second new currency.

If you're able to create second new currency then you're able to create third new currency.

You create one new currency.

Thus, you're able to create a third currency.


You're a treasurer for a new currency, listener?

You create and distribute your new currency, listener?

You don't allow the government to control your grammar structure, listener?

--

He literally thinks everyone can create their own legal currency. (AND GRAMMAR) Ron Paul is referring to banks offering currency backed in gold.

These are not the same positions.


If you create one new language then you're able to create a second new language.

If you're able to create a second new language then you're able to create a third new language.

You create one new language.

Thus, you're able to create a third new language.


This is a totally incoherent position, it is not someone complaining about Mexicans not speaking English as was mentioned above. It's gibberish. If you are seeing Ron Paul in this ink blot you are not looking at the whole picture.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I'm having a difficult time parsing the meaning of the words in Laughner's YouTube videos, much less deciphering their influence from external sources, if at all. Anyone have a notion about their content, aside from whatever the words insinuate about his mental state?
posted by Hesychia at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2011


I am primarily arguing against premature certainty that people like Palin contributed to this violent act with their rhetoric.



Hmmmm, Crosshairs/White power symbols on a map, naming specific names ? Does that make things any clearer for you ?


Hope the pays good btw.
posted by sgt.serenity at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2011


Candlelight Vigil Sunday evening (tomorrow night) 7:00-9:00PM on the north lawn of the Federal Building - Westwood/Los Angeles

Excuse me if there is a bit of anger in the message.

I am going to be there tomorrow night at 7:00PM. This is my response to what happened today. I know of no one else doing this so right now I am the only one. I am going to bring some candles and some books of poetry to read. This is a vigil for those who were injured and killed in Tucson, for the shooter and each and everyone of us. I don't want to be the only one there and will gladly be the only one if it comes to that. Please come, bring musical instruments, bring others and send this along to friends.

Pass it along.
posted by goalyeehah at 4:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


He's not so crazy. CNN TV just reported that he's taken the Fifth and is not cooperating with investigators.
posted by MegoSteve at 4:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


I don't know if we can draw a line connecting Palin to the shooter. That will come out in the next few days. But I do know that if I had a Web page putting crosshairs over a congressional distinct, I'd be in custody right now.
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [88 favorites]


Recently, in America, all our assassination attempts have been batshit-insane motivated rather than politically motivated. My gut tells me this is the same thing.

I'd say that, increasingly, "batshit-insane" and "politically motivated" are in no way mutually exclusive.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is one of those rare times I wish I owned a car, so I could get to the vigil in DC. The fucker killed one of my judges and tried to kill a legally elected congresswoman. I hope the courts deal with him as he deserves.
posted by QIbHom at 4:24 PM on January 8, 2011



I'm having a difficult time parsing the meaning of the words in Laughner's YouTube videos, much less deciphering their influence from external sources, if at all. Anyone have a notion about their content, aside from whatever the words insinuate about his mental state?


They say "Google Ron Paul!"


/posted too much here, taking a break.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:24 PM on January 8, 2011



I don't know if we can draw a line connecting Palin to the shooter. That will come out in the next few days. But I do know that if I had a Web page putting crosshairs over a congressional distinct, I'd be in custody right now.


Agreed.

/seriously done.
posted by furiousxgeorge at 4:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


furiousxgeorge: His argument is that he does not have to pay tuition because currency is unconstitutional. This is not the tea party argument. It is closer to a Freeman on the Land argument in which one attempts to use legal magic words to escape criminal charges or taxes. Sarah Palin paid her tutition. Ron Paul did too.

You seem to be saying that because this specific obsession doesn't fit in with core Tea Party doctrine, he's not influenced by Tea Party rhetoric. Or are you saying that the Freeman on the Land bullshit is not akin to Tea Party bullshit? Because it clearly is -- it's all pseudo-libertarian bullshit.

And I'll second the observation that many Tea Partiers (and many other pseudo-libertarians) will decry 'government handouts' as they grab and scuffle for all the government benefits that they can get. We're talking about an intensely narcissistic political philosophy -- the great paradox of political narcissism is that it's usually quite utterly lacking in self-awareness.

Jared is probably a pretty disturbed guy, yes, and I've met enough people who used the language the way he does or were obsessed with nuanced logical reasoning about utterly strange stuff like currency to be pretty convinced for myself that he could have been inspired by conservative, liberal, libertarian, even communist ideas all at once. Most of them haven't been dangerous. But none of them that I've known had semi-automatic weapons.
posted by lodurr at 4:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm of the mind that Tweets should be undeletable.
Tweets are only deletable if your Twitter client honours your deletion of them. While most seem to, it is pretty trivial to use the API to write a Twitter client that stores them all locally and ignores their subsequent 'deletion'. Such a client could also easily mark deleted tweets as such.

posted by motty at 4:28 PM on January 8, 2011


You have to stop looking for what you want to see.

I would say the same to you. I have no idea what kind of connection it would take for you to agree that the SarahPAC flyer that's referenced throughout this thread (not to mention the material for the Jesse Kelly event) contains rhetoric and imagery that represent a general incitement to violence other than that a copy of it was found in the guy's backpack next to the ammo.
posted by blucevalo at 4:29 PM on January 8, 2011


But I do know that if I had a Web page putting crosshairs over a congressional distinct, I'd be in custody right now.

I spent the afternoon cleaning out one of our closets and found something in a box of papers: a few years ago, our then-seven-year-old daughter drew a picture at school of herself stabbing one of her classmates. She didn't mean anything violent by it, of course; she was just expressing frustration with a playmate. But she was suspended and sent home and we had to have a Very Serious Sit-Down Talk with her teacher and principal.

It's unclear to me why a former governor and nominee for Vice President is held to a lower standard than our grade school student.
posted by EarBucket at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [109 favorites]


Regardless the politics of the asshole, can we agree that there are enough unstable people in our society that we need to be concerned about calls for violence?

"Lock and load on Healthscare Reform!" is the same as shrieking "Fire! Fire! Run for you lives!" in a crowded theatre.

Persuasive pulic speech is used in ways that blow the brains out of smart young politically-active men and women.

The unstable are a tool to be used to coerce a fearful public into compliance.

Sarah Palin didn't come up with the Target Politicians poster, just like she didn't come up with the idea of being VP.

She's an over-willing, well-paid tool paid by wealthy, sociopathic fucks and thugs; and she is being used to incite events of political violence. Just like Beck and the rest of the batshit media monsters.

You gotta admire the brilliance of the crazed mind that would not only think to use lunatics as political tools, but then also does it!
posted by five fresh fish at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Sarah will have a harder time deleting her tweet from the Library of Congress.
posted by tss at 4:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


They say "Google Ron Paul!"

Not particularly useful. But OK.

Let me be a little more specific. Why the use of syllogisms? What's with the "conscience dreaming" & the concern over the asleep/awake dichotomy? What's with the B.C.E. business?

Are these indicative of arguments seen/heard elsewhere, and does the structure of the thought process indicate specific outside influence? Or do they seem to be idiosyncratic, specific to whatever is going on in his head, of which we have yet to hear more of?

I ask because there's this long thread of "should we or should we not associate his actions with the talking points of conservative right wing or tea party movements?" & I assume that those who fall on the side of "yes" must have access to something other than maps with targets or provocative Palinesque catch-phrases.
posted by Hesychia at 4:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is one of those rare times I wish I owned a car, so I could get to the vigil in DC. The fucker killed one of my judges and tried to kill a legally elected congresswoman. I hope the courts deal with him as he deserves.


Too late now, but Amtrak will get you from Baltimore to DC in about 45 minutes for about $15, and drop you right in front of the capitol.
posted by schmod at 4:40 PM on January 8, 2011


"The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing"

Pretty much what I expected.


See? Liberals can be bigoted too.
posted by Scoo at 4:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


"Acts and threats of violence against public officials have no place in our society." -- House Speaker John Boehner (italics mine)

Am I the only person who reads that as an obvious attempt to distance himself from Sarah Palin? Much of the Republican Party wants to get away from her but are afraid to take her on because of her popularity. Did Boehner just take this opportunity to do so? Why else would he focus on threats? This guy didn't threaten people -- he shot them. I think Boehner included that word for the sole purpose of pushing out Sarah Palin.
posted by flarbuse at 4:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Why the use of syllogisms? What's with the "conscience dreaming" & the concern over the asleep/awake dichotomy? What's with the B.C.E. business?

By "conscience," I'm pretty sure he means "conscious." His main thesis seems to be that the government is controlling people's minds and he's one of a very few people who's able to see through the illusion to the truth.
posted by EarBucket at 4:44 PM on January 8, 2011


How does knol.google work?

In the link I posted earlier the list of categories next to his name is:
Drug addiction
health
health conditions
mental health
psychology
society

Are these topics that his posts touched on?

When I look at the list of his public feed I see all similar titles, like:
Created public version #40 of the knol: "How to Lucid Dream!"but the link doesn't go to anything.

http://knol.google.com/k/jared-loughner/jared-loughner/s94rk2g8o4ye/0#collections
posted by NorthernLite at 4:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So I scanned through his ravings, and now I'm trying to figure out: how does a guy this unbalanced get hold of an automatic weapon and ammo? By rights he shouldn't be unable to cross the street without assistance.
posted by Ritchie at 4:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Sorry, I've missed the last 80 or so posts, but troika said:

Re: Palin scrubbing stuff, this tweet was recently deleted.

But isn't this the tweet referenced, clearly undeleted as of now? http://twitter.com/#!/sarahpalinusa/status/10935548053

I wouldn't put it passed Palin to delete stuff like this (though it would surely work against her in the end), but is there yet any evidence of any scrubbing actually happening?
posted by ericost at 4:47 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


By rights he shouldn't be unable to cross the street without assistance.

Yeah, now I'm the one making up my own grammar. His craziness is contagious.
posted by Ritchie at 4:47 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


""The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing"

Pretty much what I expected.

See? Liberals can be bigoted too."

I'm centrist. Change the era, target, and location and I would've expected a different sort of fanatic.
posted by aerotive at 4:48 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


His argument is that he does not have to pay tuition because currency is unconstitutional. This is not the tea party argument. It is closer to a Freeman on the Land argument in which one attempts to use legal magic words to escape criminal charges or taxes. Sarah Palin paid her tutition. Ron Paul did too.

that's not an argument, it's babbling. The man is a certifiable loon. However, the existence of loons is a fact and incendiary rhetoric and conspiracy theories leads loons like this astray. The use of a cat's paw or a scapegoat is a venerable political tactic. For example.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Um...this was supposed to be the link.
posted by anigbrowl at 4:49 PM on January 8, 2011


Let me be a little more specific. Why the use of syllogisms? What's with the "conscience dreaming" & the concern over the asleep/awake dichotomy? What's with the B.C.E. business?

This is some heavy New Age 2012 kinda stuff, as well. That we are all dreaming and will awaken as the fictive nature of our calendar becomes apparent, or something. He's got several different conspiracy frameworks in play, and you can also see that he is aware that his faculties are slipping, hence his extreme overreliance on if-then statements. These statements are especially appealing to the almost-aware-they-are-insane as they seem unassailable. He's trying to take things one simple step at a time to keep the magical thinking at bay, systematically attempting to reconstruct a picture of reality, and failing. It's quite heartbreaking, really.
posted by mek at 4:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


What's with the B.C.E. business?

From what I remember from my hebrew school, BCE stands for Before the Common Era, instead of the BC for Before Christ. It's a way to share the same calendar as the christians without repeatedly admitting that Jesus was the messiah. Likewise, CE for Common Era is used in place of AD for Anno Domini (?).

As far as I can tell, using BCE shows you are either a fastidious religious skeptic (who is also a jerk) or a hebrew school teacher. I have never heard anyone else use those terms.
posted by chemoboy at 4:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Andrew Sprung has a pretty plausible snap analysis of the internal logic of Loughner's videos.
posted by EarBucket at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


"Will no one rid me of this turbulent priest?"
posted by jaduncan at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


I have never heard anyone else use those terms.

Academics use those terms now. In my history department at college it was nearly universal. I went to a Catholic college to boot.
posted by arveale at 4:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [24 favorites]


Laughner's videos and the text of the postings on his MySpace page look to me like the work of someone who passed through the looking glass a long time ago. He's speaking in shorthand -- think of it as dog whistles to dogs that don't exist. He knows what it means because he understands the context. That 5% of "literate" people he alludes to -- that's probably how many people he's decided are on the same intellectual level as him.

Over the years I've talked with a fair number of people I'm reminded of by Laughner's writings, five spring to mind I could go into detail on. Most, as I've said, weren't (IMO as a fellow human) violent or dangerous (though one outlined a very chewed-over plan to drive a semi-truck into a natural gas storage yard as his final act). Laughner reminds me most of someone I know who went through the looking glass into Qabala. He would talk in chains of reasoning that required premises that seemed like non-sequiturs, but if you drew him out you could figure out that he actually had reasons for these ideations -- they weren't properly schizoid in the usual sense. But he was so detached from the world that we lived in that it was maddening to try to have a conversation with him.

Anyway, how I read the comments is that this is someone who has had a rather severe existential crisis at some point. Could be drugs (or lack thereof), could be war, could just be onset of mental illness. In any case, he's had a lot of influences, some superficially contradictory, but he's managed to integrate those enough that he still regards them as 'favorite books.' He's got a fantastic ability to integrate-away cognitive dissonance, judging by that book list. What he's doing makes sense to him, I'm guessing, but we can't expect it to make sense to us because we don't know his premises. (Even if we did, it's likely that it wouldn't make sense to us -- how can shooting a bunch of people over ideas make sense? Which is a way of saying that if we knew his premises, we wouldn't accept them.)

I can easily imagine a path of reasoning that leads to those syllogisms. They're supposed to be provocative: He's trying to teach us something. He wants us to come up to his level. "If there is no flag in the constitution, then there is no flag in this video." It also seems clear to me that he's somehow internalized the idea of the Constitution as a literally sacred document: Violations of the Constitution are literally illogical to him (hence the reductio ad absurdum syllogisms). It's not at all clear to me that he's an atheist, at least not in the usual sense, though it does seem clear to me that he has a very troubled relationship with christianity.
posted by lodurr at 4:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


pleasedon'tbeahebrewschoolteacherdon'tbeahebrewschoolteacher
posted by Astro Zombie at 4:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


By "conscience," I'm pretty sure he means "conscious." His main thesis seems to be that the government is controlling people's minds and he's one of a very few people who's able to see through the illusion to the truth.

Hrm. I wondered the "conscience" vs. "conscious" thing. I guess when I was reading the YouTube videos, what immediately came to mind was an old friend of mine who was into neuro-linguistic programming and lucid dreaming. For a few years, he was ultra-obsessed with inducing a dreaming state while awake, and very prone to paranoia. So I initially took the "conscience dreaming" a little more literally.

But as I said, I mostly just can't parse what he's getting at. And I just wondered if others recognized if the words were being parroted or regurgitated from other sources. If there was an underlying rhetoric that I did not recognize, aside from the "Tea Party!" stuff, which seems a little reductive.
posted by Hesychia at 4:58 PM on January 8, 2011


the concern over the asleep/awake dichotomy?

That's typical for paranoids, and 'WAKE UP, SHEEPLE!" is so common among Ron Paul followers that it's become a running joke. It's typical gnostic thinking, that we're trapped in a prison by a malevolent force -- either a demonic force like the demiurge of the gnostics, or some kind of all-powerful conspiracy -- the Illuminati, the New World Order, or PKD's black iron prison, or some combination of the above.

At it's core, it's a confusion of symbols for things and the reality that the refer to, and a belief that words have the power to shape reality rather than simply to describe it. It's why certain Christians are so adamant about having "In God We Trust" on the money, for example, and belief prayer has magical power. It's unsophisticated, primitive thinking, and probably something that's deeply embedded in the structure of the brain. It's like a vestigial model of the way the world works that we've since replaced with more modern thinking, but that sometimes erupts again, like an infected appendix.
posted by empath at 4:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


Am I the only person who reads that as an obvious attempt to distance himself from Sarah Palin?

Put that together with the "adult moment" comment and I think it's clear that Boehner is very much afraid of getting Gingriched.
posted by lodurr at 4:59 PM on January 8, 2011


I kind of missed a logical step there -- that the prison is something that is an illusion, something imposed on our minds, and that we merely need to wake up to see the reality behind the reality. Much like Plato's cave.
posted by empath at 5:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


think of it as dog whistles to dogs that don't exist.

That's possibly the best description of the way someone with this mindset communicates that I've ever seen.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 5:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


mek: These statements are especially appealing to the almost-aware-they-are-insane as they seem unassailable

Hadn't thought of it that way, but it sounds like you've seen it before. It would make sense.
posted by lodurr at 5:01 PM on January 8, 2011


mek, EarBucket, chemoboy, loudurr, empath & anyone else who comments on this aspect of the topic - thanks for the link & thoughts on the issue. Reading & digesting.
posted by Hesychia at 5:03 PM on January 8, 2011


She is reported to be a "member of the House LGBT Equality Caucus and is a strong supporter of gay rights including gay marriage."

She is Jewish.

I'd so like to believe that neither of these two facts are irrelevant but have no significant level of confidence of either one, or both, being unrelated. This is a terrible day, regardless.
posted by Morrigan at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2011


See also: Glen Beck's persistant paranoid urging to "action" - seems to be a sort of right wing mantra coming from Fox, from the view of someone outside the US, to suggest that "something STRONG needs to be done" and implying violence by use of words and graphics without ever actually saying it. Very creepy, insidious.

Furthering my theory that everything already happened on The West Wing, if you recall, Bartlet was shot by a young kid, a far right wing nutjob, who had been spurred on by an extreme right wing group repeatedly calling for a "Lone wolf", meaning, we want someone to go out there and start shooting on their own.

While I doubt this dumbass has a journal somewhere saying he was going to do this for Sarah Palin, I DO hope her hateful rhetoric is throughly archived as it may or may not relate to this, and that her political career is so thoroughly damaged by this that America won't have to suffer her or her followers any more.

Can I be the first to start the internet rumor that there were people cheering in front of the church in Wasila after this?
posted by timsteil at 5:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I've heard some right wing extremism and even some left wing extremism. This guys extremism sounds like it comes from just under the tail feathers
posted by Redhush at 5:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Suspicious package found at Giffords' office, bomb squad sent to investigate.
posted by get off of my cloud at 5:08 PM on January 8, 2011


Can I be the first to start the internet rumor that there were people cheering in front of the church in Wasila after this?

How about this from Twitter? RT @Lizardoid: A right wing blog reacts to the shooting: "1 down, 434 to go"
posted by emjaybee at 5:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Aside from the question of whether a rhetoric of violence might have encouraged this, I'd like to restate what others have mentioned in this thread: Every time somebody with a potentially murderous mental illness does this, it's discovered they accessed weapons through enormous loopholes or outright failings in existing gun control laws. I want to know where he got his Glock. And, if there was anything sketchy about it, I want those people prosecuted as well. And then I want those gaps closed. With great frequency, mental illness turns deadly in this country because it is laughably easy to take possession of guns, even after you have been diagnosed with a mental illness that should preclude this happened. And this incidents will continue to happen until we address that.

We also need to take diagnosing and treating mental illness a hell of a lot more seriously. If this man is as mad as he seems, and if he hasn't been able to get the help he needs, he's a victim too.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [28 favorites]


How about this from Twitter? RT @Lizardoid: A right wing blog reacts to the shooting: "1 down, 434 to go"
posted by emjaybee


Why am I not surprised?
posted by timsteil at 5:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Academics use those terms now. In my history department at college it was nearly universal. I went to a Catholic college to boot.

Sorry, I withdraw the "jerks" clause.

Arizona is the mecca for predjudice and bigotry sez Sheriff: press conference on KOLM
posted by chemoboy at 5:16 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Keep hearing there was a tweet deleted, yet this is still here -

http://twitter.com/#!/sarahpalinusa/status/10935548053

Any idea if anything was actually deleted?
posted by deern the headlice at 5:17 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm not a big fan of drawing a big black line and putting 'insane' on one side and 'sane' on the other. It's a continuum, and the only thing separating this guy from the thousands and thousands of young, disaffected guys who post unhinged rants about the gold standard and paranoid rants about the tyrannical Fed or US government, all over the internet is one of degree, not of kind. I don't think it's easy to put those guys anywhere on the left-right continuum, either, and some of them are often espouse radically left-ist views in the same sentence as radically right-ist views.

I've tried arguing with them in the past when they popped up on another (non-political) messageboard that I used to frequent and all of them, without exception, seemed to me to have a profoundly confused view of how the world works, and trying to tease a coherent and logical political philosophy out of them is a sucker's game. The one thing that always seems to unite them is a profound loathing of Barack Obama, though.
posted by empath at 5:17 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


As far as I can tell, using BCE shows you are either a fastidious religious skeptic (who is also a jerk) or a hebrew school teacher. I have never heard anyone else use those terms.
Or pretty much any academic historian, archeologist, or scientists. My Experience is that "BC" Is only used casually, while BCE is the technically correct term. Wikipedia seems to use BC though. Hmm.

Also, I doubt this kid was much of a Sarah Palin fan, if he was obsessed with seeming intelligent, he wouldn’t have really liked her. And to be honest, I don't think Palin really understands the consequences of her words and info-graphics. She knows the base likes violent rhetoric, but it doesn't occur to her that people could take what she says literally.
He literally thinks everyone can create their own legal currency. (AND GRAMMAR) Ron Paul is referring to banks offering currency backed in gold.

These are not the same positions.
First of all the doesn't say in that section that the currencies should or should not be backed by gold, but later in the video he does talk about precious metal backing for currency. Second of all, Paul doesn't talk about banks specifically. And in a libertarian fantasy land everyone would be able to start their own bank and thus their own currency.

Finally, I didn't say the positions were identical I said they were similar.

They are certainly similar enough that it's ridiculous to claim that he was "clearly not a conservative" because of the view.

And anyway, the fact that people come to different conclusions is not indicative of them having "blinders" on. Like I said it's obnoxious to accuse people you disagree with of being deficient for not agreeing with you.
posted by delmoi at 5:19 PM on January 8, 2011


Astro Zombie, WaPo is reporting the gun was bought legally. Unfortunately, I got this in an e-mail, and the link given is to the general Giffords article.
posted by QIbHom at 5:19 PM on January 8, 2011


BCE is the standard in academia. Seriously, this is a canard.
posted by proj at 5:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Oh course, when it comes to Islamic terrorism, we don't have to look for a direct line. In fact we're not even allowed to look for a direct line. They're just crazy evil moozlims who want to kill freedom. No further analysis is allowed to be entered into. But when it's a white American? Oooh we need a direct line before drawing any conclusions.

I am not a white american, and was raised in an Islamic extended family, although I have never practiced the religion. At any given point in time I am about two stiff margaritas away from a Henry Louis Gates style "Get your cracker ass off my porch and your Mama too!" type rant. Which my friends find hilarious. Because listening to Black liberation philosophy from a drunk dude in a Metallica t-shirt is usually pretty funny. Point being, you're barking up the wrong tree here.

All I'm saying is you can't fight wrong with more wrong.

Jumping to conclusions without adequate evidence is wrong when it's Muslims, it's wrong when it's White People. It's just wrong. Theories, conjecture, rumors, wild guesses, cathartic rants, stunned silence, and emotional outbursts are all acceptable and natural responses to an act such as this. However when it comes todrawing conclusions, I tend to rely on information and evidence. Both of which are mighty scarce this early in the game.
posted by billyfleetwood at 5:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


As far as I can tell, using BCE shows you are either a fastidious religious skeptic (who is also a jerk) or a hebrew school teacher.

It's the standard academic abbreviation, as far as I know.
posted by empath at 5:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


deern the headlice, it's notoriously difficult to delete tweets. I've deleted a bunch that still keep showing up everywhere except my own twitter page.
posted by lodurr at 5:21 PM on January 8, 2011


Here is the quote from the WaPo article on the gun;

According to law enforcement sources, the gun used in the shooting was purchased on Nov. 30 at Sportman's Warehouse, 3945 W. Cosco Dr. in Tucson. The gun was bought legally, with at least one other handgun.
posted by QIbHom at 5:22 PM on January 8, 2011


Re. BCE, second empath: it's what I learned as the standard form in freshman history, c. 1981. (In archaeology, they sometimes use "BP", where "Present" is something weird like 1955.)
posted by lodurr at 5:22 PM on January 8, 2011


But on the bright side, all those T Partiers who went out & got signs & shirts made saying "We came unarmed...this time" will have to hide them in the back of their closets for a while. So there's that.
posted by scalefree at 5:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


About the gun: Remember that this is Arizona. All he needed to do was pass a very cursory criminal background check.
posted by lodurr at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Astro Zombie, WaPo is reporting the gun was bought legally.

Dude reportedly had a 30-round clip in there, which is legal in AZ. Startled me, since the limit here in CA is 10 rounds per clip. 30-round clips are similarly not legal in certain municipalities in Colorado and Illinois, the state of Hawaii, and Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and New York.

Mr. F points out that not legal does not equal "incredibly difficult to obtain," of course.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 5:24 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I DO hope her hateful rhetoric is throughly archived as it may or may not relate to this, and that her political career is so thoroughly damaged by this that America won't have to suffer her or her followers any more.

I don't. Let her ideas burn themselves out because the ideas suck, not because of anything brought on by this horrible event. Her being politically damaged by this event, rightly or not, would make her most fervent followers even more fervent, not less.
posted by blucevalo at 5:25 PM on January 8, 2011


he's a victim too.
horseshit.
posted by clavdivs at 5:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Regarding deleting stuff from twitter: When you tweet something, it gets sent immediately through it's streaming API. If you delete it, it sends out a "delete tweet 1010231232" message. You're supposed to apply it and delete your copy of the tweet, but lazy programmers may not follow the guidelines.
posted by delmoi at 5:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


We also need to take diagnosing and treating mental illness a hell of a lot more seriously. If this man is as mad as he seems, and if he hasn't been able to get the help he needs, he's a victim too.

The cost of properly treating mental illness is always a tiny fraction of the cost of letting it go untreated, and it's tragic that we have to learn this lesson over and over in such painful ways. If it's true that he is an Afghanistan war veteran, then this is a total failure of the government's obligation to maintaining the social order. I also fear it's only a hint of what's to come if we do not strengthen our social safety nets. What kind of follow-up and assistance are our veterans getting, if anything? How can someone slip through the cracks so completely?
posted by mek at 5:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


The tweet may have been deleted by Ms. Palin and undeleted by Twitter. According to their TOS, they own your tweet, not you.

To the more important point: the shooter's politics matter, but it isn't actually the most important thing. He was a match, but the gasoline had long-since been poured by several on the far right again and again... since about the day after Hillary Clinton wasn't likely to become the Democratic Party's nominee back in the summer of 08.

Even if the shooter ends up being an ultra-progressive vote-Democratic-every-time guy, all of this extreme rhetoric is still a problem and still should stop.
posted by andreaazure at 5:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


horseshit

Untended severe mental illness often turns fatal, sometimes with suicide, sometimes with murder. If he was in possession of his senses, he's guilty; if not, he's not culpable for his actions, his illness is, maddening though that might be. And if we simply ascribe guilt to him and wash our hands of it, we're not likely to address the root problem, which is that the mentally ill need help.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [29 favorites]


'And, as long as you aid and abet this inter­national game of Bunk and practice its swindl­ing methods; as long as you uphold this infer­nal system that robs babies of their milk and widows and orphans and feeble old folks of their homes and furniture, then there is abso­lutely no hope for your future existence either in this world or in the next one.
If you will not help to stamp out this evil then God considers that you are a part of it.
If you stand for this financial game of bunk with its Interest Collection Swindle then you are a GOLD WORSHIPPER and you can’t make God believe otherwise, no matter what you pretend to be or what you say about it.'

lots a loony ideas in history.
posted by clavdivs at 5:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Good Lord. The political atmosphere of this country is about to get a whole lot different.

Imagine the cessation of most or all tours of the Capitol Building. Imagine members significantly rolling back public campaign events or putting them behind huge security barriers. Imagine members traveling most places, if not everywhere, with security details.

As far as I know, outside of Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Robert Kennedy while he was running for president.

Let's hope this leads to a sober campaign with much less namecalling and far fewer yelling matches at town halls. More realistically, it just leaves both sides more dug in and further isolated from their constituents.
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 5:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Clarence Dupnik, Pima County Sheriff: "When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
posted by blucevalo at 5:35 PM on January 8, 2011 [50 favorites]


no, the horseshit is your generalized knowledge with little expansion, in other words
really, no shit.
posted by clavdivs at 5:35 PM on January 8, 2011


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

The conservative commenters over at Hot Air are mostly talking about what how terrible the judge was that died.
posted by empath at 5:35 PM on January 8, 2011


The Army has said that the suspect applied for the military and was denied admission. The veteran rumors may be put to rest.
posted by arveale at 5:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


link

sorry
posted by arveale at 5:37 PM on January 8, 2011


Imagine the cessation of most or all tours of the Capitol Building. Imagine members significantly rolling back public campaign events or putting them behind huge security barriers. Imagine members traveling most places, if not everywhere, with security details.
I'm not sure, there was a shooting in the capitol building during the Clinton administration, and they decided not to close the capitol at that point. This right-wing crazy was in full bloom during the clinton years too. It's just that with the internet it's easier for everyone to see.
posted by delmoi at 5:37 PM on January 8, 2011


C'mon folks, trying to distill a coherent political ideology out of this guy, particularly from about seven or eight lines of muddled modus ponens, has got to be a real stretch. Frankly, I don't think we have reliable evidence for conservatism, liberalism, or royalism at this point. We do, however, have weak evidence of syllogism.

I think it's fair to say that and still deplore crosshairs on congressional districs, which I do. I also believe that inflammatory political rhetoric probably helped the shooter do what he did today. I just don't think it's meaningful to call him a tea party member.

Up next: an eight page essay on the hermeneutics of Time Cube.
posted by tss at 5:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's the standard academic abbreviation, as far as I know.

Please forgive and disregard my flippant comment for those who can more accurately explain BCE. Although it might not be fruitful, I do wonder why he used those terms. It is related to his beleif that he is more "literate" than everyone else?

Ugh. A former Surgeon General is on this press conference. He says he is optimistic about the congresswoman, but his body language says otherwise. He is on the verge of tears.
posted by chemoboy at 5:38 PM on January 8, 2011


no, the horseshit is your generalized knowledge with little expansion, in other words

You know, I know you delight in saying strange little things that are near-impossible to parse, but if this was directed at me, I'd ask that you try to communicate in clear English.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:38 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


As far as I know, outside of Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Robert Kennedy while he was running for president

your wrong.

here is one
HINDS, James R AR 06/22/1868-10/22/1868 House/Assassinated near Indian Bays, AR on
10/22/1868.
there are a few more here
posted by clavdivs at 5:38 PM on January 8, 2011


she'll likely be in a medically induced coma to ensure no damage from oedem/swelling, although believe it or not, two holes in the skull will help matters as if the brain has to herniate it's better it does so easily rather than through the nose and ears.
(N00B who once tried to pass a nasogastric tube up a nose with pretty grey/pink stuff leaking from it)
It will not be soon before we know exactly what level of morbidity is in question and in a 24 hr news culture I worry that people will see that "she opened her eyes and said Hi Honey! to her husband" will be Oh wow! She's fine! Good news.

There's really no good news to be had here. A few people exercised their democratic right to talk to their democratically elected congresswoman and both they, & she, were gunned down. We (OK me) expect so much more from the country that espouses the freedoms & liberties that are supposed to shine like a beacon for the rest of the world. FUCK!
posted by Wilder at 5:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


"clear english"
un huh
posted by clavdivs at 5:40 PM on January 8, 2011


the term you seek is 'proper' english.
posted by clavdivs at 5:41 PM on January 8, 2011


I don't think AZ gives a rat's ass if it's proper so long as it's clear what's meant.
posted by cjorgensen at 5:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


If this fellow is as mentally ill as his youtube videos seem to suggest then he could have been watching episodes of the Golden Girls and hearing Bea Arthur saying things that incited him to do something just as easily as anything else. (Nothing against Bea Arthur or GG, mind you.)

This doesn't mean that this isn't a good time for politicians and mediafolk to start looking carefully at the language and symbols they're using - just saying that we can't actually look at the shooter for any coherent motive that you'd be able to tie to any political party or speech.

Also I've been digging all over the web and trying to find the citation for a mass comm research study that was done either after the Oklahoma City bombing or 9-11 about the reporting of breaking news from such events - the finding showed that in the stories reported as the events happened had a larger amount of factual error, that was only slowly corrected as time went by. Can't find that link anywhere sorry - but after reading that I tend to wait at least 5 days after anything happens to start trying to suss out what went down. Though I'd hope that the fact correcting lag time is getting shorter - well, I'm not hopeful.

And I've totally given up on tv news when anything like this happens.
posted by batgrlHG at 5:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


"All I can tell you is that this individual may have a mental issue, and that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol," said Dupnik.

Dupnik described the tragic event as a day of "personal sadness for all of us in the room." He went on to say he "hoped all Americans are as saddened and as shocked as we are. I hope that most of them are as angry as I am. I think it's time as a country that we do a little soul searching. Because the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear from people in the radio business and from some of those in the TV business...this is not the nice United States that we grew up with."


The county sheriff lays the blame on Fox News and talk radio.
posted by empath at 5:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


What the bullet didn't do, the brain swelling could do. This poor lady is not out of the woods yet. (Says the mefite whose boss just had a quarter of her brain removed because of a tumor...)
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 5:44 PM on January 8, 2011


I don't give a shit either way. I am not the subject of this thread. If clavdivs has issue with what I said, he can make a case against it. If he has an issue with me personally, he can suck and egg.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I am so weary of the "us vs. them" mentality. It's just us. We all live here together. The amped up rhetoric is what is insane. We live in this country together. We should be helping and trying to understand each other instead of banging heads constantly. I'm so tired of it all. My best thoughts go to those injured and those families who lost people they loved. That is the worst. It's not worth it. We need to pull together. I know it's not bloody likely, but that is my fervent wish.
posted by wv kay in ga at 5:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [32 favorites]


I love how quiet and passive aggressive all the attendees of the press conference got when the sheriff said that. They were like, "BUT NUH-UH."
posted by SkylitDrawl at 5:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


(not to get all MeTa in the thread, but I'm pretty sure English is clavdivs' second language and while he might intentionally be being fighty, but I think the obscurity is accidental)
posted by empath at 5:46 PM on January 8, 2011


But on the bright side, all those T Partiers who went out & got signs & shirts made saying "We came unarmed...this time" will have to hide them in the back of their closets for a while. So there's that.

Unfortunately, I think you're wrong. They'll probably wear them to the store tomorrow, and delight in the stares and glares they get.

she'll likely be in a medically induced coma to ensure no damage from oedem/swelling

The medical staff at the hospital she was at, when asked if she was in a medically induced coma, said just that she'd been anesthetized, but did not say she was in a medically induced coma.

I still want to see more from people who knew the guy in real life.
posted by cashman at 5:47 PM on January 8, 2011


your wrong.

Read it again, clavdivs. l33tpolicywonk says (in the part you quoted) "the last member of Congress" so your 1868 example doesn't make anyone wrong.
posted by donnagirl at 5:49 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


They'll probably wear them to the store tomorrow, and delight in the stares and glares they get.

The "1 down... " t-shirts are probably already being printed up.
posted by empath at 5:49 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


He was a match, but the gasoline had long-since been poured by several on the far right again and again... since about the day after Hillary Clinton wasn't likely to become the Democratic Party's nominee back in the summer of 08.
I am not so sure about that; I think it was around for far longer than that. It's just that the target switched at that time.

Before that, the right wing had been demonizing Hillary Clinton for almost two decades, some literally calling her a murderer, even, in preparation for a potential presidential run. But then she lost the primary, and the target switched.

I don't doubt that the invective is exacerbated, in a significant number of people at least, due to Obama being black, having an out-of-the-ordinary name that includes "Hussein", et cetera, but I'm pretty convinced that the invective would have been here, and still to wacky dangerous levels, were Clinton elected president. Or, frankly, anyone but a Republican.

They've spent decades getting themselves scared and angry. It didn't start in the summer of 2008.
posted by Flunkie at 5:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Regarding deleting stuff from Twitter: programmers who choose not to honour deletion requests in Twitter clients aren't necessarily being lazy.
posted by motty at 5:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


In fact, many of them will take the obvious insanity of the shooter as a sign of god's will being enacted so that their movement can reap the benefits of the violence without being sullied by the consequences.
posted by empath at 5:51 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Frankly, I don't think we have reliable evidence for conservatism, liberalism, or royalism at this point.

You're correct, we don't. But what we do have is clear evidence that the wisdom of the crowds pointed directly to one http://www.takebackthe20.com/ at the very same that the news of the shooting went public, to the point that it brought the server to its knees*. Whether or not it was simultaneously being scrubbed of all violent rhetoric is purely speculative. Call me crazy, but it seems that many, many people instantly made the connection from political violence to the patron saint of idiocy.
posted by jsavimbi at 5:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Nicely said, sheriff.
posted by theredpen at 5:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Jared is probably a pretty disturbed guy, yes, and I've met enough people who used the language the way he does or were obsessed with nuanced logical reasoning about utterly strange stuff like currency to be pretty convinced for myself that he could have been inspired by conservative, liberal, libertarian, even communist ideas all at once. Most of them haven't been dangerous. But none of them that I've known had semi-automatic weapons.

I'm glad, in a way, that I'm not the only one who has encountered people who write like this. The first boy I ever kissed did. I was impressed by the way he fancied himself an intellectual--at sixteen, I didn't see the cracks in his logic, and was swayed by his confident, if slight, command of basic rhetorical devices. He was a voracious reader--I remember him giving me a copy of the Satanic Bible with the strangest passages high-lighted. I could see him bragging about reading the Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf and Brave New World in one breath.

(I lent him my copy of Fight Club and he later told me that he started his own fight club; he was that kind of person, the kind who would often massively miss the point.)

He was mentally ill, too--schizoaffective. He told me once, toward the end of our "romance," that he had hallucinations where he was a general in some army after the end of the world. And the screeds he'd post on his online profiles weren't much better than this guy's. Luckily, he was in treatment for it. Doctors and medication. Last I heard, he's doing well enough: in treatment, in the army, and married.

But I have to admit that there were times when I'd think of him and wonder, in hindsight, what I had been doing with this kid, with his Logic 101 speech and pasted together philosophies. I don't know. It makes me draw in a breath, to see the similarities. Yes, this videos are batshit insane, but I can see what this guy is trying to do: he's trying to seem smart. So, so sad.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 5:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


Also I've been digging all over the web and trying to find the citation for a mass comm research study that was done either after the Oklahoma City bombing or 9-11 about the reporting of breaking news from such events - the finding showed that in the stories reported as the events happened had a larger amount of factual error, that was only slowly corrected as time went by. Can't find that link anywhere sorry - but after reading that I tend to wait at least 5 days after anything happens to start trying to suss out what went down. Though I'd hope that the fact correcting lag time is getting shorter - well, I'm not hopeful.

This reminds me of the book about Columbine. There was a narrative created immediately after the shooting, that the shooters were bullied, etc etc. In fact, the shooters were the bullies. I think there's something fascinating in our human need for narrative. We MUST understand why this kind of thing happens -- even if the reason is something as prosaic as mental illness or if the meaning is something random and will never be understood. Columbine made it incredibly clear that the first person to create a reasonably coherent narrative, true or not, wins the day. The twenty-four hour news cycle just makes this phenomenon worse.
posted by sugarfish at 5:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


The county sheriff lays the blame on Fox News and talk radio.

Maybe it's too soon, but that might be the awesomest moment of 2011 television. He was completely unabashed in his comments. And when you are 75 years old and the Sheriff, I suppose you've earned it.
posted by chemoboy at 5:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [43 favorites]


Alia, the swelling is of less importance than throwing a clot or some infective process, this lady literally could die in the ITU from pneumonia in 5 weeks time. If it were in some hospitals here I wouldn't rate her chances of not picking up MRSA as right now UK hospital are stuffed to the gills and the more bed-occupancy the higher the incidence of tramsmissible diseases.
She is premmie-baby vulnerable right now.
I listened to the group of surgeons I work with from all over the UK yesterday exchanging their stories, "OH I haven't worked a full list for two weeks" (Colorectal cancer woman) cos the SAU (Surgical Admissions unit) has been turned into a ward and they've had to cancel very immuno-compromised people coming in.
She will get much better health-care than your average Joe, that's just the way it is in a situation like this. She was working on a Saturday to represent her constituents. There's nothing wrong with going an extra mile medically. The team would do it even if they didn't know every other NS in the world will be watching what they do. You can be guaranteed that the scuttlebut at Brazil or Korea this year will be about her treatment.
posted by Wilder at 5:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


That sheriff rules.
posted by CunningLinguist at 5:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Regarding the sheriff's statement: I saw a news article quoting him, but I didn't see video; I get the impression that people here have. Was there a link in this thread that I missed? Or does anyone have a link otherwise? Thanks.
posted by Flunkie at 5:59 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Please forgive and disregard my flippant comment for those who can more accurately explain BCE. Although it might not be fruitful, I do wonder why he used those terms. It is related to his beleif that he is more "literate" than everyone else?

It might just be in the realm of possibility that BCE is the term he defaults to. It started showing up in textbooks when I was in junior high (I remember learning BCE existed in the 6th grade and I want to say it was definitely in the textbook by eighth), so for someone a bit younger than me who didn't learn much/any history outside of school might use BCE by default, though I sort of doubt it. I would assume it's just an effort to demonstrate cleverness or learnedness.
posted by hoyland at 5:59 PM on January 8, 2011


Sherif Dupnick for the win. AZ is a Mecca for rhetoric and bigotry. Outstanding.
posted by fixedgear at 6:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


"All I can tell you is that this individual may have a mental issue, and that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol," said Dupnik.

See, this is backwards and he's putting the blame in the wrong place. It's that people susceptible to vitriol are unbalanced.
posted by rhizome at 6:02 PM on January 8, 2011


Some posters here seem to be on the verge of assuming that the killer was not sane. I wouldn't assume that at all.
posted by knoyers at 4:00 PM on January 8 [1 favorite +] [!]


Checked him out in YouTube. The guy definitely seems to be delusional and quite possibly schizophrenic.

I wonder where he obtained his gun. I wonder how long the YouTube account will remain.

Now the news outlets say that authorities seek a second suspect.

^Loughner probably uses "BCE" to be atheistic. He complains about "In God We Trust" on the currency.
posted by knoyers at 6:02 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Here's video of the sherriff's comments.
posted by mek at 6:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


The Times blogs some of the sheriff's comments.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:03 PM on January 8, 2011


Here's video of the sherriff's comments.
Thank you.
posted by Flunkie at 6:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I would assume it's just an effort to demonstrate cleverness or learnedness.

Or he has a problem with religion.
posted by girih knot at 6:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Loughner probably uses "BCE" to be atheistic. He complains about "In God We Trust" on the currency.

God I hate to get more into the mind of a crazy person than I already have in this thread, but I read that as saying that just because 'in god we trust' was on the currency, that doesn't mean he thinks it's real money.
posted by empath at 6:05 PM on January 8, 2011


ZeusHumms posted a link to KOLD's live streaming coverage. You could watch it live but they have already started showing clips from the Sheriff.

I'm sure it will be on YouTube in a fraction of a second.
posted by chemoboy at 6:05 PM on January 8, 2011


Frankly, I don't think we have reliable evidence for conservatism, liberalism, or royalism at this point.

This is the point: I don't accept violence except as a last resort. I don't care if you're a militant Black Panther or a militant Tea Partier. Put away your weapon.

There are people who disagree with me. Largely, these people have an R next to their name and are regularly given airtime on Fox News. I'm not looking for political ideology, or some sort of document that pins him to one movement or another. I want the people advocating gun ownership and alluding to violence to grow up. I want them to accept responsibility for pushing for laws that arm anyone with access to $500, and then I want them to accept responsibility for goading these people into action with vague rhetoric that's purposefully designed to be plausibly denied. And then I want them to stop endangering people's lives for their own political ends.

It's a pipe dream, I know. But there has to be some shred of human decency in these people, right?
posted by notion at 6:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


It was an almost-40 minute long press conference and Dupnik talked about the media's influence A LOT throughout. I wish I had a copy of the whole thing. I can't seem to find a link to a video of the whole press conference, though.
posted by SkylitDrawl at 6:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Andrew Sullivan:
"In that third year of the Kennedy Presidency a kind of fever lay over Dallas County. Mad things happened. Huge billboards screamed “Impeach Earl Warren.” Jewish stores were smeared with crude swastikas. Fanatical young matrons swayed in public to the chant, “Stevenson’s going to die–his heart will stop, stop, stop and he will burn, burn burn!” Radical Right polemics were distributed in public schools; Kennedy’s name was booed in classrooms; junior executives were required to attend radical seminars. Dallas had become the mecca for medicine-show evangelists of the National Indignation Convention, the Christian Crusaders, the Minutemen, the John Birch and Patrick Henry societies . . .

In Dallas a retired major general flew the American flag upside down in front of his house, and when, on Labor Day of 1963, the Stars and Stripes were hoisted right side up outside his own home by County Treasurer Warren G. Harding–named by Democratic parents for a Republican President in an era when all Texas children were taught to respect the Presidency, regardless of party–Harding was accosted by a physician’s son, who remarked bitterly, “That’s the Democrat flag. Why not just run up the hammer and sickle while you’re at it?" - William Manchester, Death of a President.
posted by empath at 6:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.

.


posted by jgirl at 6:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Sherif Dupnick for the win. AZ is a Mecca for rhetoric and bigotry. Outstanding.

That press conference would have been so much different if the shooting had taken place in Maricopa County.
posted by fuse theorem at 6:12 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]




It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.


Oh hell that is all kinds of wrong right there...........
posted by Wilder at 6:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


To indulge my own paranoia for a bit, since they are looking for a second suspect. Is it possible that someone armed him and drove him there and told him who to shoot?
posted by empath at 6:14 PM on January 8, 2011


God I hate to get more into the mind of a crazy person than I already have in this thread, but I read that as saying that just because 'in god we trust' was on the currency, that doesn't mean he thinks it's real money.
posted by empath at 6:05 PM on January 8 [+] [!]


Also complains that bibles are offered to military recruits

It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.

Wow.
posted by knoyers at 6:14 PM on January 8, 2011


we spend a lot of money, time & effort trying to give very young women a view that YES you can be a surgeon by getting them mentors, bringing them into live operating lists etc., etc.,, We have a whole section devoted to increasing the numbers of women surgeons which right now is still a pitiable 9% in the uK.

that's what this person was doing.............. and the child died.
posted by Wilder at 6:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


What the hell
posted by nola at 6:15 PM on January 8, 2011


It seems clear from what they said at the presser that a second person dropped him off at the event. They say they have a photo of this guy, but no name. Why don't they release the photo?
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:16 PM on January 8, 2011


jgirl, can I get a link for that?
posted by andreaazure at 6:17 PM on January 8, 2011


Eight hours after a congresswoman was gunned down in a grocery store parking lot, six hours after the name of the suspect was discovered by journalists, and law enforcement officials still have not obtained a search warrant to search his house?

Oh dear, now they say the girl was born on 9/11.
posted by chemoboy at 6:17 PM on January 8, 2011


Dr Rayle on CNN TV right now.
posted by fixedgear at 6:17 PM on January 8, 2011


Why don't they release the photo?

My guess is this.
posted by empath at 6:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.

And on a surreal sidenote - on that KOLD livestream the reporters said the little girl was once featured in a publication about children who were born on 9/11/01.
posted by NorthernLite at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


0xFCAF said: Yes, Sarah Palin has NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL in this, which is exactly why she's furiously scrubbing her website, Twitter feed, Facebook feed, and PAC sites to make sure that all the violent rhetoric she put out in the past is deleted before anyone else links to it. NO RESPONSIBILITY AT ALL delete delete delete delete delete.

That got like 80 favorites. And after it lots of other people mentioned the "scrubbing" going on. And damn, check twitter for all the talk of scrubbing. Someone in this thread mentioned a specific tweet that had been deleted, but it has not actually been deleted. No one that I am aware of has provided any evidence at all that anything has actually been "scrubbed".

lodurr said: it's notoriously difficult to delete tweets. I've deleted a bunch that still keep showing up everywhere except my own twitter page.

delmoi said: Regarding deleting stuff from twitter: When you tweet something, it gets sent immediately through it's streaming API. If you delete it, it sends out a "delete tweet 1010231232" message. You're supposed to apply it and delete your copy of the tweet, but lazy programmers may not follow the guidelines.

WTF are you both talking about? The tweet still exists, on twitter.com.

andreaazure: The tweet may have been deleted by Ms. Palin and undeleted by Twitter. According to their TOS, they own your tweet, not you.

Uh huh. I don't think anything has actually been deleted. Would love to be proven wrong.
posted by ericost at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2011


notion: I don't think we disagree; my post is more in response to stuff like this.

Totally orthogonally to making value judgments about the Tea Party or any other political movement, orthogonally to making value judgments on making value judgments on the Tea Party or any other political movement, etc., I'm saying that we just don't know where this guy stands politically. Eventually we may know, but right now I just don't think we can, and sifting through the weird YouTube text to that end just seems silly to me. That's all I'm trying to say.
posted by tss at 6:19 PM on January 8, 2011


The man shoots a democratic politician at a public event, in the southern us - he's obviously a raving socialist upset at the lack of progress on farm collectivisation, yes ?

I can see the dots you're trying to connect here, but despite its latitude Arizona is not part of "the southern US" in any kind of historical or cultural sense. FYI.
posted by AkzidenzGrotesk at 6:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


What can her brother in law, who is commanding the international space station, be thinking as he looks down on us tonight?
posted by CunningLinguist at 6:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


As far as I know, outside of Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Robert Kennedy while he was running for president.

As far as I know, outside of Senator Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult.

This is how that comment should have been written but im not so good with 'clear english'

Robert Kennedy was not a member of the House in 1968. Though I yield that he was a former member. If a former member of congress is considered a member of congress. I stand corrected and apologize.
posted by clavdivs at 6:22 PM on January 8, 2011


Kinda feels like being held hostage to the crazies.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:23 PM on January 8, 2011


Repeated for truth:
MCMikeNamara: Violence is what happen when you create a climate of hate.
posted by madamjujujive at 6:25 PM on January 8, 2011


RFK was a sitting Senator, and the Senate is part of Congress.
posted by empath at 6:25 PM on January 8, 2011


jgirl: "It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman."

Fucking hell.
posted by Rhaomi at 6:25 PM on January 8, 2011



jgirl, can I get a link for that?

Shep Smith reported it on Fox. They had to cut away a bit early because he choked up. As did I.
posted by jgirl at 6:26 PM on January 8, 2011


I just want to be clear about something. A nine year old girl was killed, right? And people here are arguing politics? Fucking MetaFilter, how does it work?

.
posted by Splunge at 6:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


in the 80's, it was that darn rock and rock music and rap lyrics that pushed kids to go shooting people. in the 90's, it was hollywood and it's violent movies. in the 00's, it was video games that pushed us all to pick up a gun and go shoot anyone who looked funny.

today, it's our elected (and unelected, ney, self-appointed by the media companies) leaders that are the cause of our violent society.

maybe next decade we can blame it on something else. sadly, we'll never look in the mirror and see that we're the ones holding the gun to our own head.
posted by daq at 6:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I just want to be clear about something. A nine year old girl was killed, right? And people here are arguing politics?

If she was killed by malfunctioning brake pads, would it be untoward to talk about car safety?
posted by empath at 6:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [34 favorites]


What can her brother in law, who is commanding the international space station, be thinking as he looks down on us tonight?
his duty and he has lots of support

AZ, others, I apologize, quite upset now.
don't let this kids destruction fester as it has in me.
posted by clavdivs at 6:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I'm not looking for political ideology, or some sort of document that pins him to one movement or another. I want the people advocating gun ownership and alluding to violence to grow up.

That runs counter to the financial interests and power interests of the owners of corporate media.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:32 PM on January 8, 2011


daq: I'm sorry, but I don't the latter is at all similar to the former there.
posted by Stunt at 6:32 PM on January 8, 2011


Uh huh. I don't think anything has actually been deleted. Would love to be proven wrong.

I haven't seen anything either, but it's a rumor that seems to be all over the web. Anyone seen specific tweets disappear from Palin's timeline?
posted by deern the headlice at 6:32 PM on January 8, 2011


From what I've seen on his Youtube page, the shooter reminds me of Delillo's depiction of Lee Harvey Oswald in Libra. Impressed by his own intellect to the point where the only reason he didn't already have what he wanted is that long-standing nefarious powers were scheming to take it away from him, and perhaps easily used by others as a tool in a political violence that really has no point.

It's probably too early for an analysis such as this, and perhaps that book acts in privileged sectors of my mind, but that's what his vibe shouted to me.

I'm quite sorry to even be commenting on a story so sad; I can't really understand the horror the victims and their families are going through. If there is hope, this event will lead to a less vitriolic American media landscape and public.
posted by localhuman at 6:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's unclear to me why a former governor and nominee for Vice President is held to a lower standard than our grade school student.

It's such an incredible farce how Sarah Palin thinks she represents the common or ordinary person. Or how anyone believes the horseshit that she's a "regular 'Merican," just like them.
posted by raztaj at 6:34 PM on January 8, 2011


I just want to hear in plain English and without caveats that no one endorses violence as a solution to political disagreements. Period.
posted by notion at 10:46 AM

sometimes a great notion
posted by hortense at 6:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Re: the role of media in creating an atmosphere that encourages violence against political opponents. It has almost disappeared down the historical memory hole, but radio broadcasts were an important part of the leadup to the genocide in Rwanda in 1994. A radio broadcaster was later convicted for inciting the hatred that set one group against another.

From the link: "In March 1992, Radio Rwanda was first used in directly promoting the killing of Tutsi in a place called Bugesera, south of the national capital. On 3 March, the radio repeatedly broadcast a communiqué supposedly sent by a human rights group based in Nairobi warning that Hutu in Bugesera would be attacked by Tutsi. Local officials built on the radio announcement to convince Hutu that they needed to protect themselves by attacking first."

So, yes, Fox and Palin should be held accountable for stirring up fear and violence just as the Rwandan broadcasters were.
posted by binturong at 6:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


NY Times - Arizona Suspect’s Online Trail Offers Hints of Alienation
posted by readery at 6:39 PM on January 8, 2011


That passage is pure bugfick crazy. WTH? As far as I can tell, a significant number of people have an understanding of history and human rights that is utterly alien to the one I've learned.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:40 PM on January 8, 2011


Apparently completely unrelated to the news of the day, Sarah Palin's "reality" television program won't be coming back next season.
posted by crunchland at 6:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ah, crap. this
posted by five fresh fish at 6:41 PM on January 8, 2011


AZ, others, I apologize, quite upset now.

An attack at the government is, in essence an attack at the people. I understand. I've been on this thread too long. I'm feeling snippy myself.

I'm going to go hug all the loved ones that are within reach. Be good to each other.
posted by chemoboy at 6:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's too much. I've been checking in today, working at home and quietly simmering (whether it's related or not, and to whatever degree if it is) about how evil all the gun/violence imagery has gotten and how one politician so mainstream, so close to having been VP, so smug and smirky and winky has adopted it wholesale. Now the little child and the student council... too much. I'm done with this for a while. The talk here hasn't been particularly evil or anything. This is just a mess. I'm so goddamned sorry, kid.

.
posted by mintcake! at 6:42 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I just want to be clear about something. A nine year old girl was killed, right? And people here are arguing politics? Fucking MetaFilter, how does it work?

Boy, it's easy to take a moral high ground without having to contribute anything substantive to a conversation!
posted by Think_Long at 6:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"Apparently completely unrelated to the news of the day, Sarah Palin's "reality" television program won't be coming back next season."

If TLC airs the final show tomorrow as planned, I swear I will never tune the channel in again....
posted by HuronBob at 6:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Regardless of whether Sarah Palin intended to directly incite violence with her rhetoric, she should have recognized that the rhetoric being thrown around in the health care debate was incendiary (remember Death Panels? She was literally accusing democrats of wanting to kill old people). After the signs and the guns started showing up at town halls, common basic human decency should have forced her to dial things down a bit. Instead she ramped it up with images of cross hairs, telling her followers to 'reload' and endorsing people like Sharron Angle who openly endorsed 'second amendment remedies' (ie, political violence.)

At this point, Sarah Palin's judgement and temperament shows her to be unqualified for dog catcher, and if she were, by some impossible to foresee set of circumstances, to become the Republican nominee for president, it would be the worst political crisis in this country since the civil war.

I hope to God that cooler heads in the GOP see how close this country is to the precipice and start to walk things back, or I really fear what will happen to this country.
posted by empath at 6:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


Apparently completely unrelated to the news of the day, Sarah Palin's "reality" television program won't be coming back next season.

Best news I've heard all day.
posted by wv kay in ga at 6:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman."

Did everyone learn their political lesson today?
posted by five fresh fish at 6:45 PM on January 8, 2011


Regarding deleted tweets, I think it deletes it from your stream, but sometimes the links still exist. I was looking at a breaking news tweet last week in someone's stream (it was an event that had happened in the hour prior), and I could pull up a direct link to the tweet, but the tweet did not appear in the person's stream.

So really to see if Palin deleted it, start going through her stream back to March 23rd, and see if it shows up there.
posted by cashman at 6:46 PM on January 8, 2011


Some people.
posted by sunshinesky at 6:46 PM on January 8, 2011


.



I talked with Gabe Zimmerman a few times to help out with some friends that are a part of the the resolve. He was a kind, thoughtful man and will be missed.
posted by beardlace at 6:49 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If TLC airs the final show tomorrow as planned, I swear I will never tune the channel in again....

But d00d, you'll toats miss out on such "learning" programs about douchey tattoo artists, down on their luck Oregon beardos panning for gold with a million dollars worth of equipment, wedding dresses and cake decorators. Think of your childrens' education!
posted by NoMich at 6:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's fascinating to see the #tcot scramble to refute all these accusations.
posted by crunchland at 6:51 PM on January 8, 2011


Palin's tweet is still there, in the stream. It was not deleted.
posted by cashman at 6:51 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh this is priceless. "...and I say to you, Sarah Palin -". You can just hear the engineer spraining his thumb on the button as the producer screams in his ear, "Commercial! Commercial!"
posted by scalefree at 6:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [22 favorites]


Palin's Target Politicians map was imagined, approved, and implemented with deliberation.

There was a purpose to it. They plotted the map and planned the campaign. It worked. The loonies harassed the Target Politicians repeatedly, and one nut went shooting.

What's the message you take away from this event? Mine: don't enter politics or someone might kill you.
posted by five fresh fish at 6:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Regarding deleted tweets, I think it deletes it from your stream, but sometimes the links still exist.

This is what I've observed.
posted by lodurr at 6:56 PM on January 8, 2011


cashman: So really to see if Palin deleted it, start going through her stream back to March 23rd, and see if it shows up there.

Good thought. I did that and I found the tweet: screenshot.
posted by ericost at 6:56 PM on January 8, 2011


Yep. See above.
posted by cashman at 6:58 PM on January 8, 2011


Hmm, a second suspect is being sought now. That changes the complexion of this a bit.
posted by jeremias at 6:59 PM on January 8, 2011


Right now - I hope the pundits turn down the drama level. There will be time enough for analysis later on.

America is the greatest country in the world because everyday people stand up for office, and are voted into office through a peaceful and orderly process. The way power is transfered in the most world's most powerful country is staggering and humbling.

My hats off to all those who serve their country in public office and my prayers to Rep Gifford and her family.
posted by helmutdog at 7:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Mine: don't enter politics or someone might kill you.

I can think of examples of that principle going back to at least 44 BCE.
posted by absalom at 7:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


I want to take a moment to thank the moderators for what looks like very light moderation in this thread.
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I want to take this moment and buy our moderators a drink.
posted by The Whelk at 7:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [52 favorites]


Hey, remember when guys showed up to town hall meetings with guns, to exercise their "open carry" rights?

Yeah, that was funny. Remember how we laughed?

Nine years old. Invited to the event because she had just been elected to a student body post, and was interested in government. Nine.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


I just want to take this moment and resell it on the black market.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I wonder, what happens with suspects of high-profile violent crimes when they are apprehended and there are doubts about their mental capacities or health at the time of the crime?

In the Netherlands, they are typically subjected to a mental health evaluation by the Pieter Baan Centre before they are brought to trial. Does it work anything like this in the U.S.?

(John Hinckley, Jr. comes to mind.)
posted by goodnewsfortheinsane at 7:09 PM on January 8, 2011


I can't get this out of my head....

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.

posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 7:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


I hope to God that cooler heads in the GOP see how close this country is to the precipice and start to walk things back, or I really fear what will happen to this country.

Well, the establishment GOP has recently found that they can actually distance themselves from Sarah Palin without actually disappearing in a puff of smoke (and, in the first and last time I will ever say the following words, I almost wanted to kiss Barbara Bush for her in part in that), so I think they have an inkling that their attempts to corral the power of useful idiots for their own purposes might be getting slightly out of hand.

Mind you, I don't think they're doing this because they particularly fear for the country; after all, they are (and will ever be) insulated from what it actually means for most of us when civil society starts to break down. They simply fear losing their grip on power. I think they are betting that we've reached the point of Peak Palin, as it were: that she's so polarizing that there's largely no one left in this country to go over to her side who isn't already there. The fact that the number of people who do support her (and the Tea Party in general) don't seem to add up to actual victory in 2012 is what gives them pause, rather than the fact that the Tea Party ideology (such as it is) is essentially a dangerous rabbit hole of Crazy.

Of course, the usual disclaimers apply regarding genies, bottles, etc.
posted by scody at 7:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.

Jesus Christ.
posted by graventy at 7:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Does it work anything like this in the U.S.?

Yes, it's quite common.

In the United States, a trial in which the insanity defense is invoked typically involves the testimony of psychiatrists or psychologists who will present opinions on the defendant's state of mind at the time of the offense.
posted by Cool Papa Bell at 7:13 PM on January 8, 2011


The internets have been part of mainstream culture for the better part of the past two decades, but it still surprises me how some people, even some who eat thanks to the medium, are able to ignore the obvious and settle for formulating hypotheses based on very low-hanging fruit like a couple of self-produced youtube videos and a myspace profile. Who here doesn't have that and more?

The information we want will be stored on his hard drive(s), ISP records, phone records, medical records, school records and in his relationships with family, friends and co-workers, which shouldn't be a large dataset given his young age.

Until we have that in the public domain, there isn't much anyone can say about motive or state of mind.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


At this point, Sarah Palin's judgement and temperament shows her to be unqualified for dog catcher, and if she were, by some impossible to foresee set of circumstances, to become the Republican nominee for president, it would be the worst political crisis in this country since the civil war.

You realize that most of the newspapers in 1860 and even some of Lincolns own cabinet members viewed him in a similar light? Are you comparing Palin to Lincoln? What precipice do we stand at to take such heady words under advisement if not for the mere derision of the absurdities you posit.
posted by clavdivs at 7:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's typical gnostic thinking, that we're trapped in a prison by a malevolent force -- either a demonic force like the demiurge of the gnostics, or some kind of all-powerful conspiracy -- the Illuminati, the New World Order, or PKD's black iron prison, or some combination of the above.

Philip K. Dick was one of the warmest, most human and sensitive Americans of the 20th Century, and a man whose innate sympathy a lot of us would do well to emulate, so for just a moment I'm diverting and speaking up on his behalf. The works he left us tell me that "gnostic thinking" can be inspiration to greatness.

That's all for now, carry on.
posted by gimonca at 7:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


PKD might have been a nice guy and a wonderful writer, but he was also mentally ill, and his delusions ran along the same dimensions that typical paranoid and conspiratorial political thinking goes, which, as I said, don't fit neatly on a left-wing/right-wing axis.
posted by empath at 7:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


What kind of job are the mainstream media doing on this? Are they mentioning Palin's Tweets?
I can't be bothered to get a digital converter for my antenna. I get most of my news linked from here.
posted by ambulocetus at 7:22 PM on January 8, 2011


America is the greatest country in the world because everyday people stand up for office, and are voted into office through a peaceful and orderly process.

I think that if you have citizens shooting elected officials in the head, there's a serious argument against America being the greatest country in the world.
posted by anothermug at 7:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


Lincoln's own cabinet thought he was the worst crisis since the civil war? But... that... doesn't.... what?

;-)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:23 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm still very curious about this second person. I guess it was whoever drove him there?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 7:25 PM on January 8, 2011


It was just reported that the little girl had recently been elected to the student council, and a neighbor took her to the event, thinking she might like to see the congresswoman.

KOLD was just running a phone interview with a pastor (missed his name, sorry) who knows well two of the other victims - Dorwin (sp?) Stoddard, age 71 who died on the scene, and Dorwin's wife Maeve, who was shot 3 times (legs and side, no vital organ involvement - non-life-threatening injuries).

The two were in line to see the congresswoman, "about 8 couples back" when they heard shots - Maeve thought it was firecrackers. Dorwin apparently pulled her to the ground, and fell on top of her. Maeve didn't at first realize she'd been shot, thinking Dorwin hurt her legs when he fell on her. She realized he'd been shot when he took several strong breaths and then stopped breathing.

The pastor said Maeve said she didn't know if Dorwin was shot after he fell on her or while he was falling.



Jesus wept.
posted by faineant at 7:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


The NYT now says that the second suspect is a white male, perhaps in his 50s.
posted by dammitjim at 7:26 PM on January 8, 2011


It's Arizona. Presumably the police were doing more important things, like demanding of brown people "your papers, bitte".

Equating the German language with authoritarianism is inaccurate, ethnically prejudiced, and only helps expand the appeal of organizations like the NPD/PNOS.

Before it was hijacked by National Socialism, it was a language of poets and philosophers. It could be seen as such once again, but comments like this do not help.
posted by edguardo at 7:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [23 favorites]


The information we want will be stored on his hard drive(s), ISP records, phone records, medical records, school records and in his relationships with family, friends and co-workers, which shouldn't be a large dataset given his young age

What's relevant is what's most recent, and what's most recent indicates a downward spiral and a lot of incoherent ideations.

We will not have a richly Maileresque villain-portrait of him until all that stuff you talk about is available, no, but for now it does seem safe to say that Jared Loughner was a dangrously disturbed young man.
posted by lodurr at 7:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I can't get this out of my head....

TURNING and turning in the widening gyre


I'm on the one mission
To get a politician
To honor or he's a gonner
By the time I get to Arizona...
posted by swift at 7:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


A second suspect, white male, in his 50s?

Looks like someone recognized Jared Lee Loughner as a potential weapon.
posted by grabbingsand at 7:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


... as for the guy who dropped him off, the possibilities are endless. But my bet, if I had to make one, would be that it was someone who thought they were doing him a favor -- dropping him off to buy groceries or maybe even to see his congressperson. If Jared made a decision about what he was determined to do, he might have even seemed "better" than normal.

If that's what went down, that guy is probably in pretty sorry shape right about now.
posted by lodurr at 7:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Having now read this complete thread and several news sources, I think it's safe to say that shooter is fucking crazy, politicians should knock off the violent rhetoric and that it's amazing that Giffords is alive and that she may live through this.

Frankly, the NRA's well known statement "Guns don't kill, people do" is just so much bullshit and it's surprising they've been able to trot that out for so long, because that's the problem. People use guns to kill because guns are designed to do that. One can use a knife for a variety of things, one of which is killing a person. But a gun? You can't whittle a piece of wood with it, or cut a piece a rope. It's made for killing and making it readily available to people is recipe for death. We can be terribly flawed and ugly at times, we don't need guns so readily available to multiply that ugliness.

Also, twin brother astronauts (Giffords husband and his brother)? Oddest and coolest fact learned today.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


A second suspect, white male, in his 50s?

Looks like someone recognized Jared Lee Loughner as a potential weapon.


My first thought was, huh, so they're looking for his father? Maybe it's a family thing. Just speculation, who knows.
posted by ThePinkSuperhero at 7:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I was looking through Sarah Palin's infamous gun sight list. Of the 20 on the list, 3 retired, 15 lost their reelections and 2 were reelected. Of those two, one was shot. (Nick Rahall being the other). Perhaps this figured into the perpetrator's equation. He decided the ballot box was not the end of the targeting.
posted by dances_with_sneetches at 7:34 PM on January 8, 2011


Via Nate Silver's twitter feed, James Fellows at the Atlantic has a very thoughtful and reasoned piece on the idea being discussed in this thread; namely the relationship between assassins' political views and that of their targets.
posted by auto-correct at 7:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


*sigh*

I am not proud of my country most days, and today even less.

.
posted by schyler523 at 7:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think the way to think of it is like this. The US has a minority of heavily armed, alienated, disaffected nutcases without any particular affiliation to any political party, but who can be activated by playing to their paranoia and xenophobia. The target of the paranoia doesn't need to be anything in particular. It can be Muslims, Jews, Blacks, Mexicans, Masons, Space Aliens, the UN, Liberals, Catholics, Hippies, Anarchists, anything that could conceivably be thought of as Other.

They are always there. They have always been there. They will always be there. It's not the GOPs fault or the Democrats fault that they exist. The Democrats have been guilty of activating them in the past for political ends -- all the way up till the civil rights era.

The Republicans have been going to that well since the 60s, though, and they have been becoming less and less subtle about it, and with the nomination of Sarah Palin and with putting Glenn Beck on Fox News, they let the crazies into the tent and they are starting to lose control.

I honestly don't believe for a second that GOP officials want their political opponents killed, but at this point, I'm not sure they even know how to put the genie back into the bottle.

A good start would be to take Glenn Beck off the air, though.
posted by empath at 7:39 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


TURNING and turning in the widening gyre
The falcon cannot hear the falconer;
Things fall apart; the centre cannot hold;
Mere anarchy is loosed upon the world,
The blood-dimmed tide is loosed, and everywhere
The ceremony of innocence is drowned;
The best lack all conviction, while the worst
Are full of passionate intensity.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 10:09 PM on January 8 [3 favorites +] [!]


The Second Coming, WB Yeats.
posted by thinkpiece at 7:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I went shopping just now at another Safeway here in Tucson. Checking out, I asked the cashier if she'd heard if everyone from the store up north was all right. She said she hadn't heard anything bad, and she hoped it was a good sign.

She confessed that when she heard, she was momentarily, irrationally terrified. Imagine being in a Safeway in Tucson when the news hit. She seemed really touched that I would ask.

I know people who work in the hospital; I know the wife of the sheriff's spokesman who was interviewed; I've shopped in that Safeway any number of times. There's a pretty good La Salsa in that strip mall. They just opened a new branch of Beyond Bread there, too. I was at the book fair where the shooter's picture was taken. I voted for Gabrielle Giffords.

I've talked to a number of people today, while I was out running errands around town, beneath the news helicopters buzzing stationary above the hospital. I can't say the whole town is in shocked disbelief, but the people I talked to were. First, from the event itself, and now the blinding glare of the media spotlight.

I hope Mrs. Giffords' recovery is swift and full. I hope the young man's trial is just. I hope the other victims recover well, and I mourn the ones who've fallen. I wish this all had never happened.
posted by MrVisible at 7:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


America is the greatest country in the world because everyday people stand up for office
Huh. And there I was thinking it was mainly just the extremely rich and well-connected (mostly white men) who could afford the millions of dollars it takes to enter politics in the USA today.
posted by binturong at 7:40 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


PKD might have been a nice guy and a wonderful writer, but he was also mentally ill, and his delusions ran along the same dimensions that typical paranoid and conspiratorial political thinking goes, which, as I said, don't fit neatly on a left-wing/right-wing axis.

If you find yourself unable to see the difference between the moral world of PKD versus, say, the Turner Diaries, I would encourage you to return and look deeper.
posted by gimonca at 7:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Oh, and anyone else in Tucson, if you have type O blood, either positive or negative, the Red Cross has asked for help in replenishing their supply. You can donate at the Foothills Mall tomorrow.
posted by MrVisible at 7:43 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Also, while it currently appears that the shooter was just plain nuts and not directly affiliated with any political stream of thought, that's not the problem. The problem is that is was so easy to assume that he was connected with certain comments and actions by conservatives. That's a problem of the Republican party, which currently controls a house of Congress, a problem people should consider going forward.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 7:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


it does seem safe to say that Jared Loughner was a dangrously disturbed young man

I'm sorry to disagree, but those videos tell us very little. As I've stated further up, it's my opinion that they're amateur-quality performance art and/or an unexperienced person's attempt at conveying some ideas, easily bested by veteran artists who post some really bizarre shit and are lauded for it by the art-scene elite and pornography fans. Personally, I think he was just trying to make himself look interesting, but I'd really like to see the video that got him kicked out of community college.

Can I, or anyone, determine that he was unstable by viewing those videos? Doubtful. All we're doing is projecting our thoughts regarding tea-baggers and their ilk onto this guy and sticking with it because all the signs that we recognize point to that. It's the rationale of convenience and limited due diligence.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


If you find yourself unable to see the difference between the moral world of PKD versus, say, the Turner Diaries, I would encourage you to return and look deeper.

This is a ridiculous derail, but it's not as cut and dry as you make it. The man suffered from severe paranoid delusions, and was not a saint. I'm done going back and forth on this, though.
posted by empath at 7:49 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Can I, or anyone, determine that he was unstable by viewing those videos? Doubtful.

See, I didn't find it hard at all. Pretty self evident, if you ask me.
posted by CunningLinguist at 7:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


reminds also of this O Reilly debacle. I have no doubt that the paranoid vitriol coming from the right contributed. But short of cutting back on freedom of speech there's nothing that can be done. With right wing domination of the media there's no way to hold them to account publicly either.
posted by Dillonlikescookies at 7:51 PM on January 8, 2011


Can I, or anyone, determine that he was unstable by viewing those videos? Doubtful.

By themselves? No.

But, and I can't believe I have to point this out: He just murdered a half-dozen people.

I'd say the preponderance of the evidence points to 'unstable'.
posted by empath at 7:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


I'll say about the suspect what I said about Dahmer: "He may be legally sane but that boy ain't right in the fucking head. Sane people don't do shit like that."
posted by MikeMc at 7:53 PM on January 8, 2011


The names of the other two victims killed were just released: Dorothy Murray and Phyllis Scheck. Both women were in their 70s.
posted by faineant at 7:58 PM on January 8, 2011


Think_Long: "I just want to be clear about something. A nine year old girl was killed, right? And people here are arguing politics? Fucking MetaFilter, how does it work?

Boy, it's easy to take a moral high ground without having to contribute anything substantive to a conversation
"

Okay I'll add something to the fucking conversation. A nine year old girl was killed because some crazy bastard who may or may not have been a crazy fuck who followed other crazy fucks, decided that a gun solved something or other. So he was fucked in the head.

On the other hand people here are supposed to be less crazy. I suppose. But instead of mourning the death of a young girl and several other people and maybe having the understanding that death isn't about politics in this case, let's make the discussion about the left and the right and the people that are other.

And that whole you/me us/other thing is the fucking point.

Sure there is a political aspect to this, but really, does this have to become a pep rally for us verses them?

I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics. All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.

How's that for a contribution?
posted by Splunge at 8:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


jasvimbi: I'm sorry to disagree, but those videos tell us very little.

a: Why are you limiting yourself to the videos? You could look at the MySpace page, too.

b: In any case, the fact that he took a gun to a strip mall to kill a congresswoman and then opened fire on the crowd when he was done should be sufficient to demonstrate that he was 'dangerously unstable.' We really don't need any more than that.
posted by lodurr at 8:06 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm done going back and forth on this, though.

Suits me.
posted by gimonca at 8:06 PM on January 8, 2011


the millions of dollars it takes to enter politics in the USA today.

While this event affected a member of Congress, please remember that Congress and officials at that level make up a TINY FRACTION of the elected officials in the United States. The great, enormous majority of them are not federal; they are state and local, and many of them did not spend millions of dollars to enter politics. I've known politicians who were also teachers and farmers and nurses and people who sold insurance. Most public offices are held by people you will never hear of, who do not do it full-time, who will never become either wealthy or well-known for it.

There is a lot to public service, and the holding of public office, besides what is glorified and vilified on television, and because I'm thinking about all my friends in public service today, I just wanted to say that.
posted by Linda_Holmes at 8:07 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lincoln's own cabinet thought he was the worst crisis since the civil war? But... that... doesn't.... what?

no, they viewed that he would divide a country before and after he was elected and What empath did not clarify is the time frame. The country was already in deep crises during Lincolns' election.
;)

Nixon will do just as well. So is this event or the election of Palin, which i already told empath to mark my words because she is political history, the worst crises the government has faced since 1972?
posted by clavdivs at 8:07 PM on January 8, 2011


I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics.

What exactly do you think politics is about? I mean, if in your mind it's connected to nothing more than an us vs. them football game rather than life or death, I suppose that's a serious indictment... of you. The shooting of a Congressperson is a highly political event, and to try to bury your head in the sand (while simultaneously wrapping yourself in the flag, nice work) is disingenuous at best.
posted by mek at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.

I'm sorry you see it that way. For my part, I see these threads (and I've seen a few of them) as people working out their own anxiety and pain over the issue. People do that in different ways. Your way is not my way. If you don't like the way people are doing it here, with all due respect, you're free to find somewhere that they do it the way you like it.
posted by lodurr at 8:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


James Fallows:
We don't know why the Tucson killer did what he did. If he is like Sirhan [Sirhan], we'll never "understand." But we know that it has been a time of extreme, implicitly violent political rhetoric and imagery, including SarahPac's famous bulls-eye map of 20 Congressional targets to be removed -- including Rep. Giffords. It is legitimate to discuss whether there is a connection between that tone and actual outbursts of violence, whatever the motivations of this killer turn out to be. At a minimum, it will be harder for anyone to talk -- on rallies, on cable TV, in ads -- about "eliminating" opponents, or to bring rifles to political meetings, or to say "don't retreat, reload."
posted by devinemissk at 8:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


Looks like someone recognized Jared Lee Loughner as a potential weapon.

The shooting reminds me a bit of the murderous attack that opens the film 'The Parallax View'.
posted by Kronos_to_Earth at 8:10 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


The great, enormous majority of them are not federal; they are state and local...

... and statistically, they're probably at greater risk of death or injury by malice, just at a guess. All politics is local, and local politicians actually have to live there.
posted by lodurr at 8:11 PM on January 8, 2011


Nine years old. That girl was in 4th grade. That's pretty much the last year that girls and boys can hang out on the playground before things get crushy and complicated. Guess she won't have to worry about any of that.
posted by SheaCoin at 8:12 PM on January 8, 2011


You want a contribution? Fuck politics.

You may be done with politics, but politics is not done with you.
posted by rhizome at 8:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


But instead of mourning the death of a young girl and several other people and maybe having the understanding that death isn't about politics in this case, let's make the discussion about the left and the right and the people that are other.

What has a better chance, even marginally, of keeping this from happening again? Filling a thread with dots, or discussing the possible causes and what might lead someone to this, encourage someone to do this, or indicate that someone might be starting down this path?
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


It's probably a little too early to bring this up, but, as I understand it, insanity-as-a-legal-defense has less to do with the gold standard and more to do with being able to determine the difference between right and wrong.
posted by box at 8:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Giffords on MSNBC, discussing being targetted as a result of her heath care vote.

I forgot that it was her office that was vandalized during the town hall madness, prefiguring the amusing Eric Cantor "stray bullet" incident.
posted by mek at 8:21 PM on January 8, 2011


We really don't need any more than that.

No, we don't.

Personally, when I look at most myspace profiles, I have the tendency to think the authors have balance issues.

What I'm getting at is that we already have a horrific fait accompli, perpetrated by a gunman who a reasonable person could readily assume to be insane, but that the alleged digital trail does little to expose motive or association.

Also, please add Ronald Lee Ermey to the list of despicable people who hate our freedoms.
posted by jsavimbi at 8:21 PM on January 8, 2011


Had you bothered to read the thread, you would have found out that Palin put out a widely-publicized map with crosshairs on the very Congresswoman who was shot (as well as other lesser but still significant incitements to violence).

Not so. Palin put out a map with crosshairs on a map. The "very Congresswoman who was shot" appeared nowhere on that map.

Read that again - Palin put up an image that unmistakably suggests shooting specific political opponents of her, and then one of those very opponents is shot.

i don't think "unmistakably suggests" means what you think it means. i, and most rational human beings, would never in a million years suppose that image was suggesting that people be shot. it quite clearly (again, to any rational person) suggests targeting the races in those disticts for a political win.

get a grip.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Keith Olbermann has a special comment.
posted by empath at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


The shooting reminds me a bit of the murderous attack that opens yt the film 'The Parallax View'.

Never saw that film. But the Youtube rantings of the shooter remind me of some of the rantings from Doctor Strangelove.
posted by lampshade at 8:22 PM on January 8, 2011


mek: "I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics.

What exactly do you think politics is about? I mean, if in your mind it's connected to nothing more than an us vs. them football game rather than life or death, I suppose that's a serious indictment... of you. The shooting of a Congressperson is a highly political event, and to try to bury your head in the sand (while simultaneously wrapping yourself in the flag, nice work) is disingenuous at best
"

Yes. Yes it is. Politics is exactly an us vs. them football game. What else is it then? And as far as wrapping myself in a flag, what the fuck are you talking about? Which flag did I use?

I wasn't talking about the shooting of the congressperson. I was talking about the collateral damage of the political discourse that came out of a gun.

It's sometime a small step from a diatribe on the internet to a violent outburst. And this proves it. If you think that politics is anything less than playing with people's lives via constructed ideals and pretend posturing that leads ultimately to people dying then you are deluded or naive.
posted by Splunge at 8:23 PM on January 8, 2011


Saying Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck are hate-mongers is hateful!

Shooting congresswomen, children, and Federal judges? Not hateful at all! Lone nut! Lone nut!

Fuck the GOP and the mainstream media who will -- mark my words -- come up with an array of false equivalencies, once of which will be a mention of Michael Moore being either "shrill" or "fat."
posted by bardic at 8:24 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


John Kenneth Fisher: "But instead of mourning the death of a young girl and several other people and maybe having the understanding that death isn't about politics in this case, let's make the discussion about the left and the right and the people that are other.

What has a better chance, even marginally, of keeping this from happening again? Filling a thread with dots, or discussing the possible causes and what might lead someone to this, encourage someone to do this, or indicate that someone might be starting down this path
"

This thread has as much chance of stopping something like this from happening again as any other thread on the internet. And that is zero.
posted by Splunge at 8:25 PM on January 8, 2011


i, and most rational human beings, would never in a million years suppose that image was suggesting that people be shot.

You're right, it doesn't. When I pull out a condom, I'm not suggesting that anyone have sex with me, all I'm conveying are my principles on safe sex. Get a grip.

Trolling much?
posted by jsavimbi at 8:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


"quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon"

Oh god, not you again.
posted by bardic at 8:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics. All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.

Look, the attempted assassination of a political figure does not happen in a vacuum; it happens in context -- a social, historical, and political context. Attempting to shut down the discussion of that context does not give you the moral high ground or make you more compassionate than the rest of us; it simply marks you as someone who is evidently made uncomfortable by the discussion. Which? Fine. But don't condemn others as somehow NOT CONCERNED for the dead because they happen to think the contextual whys and wherefores in which this mass murder actually took place are actually relevant.

This reminds me of the immediate post-9/11 period, when any discussion of where Islamic radicalism and terrorism comes from was shouted down as "excusing" the terrorists. No one was fucking excusing anything that day, but rather trying to understand how it could happen with some measure of analytical sophistication beyond "Islam is evil."
posted by scody at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [74 favorites]


MrVisible: "Oh, and anyone else in Tucson, if you have type O blood, either positive or negative, the Red Cross has asked for help in replenishing their supply."

I don't know why, but this is the most troubling detail of the day for me - the idea that one man with one gun can shed so much blood as to literally task the reserves of an entire town...
posted by l33tpolicywonk at 8:27 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Also, please add Ronald Lee Ermey to the list of despicable people who hate our freedoms.

Guessing you're referring to the incident that lead to this? (Which was kind of odd, but warrants respect.)
posted by lodurr at 8:29 PM on January 8, 2011


I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics. All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.

It is interesting how you think 'politics' is some sort of abstract game that exists Elsewhere. Politics are important because, based on which ones predominate, certain things happen or don't happen in certain ways.
posted by threeants at 8:30 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


Giffords staffer Gabe Zimmerman remembered

He was 30 and engaged. Jesus.

Like the christopher hundreds, I'm a former congressional staffer. Since I worked in our DC office, I only ran events like this a few times, but it was enough to confirm my suspicions that local district staffers are saints and had a much harder job than mine in a DC cubicle. They are the ones who hear the saddest stories, who swim through impossibly complex bureaucracies to save everything from honeymoons (by rushing passports) to lives (by straightening out problems with health benefits), who sometimes have to tell constituents face-to-face that there's nothing the member can do for them, who deal with some of worst vitriol from the most difficult people, who smooth feathers when local self-appointed bigwigs get ruffled by imagined slights, who somehow manage to charm whatever local interest group ought to hate the member most into giving him a chance, and who keep coming to work smiling every day. It's a job I don't envy, but it sounds like Gabe did it quite well.

.
posted by naoko at 8:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


This thread has as much chance of stopping something like this from happening again as any other thread on the internet. And that is zero.

A healthy discussion of just how far into violent rhetoric and dog whistle calls for same amongst the populace and media might. This discussion is now going on in the media, at people's dinner tables, and on the internet. Of which this site is a part.
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics. All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.

I'm not sure why you put a 'but' in this sentence. Maybe you should go take a walk or something.
posted by empath at 8:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


A political assasination of a congresswomen and a Federal judge isn't political.

Only in America. Only on the internent.
posted by bardic at 8:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


(I'm missing a verb there)
posted by John Kenneth Fisher at 8:31 PM on January 8, 2011


Sure there is a political aspect to this, but really, does this have to become a pep rally for us verses them?

they have been using violent bullying rhetoric against us - and they have just SHOT one of us - hell, a rather moderate and weakly agreeable one of us

wake the fuck up - when there are bodies on the floor, it sure as HELL is us versus them

if they don't stand down - if they don't renounce the rhetoric and the hate - then we are in for very dark times, indeed - especially if some of us decide to respond in kind

i don't condone or suggest that - but what goes around comes around

it's time the right wing stops playing with fire before they find out that they can get burned, too
posted by pyramid termite at 8:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


quonsar II:Not so. Palin put out a map with crosshairs on a map. The "very Congresswoman who was shot" appeared nowhere on that map.

Wait...are you kidding? This diagram, which clearly has crosshairs on Arizona and has Gabrielle Giffords' name in the list on the bottom, doesn't mention her?
posted by kro at 8:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


especially if some of us decide to respond in kind

Not cool.
posted by empath at 8:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Not cool.

it's a possibility, one that has happened throughout history

sorry, but sometimes things have to be said
posted by pyramid termite at 8:39 PM on January 8, 2011


i, and most rational human beings, would never in a million years suppose that image was suggesting that people be shot

Weelllll..... it's imagery of a gun sight, in the context of a race between 2 people, with one side favored. There are a million other ways of saying "vote for the Republican candidate in Arizona" that don't involve gun sights or the implication of aiming a firearm. I agree that you'd have to be crazy to think it was saying "shoot the Democrat", but I also don't feel confident in assuming a lot what I've seen from the Tea Party isn't crazy.
posted by Hoopo at 8:39 PM on January 8, 2011


Of which this site is a part.
I knew metafilter was part of my kitchen table.
posted by clavdivs at 8:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I'm so sad and angry. I just feel like we are damned. I feel helpless.

it is awful. and it is perhaps a bellwether of how inured to violence we have become that to my knowledge, the networks (except cable "news") pretty much gave this a pass. i remember JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and MLK - the nation essentially froze in its tracks, the networks all went to special coverage.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Not so. Palin put out a map with crosshairs on a map. The "very Congresswoman who was shot" appeared nowhere on that map.
wrong I pulled that off Palin's facebook page earlier today, btw. It's Unaltered.
WTF are you both talking about? The tweet still exists, on twitter.com.
Uh... I was simply explaining how deletion works on twitter.
posted by delmoi at 8:51 PM on January 8, 2011


How many members of Congress do this at all; set up a table in a public space for no other reason than to sit and meet with constituents to find out what's important to them? And particularly, how many members of Congress do it after an election?

And now, how many will do it after today?
posted by George_Spiggott at 8:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


Not cool.

There's a big difference between predicting violence & advocating it. pyramid termite's words could be taken both ways but to me the clearer, more natural meaning was predictive not prescriptive. Violence begets violence, we all know this. I don't like it either but I can see it as a possibility that some on my side would want to balance out what they see as an imbalance in the cosmic scales. I'm going to try my best not to ally with them but I'm not abandoning acting on my beliefs because of what they do.
posted by scalefree at 8:52 PM on January 8, 2011


Fourth grade was when I was first elected to student government. Horrific.
posted by absalom at 8:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


From Catie Parker's twitter!

"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords is awake in her hospital room and has recognized her husband, astronaut and Navy Capt. Mark Kelly, a source close to the family told POLITICO Saturday night."

Yes!
posted by cashman at 8:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [21 favorites]


It's often remarked that republicans have an...ability to work in lockstep

Yep, which often leads to the evil of groupthink.


given the context, that is achingly hilarious.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


(retweeted from Parker)

I know we don't know about her mental abilities, and what state she'll be in, but to be shot in the head like that and be awake and recognizing people half a day later - that is awesome. That is just awesome. The fight on her part, what seems to have been a fantastic job on the part of the surgeons. Just great news for the moment.
posted by cashman at 8:57 PM on January 8, 2011


i remember JFK, Bobby Kennedy, and MLK - the nation essentially froze in its tracks, the networks all went to special coverage.

It's an interesting shift in terms of media and shared cultural experiences that I've wondered about, too. I suppose it has something to do with the practical facts of there being so many more media outlets now than there were then. But I also think you're on to something that beyond the expansion of media outlets and the 24-hour news cycle, there's a broader cultural atomization in which these watershed events don't seem to trigger the sort of quasi-monolithic Everyone Is Watching The Same Thing at the Same Time shared experience.
posted by scody at 8:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


Good job debunking that post team. Boom, roasted.
posted by arveale at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


(I was saying that @breakingnews tweet had been retweeted - pardon me, I'm a tad excited and hopeful for giffords.)
posted by cashman at 8:58 PM on January 8, 2011


Wait...are you kidding? This diagram, which clearly has crosshairs on Arizona and has Gabrielle Giffords' name in the list on the bottom, doesn't mention her?

not going to play this game with you kro. the crosshairs are on Arizona, not on Gifford, which is what the person i was responding to said.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 8:59 PM on January 8, 2011


You're being painfully literal there, quonsar.
posted by chiababe at 9:00 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


the crosshairs are on Arizona, not on Gifford,

She's there, just very tiny at that scale.
posted by empath at 9:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


The little girl was 9 yr old Christina-Taylor Green. She was born Sept. 11, 2001 & featured in the book: "Faces of Hope."
posted by emjaybee at 9:03 PM on January 8, 2011 [15 favorites]


Things seemed heated in here (well, the entire internet really) a few hours ago, so I checked out in the hope things would calm down once the facts of the incident became clearer.

...
posted by dry white toast at 9:04 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


"the crosshairs are on Arizona, not on Gifford"

No, they're on the congressional district in which she was running against a lunatic teabagger who had fund-raisers where you could fire off an M-16.

Do you have any sense of same whatsoever?
posted by bardic at 9:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Reddit may have found some additional posts by the shooter on a conspiracy website. (nothing confirmed, but stylistically and thematically the same as the YouTube videos)
posted by condour75 at 9:05 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]



jfk, your a genius..frikkin kudos and i hope no one else gets it.
got me backpeddling and chewing sand

posted by clavdivs at 9:10 PM on January 8, 2011


invert the f and k
posted by clavdivs at 9:11 PM on January 8, 2011


. to those killed, with great sadness

Glad Ms. Giffords survived, and I hope she and all the others wounded will recover quickly.

I wish I had something substantive to add, but there's a lot of good stuff in this thread (and some bad stuff too, of course).
posted by zoogleplex at 9:13 PM on January 8, 2011


Oh, and anyone else in Tucson, if you have type O blood, either positive or negative, the Red Cross has asked for help in replenishing their supply.

I'm again frustrated that I'm permanently barred from giving blood, but I'm going to suggest my dad and my husband consider it.

> I can't say the whole town is in shocked disbelief, but the people I talked to were.

My small section of Tucson is definitely shocked and saddened. I saw some friends tonight and we talked about, along with our sadness about the event and some of our personal connections to Rep. Giffords, the strangeness of these events taking place in locations that are so familiar to us. There was a large crowd riveted to the TV in the bar as Dupnik made his statements.
posted by Squeak Attack at 9:13 PM on January 8, 2011


Reddit may have found some additional posts by the shooter on a conspiracy website.

He keeps referring to a 'listener'. That is obviously from listening to a lot of talk radio.
posted by empath at 9:14 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have to agree with Splunge, right now seems like an awfully early moment to turn this outrage into a political football. I say that against my emotional impulses, my first reaction being not unlike many here but I think at this moment turning this tragedy into a political one is misplaced. With respect to the many fine people in this thread.


.


For the dead.
posted by nola at 9:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I drove by the hospital on the way home from work. There's a candlelight vigil being held in front. The Potate and I might walk down later. It's been quite a rollercoaster of a day.
posted by lizjohn at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2011


Scratching my head a little at why people are still thinking this was some kind of right-wing terrorism. When I first heard of the incident I was very concerned that this was indeed the case - but it's becoming more and more apparent that Loughner is probably a schizophrenic. He's right at the age that schizophrenia typically first manifests itself.

I sincerely doubt what happened today has anything to do with Sarah Palin or the Tea Party at all.

In fact judging from condour75's post, it appears that Loughner may have targeted Rep. Giffords because her husband is an astronaut. There's also an image of one of the Mars Pathfinder rovers right on the front of her webpage.
posted by smoothvirus at 9:21 PM on January 8, 2011 [6 favorites]


.
posted by clavdivs at 9:23 PM on January 8, 2011


So according to the posts reddit found on abovetopsecret it seems he (if it is him) thought all space travel as well as the mars rover is a hoax. There is a chance that he targeted this congresswoman due to her ties to Nasa. I guess this is political, but not any type of politics that would make sense to a sane person.
posted by Ad hominem at 9:25 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


but it's becoming more and more apparent that Loughner is probably a schizophrenic.
"please, people, resist your urge to be helpful ... if the only thing you have to contribute is a diagnosis or medication recommendation you are not qualified to make. "

-The Straightener
Apologies if you do assessments and this is actually your profession.
posted by cashman at 9:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


It's not as if a doctrinaire Teabagger is required to kill a Democratic congressperson in order to qualify as political violence.

For the past two years (roundabouts the time that black guy with a funny name beat the grumpy white guy) the Palins and the Becks and even members of the more "serious" media have stoked the fires of white, middle-class resentment against the poor, the black, the brown, and the gays. They're coming to take your stuff, be it in the form of your job, your house, your (often government provided) health-care, or your retirement.

So I don't care whether or not this lunatic watched Glenn Beck or listened to Rush Limbaugh on a daily basis (although we know for a fact that in Pittsburgh and San Francisco this was the case, albeit the San Francisco shooter was thwarted). The fact is Palin and the GOP were gleefully stoking the flames of racial and economic resentment but with just enough dog-whistling to exculpate them from direct blame.

This shooting was as political as it gets and if you think otherwise you need to wake the fuck up to the direction the US is headed in.
posted by bardic at 9:31 PM on January 8, 2011 [24 favorites]


Jesus wept quoted Yeats without an iota of self-awareness and then kept on voting Republican anyways because that is the opposite of what Oprah wants. Delete this, ban me, what-the-fuck ever. You are part of the problem. Enjoy your (w)hol(l)y unearned fitful sleep tonight.

A nine year old (and a federal judge, and God knows who else) is dead. An American congresswoman was shot in the head at a public meeting with her constituents. This is the logical extension of your illogical ideological bullshit. Own it already. YOU ARE THE HATE YOU HAVE BEEN WAITING FOR.

Sorry, mods. Good night, all.
posted by joe lisboa at 9:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [30 favorites]


This thread is too long to go back and find the person who made the request, but way upthread, someone asked if anyone was tracking some of the violent screeds that have been occurring. Digby just posted this extensive list of violent rhetoric and political violence over the past two years.
posted by madamjujujive at 9:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [57 favorites]


I've had a personal experience of seeing a very close friend struck down by schizophrenia, so I'm quite familiar with it.

Could I actually diagnose this person? No, and I'm not going to attempt to write him a prescription either.
posted by smoothvirus at 9:35 PM on January 8, 2011


Pima Sheriff Clarence Dupnik Calls Out Vitriolic, Hateful Rhetoric (Ironically enough, this was covered by Tucson's own channel 9, KGUN.)

I'm also proud of you, Metafilter for the comments. It's rare to see this many comments on a thread. You've hardly descended into egos and bickering.)

Oh, and listen, when you hear Alex Jones saying that this is a classic CIA brainwashing scenario (based on the shooter's incoherent ranting) do us all a favor. Give yourself a punch in the nuts for listening to Alex Jones. Hard, so you don't reproduce.

posted by Catblack at 9:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


not going to play this game with you kro

But you are, Blanche; you are!
posted by octobersurprise at 9:38 PM on January 8, 2011


I guess this is political, but not any type of politics that would make sense to a sane person.

This is key to understanding the new "base" of the right. They think the Freemasons are putting fluoride in the vaccines to make the autistics homosexual. Jews did Apollo 11 and 9/11. Hollywood promotes environmentalism so George Soros can exterminate 90% of the human race. I wish I were exaggerating.
posted by fleetmouse at 9:44 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


If you think there is a line to be drawn between right wing and crazy, you've never met John Trochmann. Homicidally insane and right wing ideology are not mutually exclusive.

The use of mentally ill assassins was so common in the 80s and 90s that we had a phrase for it: "wind-up killers." I mentioned David Rice earlier. He's a good example, but not the only one.

The problem with the eliminationist rhetoric that has been a staple of the right wing since the 1960's is that it creates an atmosphere of permission for violence and people act on that permission.

Dave Neiwert has been saying this for years now and he recapped it again today in this specific context. Dave says it much better than I do.

The use of crosshairs as a code signal for identifying targets of violence has been around in right wing circles for fifty years. They know exactly what it means. It's a threat of violence, it's not some cute metaphor.

This will get worse, not better. The excuses, blameshifting, lying denials, etc. will convince the next batch of terrorists that they can get away with it because the right wing media and political hacks will go to bat for them with a whitewash and a smokescreen.

This was exactly what happened after the Oklahoma City bombing and Clinton denounced right wing hate talk as inflammatory. Limbaugh and the wingers counter-attacked, Clinton folded and we had another year of arson, bombings and shootings. It was only after the bombing at the Atlanta Olympics that the FBI ever labeled any of the right wing violence as terrorism.

So hold onto your hats, it's going to be an interesting spring.

$5 says Alan Gottlieb will blame the 'gun grabbers' for the shooting.
posted by warbaby at 9:50 PM on January 8, 2011 [27 favorites]


If I'm impaled by a giant pin, it was Google.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 9:51 PM on January 8, 2011 [14 favorites]


This is key to understanding the new "base" of the right. They think the Freemasons are putting fluoride in the vaccines to make the autistics homosexual. Jews did Apollo 11 and 9/11. Hollywood promotes environmentalism so George Soros can exterminate 90% of the human race. I wish I were exaggerating.

Cite, plz?
posted by orville sash at 9:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Tomorrow I'm going to wake up, still frustrated that I'm not living in the country I was told about as a kid, still tired from having to point it out, and still here because I can't find anywhere better.
posted by I love you more when I eat paint chips at 9:54 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


So I was back-country skiing today, and I don't listen to the radio in the Jeep. Imagine my horror then when I got back and fired up the old MetaFilter looking for some laughs and stumbled on this.

It took me 2 hours to get through this whole thread, and all I can say is that I weep for America at this point. As a Canadian, it really pains me to watch a country whose citizens I admire being destroyed before my very eyes. The animosity in this very thread amongst some commenters is a painful reminder of how seriously you guys are divided, and it shocks me to think that this community is largely representative of all the ideals that I most aspire to.

Matt has said many times that breaking news is one of the things that MetaFilter is not really for, and often does poorly. Voices of reason like billyfleetwood's get steamrolled by the agenda-mongers because the pain of this is so excruciating, it really is worrisome to see this kind of over-heated rhetoric in a community that is peerless, as far as I've ever seen, for thoughtful analysis online.

I think it would be best to let the facts come in before leaping to conclusions here.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 9:55 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


People, this is costing me a lot to say. I never ever in a million years have considered myself a left-winger on anything except for gay marriage and legalization of marijuana. (Which last is not exclusively left-wing anyway). Then I came across this and have started to think I'll be changing parties soon here.

posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:02 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


SHIT I meant this
posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:04 PM on January 8, 2011


Could've been space, but it doesn't come up in his videos, which seem fixated on years, currency, and the number line, and the constitution. To the extent that I see a common theme, it's a problem with things which arise by fiat, unmoved movers, starting points. Zero, paper money, the Constitution. The first statement in his syllogisms, which he then rejects.

I say this with absolutely no professional pot to piss in, but my hunch is that for a mind like that, drifting through American political discourse is like running a lint roller over a dog bed.
posted by condour75 at 10:06 PM on January 8, 2011 [7 favorites]


I'm glad they caught this little fuck alive.
posted by delmoi at 10:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


Warbaby, I think you're right. I find myself thinking of Inofe being "outraged by the outrage" at the Abu Ghraib abuses; in other words, going on the offensive against those who decried the abuse, claiming they were just exploiting the abuse for political gain or using it to manipulate public opinion against the war.

I find myself thinking of Paul Wellstone and the way the Republicans went on the offensive before the smoke of the plane crash cleared, preemptively declaring themselves the victims of anyone who might suggest foul play.

There'll be a lot more of that here -- by the end of it, in the minds of Fox viewers the real criminal won't be the shooter, it'll be those who decry the violent rhetoric to which this incident so closely conforms. And the mainstream media and politicians will be suitably cowed, as they always are.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


When something like this happens, people ask "why?" It's naïve to assume we're all just going to leave our MeFi dots in the thread and leave it at that, nor would that be any more constructive or moral a thread than the one we're having now.

So let's talk about why. One plausible scenario, this was a politically motivated killing directly influenced by the rhetoric of the Becks and the Palins and the Limbaughs of the world. This is a real possibility and we don't do the discourse any favors pretending otherwise.

A perhaps more likely scenario is that this was a generically mentally ill individual who happened to glom onto a variety of conspiracy theories, but with no particular party affiliation. There's a good chance that such a person would be receiving the treatment he needed, if conservatives in this country weren't doing everything they can to gut social services and mental health care. Or maybe he'd still be sick, but wouldn't have access to a firearm if conservatives weren't also gutting gun regulation.

So my belief is this: calling republicans bad people is placing the blame where it belongs to one degree or another. It answers "why", if only indirectly. It's also cathartic. Basically, there's nothing bad about it except that it bruises our sense of impartiality, and I don't fucking care because we're the only side who cares about impartiality and fairness nowadays. The people putting crosshairs on maps don't give two shits about it. Or us.
posted by Riki tiki at 10:09 PM on January 8, 2011 [8 favorites]


everyone knows it's floride in the water to control our minds and mercury in the vaccines to wreck the parts of our brains they can't control with floride. And the freemason's are only doing what the aliens tell them to do so they can steal our gold and wimmin
posted by Redhush at 10:11 PM on January 8, 2011


drifting through American political discourse is like running a lint roller over a dog bed.

If American political discourse were totally civil, then yeah, this guy very well might have shot up a school or a gym or a church or any other place full of innocent people because of his mental illness. That doesn't mean there's nothing wrong with political figures spewing violent vitriol.
posted by oinopaponton at 10:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Looks like a young man who is mentally ill committed this murderous act

How tragic for everyone. It's tempting to politicize the violent act of a mentally ill person, but we must be measured in that. His delusions could have gone either way; this is an act of violence that was most likely brought on by severe delusional, clinical depression or some other mental illness.

If my surmise is correct, we have nothing but victims here. The real "bad guy" is our society's failure to take mental illness seriously and have easily accessible places to be treated, and better control processes for getting people like this young man help, before they create mayhem.

My heart goes out to everyone involved, and to all who are suffering - related or not to both victims and perpetrator.
posted by Vibrissae at 10:11 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Interesting bit of background info about Sheriff Dupnik: Born on January 11, 1936, in Helena, Texas, he was raised in Bisbee, Arizona, and later attended the University of Arizona in Tucson. He graduated from Keeler Institute in Chicago, the Southern Police Institute at the University of Louisville, and the Urban Affairs Executive Institute at M.I.T.
posted by ambient2 at 10:13 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I never ever in a million years have considered myself a left-winger on anything except for gay marriage and legalization of marijuana.

That's like saying I saying that I never considered myself a pirate, except for all that firing of cannons and gripping of teeth-clenched cutlasses in boarding parties.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [26 favorites]


More, from boingboing
posted by Vibrissae at 10:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


quonsar ii: i, and most rational human beings, would never in a million years suppose that image was suggesting that people be shot. it quite clearly (again, to any rational person) suggests targeting the races in those disticts for a political win.

That's not what Gabrielle Giffords thought was going on.
posted by blucevalo at 10:18 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


That's like saying I saying that I never considered myself a pirate, except for all that firing of cannons and gripping of teeth-clenched cutlasses in boarding parties.
There are a lot of conservatives who support marijuana reform. Most notably Ron Paul and other libertarians.
posted by delmoi at 10:19 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I got them lone American gunman blues ... again.

add another snapshot to the file
posted by philip-random at 10:20 PM on January 8, 2011


"I've given many speeches to my group and at different events in my area, and in doing so I'm very conscious of who's listening. When I look out at the crowd, 99 percent of the people I see are just like me -- average every day Americans who want constitutional government, fiscal responsibility, things of that nature. Every once in a while, though, I see someone -- how should I put it? -- who is getting too excited, who seems a little farther on the fringe ... I realized I had to tone down my comments a little bit, less yelling and screaming and more educational." -- Patrick Beck, Mohave County Tea Party
posted by blucevalo at 10:20 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


As predicted:
Palinistas are furious over the accusations. Read here and here (just for starters). They blame the left using a tragedy to score political points. A Palin staffer, Rebecca Mansour told a radio talk show host Saturday that doing so is "obscene" and "appalling." In fact, she said that the "target list" was not intended to allude to guns.

"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sites," she said.

"It's surveyor's symbols," the interviewer Tammy Bruce suggested. Bruce, a Palin supporter, describes herself as "a gay, pro-choice, gun owning, pro-death penalty, Tea Party Independent Conservative. " Her show is promoted as a "chick with a gun and a microphone."
link. See guys, it was surveyor's symbols.
posted by ctmf at 10:22 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


Has there been any info about where in the head Rep. Giffords was shot? Is is possible that she was incredibly lucky and the bullet did not enter her brain? (and of course, i don't really think being shot, say, in the jaw is all that lucky....)
posted by jindc at 10:24 PM on January 8, 2011


Surveyor's symbols! Oh my God, what will they come up with next?
posted by blucevalo at 10:26 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Palinistas are furious over the accusations.
There's a shock.
posted by Flunkie at 10:27 PM on January 8, 2011


Of course! RELOAD YOUR SURVEYOR'S SYMBOLS. Poor Sarah Palin. It's monstrous how she's so misunderstood.
posted by scody at 10:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [44 favorites]


Surveyor's symbols! Oh my God, what will they come up with next?

I wasn't aware surveyor's needed to reload anything! Who knew?
posted by Green With You at 10:28 PM on January 8, 2011


This is key to understanding the new "base" of the right. They think the Freemasons are putting fluoride in the vaccines to make the autistics homosexual. Jews did Apollo 11 and 9/11. Hollywood promotes environmentalism so George Soros can exterminate 90% of the human race. I wish I were exaggerating.

I think you are exxagerating. The new "base" seem to be nihilists and survivalists, with a bit of religion sprinkled on top. A lot of kooky stuff has come out of the woodwork, but I think that nihilism is the key overarching theme in the new conservative movement.

(And, can we please stop using the Left v. Right sliding scale? It's meaningless to compare left v. right from year to year, especially considering that the right have begun to regard aspects of the welfare state that benefit white landowners to be sacred. Until we hear the denouncement of Social Security and Medicare, the Tea Party will not be "hard right" on all issues)
posted by schmod at 10:28 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Crosshairs.

Surveyors symbols.

Not passing a sniff test here.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Vibrissae: "The real "bad guy" is our society's failure to take mental illness seriously and have easily accessible places to be treated, and better control processes for getting people like this young man help, before they create mayhem."

Which, sorry to say, is also a political condition based on political decisions dating back at least 30 years, to Reagan's rescinding of the Mental Health Systems Act of 1980 signed by Jimmy Carter.
posted by blucevalo at 10:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [17 favorites]


That's like saying I saying that I never considered myself a pirate, except for all that firing of cannons and gripping of teeth-clenched cutlasses in boarding parties.

OK, point taken...I have to run out to the bar for a minute but I hope you're still here when I come back.
posted by deep thought sunstar at 10:34 PM on January 8, 2011


A perhaps more likely scenario is that this was a generically mentally ill individual who happened to glom onto a variety of conspiracy theories, but with no particular party affiliation. There's a good chance that such a person would be receiving the treatment he needed, if conservatives in this country weren't doing everything they can to gut social services and mental health care. Or maybe he'd still be sick, but wouldn't have access to a firearm if conservatives weren't also gutting gun regulation.

I follow you to a point, but ultimately he chose to attempt to assassinate a Democratic Congressperson, and that wasn't a totally random act. It's not like he decided to shoot up a Chik-Fil-A for being anti-gay, he attached himself to a specific continuum of extremely prevalent anti-socialist rhetoric which specifically incites violent acts against Democrats. There is a pile of evidence here, we can't just handwave it away.
posted by mek at 10:35 PM on January 8, 2011 [11 favorites]


Of course! RELOAD YOUR SURVEYOR'S SYMBOLS. Poor Sarah Palin. It's monstrous how she's so misunderstood.

I think they are missing the point (duh, I know). If there is some possibility of confusion over whether you are actually advocating the assassination of your political enemies or not, you are doing it wrong.
posted by empath at 10:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [19 favorites]


Sat, 6/12/10, 10:00 AM
Get on Target for Victory in
November Help remove
Gabrielle Giffords from
office Shoot a fully
automatic surveyor's level with Jesse
Kelly
posted by Flunkie at 10:36 PM on January 8, 2011 [10 favorites]


We're in the middle of a national tragedy but football and other diversions must be broadcast, gotta keep everyone entertained.
posted by mareli at 10:37 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I think saying "reload" in concert with the crosshairs is the problem.
posted by lampshade at 10:37 PM on January 8, 2011


Seriously. Surveyor Symbol and Cross hairs are identical in appearance and basic function: to have something in your sites. Where they differ in how they are used and how often they are used in popular culture. I'll give Sarah Palin a hint about which is which: no one ever uses surveyor symbols except surveyors and liars.

If that website had that filename for that symbol as including "surveyor" since day 1 then they were only doing it as a way to cover their ass when one of the people listed on that web page got shot. I mean seriously is there anyone on the fucking planet that isn't a surveyor that would see that symbol and not have the first thing they think be "gun"? And on the off-chance one person didn't get it they mean to suggest that after the similarity was pointed out they didn't switch it to something less gunlike, like maybe an x mark that looks like it was written with a red felt pen? Or maybe this?
posted by Green With You at 10:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [16 favorites]


That NYT article Vibrissae posted has lots of good information about Jared, and how he was suspended from school, interviews with people around him, etc.
posted by cashman at 10:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I thought they were registration marks.
posted by mazola at 10:46 PM on January 8, 2011 [2 favorites]


On 4 November, they were apparently surveyor's symbols. They totally are now, though.
posted by ctmf at 10:51 PM on January 8, 2011 [13 favorites]


duh. NOT surveyor's symbols.
posted by ctmf at 10:52 PM on January 8, 2011



Crosshairs.
Surveyors symbols.

Not passing a sniff test here.


Play with fire? Get burned.
posted by philip-random at 10:52 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sarah Palin's latest tweet: "I'll give you my theodolite when you take it from MY COLD DEAD HANDS"
posted by scody at 10:53 PM on January 8, 2011 [18 favorites]


There's no doubt that the cant of weaponry was targeted at Palin's teeming brigades. 2nd Amendment Solution pushes the boundaries of free speech into the realm of hate crime or sedition. The issue with assigning blame to her in this case is the lack of any information which shows this. Accusations of incitement to murder aren't minor things. If you wish to maintain the value of such a serious charge, its likely best to not randomly apply it.
posted by PareidoliaticBoy at 10:56 PM on January 8, 2011


Reddit may have found some additional posts by the shooter on a conspiracy website.

These are fascinating. It allows us to see Loughner interacting with sane people who are patiently trying their best to understand what the fuck he's talking about.

And I find Loughner's compulsive use of syllogisms positively bone-chilling. It's like something out of a horror movie, only creepier, and real.
posted by jeremy b at 10:57 PM on January 8, 2011 [4 favorites]


... and a little hunch here.

It's not Palin's candidacy we need fear here; it's whoever THEY come up with to replace her. The lady is damaged goods now, I suspect.
posted by philip-random at 10:57 PM on January 8, 2011


To be fair, here: I just texted my ex-boyfriend , who was a surveyor for 4-ish years, and asked him about the crosshairs. He says, yes, that's what you look through on the instrument to zero in and whatnot, just like you would a distance rifle. However, I then asked him what one might "reload" in a surveying situation. Literal response: "what? what would you reload?"
posted by deep thought sunstar at 11:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


Violence and Mental Illness - How Strong is the Link? by Dr. Richard Friedman takes a pretty hard look at the assumption that mental illness creates violent behavior. It is, as you might expect, a topic with a great deal of nuance, and the author treats it with the seriousness it deserves.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 11:01 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


Accusations of incitement to murder aren't minor things. If you wish to maintain the value of such a serious charge, its likely best to not randomly apply it.

You're making a pretty damn serious accusation yourself.
posted by blucevalo at 11:02 PM on January 8, 2011


Reddit may have found some additional posts by the shooter on a conspiracy website.

Reminds me of an old room-mate. He had this friend that dropped by every now and then. James was his name, I think. A moody guy that almost never looked you in the eye, and when he did, you wished he hadn't.

Anyway, James claimed to have this system figured out for traveling backward in time (something to do with a deck of cards and a few weird hand gestures) which he needed my room-mate's help to actualize. James' plan was to use his system to win the lottery, then use the funds to get into politics. He never did win but a few years later he got arrested for a car-jacking. He needed to get to the airport, immediately, so he could fly to Ottawa and talk to the Prime Minister.

A big difference between Canada and the USA -- James never got his hands on a gun.
posted by philip-random at 11:08 PM on January 8, 2011 [12 favorites]


.

And I hope she makes it okay.
posted by rai at 11:08 PM on January 8, 2011


As far as "surveyor's symbols", they're probably talking about a "benchmark" symbol, which does indeed look a bit like a crosshairs, just with two quadrants colored in. Still impossible to reload.
posted by LionIndex at 11:14 PM on January 8, 2011


"A woman’s life is never as relevant as her husband’s profession. Thanks for the reminder, Fox News." (They've since changed the headline to "Bio".)
posted by cashman at 11:15 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Violence and Mental Illness - How Strong is the Link? by Dr. Richard Friedman takes a pretty hard look at the assumption that mental illness creates violent behavior.

Oh yes; it wasn't my intention suggest there is anything common about this at all. The percentage of mentally ill people who express it violently is rather small, and, then, they tend to be violent toward themselves (as with bipolar people committing suicide) than against others. But there are a few people with severe mental illnesses who kill people every so often.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:21 PM on January 8, 2011


I don't care if this is relevant to this thread or not. It's what I read when shit like this happens....

A Ritual To Read To Each Other - William Stafford

If you don't know the kind of person I am
and I don't know the kind of person you are
a pattern that others made may prevail in the world
and following the wrong god home we may miss our star.

For there is many a small betrayal in the mind,
a shrug that lets the fragile sequence break
sending with shouts the horrible errors of childhood
storming out to play through the broken dyke.

And as elephants parade holding each elephant's tail,
but if one wanders the circus won't find the park,
I call it cruel and maybe the root of all cruelty
to know what occurs but not recognize the fact.

And so I appeal to a voice, to something shadowy,
a remote important region in all who talk:
though we could fool each other, we should consider--
lest the parade of our mutual life get lost in the dark.

For it is important that awake people be awake,
or a breaking line may discourage them back to sleep;
the signals we give--yes or no, or maybe--
should be clear: the darkness around us is deep.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:29 PM on January 8, 2011 [32 favorites]


Clarence Dupnik is a good man.

I am also glad Metafilter is around during times like this.
posted by goalyeehah at 11:32 PM on January 8, 2011 [3 favorites]


I hope Rep. Gabby Giffords will come out of this still able to do her job and lead a somewhat normal life. This is a horrific event. And yes, this is the natural outcome of months and years of hateful dog whistle rhetoric coming to fruition.

Everyone, knows fairly well adjusted people can hear that kind of spew and obviously aren't going to do something like this. It's alway, always the individuals with unstable emotions and unstable mental health that are the ones to act out on the threats and the big phony patriotism talk and hubris manufactured from a venerated source: the Bible, the Koran, the Constitution that is twisted and perverted for very selfish ends and purposes, whether that be money or political power or both. Or to inspire the weak minded to go forth and do violence and murder. And it will be interesting to see if there might've been a mentor (other than the Palin's and Beck's) who pushed Loughner to this.
posted by Skygazer at 11:33 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


So... if it is surveyor marks, why the hell did it/they get scrubbed so damn fast?
posted by edgeways at 11:34 PM on January 8, 2011 [1 favorite]


I'm still trying to make sense of everything, as we all are, but here are my thoughts right now:

1. While I (and we) still don't know much of anything about the alleged shooter(s?) aside from the youtube account, the Sheriff involved with the case has put out an astoundingly brave statement to the effect that this was brought upon by rhetoric from talk radio, and that Arizona has become the "mecca of bigotry." One would imagine he's working from better information than we've got right now.

2. I'm ecstatic that Congresswoman Giffords is recovering as miraculously as she seems to be. I am afraid that by morning that will be the story, and the fact that 18 deaths (it's been a long day and my numbers might be wrong) including that of a 9-year-old girl will go forgotten by the media in the wake of that.

This was a massacre at the site of an event where the Congresswoman was meeting with her constituants as their representative to the federal government. To brush off the deaths of those constituants as less important than the survival of their representative not only disparages their memory, but that of the point of the event where the massacre occurred.
posted by Navelgazer at 11:41 PM on January 8, 2011 [5 favorites]


Surveyor symbols.

Dear Sarah Palin supporters:

Sarah Palin thinks you are the stupidest person in the world. She thinks you are too stupid to tie your own shoes, too stupid to wear pants front-side forward, too stupid to chew gum. Frankly, she thinks you're too stupid to live.

Sarah Palin mocks you with her every syllable. And if you support her in this hour of gun sights as surveyor symbols, she is entirely correct to do so.

Sincerely,
posted by dirigibleman at 11:45 PM on January 8, 2011 [46 favorites]


Sense of sane, sense of shame, either interpretation of the typo seems to work well in that response.
posted by five fresh fish at 11:47 PM on January 8, 2011


I'm simply fascinated by Palin's statement. It is a marvel. A sheer marvel of terse tense horse-shitacular psychological intrigue:
My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.

On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice
.
It's literally screaming with import and hidden meaning. I kid you not. Of all the things she could've added, all the things she's stoked the worst from the nation since August 2008. Never at a loss for the most hateful and petty interpretations, and all the big phony patriotic talk, this is all she's capable of? Shouldn't a potential leader seek to call out our greater angels as a people at a time like this and offer solace and wisdom. No course not Sarah Palin. She sends the victims of this tragedy what amounts to a blow off. Once again a transparently self-serving twit. At the very least she could've condemned these actions in the strongest terms possible, but no, not Sarah Palin.

What she does here is leave the door open for more of this type of behavior. She equivocates. And it is repugnant and despicable. It is a sly nod, to those on the right and the Tea Party movement and at Fox who will try and defend this, and/or find some comfort from it and that fringe element that gives the extreme Right it's true, but hidden identity.
posted by Skygazer at 11:58 PM on January 8, 2011 [9 favorites]


Apropos the mania for the syllogism: I smell David Wynn Miller.
posted by i_am_joe's_spleen at 12:00 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked what her political party affiliation is?....

Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked CTRL+F "tea" for teabagger on this thread once I knew she was a Democrat?

Yeehaa! I hit the jackpot. Metafilter didn't let me down.
posted by uncanny hengeman at 12:02 AM on January 9, 2011


I'm glad you enjoy rubbernecking at our politics.
posted by empath at 12:03 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


As for my own armchair psychology, based upon nothing but the youtube videos and what little else we know:

He tried to join the military, but was rejected. He read the constitution, but found it frustrating and adulterated. It appears that he tried to find God but found the pursuit empty.

In this context, the syllogisms make a lot of sense. This was a drowning man looking for anything he could cling to. If X than Y. X. Therefor Y. Am I right? I'm right, aren't I? Tell me I'm right!

I stick to my theory that this is the sort of mind attracted to the Palin/Beck rhetoric of absolutes and narcotic equivocations. There are people out there, and Jared is one of them, who not only crave, but NEED absolutes, and Beck and Palin are happy to provide them.

In a handy infographic with crosshairs, if necessary.
posted by Navelgazer at 12:18 AM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Well he's someone in a state of extreme inner turmoil who feels backed against a wall, who feel like things have reached a juncture that is no longer acceptable and requires some drastic action, not to mention he feels the country needs to go back to the gold standard. Mix in guns, untreated mental and emotional illness, perhaps an older adult who pours gasoline over all this (the Tuscon police are searching for an accomplice in his 50s) and the opportunity of an accessible public figure and he's just a walking tragedy ready to unleash.
posted by Skygazer at 12:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


As much as we should be mad at Palin for carelessly using her fame, don't forget that her unlikely circumstance was manufactured by people with a motive.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:28 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


As far as I know, outside of Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Robert Kennedy while he was running for president.

As far as I know, outside of Senator Kennedy, who was assassinated in 1968, the last member of Congress to be shot while in office was Rep. Leo Ryan, who was assassinated while investigating the Jonestown cult.

This is how that comment should have been written but im not so good with 'clear english'

Robert Kennedy was not a member of the House in 1968. Though I yield that he was a former member. If a former member of congress is considered a member of congress. I stand corrected and apologize.


clavdivs, Robert Kennedy was a sitting Senator when he was assassinated (so, while not a member of the House, he was in Congress).

Also, your version of the sentence doesn't make sense. "Outside of" means "except for", and since Leo Ryan died in 1978 and Kennedy in 1968, Ryan is the exception between Kennedy and the present day, not the other way around.
posted by dhens at 12:47 AM on January 9, 2011


Josh Marshal on Olberman discussing this.
posted by delmoi at 12:56 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Gifford's life.
posted by dirigibleman at 1:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked CTRL+F "tea" for teabagger on this thread once I knew she was a Democrat?

Cynical, yes, but not for CTRL-F tea.
posted by JHarris at 1:14 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


.

(hopefully not for her as well)
posted by twirlypen at 1:18 AM on January 9, 2011


He tried to join the military, but was rejected. He read the constitution, but found it frustrating and adulterated. It appears that he tried to find God but found the pursuit empty.

Which Republican politician are we talking about here?
posted by one more dead town's last parade at 1:24 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


At the very least she could've condemned these actions in the strongest terms possible, but no, not Sarah Palin.
Skygazer


I'm also wondering if the shooting would have happened if the assasin had access to affordable healthcare.
posted by quarsan at 1:34 AM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Man it would be nice to live in a country where attempted assassinations weren't seen as ways to score political points.

Do you mean with comments like this:

"Robert Morgan (1776Patroit) wrote: If she voted for ObamaCare, then she has just paid the price for treason."


Surely it would be nicer still to live in a country where the political rhetoric wasn't so overheated as to be a regular contributor to attempted assassinations of mainstream political figures?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 1:38 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Surveyor's symbols do not make for very apt metaphors in the contexts in which they are being used. Especially since everybody else would think gun sights instead.
posted by iamkimiam at 1:54 AM on January 9, 2011


How's her condition? I heard that she's expected to live, but I haven't heard of how functional she's expected to be.
posted by flatluigi at 2:00 AM on January 9, 2011


Seriously. How much do they pay their PR people? "Surveyor's symbols" was their plausible deniability strategy? It would have been less insulting to say nothing.

I imagine a shouting match during the emergency strategy session with half the group saying it was too ridiculous, and the other half saying "but the people we're aiming for ARE that stupid. It will work if we play the using-a-tragedy-for-political-gain thing at the same time."

The compromise was, well, at least don't have any of OUR people say it as the official word. Have the interviewer suggest it, and then just don't contradict it. Also, don't let her say she's speaking for the PAC, it has to be personal opinion so we can get distance if it goes bad. More plausible deniability.
posted by ctmf at 2:07 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


quarsan I'm also wondering if the shooting would have happened if the assasin had access to affordable healthcare.

Maybe. The USA has a truly awful health care system, and mental health is one of the worst areas of that system, and those facts are unambiguously the direct fault of Republicans, but a thing like this could still happen even if the shooter had free and easy access to mental health care.

To take advantage of mental health care, a sufferer needs insight. They have to be aware that there is something wrong with them. One of the more unfortunate inflictions that many mentally ill people labor under, commonly associated with paranoid schizophrenia (I do not presume to diagnose the assassin here, but I will point out that his reported writings are consistent with that condition), is lack of insight. However bizarre their delusions, they do not fully credit, often do not even admit of the possibility, that their delusions are delusions. The "mechanism" in the mind that questions itself, is itself deluded.

(Arguably this fault is even more common than overt mental illness; it's just that the mentally ill have delusions that are much less compatible with normal life. Arguably mere lack of insight isn't even a mental illness as such, but rather is the normal human condition, and having insight is an advantageous quality.)

Anyway, a person lacking insight does not believe themselves mentally ill, and accordingly does not seek treatment for their mental illness. They will reframe attempts to treat them as controlling behavior, their medications as poisons, and the consistently skeptical, baffled, hostile response of most people to their perfectly reasonable assertions to be evidence of a conspiracy.

Now, a decent mental health care system would certainly help, but the major problem here, so far as a mental health care system is concerned, is in the lack of an opportunity to diagnose, confine and compulsorily treat this guy. (And at a minimum, keep him away from weapons.) It seems that in the USA the primary source of such diagnosis opportunities is the criminal justice system, itself worse than the American health care system, and also primarily the fault of Republicans that this is so. Had he done something wacky enough to attract the attention of police, but short of actually harming somebody, there's a chance that he could have been diagnosed, and perhaps this tragedy may have been averted.

My point is that short of somehow compulsorily testing people and confining those who fail the test, there is very little that authorities, however benign, can pre-emptively do to prevent a mentally ill person who lacks insight from acting on the promptings of their illness.

I would ascribe some blame here to the (lack of a) mental health care system. My assumption that the shooter has a mental illness and lacks insight is just an assumption. If he had at least some insight, and had known for some years that there was a system available that could be trusted to at least give him confirmation or denial that he had a mental health problem, it's possible he could have taken advantage of that.

But the greater share of the blame is on the social environment, and it is basically the same people pushing these two memetic agendas: that individualized gun violence is an acceptable method of resolving problems; and that the tendency of approximately half the voters to prefer Democrats is one such problem.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 2:12 AM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


dirigibleman: "Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Gifford's life"
Eight hours after the shooting, Hernandez stood with Giffords' friends and staff and told them what had happened. The tall, strong 20-year-old said, “Of course you're afraid, you just kind of have to do what you can.”

They hugged and thanked him. Later, he sat with his mom and sisters and told them about his friends and the staffers who had died that day.

“You just have to be calm and collected," he said. "You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown… It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.”
Goddamn!
posted by yaymukund at 2:12 AM on January 9, 2011 [15 favorites]


The Secret Service conducted something called the Exceptional Case Study in 1999 and published the results, available in this PDF.

It's a wide-ranging breakdown of the motivations, organizational affiliations, mental health histories, and other pertinent characteristics of 83 assassins or would-be asssassins. Fourteen pages of fascinating and depressing reading.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:34 AM on January 9, 2011 [19 favorites]


Jeez, every time I look at the "surveyor's symbols" article, I see something else they should really have thought about some more.
Mansour agreed. She said that the graphic was contracted out to a professional. They approved it quickly without thinking about it.
Because that's the kind of people I want in charge of this country. People who approve stuff quickly without thinking about it. (Not that I believe that for one second)
posted by ctmf at 2:35 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Maybe I'm being pessimistic/paranoid, and I hope so, but Giffords' surviving this head wound (either in the short or long term) may only stoke the fires of mania among certain segments of the population:

And I saw one of his heads as it were wounded to death; and his deadly wound was healed: and all the world wondered after the beast. Rev. 13:3
posted by Filta Metter at 2:37 AM on January 9, 2011


aeschenkarnos: To take advantage of mental health care, a sufferer needs insight.

Regretfully, insight, in these here United States, is presented by the various right wing media outlets, blogs and brain dead politicians, as a socialist conspiracy.
posted by Skygazer at 2:58 AM on January 9, 2011


Interesting piece from Vaughan Bell on Slate

Seena Fazel is an Oxford University psychiatrist who has led the most extensive scientific studies to date of the links between violence and two of the most serious psychiatric diagnoses—schizophrenia and bipolar disorder, either of which can lead to delusions, hallucinations, or some other loss of contact with reality. Rather than looking at individual cases, or even single studies, Fazel's team analyzed all the scientific findings they could find. As a result, they can say with confidence that psychiatric diagnoses tell us next to nothing about someone's propensity or motive for violence.

A 2009 analysis of nearly 20,000 individuals concluded that increased risk of violence was associated with drug and alcohol problems, regardless of whether the person had schizophrenia. Two similar analyses on bipolar patients showed, along similar lines, that the risk of violent crime is fractionally increased by the illness, while it goes up substantially among those who are dependent on intoxicating substances. In other words, it's likely that some of the people in your local bar are at greater risk of committing murder than your average person with mental illness.

posted by titus-g at 3:28 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


CNN has a pretty good overview of the entire situation right now, including this list of the people who were killed:
-- John Roll, 63 (See Arizona-Judge-Obit)
A native of Pennsylvania, Roll was a federal judge for the U.S. District Court for the District of Arizona who had served the legal system for nearly 40 years. He began his career as a bailiff in Pima County Superior Court and rose to be chief judge for the District of Arizona, a position he held since 2006. He received death threats two years ago after he ruled that a $32 million civil-rights lawsuit filed by illegal immigrants against a rancher in the state could proceed. He had been assigned to hear the ethnic studies ban case out of Tucson that involves a new law banning certain ethnic studies programs in public schools, according to the lead attorney on the case, Richard Martinez. Chief Justice of the United States John Roberts called Roll's death a tragic loss.

-- Christina Taylor Greene, 9.
She was born on September 11, 2001, according to CNN affiliate KVOA. Family members described her as "excited" about the political process, and that the desire to learn more about it had motivated her to go to the Gifford event, the affiliate said. Christina had just been elected to the student council at her school, the Arizona Republic reported. She died at a hospital, and not at the scene like the other five.

-- Gabe Zimmerman, 30. (See POL-Giffords-Staff-Member-Killed)
A Tucson native who was engaged to be married, Zimmerman was the director of community outreach for the congresswoman.

-- Dorwin Stoddard, 76.
Dory, as his family prefers to call him, was a retired construction worker, said Pastor Mike Nowak at Mount Avenue Church of Christ in Tucson. Witnesses told CNN that Stoddard tried to shield his wife, Mavy (pronounced: Maaah-vee), was shot in the head and fell on her. The wife was shot three times in her legs, the bullets were removed and she is expected to make a full recovery.

-- Dorothy Morris, 76

-- Phyllis Scheck, 79
My heart goes out to all of their families in this time of their loss and sorrow.
posted by hippybear at 3:31 AM on January 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


So, it turns out it was just some mentally ill guy and not a right-wing domestic terrorist incited by Tea Party rhetoric and Glenn Beck rants. But it's the kind of thing the right-wing might have done, right? Let's not let them off the hook just yet!
posted by L.P. Hatecraft at 3:36 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


So, it turns out it was just some mentally ill guy and not a right-wing domestic terrorist incited by Tea Party rhetoric and Glenn Beck rants.

Nah, he seems to be a gold-standard right-wing nutter, inspired by calls to violence by the Tea Party.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 3:48 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


FFS. Sane people don't commit mass political murders.*

The fear is that inflammatory rhetoric makes nearly flipped out people flip the rest of the way.




*Or at least if they do, they go through channels.
posted by Sebmojo at 4:17 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


At some point the distinction between believing something that one would have to be mentally ill to believe, and actually being mentally ill, is too fine to pick.
posted by aeschenkarnos at 4:19 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


dirigibleman: "Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Gifford's life"

I'm not one for tears, but this passage from that link certainly moved me:
When the shots began that morning, he saw many people lying on the ground, including a young girl. Some were bleeding. Hernandez said he moved from person to person checking pulses.

"First the neck, then the wrist," he said. One man was already dead. Then he saw Giffords. She had fallen and was lying contorted on the sidewalk. She was bleeding.

Using his hand, Hernandez applied pressure to the entry wound on her forehead. He pulled her into his lap, holding her upright against him so she wouldn't choke on her own blood. Giffords was conscious, but quiet.

Ron Barber, Giffords' district director, was next to her. Hernandez told a bystander how to apply pressure to one of Barber's wounds.

Barber told Hernandez, "Make sure you stay with Gabby. Make sure you help Gabby."

Hernandez used his hand to apply pressure until someone from inside Safeway brought him clean smocks from the meat department. He used them to apply pressure on the entrance wound, unaware there was an exit wound. He never let go of her.

He stayed with Giffords until paramedics arrived. They strapped her to a board and loaded her into an ambulance. Hernandez climbed in with her. On the ride to the hospital, he held her hand. She squeezed his back.
There is something quietly powerful and human and tender in that description, with him being there and helping and her, however weakly, letting him know she was still alive, fighting and hanging on.

The shooting is a horrible portrait of what humanity is capable of. Hernandez's are an excellent final stroke to that portrait, a reminder that for all the bad that people can do, there is much that is good in us..

His actions also point out how utterly important it is to have a basic knowledge of first aid and what to do in situations where people are injured. The American Red Cross offers classes, take one when you can. For those outside the US, the Red Cross and Red Crescent has locations around the globe where you can volunteer and probably take a class. If anyone knows of a better global link, please feel free to post it.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 4:29 AM on January 9, 2011 [36 favorites]


To be fair, Palin isn't the only one scrubbing her history -

boyblue at Kos: "My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now dead to me!"

Not quite as bad as inciting people to assassination, of course...
posted by XMLicious at 4:37 AM on January 9, 2011


My biggest worry when stuff like this happens is that some sufficiently cynical political operator will take advantage of the fact that everyone's attention is focussed on this to push through some wretched little plan in a wholly unrelated area.

Someone tell me I'm being paranoid.
posted by Ritchie at 4:47 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The fact is that America's decided the occasional massacre like this is a price worth paying for casual gun ownership. Until that decision changes, we'll continue to see three or four similar incidents a year at schoolyards, political meetings and workplaces throughout the country.
posted by Paul Slade at 4:49 AM on January 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


Right wing domestic.

And, yeah, terrorist.

And, assassin.

Yeah.

It ain't rocket science.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:53 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I think we all need to look at defining exactly what we mean by 'scrubbing' at this stage.
posted by Jofus at 4:54 AM on January 9, 2011


And, someone behind him, whispering in his ear?

Oh yeah. Plenty of people. Lone gunman?

My ass.
posted by flapjax at midnite at 4:55 AM on January 9, 2011


My biggest worry when stuff like this happens is that some sufficiently cynical political operator will take advantage of the fact that everyone's attention is focussed on this to push through some wretched little plan in a wholly unrelated area.

The House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by the Republicans, has put all legislation on hold for the moment.

For all the American public's disdain for Congress, our rhetoric is usually "Throw the bums out" not "Shoot them in the head". I imagine this has shaken many members to the core, because they know and have already experienced crazy citizens in some form or fashion, but they've been basically harmless. Those crazy citizens weren't walking up to a Congress person while they were doing one of the most important parts of their jobs, meeting their constituents, and aiming a gun at the Congress person's head at close range, pulling the trigger and then going on a shooting rampage.

This is a whole 'nother level of crazy and Congress seriously needs to do thinking and planning about this new level. You know how Congress takes breaks so they can head back home and talk to their constituents? There's a whole new dimension to town hall meetings now, let alone any other meet and greet.
posted by Brandon Blatcher at 5:03 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Fucking teabaggers....
posted by Flex1970 at 5:06 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


The House of Representatives, which is currently controlled by the Republicans, has put all legislation on hold for the moment.

It wasn't really Congress I was worried about, but it's something I suppose.
posted by Ritchie at 5:25 AM on January 9, 2011


What I want to see:

Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner speak before the nation TOGETHER and say, "Enough is enough. We're better than this."
posted by zooropa at 5:32 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


"Both President Obama and Speaker Boehner speak before the nation TOGETHER and say, "Enough is enough. We're better than this."

It saddens me to say that the tragedy of this event is probably not sufficient to produce this result.
-----------------
My morning... 6 am- dog stirs and makes a little "woo" to wake me up, right on schedule. I reach down and find a pile of husky and get my hand licked.. always makes me smile.

Crawl out of bed, throw on some clothes, smell fresh coffee...another smile..

Walk out into the kitchen, see the laptop sitting on the counter, and this whole fucking mess crashes back into my life.

I have been unable to click on any of the fpps above this one, I look at them and think "who cares.", and go back to refreshing this thread. I'm not sure what I'm looking for, maybe its the appearance of someone with enough wisdom and energy to galvanize this small population of people, and then a wider and wider group, into some sort of action that will make a difference. I want someone to say "here's a website/community/event/whatever that will begin to move this country in a direction that makes sense, that will provide the insight and momentum to end the crazyness and hate. If I had a clue/the skills/the wisdom to do it, I would, but I'm not that person, I know that, and the status quo system hasn't been able to accomplish it either.

I'm not ready to give up looking for that , but it gets harder with every event like this.
posted by HuronBob at 5:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


zooropa, ain't gonna happen. The best we can hope for is a photo-op or, if we're really lucky, a joint written statement. Until then, we've got what we've got: Boehner using as unequivocal language as we'll ever get from him to say 'violence is bad, threats are bad.' ("An attack on one who serves is an attack on all who serves" is a fairly strong statement of solidarity, AFAICS.)

As a friend put it, "I bet he didn't cry."* But the words will do for now.

--
*I bet he didn't, either. But because he was terrified that the monster had slipped its chain, not because he didn't feel anything.
posted by lodurr at 5:53 AM on January 9, 2011


I'm surprised no-one else has mentioned this snippet from the NYT article linked above:

After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a “terrorist for killing the baby.”

Not exactly the left/liberal guy Caitie Parker reported knowing in 2007.
posted by anagrama at 5:55 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps. Therefore, they, and by extension the entire Democratic party, must be responsible for this murder.

Right, guys? Right?
posted by orville sash at 6:02 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


this murder = these murders
posted by orville sash at 6:06 AM on January 9, 2011


You know, John Hinckley, Jr. managed to shoot Ronald Reagan (and James Brady) without having ever seen a Sarah Palin website with reticles all over it.
posted by Shohn at 6:06 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This game will continue until each and everyone claims their own personal responsibility for the gunman's actions.
posted by crunchland at 6:06 AM on January 9, 2011



boyblue at Kos: "My CongressWOMAN voted against Nancy Pelosi! And is now dead to me!"

...

the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps. Therefore, they, and by extension the entire Democratic party, must be responsible for this murder.


As long as I live, one of the things that I will never understand is the length some people will go to pretend to be stupid just to "win" an argument on the internet.
posted by XQUZYPHYR at 6:11 AM on January 9, 2011 [33 favorites]


"You know, John Hinckley, Jr. managed to shoot Ronald Reagan (and James Brady) without having ever seen a Sarah Palin website with reticles all over it."

You see, the scary thing about the right, is that, to them, this makes perfect sense.
posted by HuronBob at 6:13 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It wasn't really Congress I was worried about, but it's something I suppose

Who are you worried about? Dr Evil? The US has only one federal law-making body.
posted by CRM114 at 6:13 AM on January 9, 2011


You know, John Hinckley, Jr. managed to shoot Ronald Reagan (and James Brady) without having ever seen a Sarah Palin website with reticles all over it.
I'm confused as to what the point of this statement is. That people can do bad things without Sarah Palin and her ilk consistently making inflammatory statements tinged with hints of violence?

Of course people can do bad things without Sarah Palin and her ilk consistently making inflammatory statements tinged with hints of violence.
posted by Flunkie at 6:16 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Is it cynical of me to have immediately checked CTRL+F "tea" for teabagger on this thread once I knew she was a Democrat?

Sure it is. And even more so for you to revel in it.
posted by blucevalo at 6:22 AM on January 9, 2011


Sarah Palin: the courage to delete her convictions.
posted by crunchland at 6:22 AM on January 9, 2011 [21 favorites]


Not to get pedantic, but it does matter here:

weaponry crosshair target ≠ bullseye target

Two very different games. Not to mention cognitive frames. Or look at it this way: which one of these icons is solid, and why?

(or if we want to go all survey about it, we could say that the democratic poster isn't suggesting we attack our "enemies" with poisoned darts, but rather offer them baby stacking rings. You know, for their cognitive development.)
posted by iamkimiam at 6:23 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Nobody did anything wrong. This is like the tobacco case. All they did for years but say "well, we don't have any conclusive proof that tobacco use causes cancer." We have no definitive proof that there is a direct causation between Palin using crosshairs on a political message, or saying that Gabrielle Giffords needs to be targeted in the same message. We cannot show that her opponent's political messaging around targeting her and then having a fundraiser where you could shoot guns with him caused this. We cannot show that the "take our country back" message of the teaparty caused this. We cannot show that the media, through their unwritten doctrine of "fair time" for "both sides" of an issue allowed this type of vitriolic rhetoric to be mainstreamed and in doing caused this.

No, no one of these things caused the shooting to happen. All of them did, to their own degree, when their messages started to root in the mind of Jared Loughner.
posted by zerobyproxy at 6:28 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Scratching my head a little at why people are still thinking this was some kind of right-wing terrorism. When I first heard of the incident I was very concerned that this was indeed the case - but it's becoming more and more apparent that Loughner is probably a schizophrenic. He's right at the age that schizophrenia typically first manifests itself.

I sincerely doubt what happened today has anything to do with Sarah Palin or the Tea Party at all.

In fact judging from condour75's post, it appears that Loughner may have targeted Rep. Giffords because her husband is an astronaut. There's also an image of one of the Mars Pathfinder rovers right on the front of her webpage.


The violent act wasn't the terrorism the right has been engaging in. All indications are that this is one lone nut.

The terrorism is the violent imagery, and the condoning of violent imagery within the community of the right. (Just read the comments on websites.)

It isn't first-order terrorism. It is second or third order. The violent imagery works its way through the community, becoming more and more acceptable. Nobody, or nearly nobody, writing or speaking the words actually condones violence. But it permeates. It becomes less horrifying. It gets into the minds of a few nutjobs, and shifts their muddled thought processes from aliens, government mind control, Jews and 9/11 as "the enemy" and shifts it toward politicians.

People like this are ticking time bombs. Nobody is responsible for their actions, because their actions are the result of their unhinged mental processes. But they ARE responsible for, perhaps unintentionally, choosing the target. The violent imagery becomes a lens that focuses the actions of the insane.

Maybe that kid was going to shoot someone that day, maybe it was inevitable; the end result of a broken mind finally regaining a perverse focus. Palin and those like her have the right to say what they do. But they bear the responsibility for choosing the victims.
posted by gjc at 6:29 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here is a more complete video of the sherrif's press conference than the one I saw upthread. From it:
Reporter: Had she been receiving threats recently?

Sherriff: Well, I'm not aware of any public officials that have not been receiving threats.
posted by Flunkie at 6:31 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps.

I'm not saying the shooting has anything to do with Palin, but usage of the concentric circles target symbol is pretty widespread. No one thinks that Target the store is about firing guns or arrows. Palin's usage of gun sights and "reload" is also metaphorical, although much more prevalent and less abstracted than a target symbol. Fundraisers that involve shooting guns and people bringing rifles to Obama protests are also symbolic actions, although especially the latter is also essentially an intimidation tactic that comes dangerously close to actual violence. The idea that both sides engage equally in violent metaphor is ridiculous.
posted by snofoam at 6:31 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


orville sash -- I suppose the difference between a bullseye and a gunsight is subtle, but if that's not enough for you, the language and the audience should help: The SarahPAC language is much more aggressive; and while the DLC pages are strategic, and not really targeted at the public, the SarahPAC images are clearly intended to move the base.

I decided to take a shot [sic] at backing up my gut feeling that bullseyes are less aggressive than gunsights, so I looked at Google image search results.

Bullseye and Target: images of targets, Target branding images, a few of human-shapted target sillhouettes, lots of images of the Bullseye Marvel Comics character. Very few images of people being targeted or of targeting -- the bullseye represents a target, not prey.

Gunsight and Crosshairs: More images of people or things being targeted -- i.e., making it clear that a gunsight is about prey. Also lots of images of gunsights, military hardware, etc.

So, no, I don't think the DLC shares in the blame for this.
posted by lodurr at 6:34 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Gifford's life

Barack Obama needs to call that young man to the Oval Office and hang the Presidential Medal of Freedom around his neck.
posted by EarBucket at 6:34 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Who are you worried about? Dr Evil? The US has only one federal law-making body.

Think of all the various parts of the government, and powerful non-government actors, that have the ability to fuck something up with no input from the legislature, e.g DHS, treasury, defense. Now think of all the issues with which Americans have an ambivalent relationship, e.g. environment, wikileaks, bank reform. Now take a powerful spotlight and shine it in a completely different direction for a long period of time.
posted by Ritchie at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2011


"...people bringing rifles to Obama protests are also symbolic actions"...

I'm not following this way of thinking about it... I view every damn gun I see as a threat, not as a symbol.
posted by HuronBob at 6:36 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps. Therefore, they, and by extension the entire Democratic party, must be responsible for this murder.

When a crazy gold-standard-and-guns-obsessed nutjob shoots one of those Republican congressmen, we can talk.
posted by EarBucket at 6:37 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


The fact is that America's decided the occasional massacre like this is a price worth paying for casual gun ownership. Until that decision changes, we'll continue to see three or four similar incidents a year at schoolyards, political meetings and workplaces throughout the country.

The problem with that is that gun ownership is not casual in this country. Crazy people aren't supposed to have guns. This guy slipped through the cracks of the admittedly weak system. There is no reason to believe that creating more restrictions to legal gun ownership would prevent illegal gun ownership and use.

(I call this case illegal gun ownership, because no matter how this guy got the weapon, he legally should not have been able to get it. Whether the law was broken by incompetence or by fraud, it was broken.)

We absolutely need to fill those cracks in enforcement. But that doesn't need to be at the expense of legal gun ownership.
posted by gjc at 6:38 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


crunchland: This game will continue until each and everyone claims their own personal responsibility for the gunman's actions.

You mean it will go on indefinitely?
posted by lodurr at 6:38 AM on January 9, 2011


Alex Massie, Spectator (UK):

In any case, Palin's poster was only a souped-up version of a campaign trope that both parties have been happy to employ in the past.

No. No, it's not. Look at the maps with your eyeballs and tell me that there is no difference between a map with a bulls-eye and a map with a bulls-eye and gun sights -- oh, no, I'm sorry! Fucking surveyors symbols! Coupled with a command not to retreat but RELOAD! And coupled again with campaign events from the wounded Congressmember's opponent in the last election advertising a chance to shoot off your aggression toward her with an M16!

I'm not even sure what "souped-up" means in this context -- the posters that you describe are not goddamn sports cars mounted on blocks waiting for their engines to be retooled. You heartless, soulless, gutless bastards are really grasping at straws at this point. There's no other way to put it.

The fact of the matter is that a country of 300 million people cannot help but be generously larded with oddballs, freaks, paranoids and assorted other nutters. Couple that with the American genius for self-realization and you soon begin to wonder why there isn't more politically-themed violence than is actually the case.

Oh, so the surprising part about all of this hell is that there aren't more of these shooters around indiscriminately killing people? You can bite me.
posted by blucevalo at 6:38 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Daniel Hernandez, the intern who may have saved Gifford's life
Barack Obama needs to call that young man to the Oval Office and hang the Presidential Medal of Freedom around his neck.
In that event, I would not be surprised if someone like Limbaugh or Colter were to attack it as "playing politics with tragedy".

To be clear, I'm not saying that should stop it from being done. I'm saying Limbaugh and Colter are vile individuals.
posted by Flunkie at 6:39 AM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


gjc: This guy slipped through the cracks of the admittedly weak system.

Look, I really don't think I'm picking nits here and I don't mean to pick on you in particular, but stuff like this keeps getting said a lot in this thread.

Here's the problem: He did not slip through the cracks. He walked right in through the front door, exactly as Arizona law allowed.

There were not gaps in the system. There was no failure of the system. It functioned exactly as designed.

If the state of AZ wants it to work differently, they need to change their law.
posted by lodurr at 6:42 AM on January 9, 2011 [26 favorites]


I'm not following this way of thinking about it... I view every damn gun I see as a threat, not as a symbol.

I'm just saying that bringing an unloaded rifle to an event with no intention of using it is, technically, a symbolic act. I agree that it is also a threat and the person carrying it is probably a total nut-job.
posted by snofoam at 6:43 AM on January 9, 2011


the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps. Therefore, they, and by extension the entire Democratic party, must be responsible for this murder.

Right, guys? Right?


*tumbleweed*
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 6:46 AM on January 9, 2011


Not to get pedantic, but it does matter here:

weaponry crosshair target ≠ bullseye target


When someone gets hit in the face with a dart or an arrow, we'll know who to blame, though.
posted by empath at 6:50 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


*tumbleweed*

That's some loud tumbleweed.
posted by lodurr at 6:51 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I'm just saying that bringing an unloaded rifle to an event with no intention of using it is, technically, a symbolic act.

Mainly it's an irresponsible act. First thing you're taught in gun safety is that you treat every gun as a loaded gun. Unless they brought one of those wooden rifles that drill teams use, anybody who did this is a profoundly bad gun owner.

And a vile little shit too, but that's by the by.
posted by Lentrohamsanin at 6:51 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


*tumbleweed*
Several people responded.
posted by Flunkie at 6:51 AM on January 9, 2011


Daughter of Dodgers scout killed in Tucson shooting
posted by xowie at 6:53 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


... anybody who did this is a profoundly bad gun owner.

I don't disagree with you -- the classic gun-self-defense advice "don't pull it unless you're ready to shoot, don't shoot unless you mean to kill" always made sense to me, and "don't carry unless you have reason to think you might need to shoot" is a pretty commonsense extension of that -- but these are people who seem to all appearances to have genuinely convinced themselves that they might need to shoot. At the President, maybe even. If he provokes them. Cuz he's a kenyan commie muslim fascist, or something.
posted by lodurr at 6:56 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Are we really having this argument?

A Democratic politican ran for office against a very severely conservative opponent who used aggressive discourse to describe his opponent. A woman who put up a map with targets on it and the slogan "Don't Retreat, Reload". Note that the map had a target on Gifford and she was explicitly listed.

A television show where a conservative person tells everyone who watches that there is an apocalypse coming, that the president himself is evil and bad, and by extension, those who work with him.

A television network that does the same. The Democrats are not just bad, the president is not just bad, but they are evil and treasonous.

And now the targeted politican has been shot by a mentally disturbed person.

A mentally disturbed person who espouses tenets of the Redemption Movement, arguably an extension of the extreme beckian/fox rhetoric.

Yes, he's imbalanced. But words have power, moreso with the imbalanced. We can argue until the cows come home about whether the Dailykos reader is the same thing. But he isn't. A single nut in a community is far different than a coherent political movement, supported by a television network.

We've allowed this environment to be created, and we're now paying the consequences.
posted by Lord_Pall at 7:04 AM on January 9, 2011 [31 favorites]


Looks like the reports that she was conscious and responsive were incorrect.
posted by EarBucket at 7:06 AM on January 9, 2011


New York Times: Bloodshed Puts New Focus on Vitriol in Politics -- "The shooting of Representative Gabrielle Giffords and others at a neighborhood meeting in Arizona on Saturday set off what is likely to be a wrenching debate over anger and violence in American politics."
posted by ericb at 7:08 AM on January 9, 2011


But they bear the responsibility for choosing the victims.

Absolutely, goddamn right.

I'll say it again: these people are cowards and we need to hold them accountable.
posted by jsavimbi at 7:12 AM on January 9, 2011


edgeways: So... if it is surveyor marks, why the hell did it/they get scrubbed so damn fast?

Where were they scubbed from? Do you have any details on what has been deleted?
posted by ericost at 7:14 AM on January 9, 2011


A photo of the "person of interest" that the police are looking for has been released.
posted by Flunkie at 7:14 AM on January 9, 2011


Few Assassins Fit The 'Profile.' Most Had No Mental Health Treatment, Made No Threats.
posted by ericb at 7:14 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


gjc (I call this case illegal gun ownership, because no matter how this guy got the weapon, he legally should not have been able to get it. Whether the law was broken by incompetence or by fraud, it was broken.)

That seems like an odd description of "illegal". Certainly, somebody who shoots a gun at innocent people shouldn't have a gun, but I don't know if there's any legal reason why this person in particular would not be allowed to buy or own a gun. Arizona is an open carry state which no longer considers it a misdemeanour to carry a concealed handgun, and an Arizona resident over 21 can buy a handgun with photo ID and an instant background check. Without a prior criminal record or an official state or federal hold notice, I can't see why the sale and ownership would have been illegal under Arizona law. Undesirable, certainly, but I don't think that makes your point.

In any case, this is shocking, and I only hope that Giffords and the other wounded are recovering.
posted by DNye at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2011


I'm also wondering if the shooting would have happened if the assasin had access to affordable healthcare.

Not affordable healthcare, but decent health care. (If he was living with his parents and trying to go to school, he probably had heath care.) As mentioned earlier, the deinstitutionalization laws (thanks, Reagan) have made it so that people like this cannot be committed for treatment involuntarily.

I feel sad that folks will now focus on increased security for our leaders, and we'll lose access to them, but they probably won't focus on improving treatment for schizophrenics.
posted by Melismata at 7:17 AM on January 9, 2011


Oh, come on guys! Palin's gun-sight symbols have already been convicted in this thread as being directly responsible for this event despite there being zero evidence of the shooter being a Palin follower or ever even having seen that graphic.

Bullseye symbols are not invitations to come over for a nice dinner. They may not be as direct or personal as a gun-sight, but they're absolutely used to indicate where a weapon is being aimed. Claiming that the bullseye is innocent because the weapon involved is only a dartgun or bow and arrow is just as reprehensible as it would be to claim that the gun-sights are innocent because they could just be for a BB Gun. The caption on one of those graphics says "BEHIND ENEMY LINES." How could that possibly be anything but a war metaphor? How is that not violent rhetoric?

My personal view: The gun-sight graphic is a commonly used symbol that wasn't meant to incite actual violence. There's no evidence whatsoever that it was involved in this case. Same goes for the bullseye. Both of them are part of the boneheaded knee-jerk us against them stance that is way too common in this country and I'd like to never see either one used again. But there is no way of knowing whether the current political atmosphere was in any way related to this guy's actions. He's obviously motivated by things that don't make a lot of sense from the outside.
posted by Dojie at 7:21 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Howard Fineman: 9/11, Oklahoma City, And Now: Lessons For Obama
"We don't yet know the extent to which the Tucson murders were about politics per se, though the alleged killer apparently did deliberately target a member of Congress. But violent national tragedies such as this one can profoundly affect the temper of the times--and the fate of the presidents who are in office when they happen."</blockquote"
posted by ericb at 7:21 AM on January 9, 2011


Let's calm down with the finger pointing. The shooter is in custody, the full force of the law will be used to investigate and recreate a narrative that explains this guy's actions. I certainly understand the urge to place blame but it's not helpful right now.

Almost everything we know about the shooter comes from pages he edited prior to the incident, among words written with clear intent to be Loughner's last. He seems to have had an accomplice and attempted to flee the scene, suggesting he never intended to kill himself. Drawing conclusions from the meager data we have will inevitably lead down the wrong path.

I don't believe instant communications and the persistent news cycle are inherently bad, but the speculation and rumor-mongering work counter to the goals of an investigation. Placing blame prior to the investigation is shameful.
posted by polyhedron at 7:23 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Daughter of Dodgers scout killed in Tucson shooting

Christina Taylor Green was the granddaughter of Dallas Green, who managed the Phillies 1980 championship team.
posted by fixedgear at 7:23 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


The gun-sight graphic is a commonly used symbol that wasn't meant to incite actual violence.

This kind of statement should be easily provable, if it's true. I haven't seen any evidence of that.
posted by empath at 7:26 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"A few days, or at the very least, a few hours – in an earlier era, people would have taken a breath before plunging into a remorseless debate about the political implications of an obscene act of violence."

Violence and politics merge in Arizona
posted by orville sash at 7:27 AM on January 9, 2011


This kind of statement should be easily provable, if it's true. I haven't seen any evidence of that.

What would you take as evidence?
posted by josher71 at 7:30 AM on January 9, 2011


In an earlier era, people would have taken a breath before publishing maps with their explicitly labelled opponents in gun sights, along with phraseology like "Reload" and "Help us prescribe the solution" and a call to help defeat the opponents by shooting a fully automatic M16.
posted by Flunkie at 7:31 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sorry, I mean "surveyor's sights".
posted by Flunkie at 7:33 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


What would you take as evidence?

Lots of examples of politicians putting their opponents uder gun-sights and telling their supporters to get guns, or talk of 'second amendment remedies'

If it's common, I'm sure you should be able to find plenty of examples.
posted by empath at 7:35 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Lord Pall, that Redemptionism is wild stuff -- it makes sense of a bunch of things I've been hearing about. E.g., it's probably the source of the "secret bank account" conspiracy theory (which is nowhere near as detailed or central in the forms I've heard). Also may be related to variations on the "number of the beast" that have the SSN as a satanic plot.
posted by lodurr at 7:37 AM on January 9, 2011


Violence and politics merge in Arizona

Interesting article, but it's opening thesis -- that we are somehow rushing into speculation and conclusion that an earlier generation would have shied away from -- is demonstrably untrue. Check out newspapers from September 1901, just after William McKinley was shot. I have. I looked at the Minnesota Daily, the college newspaper of the University of Minnesota, from the day after the shooting, and they had no problem contacting every local bigwig they could think of to give a statement, which were all denunciations of anarchism and calls for all anarchists to be arrested.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:39 AM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


"...Let's calm down..."

Wow, there's a whole lot of this kind of sentiment being voiced, here and elsewhere. Don't get me wrong, I'm not arguing against the use of common sense and reason, but I REALLY don't want to be "calm", I REALLY don't want to "wait", I REALLY don't want to "step back and see what happens".

We all need to NOT remain calm, we all need to NOT wait, any momentum felt as an aftermath of this has to be utilized, not allowed to wind down, diminish, and go away.
posted by HuronBob at 7:39 AM on January 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


Still waiting for some more information about the second person of interest being sought. Photo. The little information available says only that the two were seen together before the shooting. Nothing more than that. It may be a sketchy lead that doesn't pan out, a witness who spoke to the shooter or there may have been a culpable accomplice.

Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said in a news conference yesterday that "we're not convinced that [Loughner] acted alone. There is some reason to believe that he came to this location with some other individual."

Josh Marshall on Keith Olberman earlier. Video.

Olberman expresses surprise that Sheriff Dupnik spoke out so strongly on the issue of incitement to violence. That's an absurd demonstration of amnesia. We have this silly debate after every incident of right wing incited violence. And every time somebody pretends it never happened before. Dave Neiwert and others been making this point over and over again for over fifteen years.

Here's an example of the double-think the right is already using to duck the moral responsibility for their use of political violence. Let me be very clear about this. Violent rhetoric or imagery to target or intimidate opponents is the use of violence. Threats are violence. Standing up to the use of political violence and denouncing it is not infringing on free speech. It is the use of good speech to counter bad speech.

This violence will continue escalating until public opinion erects a moral barrier to political violence. Making excuses and trying to hand-wave it away is nearly the same thing as doing it in the first place. It's clearly offering support for the use of violence.

If you want to see how absurd the mendacity can get, ask any of these proponents of violence to clearly describe where the bright and clear line exists between "it's OK, I'm only being vivid" and unacceptable behavior. It rapidly becomes clear that they intend to use violence to silence or intimidate their targets and also that they see disagreement as an existential threat.

It's important to voice open opposition. The most dangerous elements of the right (and this includes the right wing infiltrators who have captured the libertarians) see all social relationships in terms of dominance. It's infantile, but it's very common. If they don't get their way, they are being tyrannized and oppressed.

Call them out on it and face them down. They see silence as evidence of their dominance. This is why they see disagreement as suppression of their right of free speech and an attempt to dominate them. When they say "freedom" they mean their freedom to dominate others. If they aren't dominating, they don't see themselves as free. Point it out. It's one of those self-evident truths where your opponent wins your argument for you.

So the solution is to stand up, call them out, be active as opinion leaders and clearly and calmly describe why violent political rhetoric is wrong, why it is unacceptable and why weaseling about it is no different than advocating it. Write a letter to the paper. Get out there in the world wide world, the big blue room with the really good resolution. Speak out at city and county council meetings. Get out in public.
posted by warbaby at 7:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [52 favorites]


I am the least respectful person on the fucking planet sometime. But some of the shit here pisses me off. You want a contribution? Fuck politics. People are dead. Fuck your politics. Fuck... your... politics. All of you self-centered bastards that think a shooting is a platform for your twisted ideals.
How's that for a contribution?
posted by Splunge at 11:04 PM on January 8


Pretty damn ugly. Maybe you could tone it down with the "fucks" and try to speak in the reasonable tone of voice you claim the rest of us are failing to sustain.

Self-centered bastards indeed. You're a fine one to talk.

No one seems to have gone for some very obvious points here: the shooter went after a *democratic* congressperson in a state where democrats have been thoroughly demonized and scapegoated by the media. He didn't walk up to a (far more abundant) republican gathering and start shooting. You can't make that basic fact go away, Splunge.

And the more obvious point still: the shooter went after a *female* congressperson, and most of the victims were women and a child, once again, as all too damn usual with these things.

There's a deeper politics of hate than left/right at work. Dollars to donuts this guy also turns out to be a raving misogynist, another "political" dimension of the violent rhetoric in this country, for which having a female figurehead in Sarah Palin is a pretty small fig leaf. Their core beliefs center primarily on a fear of either brown people or women having any power in this world as a class.

What many of us are saying, I think, is that *it doesn't matter* what the specific thinking of this specific shooter might have been. The climate in which this particular action occurred to him as a good idea has been the subject of concern and warning for several years. If there is absolutely no reason to connect the killings to politics, then it's just too bad for the far right, isn't it, that they got so unlucky that a madman just *accidentally happened* to shoot up a gathering held by a decent, honorable representative who just *accidentally happened* to be a female democrat in a state gone mad with right-wing hate rhetoric directed against people like her (and her supporters and friends). In other words, even if this is collateral damage, we know who started the war.

So, Splunge, fuck *your* politics too.
posted by spitbull at 7:42 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


In an earlier era people took justice into their own hands long before a map could be published. Let's not lose sight of the progress our society has made. I believe we live in an era of historic levels of violent crime -- historic lows.

Just chill with the hyperbole and pointing of fingers. Obviously whether or not violent imagery should be used in political messages is a debate that we must have but that can be accomplished without making a direct connection to this event.

Channeling our emotion into positive, constructive efforts is a great idea that would be awesome to witness. Using it to create a frenzied and hysterical anti-palin mob is frankly a little demeaning.
posted by polyhedron at 7:42 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Its the person of interest we need to be focusing on--obviously older.

I swear I saw his face in one of those videos, salt and pepper long hair, older. Did anyone watch all the videos? i
posted by Ironmouth at 7:42 AM on January 9, 2011


Conflation of gunsights will bullseye-style targets, especially given the two examples given -- even ignoring most of the context -- strikes me as massive rationalization. Just look at the imagery associated with bullseyes/targets versus crosshairs/gunsights.

Really I think you'll have better luck with the "surveyor's mark" and "blame the graphic artist" theories.
posted by lodurr at 7:43 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I hope everyone's read BitterOldPunk's comment in Metatalk about his conservative friend reacting to the shootings.

"It's just awful. And it's going to become a political football. And I think the Left has a point. We have gone off the deep end. Today brought it home, whether or not the shooter is a Tea Partier or not, conservatives created this atmosphere. It's poisonous. It's un-Christian. I'm thinking really hard about how to reconcile my faith with some of the positions my political party is taking. And I don't know that it's possible. I feel like I've been suckered in by con artists," he said.

My hat's off to BitterOldPunk in the way he reacted to this; these statements need to be taken in quietly and with gratitude, not shouted down with "fuckin' told you so!" I'm as angry as the next person about the violence, but the way to reach people who are NOT the choir is to spread this kind of word amongst themselves. I'm not saying that's the reaction that's happening here, I'm just mentioning it in case people come into contact with those who are like his friend, who can turn around in their way of thinking and be part of the solution.
posted by Wuggie Norple at 7:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [22 favorites]


Also,

Equating the German language with authoritarianism is inaccurate, ethnically prejudiced, and only helps expand the appeal of organizations like the NPD/PNOS. Before it was hijacked by National Socialism, it was a language of poets and philosophers. It could be seen as such once again, but comments like this do not help.
posted by edguardo


It's a bit of special pleading to claim National Socialism "hijacked" either the German language, or German culture, which had a long history of a taste for the authoritarian even back when those poets and philosophers you praise were writing. The romantic nationalism of those poets and philosophers was the red meat of Nazi ideology.

And it's a standard cinematic reference to use "bitte" as shorthand for an officious Nazi asking for papers. I got it, and didn't think it was meant to indict all modern Germans or the German language.
posted by spitbull at 7:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


empath: "...They are always there. They have always been there. They will always be there. It's not the GOPs fault or the Democrats fault that they exist. The Democrats have been guilty of activating them in the past for political ends -- all the way up till the civil rights era.

The Republicans have been going to that well since the 60s, though, and they have been becoming less and less subtle about it, and with the nomination of Sarah Palin and with putting Glenn Beck on Fox News, they let the crazies into the tent and they are starting to lose control...
"

Pro-tip, right around the time the "civil rights" era started is... the 60s. And right around that time, the southern strategy started and all those Ds turned to Rs.

The name of the party is irrelevant... It's only relevant in the sense that it's the same people who changed a letter after their name.

One could say they (D)ivorced and (R)emarried.
posted by symbioid at 7:48 AM on January 9, 2011


Ironmouth: if you mean the YouTube vids, I watched 4 videos. two were all text, one was text plus a diagram, the 4th had a single masked and costumed figure doing dangerous shit with fire (burning nylon very close to extremely dry brush while wearing a garbage bag).

As for the "person of interest", we need to find out who he is. I'm still betting it's more likely he thought he was a friend of Jared Loughner's and was just giving him a ride.
posted by lodurr at 7:49 AM on January 9, 2011


Re: Freedom of Speech. Hey Teabaggers - No-one is "infringing your right to speech" (despite what Sara Palin thinks infringement is).

But just because you CAN, doesn't mean you SHOULD.
posted by symbioid at 7:52 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Fox News is reporting that he had links to a white supremacist group.
posted by empath at 7:53 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fox News is reporting that he had links to a white supremacist group.

That's rich. For about the last 45 years, the Republican Party has BEEN a white supremacist group, and Fox is its mouthpiece.
posted by spitbull at 8:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


And I so didn't want to go there, but the Fox News links suggests the awful possibility that Rep. Giffords was targeted because she was Jewish.
posted by spitbull at 8:03 AM on January 9, 2011


Fox News is reporting that he had links to a white supremacist group.

No one could have anticipated!
posted by EarBucket at 8:05 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"And I so didn't want to go there, but the Fox News links suggests the awful possibility that Rep. Giffords was targeted because she was Jewish."

<republican talking point>It could so easily have been Eric Cantor. The GOP are truly the other victim here.</republican talking point>
posted by PenDevil at 8:08 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Just chill with the hyperbole and pointing of fingers.

Channeling our emotion into positive, constructive efforts is a great idea that would be awesome to witness. Using it to create a frenzied and hysterical anti-palin mob is frankly a little demeaning.


What is that last statement, if not hyperbole?
posted by oneirodynia at 8:15 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Saw this comment elsewhere, but it was too rich not to share:

"Arizona is America's Pakistan."

Also seeing various versions of "How's that reality showy-thingy working out for you, Governor Palin?"

But I am also disgusted watching the false equivalence defense unfold on the major news media outlets already, versions of "both sides need to tone down the rhetoric" and "there are extremists on the left and right."

Yeah, there are a few mountain lions left in North America too, but that doesn't mean we need to adjust our efforts to control rabid dogs.
posted by spitbull at 8:16 AM on January 9, 2011


Regardless of whether or not Loughner was motivated by right-wing politics, he will surely be held up as a hero and martyr by some, which concerns me in and of itself.
posted by desjardins at 8:20 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Sorry oneirodynia, I was thinking of reddit, which I make the unfortunate habit of reading periodically. They're the mob I was referring to, honestly. Metafilter is a lot less frothy, and yes Palin has needed to tone down her rhetoric for a long time, but connecting her to this without some definite confirmation so immediately seems disrespectful and reactionary. Maybe a little hysterical.
posted by polyhedron at 8:22 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Video: Suspect -- 'You could call me a terrorist'.
posted by ericb at 8:27 AM on January 9, 2011


We all need to NOT remain calm, we all need to NOT wait, any momentum felt as an aftermath of this has to be utilized, not allowed to wind down, diminish, and go away.

It's "momentum" like this that got us two unwinnable wars and the PATRIOT act.
posted by mikesch at 8:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Obviously whether or not violent imagery should be used in political messages is a debate that we must have but that can be accomplished without making a direct connection to this event."

This is problematic on a couple of levels. Do we really need "debate" about using that type of imagery. In the world I imagine, there's no need for "debate", it's wrong, plain and simple. And, again, wanting to remove this discussion (if it were necessary) away from this "event" (I could go on for a long time about using the word "event" instead of murder or assassination or mass murder, or a lot of other descriptors) is a derail of the problem.
posted by HuronBob at 8:29 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


the Democratic Leadership Council have also used target maps. Therefore, they, and by extension the entire Democratic party, must be responsible for this murder

Except that the DLC is not in any way a part of the Democratic Party. Now, you could have pointed to the DCCC map and made the same point with a teeny bit more accuracy, but I think it's worth noting that you don't know what you're talking about.
posted by naoko at 8:30 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


It's "momentum" like this that got us two unwinnable wars and the PATRIOT act.

You're right. Using heat-of-the-moment public opinion to achieve policy goals is way too effective, and the Democrats should leave that kind of thing to the Republicans.
posted by EarBucket at 8:32 AM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


Photo Of Possible Second Suspect Released
"The Pima County Sheriff's Department has released a photograph of a man they believe may be associated with Jared Lee Loughner: 'He is described as a Caucasian male, approximately 40-50 years old, dark hair and was last seen wearing blue jeans and a dark blue jacket.'"
posted by ericb at 8:35 AM on January 9, 2011


"It's "momentum" like this that got us two unwinnable wars and the PATRIOT act."

And ended the war in Viet Nam, probably had something to do with all that uproar back in 1773, yeah, you're right, we should all just calm down, eh?
posted by HuronBob at 8:35 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Except that the DLC is not in any way a part of the Democratic Party. Now, you could have pointed to the DCCC map and made the same point with a teeny bit more accuracy, but I think it's worth noting that you don't know what you're talking about.

Explain to me, exactly, how Sarah Palin's political action committee is part of the Republican party.

I feel like I've kind of gotten away from the point I was trying to make and am instead just making pot shots, so I'm going to take a walk. I'd just like to say that

1. There is a reprehensible tactic on the right of using coded violent rhetoric. It's disgusting and inexcusable and it cheapens public discourse.

2. A seriously mentally ill person killed several people and caused immeasurable pain for the families of the victims.

How these two, distinct truths are in any way related remains to be seen.

I really like you, my fellow mefites. Have a good day.
posted by orville sash at 8:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


The gun-sight graphic is a commonly used symbol that wasn't meant to incite actual violence.

Not to a paranoid delusional who resists the urges to kill the highest-standing politician in their sights. To such a person, seeing or hearing about a poster with crosshairs and political targets is like getting real support to the imaginary prompts in their head. They would then consider it their duty and have far less resistance to those urgings. Since the paranoid pro-gun base is primed to respond to gun rhetoric and a call to arms, it should be rightly be considered a standing political threat to use such imagery.

Rep. Giffords seemed to think so.
posted by Brian B. at 8:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


The mother of the nine year old was just on the phone with msnbc. I don't know how she was able form a coherent thought much less talk about her daughter at a time like this.
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:43 AM on January 9, 2011


(That's not meant to sound like a criticism; I just don't think I would be functioning at all.)
posted by The Hamms Bear at 8:46 AM on January 9, 2011


I'm just saying that bringing an unloaded rifle to an event with no intention of using it is, technically, a symbolic act. I agree that it is also a threat and the person carrying it is probably a total nut-job.

I'm not sure it is technically a symbolic act though. Or at least, symbolic in the "no harm intended or implied" way of thinking. The observer really can't discern whether the gun is unloaded or not. Certainly not a casual observer who doesn't know how to see if a clip is loaded or not, or if the safety is off.

Carrying a poster of a picture of a gun might be symbolic. Carrying an actual gun, especially a weapon meant for offense, is beyond symbolism and gets into action. The picture says "watch out, someone might shoot you". The gun, in person, says "I can shoot you right now".

The archetypical western cowboy type, driving up in a giant Lincoln with steer horns on the front, giant hat and white suit with piping on the edges, carrying a silver-plated, pearl handled 6-shooter at his hip, may well be seen as symbolic. This is a person who believes in individual liberty, and you oughtn't mess with his personal safety because he will fight back. A handgun at least has a benefit of the doubt that it is defensive.

Take away that cute 6-shooter and make it rifle, and it starts to get tricky. Were he stepping out of the car into an area where wildcats threatened the chickens, again, an observer would see someone minding his own business, not as a threat to the observer.

Now the same guy with the same rifle at a political event. Hairs begin to raise on the back of some necks. The message can only be "I came here prepared to shoot quite accurately at something." Make the guy's appearance any more threatening, or the gun any more offensive, and it just gets worse.

It goes beyond symbolic if the act is actually possible. A gallows with an effigy is symbolic. A gallows with an empty noose is a threat.
posted by gjc at 8:47 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


It'd be nice to focus on the problem, I agree. I think the discussion on violent rhetoric is inevitable but when we can't tell whether this guy is nutso or a scheming radical it's a distraction to speculate about whether or not Palin's imagery led to the shooting. On preview, orville has made my point much more clearly.

There's a lot to develop in this story. Over the last 24 hours I've heard many different things about Gifford's state of existence and witnessed a lot of speculation. We all want an easy solution to this problem, a clear party to blame. I don't think there is one yet, other than Loughner himself. All I'm advocating is a reliance on confirmed facts and less speculation. I don't think it helps to hunt for scapegoats when we have the primary suspect in custody.
posted by polyhedron at 8:49 AM on January 9, 2011


You're right. Using heat-of-the-moment public opinion to achieve policy goals is way too effective, and the Democrats should leave that kind of thing to the Republicans.

What are the policy goals that should be implemented using this public opinion?
posted by josher71 at 8:50 AM on January 9, 2011


To pretend that violent (and specifically gun-centered) rhetoric was not the *heart and soul* of the emergence of the tea party wackos as a force in American politics is to hide your head so deeply in the sand that your gonads are covered up as well.

People brought guns to several town hall meetings, displayed them publicly (in Arizona!) outside of candidate Obama's rallies, held up signs saying "this time we came unarmed," and snapped up ammo so much that there was a national shortage in response to fears of an Obama administration crackdown on guns promulgated by the NRA and a hundred more radical gun groups. And on and on.

I can think of no equivalent use of guns and gun imagery to intimidate the political opposition coming from the left since the days of the Weather Underground and the Black Panthers. (And the 3 guys in the New Black Panthers don't count, they are part of the "false equivalency" rhetoric.)

The roots of this are not just in the Tea Party madness, however. They go back to the Clinton years, and before that to the violent backlash against the Civil Rights Movement. The gun has been promoted as a "2d amendment remedy" to the ballot box repeatedly in right wing discourse in the last 50 years, and that emotional investment ginned up around "gun rights" has been the cement in the right wing fortress for nearly as long, the one political promise they have truly delivered on for their constituents (while losing ground on things like abortion, for the most part). It's gotten to the point that the democrats had to give up on fighting the gun lobby for even the most sensible restrictions in order to have a chance of governing the rest of our economy, military, foreign policy, environmental policy, etc. etc. We have all been literally held hostage by the NRA not because so many Americans feel strongly that their guns are important symbols of their freedom, but because violence is like sex: it sells by pushing primal buttons in the deep places where people fear, hate, lust, and covet.
posted by spitbull at 8:50 AM on January 9, 2011 [33 favorites]


It's often remarked that republicans have an...ability to work in lockstep

Yep, which often leads to the evil of groupthink.

given the context, that is achingly hilarious.


Laugh on but I think there is a difference between groupthink and crowd wisdom. Although MetaFilter probably tends to be more left-leaning than not, and AskMefi threads often seem to default to the DTMFA position rather quickly, there's not really a lockstep mindset present here.
posted by fuse theorem at 8:51 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


chiababe: "Ignorant and unclassy as fuck, as usual, from our friend Sarah Palin:

"So sad shooting in AZ, but I still stand by 1st amendment right of to own a gun! #P2 #TPOT #TCOT #TLOT #dems #liberals #GOP #bleedinghearts"
"

I don't twitter, so I can't check...is that a typo on your part, or did she really say "1st amendment"?
posted by notsnot at 8:52 AM on January 9, 2011


notsnot thats a fake account
posted by wheelieman at 8:53 AM on January 9, 2011


That's a fake account. "SarahPainUSA" not "SarahPalinUSA."
posted by ocherdraco at 8:54 AM on January 9, 2011


Maybe instead of trying to use this tragedy to score political points one should instead analyze it from the perspective of war's effects on a culture. For almost 10 years now we have been waging war in the middle east and central asia killing innocents without remorse. This is bound to have some effect on the culture here at home. The fact that our own government justifies the killing of innocents as collateral damage is a good example of a culture of death. We as a whole nation(right and left) have created this culture of death. Either way this tragedy here at home is minuscule compared to the tragedies currently unfolding in Iraq, Afghanistan, and elsewhere for which we are directly responsible.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 8:57 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Palin has needed to tone down her rhetoric for a long time, but connecting her to this without some definite confirmation so immediately seems disrespectful and reactionary. Maybe a little hysterical.

The connection needs no confirmation. Her connection to this event is the fact that her political rhetoric contains violent imagery.

She, along with many, many others, contributed to a political atmosphere where the concept of violence was used for political gain.

To borrow an analogy from above- she wasn't the match that started the fire, and maybe she wasn't even one of the people who poured gasoline on the house and walked away. But she sure as hell brought some gasoline to the party, where there was no other reason for it to be there.

It is a moral or ethical equivalent of felony murder- being a part of something that leads to something bad makes you just as culpable.
posted by gjc at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I thought of one possible example of political violence "from the left" (which is as silly as calling the New World Order stuff "from the right," in a certain sense, since they both come from a deeply paranoid place in the American psyche), which is animal liberation extremism.

Presumably, Republicans who decry the linkage of crazy killers to their political rhetoric will now stop equating all animal rights activism with the actions of a few extremists who do things like burn down labs. Rush Limbaugh will immediately cease referring to PETA as a terrorist organization if we stop suggesting that putting gun sight imagery over your opponents on a map (a common tactic in the posters put up by underground doctor-killing groups on the anti-abortion fringe, by the way, along with "Wanted" poster designs) might invite a crazy person to consider shooting said opponent.

I am really looking forward to hearing how crazy Rush Limbaugh can make this debate. You know he's working on it all day today, and will come up with some way this can be blamed on Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis.
posted by spitbull at 9:02 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


AElfwine, I might be crazy, but it sure does look like you're more than happy to use this tragedy to score a couple of political points of your own there, hoss.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:04 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I assembled a quick list of some things that have occured in the past 2.5 years related to guns and politics. I call it The Peaceful Conservative Movement:

www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/11/chris-matthews-to-town-ha_n_256952.html

On Tuesday's Hardball with Chris Matthews, Matthews' guest was William Kostric, the man who brought a gun earlier in the day to protest President Obama's health care town hall meeting in Portsmouth, New Hampshire.
Kostric was wearing a (legal) handgun strapped to his leg and holding a sign referencing this Jefferson quote: "The tree of liberty must be refreshed from time to time, with the blood of patriots and tyrants."



http://www.seacoastonline.com/articles/20090811-NEWS-908119961

Police said a man arrested at the scene of President Barack Obama's visit to the city Tuesday was found to be in possession of an unlicensed loaded gun.
Richard Terry Young, 62, of 821 Ocean Blvd. in Hampton, was arrested around 9:40 a.m., hours before Obama's arrival, and charged with the misdemeanor crimes of criminal trespass and carrying a loaded pistol without a license.
Young was found inside Portsmouth High School, where Obama later in the day held his town hall-style forum. Young was detained by the Secret Service and subsequently arrested by Portsmouth Lt. Corey MacDonald. Young was carrying a pocket knife, police said. A subsequent search of his vehicle, parked on school property, revealed a loaded hand gun, police said.


http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2009/08/18/right-wing-radio-host-sta_n_262559.html

The man with the semi-automatic (referred to in interviews as "Chris," no last name) was spotted at the protest by CNN news cameras, in the middle of a Q&A. Today, his interviewer -- Ernest Hancock of conservative talk radio show Declare Your Independence With Ernest Hancock -- went on CNN and explained to host Rick Sanchez that he and Chris were actually in the middle of a radio broadcast. Hancock, also packing heat at the rally, had invited Chris to come down the protest with his rifle to be interviewed. The two men had known each other for two years, through their work for presidential hopeful Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas).

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Barack_Obama_assassination_scare_in_Denver

The alleged motive for the attempted assassination was a white supremacist belief that an African American should not be elected President of the United States. Gartrell was arrested August 24, 2008, and found to be in possession of rifles and other weaponry; Adolf and Johnson were arrested shortly thereafter. In a televised interview after his arrest, Johnson identified Adolf as the man who allegedly hatched the assassination plot and planned to be the shooter.
Although suspected white supremacist associations led federal authorities to investigate possible ties to a larger group, authorities later downplayed the trio as drug addicts who had little chance of actually carrying out the plot. The three men were charged with drug and weapons charges, but did not face federal charges of threatening a presidential candidate.


And let's not forget the signs:
http://www.theatlantic.com/politics/archive/2010/09/signs-of-the-times-slogans-and-images-from-the-tea-party-rally/62885/

In my own hometown this past summer people demanding the right to carry guns at a local family-oriented festival showed up armed at a city council meeting. What they saw as protesting I saw as chilling intimidation.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:04 AM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


You know he's working on it all day today, and will come up with some way this can be blamed on Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis.

"it's her fault for taking away dessert - it's a well known fact that people who have low blood sugar can snap just like that"
posted by pyramid termite at 9:06 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


AElfwine, I might be crazy, but it sure does look like you're more than happy to use this tragedy to score a couple of political points of your own there, hoss.

Considering I am not affiliated with any political party I doubt it. Unless of course there is an antiwar party in this country of which I am unaware.
posted by AElfwine Evenstar at 9:07 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


You know he's working on it all day today, and will come up with some way this can be blamed on Michelle Obama's undergraduate thesis.

You can just read the unhinged blatherings on Michelle Malkin's website for a preview.
posted by empath at 9:09 AM on January 9, 2011


Why even give that woman the traffic, empath? I mean, come on. You just play into her hand.
posted by crunchland at 9:16 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Ironmouth: if you mean the YouTube vids, I watched 4 videos. two were all text, one was text plus a diagram, the 4th had a single masked and costumed figure doing dangerous shit with fire (burning nylon very close to extremely dry brush while wearing a garbage bag).

As for the "person of interest", we need to find out who he is. I'm still betting it's more likely he thought he was a friend of Jared Loughner's and was just giving him a ride.


There was one video with a picture of a face--that guy's face. I think there were five vids. I would not be surprised if the police asked for the other one to be pulled while they checked out the people on the videos.
posted by Ironmouth at 9:17 AM on January 9, 2011


No way am I letting Michelle Malkin's commenters into my consciousness. I don't have time for a long enough shower.
posted by spitbull at 9:18 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


David Neiwert: Yes, Jared Loughner was 'crazy'. That doesn't exculpate the milieu that unhinged him
posted by homunculus at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


See guys, it was surveyor's symbols.

Oh, okay. Now I understand why hardline conservatives are always showing up to Democrats' speeches in hardhats with a reflective orange safety vest and a clipboard.
posted by ricochet biscuit at 9:22 AM on January 9, 2011 [57 favorites]


NorthernLite : I call it The Peaceful Conservative Movement

Riiight... Hmm, let me think, what other organization have people sarcastically referred to as a "religion of peace" on the blue, recently? Hmm, strange, I can't find it, it seems most of those comments have mysteriously vanished. Funny, that.

Also... Only half your links actually involve crimes (and one of those a mere technical violation at best). If you can't freely exercise a right, you don't have that right.
posted by pla at 9:24 AM on January 9, 2011


I'm still looking for what Palin might have scrubbed. For those following along, the NY times reports that the image with the crosshairs" is no longer on the Web site [of Palin's PAC, http://www.sarahpac.com/]" and also notes: "Late Saturday, the map was still on Ms. Palin’s Facebook page."

Does anybody have any idea when the image was removed from sarahpac.com? Was it after the shooting or before? Google's cache has her statement on the "Tragedy in Arizona" which means it was cached since the incident, so it doesn't help establish timeline.
posted by ericost at 9:27 AM on January 9, 2011


Considering I am not affiliated with any political party I doubt it.

You don't actually need to be part of a party to score political points.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Look: saying this tragedy has its roots in the many [POLITICALLY-MOTIVATED] wars we have been and are currently involved in is no different, rhetorically speaking, from tracing it back to the violently-themed talk of Palin/Beck/et al. The fact that you don't personally have a formal political affiliation is immaterial. You're still using the shooting to advance your own political opinion. Which is fine, it's what pretty much everyone is doing right now; but I'm recommending that you don't criticize people for doing *exactly* what you yourself are doing, just because your opinions of why this happened don't align.
posted by shiu mai baby at 9:29 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is getting out of hand.

I just came back from getting a morning coffee for Mrs. Zooropa. The place was packed like on a typical Sunday morning, including what looked like a family, all nicely dressed from having stopped in after church. As I was leaving, I overheard a man say to his wife: "Well, if that Congresslady dies, it's God's will."

I normally don't get involved with other people's conversations. Really I don't. Especially when they are of a religious nature. Everyone is entitled to their own religious beliefs, after all. But I couldn't help myself. "Excuse me, I asked?"

The man repeated himself. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and said so. Then he said something even more incredulous: "That Congresslady got what she deserved. That's what in store for all liberals."

THAT did it.

After reading all the reactionary rhetoric on various blogs and forums this morning, I let him have it. I told him I was a liberal and asked if that meant I was "in store" to get shot, too. I told him that a 9-year old girl and a Republican judge got killed, too. Was that God's will for them, too? Were they liberals who deserved to get killed?

Thankfully, I wasn't the only person letting this jackass make comments like that. A few other people overheard what was going on, and immediately tried to show how inflammatory his comments were. Another woman joined me, and appealed to the guy's wife by saying: "A 9-year old girl was shot, too. Imagine if it was your daughter!" The wife didn't say anything and then quietly said, "Well, she was in the wrong place at the wrong time. We'll pray for her."

After a few minutes (it felt like an hour), I left. Has it really come to this? "God's will?" "That's what in store for liberals."???
posted by zooropa at 9:30 AM on January 9, 2011 [132 favorites]


Surveyor symbol: used to indicate locations on maps.
posted by mazola at 9:32 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


empath's link to the Fox Snews report of possible link to a white supremacist group is questionable:

1) They cite a DHS memo without backup. The memo is not shown. No confirmation by anybody that the memo is real or even exists.

2) DHS is notoriously inept at intelligence.

3) The "anti-ZOG" characterization of Jared Taylor's American Renaissance is bogus. ADL is pretty clear AR is not anti-Semitic.

4) It is Fox, for chrissake. They are notorious fabricators, fantasists and dupes.

Nice catch by empath, btw. Reading Fox is really taking one for the team. But this report is all sorts of wrong.
posted by warbaby at 9:33 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


After a few minutes (it felt like an hour), I left. Has it really come to this? "God's will?" "That's what in store for liberals."???

I have to be honest. I'm going to go back and visit my family in the next couple of days because of a funeral, and I am just going to flat out refuse to talk politics with anyone for fear that I'm not going to be able to control myself from saying something hurtful.
posted by empath at 9:35 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


zooropa, that's terrifying.
posted by tjenks at 9:35 AM on January 9, 2011


I think it's worth acknowledging that Gabrielle Giffords is the only member of Congress with an active-duty spouse in the military. This is a family for whom service to others and duty to flag and country are living, breathing values.
posted by thinkpiece at 9:39 AM on January 9, 2011 [24 favorites]


Well, if that Congresslady dies, it's God's will."

See above.
posted by empath at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


now I'm trying to figure out: how does a guy this unbalanced get hold of an automatic weapon and ammo?

You exchange your worthless Federal Reserve Notes for the precious metals of the gun, lead and brass?

(Bonus points if you can name the Presidential candidate who speaks just like that)
posted by rough ashlar at 9:40 AM on January 9, 2011


(Bonus points if you can name the Presidential candidate who speaks just like that)

Teve Torbes?
posted by (Arsenio) Hall and (Warren) Oates at 9:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Only half your links actually involve crimes (and one of those a mere technical violation at best). If you can't freely exercise a right, you don't have that right.

Where did I refer to them as crimes? Yes, in most(?) parts of this country people have the right by law to not only purchase as many weapons as they want but to bring them to all sorts of public places, including summer festivals in quiet suburban towns, college campuses, malls and politicial activities.

Some of us have always been astonished we live in a country with that mentality, that it is good to have that many guns as freely available, and that even carrying a gun in those situations is merely "asserting your right."

The inability for me to understand the other POV or for those with the other POV to understand/ acknowledge my concerns is only one example of the great divide in this country.
posted by NorthernLite at 9:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


This is a tragedy.

From over the pond here, knowing that there are about 30,000 gun deaths in the USA each year, I'm pretty surprised that Leo Ryan remains the only congress-person to have been killed in the line of duty. Hopefully he will remain the only one for some time.

Its significant that this thread hit 1,000 comments so quickly. As Mark Mardell, the BBCs North American editor puts it: "It is an indication of the febrile, volatile nature of politics in America that, immediately the news broke, the internet was alive with anger, a dispute between the left and the right.". But then, dialogue is important, even if it seems pointless at the time. I believe people do shift their opinions as a result of dialogue, but they tend to do it some time after the dialogue has finished.
posted by memebake at 9:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


"After a few minutes (it felt like an hour), I left. Has it really come to this? "God's will?" "That's what in store for liberals."???" There are still millions of reasonable people left, as demonstrated by those around you in the coffee shop. But propaganda works. It works well. Especially the type that lets the viewer or reader draw their own conclusions from the apparently neutral information that preceded it. That's what it has come to.
posted by rocco at 9:46 AM on January 9, 2011


Also... Only half your links actually involve crimes (and one of those a mere technical violation at best). If you can't freely exercise a right, you don't have that right.
posted by pla

I find this a disingenuous response to the list NorthernLite posted, which really was just the tip of the iceberg.

With freedom comes responsibility. And we do, and should, distinguish between free expression and the use of expression to incite violence or intimidate classes of people with implied threats of violence, dammit. Just because things aren't prosecuted as crimes doesn't mean they aren't crimes. But whether they are or not, the use of guns, gun imagery, and gun rhetoric to stir up political rage is patently irresponsible in a democracy like we're supposed to be, and if doing so results in prejudicial political violence actually happening, as has happened over and over again in a long series of actual political assassinations and attempted assassinations in recent years, of which this is just the most prominent, then it becomes a crime. It is incitement.

You have a right to carry a gun to a political rally. You have an obligation not to intimidate people with it.
posted by spitbull at 9:46 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Even if you have a right to carry a gun to a political rally, I mean . . .

That's not a right I'm willing to concede is essential to anyone's freedom.
posted by spitbull at 9:50 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


(Bonus points if you can name the Presidential candidate who speaks just like that)

Uh, that guy's a Republican, so we're not going to mention it.
posted by Pope Guilty at 10:00 AM on January 9, 2011


Not to get pedantic, but it does matter here:
weaponry crosshair target ≠ bullseye target
Two very different games. Not to mention cognitive frames.


So are Wal-Mart and KMart employees supposed to actually go over to Target when managers talk about 'shooting down high prices'?
posted by rough ashlar at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Oh, for heaven's sake. They're obviously printer alignment marks for a four-color print process. The practice of putting them outside the bleed area is just a convention, and clearly the layout person just didn't want to take any chances that the key areas of the map would be misaligned. You people are so paranoid.
posted by George_Spiggott at 10:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


Good on you for calling that shit out zooropa.
posted by marxchivist at 10:02 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Does this mean that people will not tolerate their upstanding fellow Americans bringing machine guns to political rallies, or will that still be a cute thing to do? Follow up question. Has the NRA released a comment? They have:

"Our thoughts and prayers are with the victims of this senseless tragedy, including Representative Gabrielle Giffords, and their families during this difficult time. We join the rest of the country in praying for the quick recovery of those injured."
posted by Philemon at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2011


ericost: I'm still looking for what Palin might have scrubbed.

takebackthe20.com pointed at that SarahPAC crosshair image and associated stuff. It was first redirected to SarahPAC's website and then taken down entirely at about 4pm yesterday.
posted by Skorgu at 10:07 AM on January 9, 2011


zooropa's got it. don't be silent. if you hear this shit call it out and point it out to others. Its not censorship to say--don't vote for any person who uses this kind of talk.
posted by Ironmouth at 10:08 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Rebecca Mansour, Palin's right-hand aide, said in an interview with Tammy Bruce (herself a "chick with a gun and a microphone"), "I don't understand how anyone can be held responsible for someone who is completely mentally unstable like this. Where I come from the person who is actually shooting is culpable. We had nothing whatsoever to do with this. People who knew him said that he is left wing and very liberal. But that is not to say that I am blaming the left for him either."

Oh, of course not! But you'll go ahead and do it anyway!
posted by blucevalo at 10:13 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


The man repeated himself. I couldn't believe what I was hearing, and said so. Then he said something even more incredulous: "That Congresslady got what she deserved. That's what in store for all liberals."


That's what is most troubling about this outrage. It could be that the young man in custody murdered these people for reasons unrelated to Teaparty politics, but the fact that there are "normal" "average" Americans that are nodding in agreement with his actions, that is frightening. I'd like to say I don't believe it but the sad fact is I know people that would say things like this.

Truth is that no one would be brave enough to talk about their dark hearted hateful ideas in the light of day if not for the Palins, Limbaughs, and Becks of the world. No one can challenge that fact, no one can say this kind of man on the street perspective would have been possible 10 years ago.
posted by nola at 10:17 AM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


What are the policy goals that should be implemented using this public opinion?

A good start would be to shame Republicans into no longer saying, implicitly or explicitly, that Democrats should be murdered.

So are Wal-Mart and KMart employees supposed to actually go over to Target when managers talk about 'shooting down high prices'?

If a Wal-Mart manager gave a speech about shooting down prices, and accompanied it with a map that had crosshairs over the locations of all the Target stores in town, and brandished an M16 while he did it, and one of his employees subsequently shot eighteen people at a local Target, killing several of them, then I think it'd be worth asking whether there was a correlation, yes.
posted by EarBucket at 10:20 AM on January 9, 2011 [10 favorites]


Oh my God. Zooropa's story.

That's what it's come to. People thinking that other people deserve to die because of their beliefs.

Land of the free. Fuck. I was about to send in my citizenship application this month (I've been eligible to apply for citizenship for years, but have stuck with my green card.)

I think I am going to hold off on that. Fuck. Land of the free. Our wonderful free country. "this is the greatest country in the world because of our freedoms." Freedom. Right.

I am seriously in shock.
posted by gaspode at 10:21 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I was about to send in my citizenship application this month

Oh, god, please don't let this stop you. We need sane citizens and voters more than ever now.
posted by EarBucket at 10:23 AM on January 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


A good start would be to shame Republicans

HAHAHAHAHAH! After "they're surveyor's marks", 8 years of Bush and thousands of hours of Fox news, you think this is possible? Good luck!

a map that had crosshairs over the locations of all the Target stores in town

Bit redundant, that.
posted by fleetmouse at 10:24 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


It's a bit of special pleading to claim National Socialism "hijacked" either the German language, or German culture, which had a long history of a taste for the authoritarian even back when those poets and philosophers you praise were writing. The romantic nationalism of those poets and philosophers was the red meat of Nazi ideology.

And it's a standard cinematic reference to use "bitte" as shorthand for an officious Nazi asking for papers. I got it, and didn't think it was meant to indict all modern Germans or the German language.


Words matter.

If you think German culture has a 'long history of a taste for the authoritarian,' then your knowledge of German history must be fairly limited .

This is not a thread about Germany. It is, however, a thread about ignorant prejudice and about the incitement of political hatred.

So, please be careful what you say.
posted by edguardo at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]



The woman who helped subdue Jared Loughner is in her early sixties. She kneeled on his ankles and grabbed his second clip when he fumbled it while trying to reload. Her son has put an interesting self-post up on Reddit and is taking questions.
posted by Huplescat at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Fascinating internal DHS memo from Fox News, of all places:
"The investigation has been taken over by the FBI, and is being run through the Tucson Command Post. Here's what can be confirmed at this time (1800 hrs)...
* Gabrielle Giffords Is in ICU.
* Federal judge John Roll is deceased. He did rule on a 32 million dollar civil rights lawsuit in February, 2010. That ruling brought death threats to Roll and his family, and for a time he was given a protection detail.
* 6 deaths attributed to the shooting. 19 total people hit by gunfire.
* suspect’s mother works for the Pima County Board of Supervisors
* the suspect has multiple arrests ... But no criminal record? Intervention by someone?
* no direct connection - but strong suspicion is being directed at AmRen / American Renaissance. Suspect is possibly linked to this group. (through videos posted on his myspace and YouTube account.). The group’s ideology is anti government, anti immigration, anti ZOG (Zionist Occupational Government), anti Semitic. Gabrielle Gifford is the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the US government. She was also opposite this group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate.
* DHS have a list of names and dates of birth of all victims.
* the ACTIC is still playing a major role in the investigation... Computer forensics is cleaning up the surveillance videos, and images from around the scene, and involved in the investigation - working together, was MCSO, DPS, Phoenix PD, ICE, and of course the FBI. It did just come in from the command post, that the federal judge was Not originally scheduled to attend the meeting, according to wife. She stated that he received a phone call about an hour before and was invited to attend. Wrong place - wrong time. For the planning side, there are impromptu memorials popping up all over the state, but the largest one is downtown phoenix, at the capital."
posted by crayz at 10:27 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'd talked to my brother about this yesterday, and was definitely like, this is a lone nut, Timothy McVeigh situation. At least it's not like Pakistan, where people are celebrating the murder of the secular govenor because he was anti-obscenity laws.

So then I read Zooropa's comment

/Red Letter Media guy voice

Oh.
posted by angrycat at 10:30 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


People on both sides need to moderate their rhetoric. Those on the Right have to stop threatening & occasionally carrying out political violence. And those on the Left need to stop pointing out that the Right keeps calling for political violence. And also they need to stop supporting liberal policies because that just gets the Right angry & makes them get out the guns & start waving them around threatening people. Oh & they also need to let the Right give them a wedgie, outside the girl's locker room after gym. And remember, guns don't kill people. Liberal fascists kill people.
posted by scalefree at 10:32 AM on January 9, 2011 [54 favorites]


Let this be a wake up call to parents who chose to pretend nothing is wrong with their schizophrenic children. If you live with a schizophrenic, you know it.
posted by Scram at 10:33 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


If you belive Mrs. Palin/Mr. Beck had something to do with this - they open their mouths and say what they say because of the cash they get.

Start looking at how the cash flows and work in your life to cut off those cash flows.

Bonus points if you can make a distributed P2P tracking tool for who's money is being spent when and where so consumers can make decisions as to whom to do business with.

Such worked with Sinclair Broadcasting/the Swift Boat Vets TV spot. Use the only vote you have - when you spend your money - and hit them where it hurts....the pocketbook.
posted by rough ashlar at 10:37 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I'll freely admit to being both politically and socially immature and when combined with not even being American, well, it makes anything I have to say about this horiffic event pretty worthless. But this being the Internet and all, I'm going to say something anyway. I grow increasingly desperate and angry about the things I read about American politics on a daily basis. I simply cannot understand how the world's most powerful nation chooses to allow its internal politics to be so thoroughly infested with religious ideology and the specific interests of large corporations (as opposed to what's right for the economy) that the only agents of change are money, power, hate and violence.
posted by NeonSurge at 10:41 AM on January 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


I heard an interview with Garry Trudeau, creator of Doonesbury, yesterday, and one thing he said that stuck with me is that, in this time, there is no shame. If I understood correctly, he went on to say that whether someone is disciplined or called out for something offensive or intemperate is entirely dependent on how quickly and effectively the "offense" can be spun or rationalized away.

To me, this offers an explanation for the continued reign of media demagogues and politicians who seem to use increasingly polarizing rhetoric and distortions ... shamelessly. This extends to zooropa's "Christian" family who can openly condone an attempted assassination as divine retribution.

So yeah, gotta call that shit more.
posted by Artful Codger at 10:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


A good start would be to shame Republicans
HAHAHAHAHAH! After "they're surveyor's marks", 8 years of Bush and thousands of hours of Fox news, you think this is possible? Good luck!
"They're surveyor's marks" came because they're ashamed. And because they're too cowardly to own up and too dumb not to shut up.
posted by Flunkie at 10:50 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Put that together with the "adult moment" comment and I think it's clear that Boehner is very much afraid of getting Gingriched.

Speaker John Boehner on former Rep. Steve Driehaus:

After Boehner suggested that by voting for Obamacare, [Steve] Driehaus “may be a dead man” and “can’t go home to the west side of Cincinnati” because “the Catholics will run him out of town,” Driehaus began receiving death threats, and a right-wing website published directions to his house.
posted by EarBucket at 10:52 AM on January 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


And coupled again with campaign events from the wounded Congressmember's opponent in the last election advertising a chance to shoot off your aggression toward her with an M16!

See: psychology. Punching a pillow, shooting a gun when you're angry—all it does is make you more angry and more prone to act aggressively. Anyone out there who claims those "shoot off your aggression" campaign events were intended to reduce people's anger is at best terribly misguided.

This is the full conclusion of the linked study (emphasis mine):

"Catharsis theory predicts that venting anger should get rid of it and should therefore reduce subsequent aggression. The present findings, as well as previous findings, directly contradict catharsis theory (e.g., Bushman et al., 1999; Geen & Quanty, 1977). For reducing anger and aggression, the worst possible advice to give people is to tell them to imagine their provocateur’s face on a pillow or punching bag as they wallop it, yet this is precisely what many pop psychologists advise people to do. If followed, such advice will only make people angrier and more aggressive."

Just a note, in case anyone's thinking about staging similar events in the future.
posted by limeonaire at 11:01 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


An eyewitness account by the guy on Reddit (linked above), whose mother was there:

I will be brief, because I'm not sure how much information she will want me to share. This is a second-hand account of the event and the massive amount of details I have learned from my mother in the few minutes it took for this entire event to happen. News reports will eventually emerge with more detail than I am sharing with you now, but to the best of my memory and ability, this is how she described it. This is not necessarily exactly what happened, but how I observed how my mother observed it.

The event was a single file line (with except of those who were together, in the case of the poor grandmother and 9-year old daughter at the front of the line) where people were set to meet Gabrielle personally.

My mom was the first civilian person to arrive at the event, but asked a staffer (I believe) if she could write her name down, go inside and do some grocery shopping, and come back out to resume her place in line. When she came back outside, she found that the line twisted around the edge of the Safeway building and closer to the Walgreens. She lined up at the end of the line after briefly asking the staffer (again, I can't recall if this is who she talked to) if she could still have her spot in line. My mother was supposed to be the very first person to meet Gabrielle but fate/luck/whatever-you-want-to-call-it placed her at the back of the line.

Gabrielle came out and the Jared Lee Loughner emerged and shot her, paused, and went down the line of people waiting to meet her like it was a shooting gallery. My mom hit the deck when she heard the shots and was not able to visually see anyone being shot, but she definitely could hear it. By the time the shooter got to my mother, he had shot the woman in front of her (who was lying down over her own daughter to protect her) in line three times, once in each arm and once in her back. To my knowledge, she miraculously survived and my father was one of the people who helped compress her gunshot wound to the back.

After shooting the woman above, in front of my mom, the shooter was tackled by at least one of the brave souls who restrained him. He fell down, I imagine face-forward (I'm not sure why I didn't confirm this with my mother) and was struggling on the ground.

My mother began to plant her knees into the shooter's ankles and performed a kind of joint lock that was pretty painful to him, to the point where she recalls him saying "ow" over and over.

at this pont, Loughner was still in possession of his weapon and people were shouting for someone to take his gun away. My mother was unable to grab the weapon, but she did notice he was pulling another clip out of his hoodie pockets. He dropped it and she immediately grabbed it, holding onto it for dear life. She eventually had someone else sit on his legs while she tended to wounded victims.

My father was somehow in the area and my mother was able to call him. He arrived before any police or medical personnel and helped tend to people.

I hope that I have been able to transcribe these events as best as possible, from my recollection of what my mother's recollection was. I do not mean to exaggerate or materialize any information here, but simply post how I experienced it through my mother experiencing it. I understand that as details unfold that my recollection may or may not be entirely accurate and I hope no one sees this as a demonization of character of the Jared Lee Loughner, even though what acts he performed are those of a very sick and sad individual.

It is very possible that my mother was supposed to be one of the first people to be shot after Gabrielle Giffords. It is also very possible that she was the next person he would have shot. Personally, this has been a very, very strange day for me. I am so, so grateful that my mother is okay, but that isn't the word for how I'm feeling. It is a real tragedy what happened, and it feels wrong to feel so fortunate in such a time of senseless violence.

I hope this helps some of you appreciate the time with your loved ones and that you may never endure anything like this yourselves. And if you do, you take the steps and risks these braves people did to do the right thing and stop any further violence.

posted by triggerfinger at 11:03 AM on January 9, 2011 [18 favorites]


The Maddow Blog has screenshots of the takebackthe20.com with the cross hairs graphic before it went down, which apparently was after the shooting.

empath, a commenter there also links to this 2004 Democratic Leadership Council graphic which features bulls eyes: http://www.dlc.org/ndol_ci.cfm?contentid=253055&kaid=127&subid=171. I tend to think there are more examples of such iconography from both sides of the aisle (not that it excuses it).
posted by ericost at 11:22 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


So then I read Zooropa's comment

zooropa encountering a loudmouthed asshole in the grocery store is indicative of exactly nothing beyond the fact that it is possibly to encounter loudmouthed assholes in grocery stores. taking the encounter and presenting it as a measure of the pulse of the american public at large is something a cable "news" commentator would do.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:25 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


how very ironic, an agressive neurosurgical strategy learned on the battlefield, like many advances in all trauma surgery, agreesive immediate intervention, taking the part of the skull off and refrigerating it until the swelling danger is past and they can take out the minor bone pieces still in the brain will probably be indicated in whatever fuction she recovers. A quite amazing Chief of Trauma, great help from the first responder, a slightly built but healthy woman with probably a thinner crianial bone so the bullet didn't explode, quite a high forehead so no major blood vessels irretreviably damaged, a fighter, and as the Chief of Trauma said last..... luck. Simple luck.

May her luck continue.
posted by Wilder at 11:25 AM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


in fact, as zooropa noted, many other of the store patrons took the asshole to task.
posted by quonsar II: smock fishpants and the temple of foon at 11:26 AM on January 9, 2011


An anonymous "senior Republican senator" tells Politico: "There is a need for some reflection here - what is too far now? What was too far when Oklahoma City happened is accepted now. There’s been a desensitizing. These town halls and cable TV and talk radio, everybody’s trying to outdo each other."

A Republican senator was too afraid to say "Maybe we shouldn't be talking about murdering our political opponents" and attach his name to the sentiment.
posted by EarBucket at 11:28 AM on January 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


"They're surveyor's marks" came because they're ashamed.

It's the most cynical, shameless response imaginable. Actually it's unimaginable - by me, at least. They still have such arrogant confidence in their reality-warping field that shame is not an option on their mental menu bar. Shame? It's further evidence of their unreachability.
posted by fleetmouse at 11:33 AM on January 9, 2011


“You just have to be calm and collected," he said. "You do no good to anyone if you have a breakdown… It was probably not the best idea to run toward the gunshots, but people needed help.”


That dude is the shit.
I would still be in the parking lot of the Safeway, hiding behind the Redbox kiosk, urinating everywhere.
posted by Senor Cardgage at 11:33 AM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


zooropa encountering a loudmouthed asshole in the grocery store is indicative of exactly nothing beyond the fact that it is possibly to encounter loudmouthed assholes in grocery stores.

You're right. We have nothing to worry about unless they start shooting people.

oh wait
posted by fleetmouse at 11:34 AM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Also, your version of the sentence doesn't make sense. "Outside of" means "except for", and since Leo Ryan died in 1978 and Kennedy in 1968, Ryan is the exception between Kennedy and the present day, not the other way around.
posted by dhens

Yes. The phrasing is wrong which I admit. In the first place, the information without expansion is really not relevant to this event in direct correlation with American politics today. I was going to link some books about Ryan. As far as AZ, I did not know he was a reporter which explains his tight sentences and the clarity of his point. I asked him a question a while back which was cogent. I thought he ditched the question but maybe he simply did not see it and I assumed he just ignored it. My bad. This is my sidetrack. Here is my link that might help understand some of the insanity of American political killings.
posted by clavdivs at 11:36 AM on January 9, 2011


Weird social media artifact? http://www.youtube.com/user/giffords2 Subscriptions (2)
Classitup10
Classit... http://www.youtube.com/user/Classitup10
RepIkeSkelton
RepIkeS...

Huh? Isn't classitup10 the shooter? And why '2' subscriptions.

I don't get it.....
posted by rough ashlar at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know my German history quite well, thank you, and in fact you probably don't want to get into an argument with me about Herder or the Brothers Grimm or Bismarck and 19th century German romantic nationalism, let alone about Kant or Marx or Goethe or Wagner, where I'm on pretty sure ground (and read German fluently, actually). German culture -- there was no "nation" before the late 19th century -- gave us Bach and Heine. It gave us Schiller and Beethoven. And it gave us Mengele and Goebbels.

Excusing everything before about 1930 as the culture of a peace-loving people that was suddenly hijacked and perverted by the Nazis out of the cold clear blue and against the grain of Germanic-speaking cultural history is sort of like saying there's no connection between the violent rhetoric suffusing *our* politics and these increasingly horrific outbursts of political violence. Or between the genocidal histories of slavery and the erasure of indigenous peoples and the current state of American politics. Good and bad things both happen for a reason. History is what history does.

Maybe it comes to down to seeing all individuals, even the insane ones, as products of their places, times, and cultures vs. seeing some individuals as existing outside of collective responsibility for the historical character of a culture or a society.
posted by spitbull at 11:40 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


I wondered the "conscience" vs. "conscious" thing. I guess when I was reading the YouTube videos, what immediately came to mind was an old friend of mine who was into neuro-linguistic programming and lucid dreaming. For a few years, he was ultra-obsessed with inducing a dreaming state while awake, and very prone to paranoia. So I initially took the "conscience dreaming" a little more literally.

Conscious Dreaming: "Shamanic dreamwork at its best."
posted by GrammarMoses at 11:43 AM on January 9, 2011


I hate to point it out, but this thread is now Godwin'd. It actually took a surprisingly long time to happen.
posted by iotic at 11:45 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


But hey, as long as you were talking about assasinating Bush - it was fine.
Air America Host 'Jokingly' Calls for Bush Hit

One of the leading hosts on the unofficial radio network of the Democratic Party recommended in an apparent "joke" earlier this week that President Bush should be assassinated, reports the New York Daily News.

Comparing Bush and his family to the Corleones of "Godfather" fame, Air America host Randi Rhodes reportedly unleashed this zinger during her Monday night broadcast: "Like Fredo, somebody ought to take him out fishing and phuw. "

Rhodes then imitated the sound of a gunshot.
Why is it always necessary to look for someone to blame OTHER than the perpetrator of the act?

HE pulled the trigger. HE decided that - fuck right or wrong - HE needed to go kill someone. Is it so necessary for you to HATE the 'other side', no matter your ideology, that you're going to blame EVERYONE BUT the trigger puller?

And if media has such an influential aspect - why the fuck aren't you blaming every rapper for black on black violence? You don't get a fucking pass because YOU might happen to like the message or messenger when they're advocating violence - if political ads supposedly cause violence, and 'right-wing' folks objecting to the president's policies causes violence, then LEFT-wing folks advocating the President be assassinated causes violence also, and entertainment media causes violence also.

It's all part of the same game - you'd better take a look and make sure your own hands are spotlessly clean before you start accusing everyone you don't like of having blood on theirs.
posted by JB71 at 11:46 AM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


Huh? Isn't classitup10 the shooter? And why '2' subscriptions.

My guess would be that someone in her office looked up Loughner's YouTube channel after the shooting, once it was publicized as his.
posted by EarBucket at 11:48 AM on January 9, 2011


fleetmouse, I agree that the response was cynical, absurd, tasteless, and so forth. But why did they issue a response?

Because they are being shamed. Perhaps "they are ashamed" is not true; but "they are being shamed" is. And rightfully so.
posted by Flunkie at 11:48 AM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I don't understand subscribing to a YouTube channel that's almost definitely going to be defunct. Especially when it's the channel of the person who shot you. That's just odd.
posted by desjardins at 11:49 AM on January 9, 2011


I don't understand subscribing to a YouTube channel that's almost definitely going to be defunct. Especially when it's the channel of the person who shot you.
I'm fairly confident that Congresswoman Giffords isn't the one who subscribed.
posted by Flunkie at 11:51 AM on January 9, 2011


Maybe someone wanted to be able to find it later? That's the only plausible explanation I can think of.
posted by EarBucket at 11:52 AM on January 9, 2011


That's not right, JB71. It's a question of scale, and these things just don't.
posted by nola at 11:53 AM on January 9, 2011


But hey, as long as you were talking about assasinating Bush - it was fine.

I'm sure Randi Rhodes felt horrible when that liberal gun nut shot President Bush in the head, too.
posted by EarBucket at 11:55 AM on January 9, 2011 [16 favorites]


(Not to excuse Rhodes's comment, as I think it was as vile as anything that's come out of Palin's mouth. But trying to deflect criticism of conservative rhetoric by saying "some liberals do it, too!" ignores that fact that there are actual dead people today, killed in a political assassination attempt. We're not arguing this in a vacuum.)
posted by EarBucket at 11:57 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


zooropa encountering a loudmouthed asshole in the grocery store is indicative of exactly nothing beyond the fact that it is possibly to encounter loudmouthed assholes in grocery stores. taking the encounter and presenting it as a measure of the pulse of the american public at large is something a cable "news" commentator would do.

Yeah -- because cable "news" commentary reaches and is watched by nobody, has zero ratings, does absolutely none of that loudmouthed asshole routine, and is not representative of the so-called "pulse."

Cuz, y'know, that asshole in the grocery store encountered by zooropa probably doesn't even watch cable news or O'Reilly or Beck or listen to Limbaugh or any of those other loudmouthed assholes who govern American political discourse and help give Boehner the audacity to say that a political opponent should not go home because "he may be a dead man."
posted by blucevalo at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


And if media has such an influential aspect - why the fuck aren't you blaming every rapper for black on black violence?

I assure you that US politics is a much, much bigger game than rap music, but people in fact do say this. They say it about video games and heavy metal music, pretty much anything that isn't banking, guns, or professional sports.

I'm not sure a climate of violence metaphors creates social acceptability for violent acts, but I can certainly see a stupid and/or crazy person thinking it does. There's a chicken-and-egg problem here that I am reticent to explore, and it troubles me that my thoughts lead to the same area that contains speech codes. Incitement is a real thing, though.
posted by rhizome at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2011


why the fuck aren't you blaming every rapper for black on black violence?

Let's just nip this one in the bud. Because not every rapper raps about violence. Also because not every rapper is black.

Also, is that Randi Rhodes thing what they call a talking point?
posted by box at 11:58 AM on January 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


I don't remember that liberal voters had made Air America a bit hit, by and large. Just had to point that out. Not defending the dude, but "unofficial network of the Demcoratic party?" How many people registered and voting regularly as Dems. listened to it? A minuscule percentage.
posted by raysmj at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2011


But hey, as long as you were talking about assasinating Bush - it was fine.

And Randi Rhodes apologized. Sure, it was a crappy apology (I don't really like her anyway), but it was an acknowledgement of affects. As bad as Rhodes' apology was, at least she didn't say the "gunshot sound" was really the revving of an engine and that she was just saying Bush should be driven around in a nice car.
posted by rhizome at 12:01 PM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


Why is it always necessary to look for someone to blame OTHER than the perpetrator of the act?

I may or may not blame the perp; it depends on how insane he is. If he is utterly disassociated from reality, then this is one of those things.

But I have a loved one who is paranoid schizophrenic; I remember when he started going on about black helicopters. I don't know the whole story about black helicopters, but what I DO know is that my mentally ill brother didn't invent it. He heard it, and because he is mentally ill, he believed it completely.

What is the problem with pointing out that Palin's crosshairs thing is vile? Nobody is trying her for manslaughter; what I'm reading is that her crosshairs page was/is vile because it could increase the chances of something like this happening.
posted by angrycat at 12:05 PM on January 9, 2011 [7 favorites]


The latest...the "accomplice" they were looking for was just a taxi driver, and has been cleared of any possible connection to the shooting.
posted by Melismata at 12:05 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Here's one source for the taxi driver info.
posted by devinemissk at 12:08 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Corporations spend billions of dollars on tv and radio advertising, using much more subtle and sophisticated techniques than plain and her ilk in order to influence the behavior of the masses. I assume it works, or the companies wasting all of that money would soon go out of business.

I hope fox, etc, isn't now going to claim that tv and radio don't influence behavior, when their business depends on selling that influence.
posted by empath at 12:09 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


So let me get this straight. One person on Air American makes a statement about killing Bush and this is supposed to be equivalent to years of frequent rhetoric from actual politicians and people with nationwide news and radio shows? Nobodies hands have to be perfectly clean. It's a matter of scale.
posted by Procloeon at 12:10 PM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


does anyone know if she is right-handed or left-handed?
posted by Wilder at 12:12 PM on January 9, 2011


Vis a vis Godwining the thread, arguably that happened when someone said "Your papers, bitte" as a reference to Arizona's skewed law enforcement priorities.

Sometimes an analogy is legitimate. The Nazis inflamed disaffected, insecure, economically distressed ordinary Germans with racist and xenophobic discourse until they got the violence in the streets it took to overturn a weak Weimar state's fragile democracy, while also working within the framework of that democracy to secure power and blending the violent and electoral dimensions of their project systematically.

Sorry to say, that's what I think has been going on in America. Is America 2011 just like Nazi Germany? Of course not. But we see the tactics of fascism all around us and it would be a mistake not to reason by historical analogy that encouraging your supporters to seek violent remedies to their economic problems and cultural anxieties is a dangerous path for any democratic state to take.
posted by spitbull at 12:15 PM on January 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


And if media has such an influential aspect - why the fuck aren't you blaming every rapper for black on black violence?

I think the answer to this might be "because a US congresswoman has been shot". Deciding what to blame rappers for might have to take a back seat, at least in this thread.
posted by DNye at 12:18 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


It's all part of the same game - you'd better take a look and make sure your own hands are spotlessly clean before you start accusing everyone you don't like of having blood on theirs.

No one has spotless hands, so best no one say anything.

The brilliance of that solution is a blinding hamburger that sears my retinas. Well done!
posted by five fresh fish at 12:18 PM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Yeah, Randi Rhodes, she's on what, like 4 low-power AM progressive stations nationally and an internet stream. Between her and Mike Malloy, who also goes way over the top sometimes, they probably can round up about 10,000 listeners on any given day, if that.

Rush and Beck and Palin reach tens of millions every single day. And the fringe media comparable with Malloy or Rhodes but on the right is vast. Have you ever driven across the US listening to AM radio? You'd think we were under occupation by the Jewish liberal United Nations Zionist Occupation Paper Money One World Black Helicopter Government by the time you get halfway across.
posted by spitbull at 12:19 PM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


Goddammit, I thought you were all talking about Randy Rhodes and I thought "How the fuck did I miss a zombie metal guitarist hosting a liberal talk-radio show?" but then I read more closely.
posted by ob at 12:21 PM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


I think she actually took her stage name from Ozzy's guitarist, in fact.
posted by spitbull at 12:23 PM on January 9, 2011


METAFILTER: but then I read more closely.
posted by philip-random at 12:24 PM on January 9, 2011 [6 favorites]


I suppose the practical thinking here is that, hey, that schizophrenic loon will inevitably kill someone, let's put him to political use by encouraging him to target Giffords.

There is a brilliant, sociopathic mind behind the use of popularist violence rhetoric.
posted by five fresh fish at 12:25 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Anyway, it's clear to me that the political rhetoric in this country has gone way too far. I thought what the sheriff said last night was right on the money. Who knows what this guy's motivations were at this stage, but the fact remains that everyone needs to take a couple of deep breaths and think about the consequences of our words.
posted by ob at 12:25 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I think she actually took her stage name from Ozzy's guitarist, in fact.

I just looked that up and you're right. How odd.
posted by ob at 12:28 PM on January 9, 2011


Westboro Baptist Church To Picket Funerals Of Arizona Shooting Victims

Well thank God, finally, someone rational is weighing in with their opinions.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:28 PM on January 9, 2011 [14 favorites]


And the fringe media comparable with Malloy or Rhodes but on the right is vast. Have you ever driven across the US listening to AM radio? You'd think we were under occupation by the Jewish liberal United Nations Zionist Occupation Paper Money One World Black Helicopter Government by the time you get halfway across.

This is why I call people who think liek this the right's new base. It's not fringe at all, in the sense of being rare. Measured by numbers, it's mainstream.
posted by fleetmouse at 12:35 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


snofoam: I'm just saying that bringing an unloaded rifle to an event with no intention of using it is, technically, a symbolic act. I agree that it is also a threat and the person carrying it is probably a total nut-job.

I disagree. I don't think the people who brought their guns to the town-hall meetings were nut-jobs. I think they were genuinely frightened and angry that a black man was going to take their hard-earned wages in order to kill their grandparents, because that is the rhetoric they had been soaking in.

And, symbolic or not, they brought their guns, loaded or unloaded, to meetings about health-care reform. Not gun rights--health-care reform. Those aren't crazy people; those are people driven by a rhetoric intended to ignite the culture of violence that was just waiting for a common target.
posted by tzikeh at 12:36 PM on January 9, 2011 [20 favorites]


I don't understand subscribing to a YouTube channel that's almost definitely going to be defunct. Especially when it's the channel of the person who shot you. That's just odd.

Because if a new video *was* posted, you'd want to know.
posted by ChurchHatesTucker at 12:39 PM on January 9, 2011


I hope fox, etc, isn't now going to claim that tv and radio don't influence behavior, when their business depends on selling that influence

The masters of cognitive dissonance have no problem with the time tested technique of "It works both ways depending on what is more convenient at the moment!".

Ultimately, though, the problem when it comes to media influence discussions is that it easily falls into the false binary that either media controls everyone's mind (it doesn't) or that it doesn't have an influence at all (billions of dollars in advertising say otherwise).

The real point of discussion, is as always, what is the overall atmosphere being created? Where's the Overton window of acceptability lay?

No one is afraid the Timecube site will force people to give up school for 4 sided stupidity wisdom, at the same point, we have something like 30% of Americans still believing Obama is Muslim? That kind of shit didn't build itself, it was worked over repeatedly with Glenn Beck "How often do you beat your wife?" games and dogwhistles to racism and violence.

But they'll do the usual thing they always do- cry about liberal bias and how everyone is trying to silence them and it's all part of the giant socialist/fascist/muslim plot to destroy America, and, presumably, cough up a distraction issue to change the topic("Hey, are we talking about Immigration or Abortion this season? We can't use Gay Marriage anymore, it's turned sour on us!").
posted by yeloson at 12:43 PM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


It's all part of the same game - you'd better take a look and make sure your own hands are spotlessly clean before you start accusing everyone you don't like of having blood on theirs.

Nuh-uh. We aren't talking about Beck, et al. We are talking about actual candidates for public office not radio talkers. Sarah Palin is a former governor who ran for the Vice-Presidency of the United States. The Virginia candidate for congress who said his followers needed to win at the ballot box so they wouldn't need to use the "bullet box." Or the Republican candidate for US House who discussed "second-amendment solutions."

These words incite violence and disrespect for the constitutional govenment of the US. And they show a fundamental disrespect for democracy--the idea that youy must respect the results of elections, rather than initiate armed struggle when one loses a popular election. These words are sedition and treason, nothing more, nothing less.

And those who say those words must be turned out of office via the democratic process. Voters must be encouraged to vote against people who specifically place targets on congressional districts or advocate the violent overthrow of the government.
posted by Ironmouth at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2011 [33 favorites]


The SPLC is saying Loughner could be a follower of this guy (previously)
posted by desjardins at 12:44 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


NPR have offered a formal retraction and apology for the enormous number of factual errors made while reporting the story as it broke yesterday.

As far as I know, no other news outlet has offered a similar apology.
posted by schmod at 12:53 PM on January 9, 2011 [11 favorites]


The SPLC is saying Loughner could be a follower of this guy (previously)

From the story:

“I have nothing to do with anything like that,” Miller said, suggesting that Loughner might have been under the influence of government mind control.
posted by EarBucket at 12:56 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I guess Loughner isn't one of his billion students, then.
posted by desjardins at 12:58 PM on January 9, 2011


Good for NPR. I was a little surprised at CNN (one of two main broadcast sources we were watching) announcing the death of Congresswoman Giffords while the story was still unfolding. I'm sure they were having editorial meetings as it went along, but MSNBC was on the phone with a spokesperson for the medical center saying, yes, she's alive. I can't imagine why they would rely on the spokesperson for the Pima County Sheriff's office in that instance.
posted by fixedgear at 1:01 PM on January 9, 2011


"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was in critical condition Sunday as investigators filed five charges against the man suspected in the shooting rampage that killed six and injured 14.
Jared Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to killing a federal employee."*
posted by ericb at 1:04 PM on January 9, 2011


Arizona Conservatives Criticize Sheriff For Post-Shooting Comments.
posted by ericb at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2011


Hm. "Advocating the violent overthrow of the government" sounds like a key phrase somewhere...

Oh yeah. It's grounds for losing your security clearance. Now I'm curious (purely hypothetically, and no hamburger), maybe Ironmouth could comment:

I understand elected officials like the President and senators automatically get their clearance by virtue of being elected by the American people, no SSBI (I could be wrong about that, though.)

Could an elected official lose that clearance or have it suspended? What would happen then?
posted by ctmf at 1:06 PM on January 9, 2011


Randi Rhodes was a rock DJ in Florida before become a political talker. She's also an Air Force vet, which is a lot more than most right-wing shock jocks can claim. And she's generally a fairly sharp analyst of the political scene, with a coarse wit that can be funny when it isn't over the top and a Queens accent to beat the Yankees.

She became prominent in the 90s because she routinely beat Limbaugh in the local ratings chase in his home town radio market of West Palm Beach. She did it by inverting his own schtick, too -- over the top, humor-for-deniability, bending calls to her own purposes, and yes, often demonizing the opposition, although not in the same egregious ways Limbaugh does (overt racist caricatures and mocking disabilities being two of his primary tropes she's avoided). But she can make the Nazi analogies with the best of them, and deploys a persistent metaphor (as does Mike Malloy) of the right wing (or the Republican party) being an overt criminal conspiracy. She went on to do the same bit on Air America, which was a disaster for all involved except, ironically, Rachel Maddow. She's now back to the small-time trenches of internet broadcasting, satellite syndication, and a national network of about a dozen small AM stations nationally that carry progressive programming in between PSAs where the commercials are supposed to be.

As someone on her side of things, I get the visceral appeal of her rough stuff, which makes me understand how Rush Limbaugh works his trade. It makes me punch the steering wheel and say "right on" too. But for every me doing that once every few months or so, there are hundreds or thousands of people out there doing the same thing once an hour on cue when fed the same violent red meat imagery by Fox News or Rush Limbaugh or Sarah Palin or much worse by Michael Savage or J.D. Hayworth or Gordon Liddy or Alex Jones. And the imagery is much worse: the left is not just a criminal conspiracy in this discourse. It's an evil, malevolent, alien force, like the yuppie alien monsters in John Carpenter's *They Live.* It's a freedom-hating, God-despising, Muslim-loving, Jewish/Black/Latino/Freemason/UN conspiracy to rule the world and enslave white people by taking away their guns and letting their children marry whomever they want to marry. It's a Jackbooted Thug from the Federal Government wearing a Blue Helmet and landing in a Black Helicopter under UN command. It requires storing gold and rations, stockpiling ammunition, speaking in dogwhistle code so they can't understand you, and attending rallies with a glock strapped to the outside of your pants or an AR15 in your arms. Its heroes are fantasy figures like Jack Bauer, its villains cartoonized characters like Osama Bin Laden and Nancy Pelosi and George Soros and the Dixie Chicks.
posted by spitbull at 1:08 PM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


"Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was in critical condition Sunday as investigators filed five charges against the man suspected in the shooting rampage that killed six and injured 14.
Jared Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to killing a federal employee."
Is he not being charged for the other people who were murdered and injured? Or would those charges come out later as state crimes rather than federal crimes?
posted by Flunkie at 1:11 PM on January 9, 2011


Jared Loughner is charged with one count of attempted assassination of member of Congress, two counts of killing an employee of the federal government and two counts of attempting to killing a federal employee

How about uh, one count of killing a nine year old girl? Seems about the worst of it, to me.
posted by iotic at 1:14 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


From the article ericb just linked to:
Investigators said they carried out a search warrant at the suspect's home and seized an envelope from a safe with messages such as "I planned ahead," "My assassination" and the name "Giffords" next to what appears to be the man's signature.
posted by Flunkie at 1:15 PM on January 9, 2011


All of these "liberals did it too" posts are missing the point. There is a reason that we all went to Ms. Palin first -- she was the biggest and the loudest and the one with the most political power to say such a thing. Then, after her, there is a scrum with Sharon Angle and many conservative talkers.

Yes, with 24 hours of searching, there were obscure liberal counterparts. Good job. Those aren't ok either.

But if we really are going to compare apples to apples, if we really are going to keep score, then lets count the political power of the people who said and did such things. Republican/Tea Party a ton, Democrats not so much.
posted by andreaazure at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2011 [9 favorites]


Sen. Lamar Alexander Refuses To Condemn Palin’s Cross-Hairs Map, Urges Media Not To Talk About It.
posted by ericb at 1:16 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I believe that because the 9-year-old is not a federal employee, her death is a state crime and not a federal one.

(I am not a lawyer.)
posted by andreaazure at 1:17 PM on January 9, 2011


Could an elected official lose that clearance or have it suspended? What would happen then?

An elected official who's screwed up badly enough to lose his or her security clearance isn't going to have to worry about being in office much longer. If they haven't been forced to resign yet, impeachment proceedings will almost certainly have begun, not to mention criminal charges. It's not going to happen over disgusting campaign rhetoric, though.
posted by EarBucket at 1:32 PM on January 9, 2011


Right-Wingers Rush to Label Arizona Shooting Suspect a Liberal — While Simultaneously Accusing Left of “Politicizing” Assassination Attempt.
posted by ericb at 1:34 PM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


If Loughner actually is a follower of David Wynn Miller, warbaby's comment in that previous metafilter thread is chillingly prescient.
posted by stagewhisper at 1:36 PM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


Sen. Lamar Alexander Refuses To Condemn Palin’s Cross-Hairs Map, Urges Media Not To Talk About It.

Ridiculous and expected. Maybe I just have little faith in some people, but I expected them to do things like this. I expected ridiculous comments like the ones at the coffee house like "she deserved it, all liberals have it coming".

These things are horrible. It sucks to realize the depth of people's hatred at the same time you're seeing the wonderful actions of those who save lives and care about others.

I think when people forget events like this, when they believe Fox news at its word, when they are a sucker for obvious lies and misdirection that most of us here are lucky enough and privileged enough to see, it is because many cannot fathom (as I once couldn't) the evil possible in their friends, their neighbors, their coworkers.

So I hope more people share stories, good and bad. Most people seem to realize the heights to which people can scale in doing wonderful and good things. But I think it will help if people hear about the horrible things people say. Because so many people's baseline estimation of their fellow human is "well they're basically good". So when they see the Fox news stories, they figure there has to be some kind of reason behind it - it can't be that they are hateful and greedy jerks.
posted by cashman at 1:41 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Fascinating internal DHS memo from Fox News, of all places:

I hope you'll understand that I'll take that with a grain of salt, even if it said "Liberls R Grat! Gooo Obamama!" Fox News' problems go beyond partisanship.
posted by JHarris at 1:41 PM on January 9, 2011


Right-Wingers Rush to Label Arizona Shooting Suspect a Liberal — While Simultaneously Accusing Left of “Politicizing” Assassination Attempt.

Oh great, I have to go in to work in twenty minutes, but cartoon steam is shooting out of my ears!
posted by JHarris at 1:42 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


I have spoken out when rappers have been openly homophobic, especially those who have advocated violence against gays and lesbians.

I don't know that rap is a great parallel, but it certainly gets criticized for its sometimes inflammatory message. Just look at reactions to "Cop Killer."

Is inflammatory rhetoric to blame for something like this? I don't know. But, as with the infrequent rap song that sends a message that seems to advocate hatred or violence, it sure doesn't help, and we should feel comfortable saying so.
posted by Astro Zombie at 1:43 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said his state has "become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry." As a consequence of speaking out, Dupnik is now coming under attack, with a talk radio host even calling for his resignation.

So free speech isn't a right wing value now? I'm confused.
posted by binturong at 1:43 PM on January 9, 2011 [12 favorites]


That warbaby comment is amazing.
posted by painquale at 1:45 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


the chilling bit from warbaby's comment

The crazies like Tim McVeigh and Eric Rudolph don't have any investment in electoral politics, but they are activated by political agitation and take the hot air coming from the far right as encouragement and approval for their own extremism.

It could - theoretically - be possible to short circuit the next spasm of right-wing violence, but it would require a vocal and public campaign to clearly and forthrightly withdraw any impression of public support for extremist violence. Given the bloviators on Fox and the various local radio hate-talkers, this is a pretty faint hope. Instead, as nucleophilicAttack recently noted over on MeCha, the exact opposite seems to be taking place, as symbolic violence and its apologists seem to be on the upswing.

posted by The Whelk at 1:45 PM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Lamar Alexander is a disgrace to Tennessee.
posted by vibrotronica at 1:46 PM on January 9, 2011 [5 favorites]


So free speech isn't a right wing value now?

No, its still valuable.

That's why "Free Speechers" get their own Free Speech Zones from within the Free Speech Cages at Republican events.
posted by rough ashlar at 1:47 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Jesus the prescience in that warbaby comment is frightening.
posted by PenDevil at 1:51 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


Back to my earlier comment about Reagan. Turns out he was on the frontier of mental health service cost-slashing back in 1967, when he first took office as governor of California. Here's a letter he wrote shortly after his inauguration to a couple of supporters:
I'm here in the house for a hot twenty minutes and then on my way to a meeting and back to Sacramento by way of San Francisco. But there was time to read your letter and get this quick note off. ....

You mentioned the mental health ruckus. It's just part of the general rebellion stirred up by some of the die-hards who resist and reduction in the size of government. Some years ago California started on a new concept of mental health care that has put us pretty much up front in that field. The old-fashioned concept was literally warehousing mental patients -- putting them in mental institutions and leaving them there for life. Out here we are curing the curables and thanks to the new tranquilizer drugs doing a good job of getting our patients back into a normal life.

We have a number of local care centers and the released patients continue getting care and treatment while they go about their daily lives. These local centers are run by the counties with the state putting up most of the money. Incidentally we've added $6 million to the budget for these local centers this year. Naturally this has had an effect on the hospitals. In 1960 we had a patient population of 36,000. This year, thanks to our new concept it is down to 23,000. In the meantime though because government just does grow we increased hospital employees by 1,000. All we are doing is reducing employees this year to maintain the present ratio of 2 2/3 patients to 1 employee. Some of the head-shrinkers are upset because they'd like private rooms for each patient with the round-the-clock private nurses. That's about all there is to it which proves how easy it is to get a scream of pain when someone's pet program is stepped on.

Must run now ....

Best Regards,
Ron
posted by blucevalo at 1:52 PM on January 9, 2011


"resist and reduction" = "resist any reduction"
posted by blucevalo at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2011


warbaby's comment in that previous metafilter thread is chillingly prescient.
posted by stagewhisper


Damn, that is an amazing comment by warbaby, chilling. Worth reading for a detailed history of white supremacist conspiracy theorizing and associated violence over the past few decades, whether or not this shooting has any connections thereto.
posted by spitbull at 1:53 PM on January 9, 2011 [3 favorites]


Two things:

1) Yes, I do think that Sarah Palin doesn't have a problem with people she doesn't like being murdered. A very strong element of authoritarianism surfaced among the Tea Party's preferred candidates during the 2010 election season (Joe Miller's rent-a-thugs and praise of East Germany's border control policies, some congressional candidate saying that if the election didn't go the Tea Party's way, it would be time for violent revolution, the calls to murder Julian Assange, etc.).

Palin's a bad liar. She's very much the high school mean girl who, after being called out for tormenting some poor fellow student, makes up a lie that isn't even meant to be convincing. There is NO FUCKING WAY those bullseyes on her map were "surveyor's marks" - especially since, according to Politico, Palin actually CALLED them bullseyes (gotta love the Internet sometimes). It's an absolutely pathetic lie that is itself a dog whistle to teabaggers across America saying "sorry about that, wink wink" - it's a "Who, me?" worthy of Alfred E. Newman. She knew exactly what her people were posting and what she said around the country. She knew. She knows.

2) Chris Hedges' recent book "The Death of the Liberal Class" starts out with a compelling mini-biography of a young Iraq war vet teabagger on a lonely campaign to unseat a New York congressperson he considered unfaithful to the Constitution. The young teabagger's ideology wasn't straight-down-the-line Limbaugh/Beck/Hannity - it included a lot of left-wing Chomsky-sounding observations on structural unemployment, the American Empire and the decay of New York state outside of Manhattan. Most of all, he described a crushing feeling of betrayal - that the American Dream no longer exists. But he definitely sited himself in the teabagger area of American politics.

The point is, just because the guy posted on his MySpace page that he read the Communist Manifesto, it doesn't somehow mean that he couldn't have been influenced by the teabagger's calls for violence. Left and right aren't as easily separable as some would like - and there's a whole lot of society's losers who are eventually going to stop blaming themselves for not going all Horatio Alger and pulling themselves up by their own bootstraps.

Palin and the rest of the Tea Party's media champions have absolutely no idea what kinds of forces they're playing with.
posted by jhandey at 2:13 PM on January 9, 2011 [13 favorites]


This quote from Matt Bai's NYT article on the shooting really upset me:
Popular spokespeople like Ms. Palin routinely drop words like 'tyranny' and 'socialism' when describing the president and his allies, as if blind to the idea that Americans legitimately faced with either enemy would almost certainly take up arms.
So "socialism" is an "enemy" that would legitimize taking up arms? How much socialism, Matt? Is Social Security enough, or do you have to have Medicare, too? How about a national health service? Would that be? UK would like to know.
posted by Mental Wimp at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


Back to my earlier comment about Reagan. Turns out he was on the frontier of mental health service cost-slashing back in 1967, when he first took off

In all fairness, back in those days mentally ill people WERE warehoused, many times totally involutarily. Totally crapitude, in a different way. And if you think people are unenlightened NOW about the mentally ill and how to treat them.....

I will say I always am disgusted about how, in the name of improving care, budgets are and continue to be gutted when it comes to the treatment of people suffering mentally. If we were talking about cancer or heart disease, people would be rioting in the streets about it.

Meanwhile if anything good can come out of yesterday's tragedy it would indeed be for people to watch their mouths and their rhetoric. To quote, (ironically considering the source)..."Words mean things."
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 2:15 PM on January 9, 2011


I've been searching my mind trying to remember some snippet from an expert on extremist Right wing violence and his or her forecast for when it would begin to manifest itself and something is ringing a bell about it's expected rise would be either right after the midterms or at the beginning of the new year or somesuch, does anyone know what that might've been??

The closest thing I could find was this amazing timeline on the rise of right wing violence vis a vis the violent right-wing rhetoric.

And yet the Right is doubling down, and refusing to defuse the situation with unequivocal condemnation of yesterday's tragedy.

Suddenly Dupnik is enemy #1 with Sen Kyl and Tea Party leader Judson coming down on him. Hard.

It is stunning the inability to give one inch by sounding lilke human beings. Is this a war? Do they think that if they acknowledge any others in the political spectrum as human they're retreating and their whole shithouse will fall down in flames?
posted by Skygazer at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2011 [8 favorites]


David Frum wonders if it's all pot's fault.
posted by crunchland at 2:21 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


I know Lamar Alexander is not everyone's representative here.

However, we all DO have representatives. And I urge each and every one of you to call each and every one of THEM, to urge them to publically speak out against what Lamar Alexander just said.
posted by EmpressCallipygos at 2:22 PM on January 9, 2011 [4 favorites]


Do they think that if they acknowledge any others in the political spectrum as human they're retreating
I don't know. But it would explain why they're reloading.
posted by Flunkie at 2:23 PM on January 9, 2011 [2 favorites]


The "person of interest" has been identified as Loughner's cab driver.
posted by Skygazer at 2:23 PM on January 9, 2011


Oh, and the person of interest has been cleared... he was apparently just a taxi driver who went into the store with the gunman because he needed change for his fare.
posted by crunchland at 2:24 PM on January 9, 2011


Perhaps the Secret Service would like to brief Senator Kyl on their work with assassins. That's a service they offer. It'd be for his own good, even-- he could increase his protective detail's readiness and stop sounding like an uneducated boor before the press corps.
posted by fairytale of los angeles at 2:27 PM on January 9, 2011


Wow. I didn't want to add my reply until I read every comment in the thread, since there's a lot of retractions and duplications going on here (and understandably so). I gotta say, though that zooropa's comment should be called out.

That's the first step to ending this madness. We need to call out fellow citizens when they engage in this hateful rhetoric. It needs to start at the ground level. Yeah, I want Palin to tone down the bullshit, yeah, I don't think Randy Rhodes should engage in that either when she has the ears of thousands of listeners. But they're not going to change a damn thing until we stop tolerating this.

So cheers to you, zooropa, for taking a step in the right direction. If you're ever in central Texas, I want to buy you a round.
posted by spikeleemajortomdickandharryconnickjrmints at 2:32 PM on January 9, 2011 [1 favorite]


Palin and the rest of the Tea Party's media champions have absolutely no idea what kinds of forces they're playing with.

I believe they understand exactly what kind of forces they are playing with.

Toothless.

And for their actions to be profitable only a small %age of the population needs to send 'em cash. So long as its toothless VS the %age who sends you money....guess to whom the pandering will be to?

Show you are not toothless. Start going after the bank accounts of the people who fund 'em. Stop buying the products they sell. If you want to be aggressive, start thinking of lawsuits of the public and private firms involved with the cashflow.

(For fun - rumors have it that a %age of the gold being sold is fake gold. Thus - buy gold from goldine, find the fake stuff and sue Mr. Beck's sponsor as an example.)