Giffords Shooting Raises Questions About Mental Health Care


The evidence is thin right now of what motivated Jared Lee Loughner to walk up to a “Congress on Your Corner” meeting outside of a Tucson grocery store, shoot Representative Gabrielle Giffords in the head and then open fire on the crowd, killing six people and wounding twelve. There is strong reason to believe from Loughner’s online writings and past behavior that he suffers from some kind of mental illness, possibly schizophrenia.  This, along with the scattershot of book titles that included the “Communist Manifesto” on his YouTube profile, is being used by those on the right eager to suggest there cannot be a link between the violent, over-the-top rhetoric that’s become common on the right and acts of violence such as this. 

These arguments miss the point.  The book one is silly, of course—the YouTube profile featured a scattershot of books (including “Mein Kampf”) mostly linked by being famous, which disinclines me to think that such a list has any meaning beyond that.   As for possible mental illness, I would caution against dichotomous thinking on this subject.  Mentally ill people, even schizophrenics, aren’t living in bubbles where their delusions have no relationship to the environment they live in. 

If you want a good example of how this works, I highly recommend—and in general just recommend, because it’s really good—the documentary “The Devil and Daniel Johnston”, about the genius songwriter who suffers from severe bipolar disorder.  Johnston was raised in a fundamentalist Christian environment where Satan is blamed for everything.  Unsurprisingly, this resulted in Johnston developing delusions that the devil is out to get him, which resulted in some bad episodes, disturbing art, and an unsettling but beautiful song “Devil Town”.   The relationship between environment and mental health can be contemplated without defensiveness or the emotional need to downplay the effect that breathy, paranoid right wing rhetoric that is spewed 24/7 from the likes of Glenn Beck and the mass of right wing radio could have on someone whose brain is geared towards latching onto that paranoia and taking it a step further.  It’s tough to believe that Loughner would have developed a delusion about Giffords or that women who have abortions are terrorists if that over-the-top rhetoric wasn’t in the air for him to grab on to.

It’s worth noting something else from this documentary and in general, which is that mental illness does not usually or even all that commonly result in violence.  Most people that have mental illnesses that result in delusional breaks do not act out violently.  Like Jeff Kaye noted, schizophrenics “are far more likely to be victims than victimizers.” In addition, most violent people are not  suffering from delusions.  When asking why someone makes the move towards violence, it’s not enough to dismiss them as mentally ill.

But beyond the political and environmental questions of motivation, one thing really should be clear from the New York Times profile of Loughner—at this point in time, he seems to be another example of someone who slipped through the cracks.  It appears that many people noticed that Loughner was suffering from some kind of mental health problems, and yet so far there’s no indication that he got a diagnosis or even saw a mental health professional.  If he had, there’s a chance that this tragedy could have been averted. 

But how does such a thing happen?  Loughner was pressured by his school to get a mental health evaluation, but he chose to drop out instead.  This is no surprise.  It’s possible that he just didn’t want help, but it’s also true that most people have no idea where to even begin if they need mental health services.  Some people are lucky enough to have insurance that not only covers mental health services, but makes referrals, but those people are rarely 22-year-olds attending community college.  It’s not like there’s a centralized, low-cost mental health service similar to Planned Parenthood for reproductive health services.  Maybe there should be, but in our country, getting more funding for this kind of necessary health care infrastructure is like pulling teeth. 

The problems with our mental health systems in the U.S. are just part of a larger problem with health care in general—people fall through the cracks, diseases that could have been prevented or minimized with early interventions instead fester and become bigger, more expensive problems down the road, and we don’t do enough to connect the available services with the patients in need.  This is something that Rep. Giffords understands.  Giffords supported health care reform because she understands that a universal system actually saves us money (and grief) through the “ounce of prevention” method. Giffords is also a supporter of Planned Parenthood, which provides an excellent model for patching up holes in health care access, both by being low cost but also by having a recognizable brand that points people in need in the right direction. 

If a community college student with poor access to health care needs contraception, she knows who to call: Planned Parenthood.  We need something like that for people who find themselves in need of mental health services.  Unfortunately, the push towards cuts for social services means that we’re running away from and not towards that goal. Take the state of Arizona, where all this went down. Mental health services were cut by $36 million in 2010, a 37 percent budget cut.  That’s introducing a lot more cracks to an already cracked system.  And it’s increasingly looking like Loughner is one of the people who fell through the cracks in the system.  

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  • cmarie

    So, in the first part of your article what I think you’re saying is “even with a mental illness, environment can still trigger violent behavior.” Of course, environment is everything but hell, lets just blame the right anyway.  Funny, I’m thinking if a conservative Republican was targeted by a mentally ill person you wouldn’t be blaming MSNBC and I don’t remember anyone trying to blame the left when Reagan was shot by a paranoid schizophrenic.   Already there is a congressman, Brady who wants to outlaw anything that “could be construed” by anyone (no matter how mentally ill) as threatening to a member of Congress.  Why not just outlaw speech altogether?  Here are a few quotes from Obama worth noting:

    ** Obama: “They Bring a Knife…We Bring a Gun”
    ** Obama to His Followers: “Get in Their Faces!”
    ** Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”
    ** Obama to His Mercenary Army: “Hit Back Twice As Hard”
    ** Obama on the private sector: “We talk to these folks… so I know whose ass to kick.“
    ** Obama to voters: Republican victory would mean “hand to hand combat”
    ** Obama to lib supporters: “It’s time to Fight for it.”
    ** Obama to Latino supporters: “Punish your enemies.”
    ** Obama to democrats: “I’m itching for a fight.”

  • julie-watkins

    “Get in Their Faces!”

    Isn’t a specific targeting, multiplied by repetition, the way O’Reilly was harping on “Tiller the Killer”, Palin had a target on Giffords, and her office was vandalized earlier.

    This is a good YouTube to watch,

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iq38Nnf4pOw

    Olbermann talking about how violent emtaphors get into language because it’s so pervasive. He even brings up (& apologizes again for) a comment he made about then Senator Clinton during the primaries before Obama was chosen as the Democratic candidate. If he, who abhors violence, could inadvertantly make such a statement, it’s a sign.

    Do have a quote from Obama or Rachel Maddow of them specifically and repeatedly saying multiple times on TV of “[Republican Politian XX] is a killer”, “[Conservative Preacher YY] is the devil”?

    As for people “having a right to be angry”, yes I’m angry at Banks and Big Businesses who defraud & union bust. There is a class war going on; have you seen how the income/wealth gap keeps getting wider and wider?

    And to get this back to the “mental health” aspect, people who are/were saying “Tiller the Killter” and “Government is the Devil” are also cutting social/medical spending.

  • colleen

    Funny, I’m thinking if a conservative Republican was targeted by a mentally ill person you wouldn’t be blaming MSNBC and I don’t remember anyone trying to blame the left when Reagan was shot by a paranoid schizophrenic.

    It’s really very telling you’re forced to go back as far as the Reagan shooting. And sad to see you cutting and pasting an unsourced, out of context series of quotes produced by some bat shit crazy red state blogger to try to make your point.

    http://www.csgv.org/issues-and-campaigns/guns-democracy-and-freedom/insurrection-timeline

    The fact of the matter is that for DECADES  political violence in this country has come from the right.Here’s a sourced, accurate and long 2 year timeline of the insane right wing crap. You’re welcome to tell yourself that nothing Limbaugh and Faux news says has any effect on the batshit crazy base of the Republican party but please stop whining about that your posts being “censored” when you do. We already understand that the American right is about denying all responsibility for the immense destruction you folks have caused our country.

     

  • raffaello-tamagnini

    The death penalty is an issue that has been debated for many years, and will be a highly debatable topic in the future. Because the death penalty has never been a clear-cut rule, there is much controversy on weather it is a cruel and savage act of justice or a socialized humane source of punishment.

    We will never get justice in this world

  • cmarie

    Olbermann “he who abhors violence”!! Your funnier than my six year old son   ( he told me yesterday that he was a “rock star super hero” and trust me that’s more likely than Olbermann “abhoring violence”).  How about “He of ‘worst person in the world’ profiles?”  Right, but the rest of the time he’s busy “abhoring violence”…..

    then this:

    Do have a quote from Obama or Rachel Maddow of them specifically and repeatedly saying multiple times on TV of “[Republican Politian XX] is a killer”, “[Conservative Preacher YY] is the devil”?

    um… no… why? Do you have one of a Republican or conservative saying that of a Democrat or contempory liberal?

    then from the other commenter there’s this gem:

    It’s really very telling you’re forced to go back as far as the Reagan shooting. And sad to see you cutting and pasting an unsourced, out of context series of quotes produced by some bat shit crazy red state blogger to try to make your point.

    I’m not forced to go back anywhere.  Just thought of it because I remember it so well … just consider “Death of a President”…

    your link is pitiful but here’s a few that aren’t:

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mao_Zedong

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pol_Pot

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joseph_Stalin

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Fidel_Castro

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Che_Guevara 

     

     

     

     

     

     

     

  • saltyc

    I agree with everything you said about mental illness and that it does not usually result in violence but more often insane people are the targets of violence. But Daniel Johnston is not a good example, in the documentary it said that he broke into an elderly woman’s home and scared her so that she jumped out her window, breaking her ankles.

  • cmarie

    Also the only time I ever “whined” about censoring was when one of your articles glorifying people who profit by selling women into prostitution was posted.  I usually do respond to those stories and usually the comments are banned.  Doubtless many, many people who agree with me on nothing else are equally horrified about that particular quest on the part of this site and I’m sure their comments are banned too.  but back to today’s article:

     

    We already understand that the American right is about denying all responsibility for the immense destruction you folks have caused our country.

    To that my love there is only one response: 

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eEhDZN0RFjw

  • amanda-marcotte

    And more are injured, with Giffords severely injured. This is not the time for immature argumentation, taking potshots, and trying anything, no matter how silly, to deflect attention from the reality at hand. The feelings of right wingers getting hurt is of way less importance to me than preventing future tragedies.

  • amanda-marcotte

    Why is that not a good example? For? He did some screwed up stuff when he was sick, because of his specific delusions. But it doesn’t change the content of the delusions, which was impacted dramatically by what his upbringing taught him.

  • rebellious-grrl

    cmaire you have taken quotes by Obama out of context to look as if he is a violent man or someone that would incite violence, which is bull. Anything he has said would pale in comparison with what Sarah Palin, Michele Bachmann, and Sharrron Angle have said.

    “I want people in Minnesota armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back. Thomas Jefferson told us ‘having a revolution every now and then is a good thing,’ and the people – we the people – are going to have to fight back hard if we’re not going to lose our country. And I think this has the potential of changing the dynamic of freedom forever in the United States.” –  Rep. Michele Bachmann

    “I hope that’s not where we’re going, but you know if this Congress keeps going the way it is, people are really looking toward those Second Amendment remedies and saying my goodness what can we do to turn this country around? I’ll tell you the first thing we need to do is take Harry Reid out,” – Sharon Angle, former Senate candidate for Nevada. –  Congressional candidate Sharron Angle

    And of course how can we forget the gun crosshair that Sarah Palin placed over Rep. Giffords (http://www.commondreams.org/further/2011/01/08). The conservative right and the tea party should be ashamed! Shame on them! Shame! You can add Glenn Beck, Bill O’Reilly, or any of the wack-jobs at Fox News to my list too.

     

     

  • crowepps

    “They do it too” — “I’m only doing it because they did it first” — “Everybody does it”.

     

    You might want to read up a little on the long history of political assassination in American history, and how tightly it is linked to nativeism and loud hateful rhetoric.  Spend a little time on the Anarchist bombings 90 years ago.  Read up on the anti-Catholic riots and Father Coughlin and how the spread of the KKK promoted lynchings.

     

    Then look at the photo of that darling 9-year old girl and ask yourself if we really, truly want to go through that stupidity all over again.  The fact that you would use the incredibly incendiary phrase “Obama to his Mercenary Army” indicates that you need to clean up your own hate language.

  • goatini

    of America over the past 30+ years.  The bitter Nixonians Cheney and Rumsfeld, and their media cohorts Buchanan, Noonan and Stein, led by Bill Casey and Bill Brock, participated in installing their puppet POTUS Reagan.  This is when the destruction of America begins in earnest.  

  • goatini

    Here’s one:  O’Reilly. 

  • goatini

    You forgot to say “Booga Booga!  Be very afraid of the Angry Black Man!”  after your cherry-picked non-contextual laundry list.  

     

    I see your message to the progressives is “No matter how crazy our hyperbole and rhetoric gets, you’d better shut up if you know what’s good for you – make just ONE peep about fighting us back on our crazy talk, and you’ll be sorry when we smear it and you completely out of context, via our ubiquitous foreign funded noise machine network.”

     

    The usual RW noise machine suspects are doing exactly that.

  • goatini

    duplicate

  • saltyc

    He’s not a good example of how most people with mental illness are not violent because he was violent.

  • cmarie

    My love I’m not quite sure where you got the quote: “They do it too” — “I’m only doing it because they did it first”– “Everybody does it” but it wasn’t from me.

    you say: “You might want to read up a little on the long history of political assassination in American history, and how tightly it is linked to nativeism and loud hateful rhetoric.  Spend a little time on the Anarchist bombings 90 years ago.  Read up on the anti-Catholic riots and Father Coughlin and how the spread of the KKK promoted lynchings.”  

    Please tell me you are not now preaching to me about anti Catholic bigotry… that embodies irony.

     

    you also say: “Then look at the photo of that darling 9-year old girl and ask yourself if we really, truly want to go through that stupidity all over again.” 

    Well, obviously you believe the child (and all other victims) were killed because of political arguements (as opposed to mental illness).  I don’t have enough information on the subject to make an assertion like that yet (though I really think the killer was very seriously mentally ill and that it was that, as opposed to politics that caused his rampage).  I guess it might be a couple weeks before we know which of us is right on that subject….. meanwhile here’s another excellent article on the rush to blame conservative Republicans for the shooting….http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson309.html

  • cmarie

    OK… so then do you have a quote from O’Reilly saying repeatedly “(Democratic politician X)  is evil or the Devil?  thanks

  • cmarie

    you say: “You forgot to say “Booga Booga!  Be very afraid of the Angry Black Man!”  after your cherry-picked non-contextual laundry list.”

    Well, first of all its obviously not a racial issue.  But also I’m not afraid of Obama. Why would I be?  (Just as I’m sure you are not really afraid of Palin because you know these murders were the result of mental illness as opposed to political rhetoric)

    But, according to the logic of the writer quotes like the ones from Obama are what cause dangerous people to become violent.   So, obviously if political rhetoric is really that powerful and the public is really that fragile then the problem is bipartisan.

  • cmarie

    Fair enough, but, I don’t think criticizing the right is going to prevent this kind of tragedy in the future (hurt feelings or not).  The reason is that (I believe) this massacre was the result of a mentally ill (probably schizophrenic) person out and armed.  Mercifully, there were other people in the crowd (also armed) who tackled him, but not before he killed six people and injured many more.  Obviously, your intention is to prevent this from happening again and “hurt feelings” are no reason for you to be quiet if you really believe right wing speech is to blame.  But, if something other than right wing speech is to blame (like schizophrenia) then you are focusing on the wrong issue and that’s dangerous if it diverts attention from the actual cause.  I guess we will know more about what that cause would have been in the next few days.

  • cmarie

    Also as you can see http://news.bostonherald.com/news/us_politics/view/20110110insanity_defense_difficult_for_shooting_suspect/

    I’m by no means the first person to think of the Regan assination attempt.  It is because of the Hinkley case (He was found not guilty by reason of insanity) that Laughner’s lawyers probably will not be able to make the same argument sucessfully.

  • cmarie

    trying that link again 

    very worth reading

    http://www.lewrockwell.com/anderson/anderson309.html

  • colleen

    I’m by no means the first person to think of the Regan assination attempt.

    I’m sure you aren’t. The nation is full of loons.

     

  • cmarie

    darling, its not a question of loons or no loons.  When Hinkley was found to be “not guilty by reason of insanity” a lot of people, regardless of their politics, were angry and I think for good reason.  He shot four people and permanently and severly injured James Brady.  As Dershowitz said, this trial (Loughner’s) would have gone very differently prior to the Reagan assasssination attempt because (in reaction to Hinckley’s sentence) the standards for defense attorneys to argue “guilty by reason of insanity” have become much higher.

  • prochoiceferret

    But, according to the logic of the writer quotes like the ones from Obama are what cause dangerous people to become violent.   So, obviously if political rhetoric is really that powerful and the public is really that fragile then the problem is bipartisan.

     

    No, actually, it’s not.

  • colleen

    darling, its not a question of loons or no loons.

    I have no interest at all in your attempts to derail the conversation away from the subject at hand. Were this a blog for loons who believe that the mention of Pol Pot or Stalin is some sort of debate point which deflects responsibility for this senseless massacre  I would not be reading this blog.

     

  • crowepps

    I tried to make it very, VERY clear in my comment that I think people are violently attacked because our CULTURE, all of our culture, has an unnecessary level of violent IMAGERY and that seems to have the effect of encouraging the mentally ill to believe that it’s NORMAL to kill those with whom one is angry.

    This was in my morning paper today:

    I heard about the shooting in Arizona on the way to work on Saturday. It sent a sickening chill through me. At work, the event came up in conversation with a female customer. I said, “A congresswoman from Arizona was shot and killed in Tucson,” (which is what had been reported).

    “Republican or Democrat?” she asked.

    “Democrat,” I replied.

    “That’s no loss,” she said as cool and emotionless as if I’d mentioned the assassination of a rapist-murderer. I was stunned wordless.

    Read more: http://www.adn.com/2011/01/10/1642089/letters-to-the-editor-11111.html#ixzz1AkzoeooE

    I think that’s just really a bad sign of where we are right now.  I will agree with others that most of the PAID hate commentary is conservative and most of the NATIONAL LEADERS justifying hate commentary are conservative, but I have heard liberals say that the whole South could be nuked and we wouldn’t miss it, or that if all the Evangelicals aren’t Raptured soon maybe they should be given an assist, and those statements are just as dismissive of the value of fellow citizens and in my opinion contain an unacceptable level of violent imagery.

     

    It doesn’t really matter who started it or who does it more or whatever — what matters is GETTING PEOPLE TO STOP before they ‘give permission’ to some other loon to shoot up a crowd of ‘them’. 

  • goatini

    um… no… why? Do you have one of a Republican or conservative saying that* of a Democrat or contempory liberal?

    * definition of “that“, from your post:  

    repeatedly saying multiple times on TV of “[Republican Politian XXis a killer“, “[Conservative Preacher YY] is the devil”?

    O’Reilly and his guest hosts have brought up the doctor on 28 more episodes, including as recently as April 27 of this year. Almost invariably, Tiller is described as “Tiller the Baby Killer.”

  • julie-watkins

    We disagree about Olbermann; the WPotW segments I’ve seen usually have some sort of bad action that caused a person to be put on the list. We’ll have to compare before and after, if his sportscasterisms tone down about.

    You didn’t answer about people who are angry for good reason. You seem to have a problem with that, since you included that in a list of objectionable quotes. My observation is that there’s Grassroots struggle from below and there’s Atroturf talking points (usually distractions if not lies) to divide and conquer. Plus there’s popular culture that pushes what the oligarchy wants, which was true before TV & movies, just in different forms. 

    People getting their lives ruined (or afraid because they see it happening to family & friends) are angry with good reason. The people at the top of the pyramid, who don’t want to give up their ill-gotten gains & want to keep harvesting as they have been, continue Astroturfing & push their agendas in the media they own and trick others into yelling louder with unreasonable anger. 

    The Oligarchy noise machine agendas & misrepresentations are distraction from the fact that average peoples pensions and safety nets are being stolen and given to the Banksters. That’s something to be angry about.

  • cmarie

    Pol Pot or Stalin are obviously not debating points unless someone is trying to pretend mass murderers tend to come from the right and if you look at the comment above that response I posted, you’ll find exactly that.  Also, here’s a quick local editorial on the subject://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepublic/opinions/articles/2011/01/11/20110111tue1-11.html

  • cmarie

    Tiller was a doctor, not a politician and at that I don’t know that he was a Democrat at all so the question is the same.

  • crowepps

    There’s lots of stuff to be angry about and lots of people are unhappy with the direction this country is going and the decisions being made that advantage the elite.  However righteous a person’s anger is, it doesn’t give them an excuse to be violent.  It doesn’t do much good to be ‘angry’ when you allow that elite to channel your anger towards the wrong people.   There sure weren’t any bankers or rightwing media big shots standing in that line at Safeway. 

  • cmarie

     heard about the shooting in Arizona on the way to work on Saturday. It sent a sickening chill through me. At work, the event came up in conversation with a female customer. I said, “A congresswoman from Arizona was shot and killed in Tucson,” (which is what had been reported).

    “Republican or Democrat?” she asked.

    “Democrat,” I replied.

    “That’s no loss,” she said as cool and emotionless as if I’d mentioned the assassination of a rapist-murderer. I was stunned wordless.

    Wow, that’s disturbing.

  • cc

    “That’s no loss,” she said as cool and emotionless as if I’d mentioned the assassination of a rapist-murderer. I was stunned wordless.

    Wow, that’s disturbing

    ****

    After Tiller’s assassination, the “pro-life” blogs were full of commentary about “justifiable homicide” and how Scott Roeder prevented the “murder” of future unborn.

    Truly Disturbing.

     

     

  • colleen

    Pol Pot or Stalin are obviously not debating points unless someone is trying to pretend mass murderers tend to come from the right

    Noone was saying anything close to that. What I said was that for decades political violence in this country has come from the right.

    What I presented you with was a link speaking to the past TWO years of increasingly violent rhetoric, threats and crimes. Noone who pays attention was surprised. In just this one AZ district  Rep. Giffords’ district office was attacked and her front window was shot out.  In 2009, at an open constituent town meeting in a shopping center similar to the one in which she was gunned down, a pistol fell to the ground from the pocket of a protester attending the event. And then , of course, even you are no doubt aware of Mrs Palin’s contributions to the escalating destruction of this country by the American right.

    and if you look at the comment above that response I posted, you’ll find exactly that.

    Well, no, I see nothing of the kind. Nor doI have any further interest in conversations with loons.

  • cc

    “The reason is that (I believe) this massacre was the result of a mentally ill (probably schizophrenic) person out and armed.”

    Until there is a psych eval, we don’t know what motivated this person. If he is declared sane, then the motivation was sheer hatred – the kind of hatred preached by those on the right such as Bill O’Reilly who attacked Dr. Tiller relentlessly and thus contributed to an atmosphere of hatred (aided and abetted by the anti-choice movement) in which Tiller was assassinated. BTW, did ya know that O’Reilly (a good “traditionalist” Catholic) was given a “Courage Award” by the hate group, Family Research Council, for his efforts to destroy Tiller? The kind of homophobic hatred, preached by conservative Christians and the Catholic church, could be seen as the motivating factors in the brutal death of Matthew Shepherd. His killers were sane but motivated by hatred of gays. It’s quite possible that the Arizona shooter was motivated by the hatred of liberals/gays/Muslims/immigrants/minorities (Jews) etc. that is promulagated daily on hate media.  And if he is mentally ill, will the conservative right be willing to provide more funding for support services for those who are mentally ill?

    And spare us the “my love” crap. It’s condescending and meaningless.

    Oh, I forgot. The guy who killed several Unitarians (they’re evil liberals) some years back in Tennessee, had books by Sean Hannity and other right wing haters.

    Words matter.

    BTW, still no word from good Christian “pro-lifer” Jill Stanek on the shooting. I guess if you’re pro-choice, you deserve no sympathy. What a bunch of sick f&%ck’s.

     

  • colleen

    Until there is a psych eval, we don’t know what motivated this person.

     

    We don’t even know that this guy is the sole perp. Indeed the cops have  photos of  a man they believe was also involved.

    Reading online elsewhere and here, folks on the American right seem particularly defensive and even more bizarre than usual in the face of this senseless slaughter. They sound like small, psychotic children.

  • goatini

    and his murder was politically motivated.

  • goatini

    preaching false equivalency, much less outright BS like in the article linked.  

  • cmarie

    CC I don’t know if you are a published author but if you are or when you are I hope you are prepared to take full responsibility for the actions of anyone who buys your book, especially if you criticize anyone for anything.  To a disturbed mind that could be interperted as a licence to become violent and the more critical you are, the more responsibility (according to your logic) you must be prepared to take.  Never mind if you’ve never heard of the criminal, never mind if your publication and his actions are years apart, nevermind if he perverted whatever it was you said, nevermind if he is deeply disturbed or on heroin… if he owns it… apparently your book is responsible.  

        Also, lets consider who goes to a town hall meeting.  Usually, its people who differ with the politician.  They want to ask questions.  Say you and I are argueing about this subject… not online but in person.  Some stranger shoots you and then immediatly turns around and shoots me too.  Do you really think anyone is going to say the shooter was concerned about the subject we disagreed on?  The one thing we know about the shooter is: regardless of where you fall on the political spectrum he wants to shoot you.  Christians are being killed in Egypt today.  Is that the American left’s fault?  Of course not, but neither is this tragedy the fault of the right.  I’m done with this subject now.  I appreciate that rhrealitycheck has allowed me to post on this.

  • beenthere72

    Unless there’s another person they think is involved now that I haven’t read about yet, cops did figure out that the other guy they thought might be an accomplice was actually the cab driver that drove him there.   

  • colleen

    Thank you for this piece of information. I’ve been trying to meet a firm deadline w/work and have not been keeping up on the news as much as usual and missed this.

  • crowepps

     Christians are being killed in Egypt today.  Is that the American left’s fault?

    I agree with you that this tragedy is not “the fault of the right”.  Asserting that the right “helped this happen” would be as ridiculous as saying that “the pagans, and the abortionists, and the feminists, and the gays and the lesbians who are actively trying to make that an alternative lifestyle, the ACLU” helped make 9/11 happen.

     

    It is, however, absolutely the fault of the right that our civil discourse has devolved to the point where you feel free to toss off a vile slander that implies “it’s in line with the goals of the left that Christians are being killed in Egypt”.  Many liberals are Christians.  Your statement is particularly ironic considering that the Coptic Christians in Egypt are being targeted by religious conservatives whose goals match your own — to ‘purify’ their country by restricting women’s rights and enforcing religious law.

     

     

  • julie-watkins

    What bothers me, and it’s been this way for millenia, is that the people at the top will do everything necessary to keep themselves in power — but they object when people on the lower levels object.

    Above, this quote is listed in whoever’s talking points as something objectionable.

    Obama on ACORN Mobs: “I don’t want to quell anger. I think people are right to be angry! I’m angry!”

    I haven’t tracked down the context on this, but I’ve never heard of
    ACORN breaking windows or waving guns or threating guns. They’re usually about voting against corporate-owned politicians and against preditory bank practices.

    As everyone is pointed out, violence isn’t an appropriate way to express violence. But the inclusion of above in a list about “left wing violence” seems to imply & define legal political participation as “violence”.

    Boggle.

     

  • julie-watkins

    because the shooter didn’t have change and the cab driver went with him into to store to be sure he got paid.

  • crowepps

    The bizarreness of the phrase “Mercenary Army” continued to nag at me, and I finally spent some time tracking down its origin.  It is not a quote at all but instead a headline created by Pat Dollard on his blog over a story from Politico that he crossposted.  His blog has the motto “The War Starts Here” and a photo of a young man dressed in military gear in front of the flag.   

     

    The “Army” to which he is referring is six Democratic Senators who met with the President and his staff in 2009 regarding the upcoming campaign.  The statement in question referred to campaign ads, the precise words were actually (as quoted in the body of the text) “If you get hit, we will punch back twice as hard”, and the speaker wasn’t the President himself but rather his deputy chief of staff Jim Messina.

     

    http://patdollard.com/2009/08/obama-to-his-mercenary-army-hit-back-twice-as-hard/

     

    I find this fascinating.  The list is ALL OVER the web, it has been cut and pasted repeatedly into the comments under just about every story even tangentially about the shooting or the aftermath, and this particular line is wrong in every single detail — wrong words, wrong speaker, no money and no military.  If I had the time I would vet the rest of the quotes, but I’ve got to say, based on the total and complete inaccuracy of this one, the whole thing is probably junk.

  • julie-watkins

    I’m not surprised the list is all over the web — and not surprised what you found.

  • crowepps

    The viral spread of this sort of junk makes me wonder just who is financing the propagandist who put it together and the busy bees working so hard to distribute it widely.  But then, the Tea Party is pretty much a wholly owned subsidiary of the Koch brothers and not much of an improvement on their dad’s John Birch Society.