The Wall Street Journal has been kind enough to publish an article that looks at the actual facts and background the Arizona shooter, divulging details about the freak’s past, including what happened at the 2007 meeting between him and Giffords. Other details of his decline are also discussed which, weirdly enough, have absolutely nothing to do with politics or Sarah Palin. I know, shocking.

As the orgy of blaming Palin and ‘crosshairs’ and ‘inflammatory political rhetoric’ continues, the actual tipping point for the AZ shooter seems to have been a breakup with a girlfriend, drug abuse and resentment at Giffords for what he thought was a disrespectful response at a 2007 ‘Congress on Your Corner.’

In one of the rare stories that doesn’t mention or blame Sarah Palin or the Tea Party, we get a clearer look at the alleged gunman and what seems to have sent him on his rampage Saturday morning. And, surprise, it wasn’t Palin, political rhetoric, or ‘prejudice and bigotry.’

Suspect Fixated on Giffords

Accused Gunman Went to Congresswoman’s Event in 2007; ‘I Planned Ahead’

A safe at Mr. Loughner’s home contained a form letter from Ms. Giffords’ office thanking him for attending a 2007 “Congress on your Corner” event in Tucson. The safe also held an envelope with handwritten notes, including the name of Ms. Giffords, as well as “I planned ahead,” “My assassination,” and what appeared to be Mr. Loughner’s signature, according to an FBI affidavit…

Mr. Loughner had complained to a friend about how he was treated by the Arizona lawmaker during an event several years ago, which aggravated Mr. Loughner, according to the friend…much of Mr. Loughner’s free time was devoted to the school band. He wasn’t especially political, Mr. Marriotti said, though he expressed frustration with the Bush Administration…

But around the 10th grade, Mr. Loughner seemed to have “a mental downfall” following his break-up with a girlfriend…”his friends changed from people like us to more, drug oriented people I suppose.” […] Friends say by his junior year Mr. Loughner used drugs, and his grades slumped…

Mr. Loughner went “through a tagging phase” in 2009, said Mr. Montanaro, painting graffiti, using phrases from literature. He also would sit in unlocked cars, he said, until the night he was chased off by one car’s apparent owner…Mr. Loughner later enrolled in classes at Pima Community College, where he became disruptive and unstableOn his first test, Mr. Loughner wrote “Mayhem Fest!!!” in large letters, Mr. McGahee said.

Mr. McGahee said he tried to remove Mr. Loughner from class on several occasions, but college officials didn’t agree. Pima College spokesman Paul Schwalbach said the school didn’t notify law enforcement officials about Mr. Loughner because he didn’t appear to be a threat…Mr. Loughner raged against the government and the Constitution and discussed “terrorism.”

An Army spokesman confirmed that Mr. Loughner “attempted to enlist in the Army but was rejected for service.” A person familiar with the matter said he wasn’t accepted because of a failed drug test…Mr. Montanaro said his friend “was never really political,” but “really tried to be philosophical.” Mr. Loughner liked “contemplating the meaning of words and the origin of language,” Mr. Montanaro said.

That interest might have triggered Mr. Loughner’s first meeting with Ms. Giffords in 2007. Mr. Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, “How do you know words mean anything?” recalled Mr. Montanaro. He said Mr. Loughner was “aggravated” when Ms. Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, “responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting.”

To recap: It appears Loughner was a mentally and emotionally unstable drug addict who, according to friends, was affected by the breakup with a girlfriend and became fixated on Giffords after she responded to him Spanish after his question about language. Multiple friends note he wasn’t political, but became increasingly unhinged over the years, with drugs likely playing a role in the decline.

One could also question the reticence of Pima Community College to take more serious action against someone whom to so many appeared to be dangerously unstable.

Right now two congresspeople are exploiting this tragedy, still, for political gain. In the name of “stopping the hate” and toning down the environment which they say made this happen, Carolyn McCarthy readies gun control bill and Rep. Rep. Robert Brady, a Democrat from Philadelphia,

told CNN that he also plans to take legislative action. He will introduce a bill that would make it a crime for anyone to use language or symbols that could be seen as threatening or violent against a federal official, including a member of Congress.

Of course, that law would protect only members of Congress. All us regular people are on our own.

Let’s get real, here. If we are going to ban things that “made this happen,” why stop at one or two things? Why not go after everything that set the maniac off? We can start with girlfriends, all drugs (oh wait, those are banned, my bad), asking Congresspeople questions, and then answering those questions in Spanish, the Constitution and the U.S. Government. Oh, and also Jews (isn’t always the Jews?) and babies, both of which other reports indicate he didn’t like very much. Oh yeah, other people in general, and of course, George W. Bush.

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  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Tammy Bruce, Suhr Mesa, eddiebear, ProphetFella, ProphetFella and others. ProphetFella said: @MorningMika @JoeNBC @AGolis Good Article! RT @HeyTammyBruce -Details Emerge-AZ Shooter-None Involve @SarahPalinUSA #p2 […]

  2. bluegrassriver says:

    This reminds me in a roundabout way of the Paul Wellstone memorial service where some in attendance heckled and screamed at Republican Senators who were there to honor their colleague, to the point where some of those Senators felt the need to leave the service early. It was such an amazingly barbaric display that I’ll never forget it, and for me that was a real defining moment in showing how unhinged many on the left have become.

  3. Maynard says:

    Note that we, as usual, are on the defensive. The purpose of Tammy’s post is, in essence, to clear Palin’s name. It’s an unfortunate situation, in that efforts such as this acknowledge that Palin’s name needs clearing…which is both a political reality and a sign of the sickness of our era. We’ve done nothing wrong, and we’ve behaved with vastly more civility and decency than those that oppose us, and yet it’s always us that stand accused of heinous crimes against humanity, and we endlessly strive to repair the damage to our somehow-tainted reputation. And I suppose it must be done. But never forget, as we go through these obligatory motions, how ridiculous they are. We must seek a world of greater truth and clarity.

    • makeshifty says:

      What this incident showed me is the reason we are on the defensive is not that there are too many people who have a different opinion from us. It’s that news outlets present the story in a biased manner. It would be one thing if they’d give a “fair and balanced” presentation that would allow a discussion of facts from different points of view. Instead only one view is portrayed, which goes against the conservative world view. The most recent incidence of this portrays Rep. Giffords as the victim of an “atmosphere” that’s created by the right, which “causes” some unstable or ignorant people to act violently against public officials who are Democrats.

      I’ve heard liberals express concern about this multiple times in recent months, that the words you choose in discussing a controversial issue publicly have huge ramifications, because supposedly they *know* how nut cases and ignorant people react to people using those words in certain contexts. They’re the careful, diplomatic ones who understand how to discuss an issue “responsibly,” using the right words at the right time to elicit the right responses from the public. I think this betrays a supreme confidence they have that what matters is not that people think, and can pick apart arguments, because their rationale goes most people, except for the educated elite, don’t know *how* to think. In fact, thinking is overrated. What matters is knowledge, vision, progressive principles, and having a creative mind. The very idea of having a public debate seems rather pointless in this context, except to have a contest about who can color reality better, and create a more convincing and desirable vision of the world. What matters is the mass psychology, and how it can be molded by the right stories, images, and presentations. It’s all about PR. You see, you don’t understand. You have to get people to see things the way you see them, literally. It’s not persuasion. You have to get people to perceive *reality* the way you do. You have to color what people see, because reality is just an agreed upon construct, and of course the “construct” we should all be trying to build is one that promotes an interdependent vision of the world where every little thing you and I do affects everything else, and as long as we have the right “tolerant” and giving attitudes, then everyone will be better off. There are also certain “right” people who should be our anointed leaders, and who promote this view, and there are certain people who fancy themselves as leaders, but who are “dangerous,” who will create chaos, violence, and havoc. You don’t want to vote for those people.

      The thinking is there is no such thing as an objective reality, and that people don’t understand that that’s the REAL reality! Liberals see themselves as understanding how to manipulate people’s perceptions and emotions to produce the “right” outcomes. That’s what’s important. Everything would be great in their minds if the conservatives would just shut up, because we don’t know how to do it right, and we keep messing up the perceptions they create! That’s why they call conservatives stupid. If we just had the same vision they had, then we’d agree with them and everything would be right with the world. And this is the thinking of many of the news outlets, not to mention liberal politicians!

      In this context, even if a conservative like Palin, or a movement like the Tea Party did not order a “hit” on Giffords, they are somewhat culpable for what happened at her event, because of the way Palin expressed campaign strategy during an election year, and the way the Tea Party expressed its opinion about the health care bill. They got people mad at each other, and at the benevolent people who just want to take care of all of us, and have figured out how to do it better than their predecessors. Palin and the Tea Party have asserted their right to create a different narrative for the masses than liberals and news outlets have put out, and they should be held responsible for creating it, because as liberals know, the masses react to narratives as if they’re the truth, particularly some nut cases, or people who are scared who “cling to their religion and guns.”

      What needs to change is a sense of respect for the public, both by news outlets, and by governments. A sense of, “Yes, you dumbasses, people can think, and in many cases they know more about what’s going on than you do!”

    • Sam Joe says:

      Thank you, Maynard.

  4. eMVeeH says:

    It is horrible how the “blame game” has become so political. Even that moral idiot Pima County Sherrif, Clarence Dip something or other, is putting the hat on the Tea Party for Loughner’s killing spree.

    If there is anyplace to put the blame on, it’s on those who witnessed Loughner’s dangerous mental decline and did nothing about it. If someone did attempt to warn some authority, then they were probably ignored. Hmm…reminds me of many famous, “if only’s” authorities missed.

    G-d rest the souls of the departed and help their survivors.

  5. Maynard says:

    Here we go again.

    Anagrams for “Clarence Dupnik”, that jackass sheriff of Pima County, include “Clean Nude Prick” or, if you prefer, “Uncleaned Prick”, not to mention “Rep. Unclean Dick”.

    Sorry for the tasteless reportage. But if I didn’t tell you, who would?

  6. Dianna_in_Columbus says:

    There are people on the left who just have no conscience whatsoever is exploiting this tragedy and using it as a cheap smear tactic. And to the degree which they are doing it. I guess the past few years of the left continually trying to play the race card (also as a cheap smear) is in no way an attempt to incite racial violence for political gain.

  7. Alain41 says:

    Liberties are always taken away based on the ‘need’ for security. And there are always lunatics who will supply the security rationale. Like the Virginia Tech shooter, the disturbed is noticed at the school, but the school is too scared/concerned/whatever to do anything about it.

    BTW, the 9 year old girl was born on 9/11/2001.

  8. franknitti says:

    Prediction: when Gabrielle Giffords makes a recovery and is able to talk to the media she will toe the liberal line and blame everything on Palin and the Tea Party. I know these egg suckers like the back of my hand. Giffords is no different.

  9. Shifra says:

    The woman who grabbed the magazine from the killer, Patricia Maisch, ended the Shepard Smith interview with a tirade against Republicans and “right-wing hate speech,” and, as an example of tea-party hate rhetoric, she quoted this gem: “jobs-killing bill.” Apparently, the use of the word “kill” had something to do with the atrocity in AZ this weekend. Kudos to this woman for her bravery, but she, like all the left-wing talking heads, are fanning the flames of hatred with their own vicious hate-speech. The depravity of the Left knows no bounds.

  10. morecowbell says:

    As usual, our society takes a reactive approach to incidents such as these. The young man is obviously mentally ill. All you have to do is look at the numbers for young men between 18 – 25 and severe mental illness.. such as Schizophrenia and Schizoaffective disorders.

    There are 6 times more people diagnosed with Schizophrenia than with Insulin-dependent Diabetes… twice as many than those with Alzheimers and 60 times more than those with Muscular Dystrophy. 2.2 million people, as of 2007, most young males. If found walking around in a delusion due to Alzheimers, you are taken to a hospital and wind up into hospice care. If you are found walking around in a delusion from Schizophrenia, it’s usually 4 days in a pysch ward, a hand full of meds and back on the street… or jail. Jails have become defacto Pyschiatric Hospitals. 20% of all inmates suffer from severe mental illness and our penal system is not designed to treat the mentally ill. Because psychosis can come and go, these guys seem fine one day and are florid the next. They hide their symptoms and avoid treatment because of the stigma associated with mental illness or a lack of awareness that they are sick at all.

    Most of these suffering young men end up treating their illness with street drugs and alcohol, adding addiction to the equation, creating what is known medically as a “comorbid” condition, and the name is appropriate. Schizophrenia, gone untreated, leaves a life expectancy norm of 25 for those guys diagnosed in their late teens. The burden of care is expensive. The monthly bill for just the meds today to treat Schizophrenia runs about $2000.00. And that is for the lifetime of the patient. It does not take long to hit the lifetime maximum for private healthcare plans and when they eventually land in Medicaid/Medicare… well, think death panels on steroids. A sane person has difficulty managing the bureaucracy… the mentally ill… they are pretty much doomed by the system.

    My Point: We need to change the way we look and treat mental illness as a society. We need to de-stigmatize mental illness and incorporate screening into our preventive medical protocols, like we do for Alzheimers and Diabetes. We need to educate family practitioners, teachers and the kids themselves on the symptoms and signs. This is the cheapest, most effective way to prevent incidents like the VA Tech and Arizona shooting this weekend.

    • vitadMD says:

      Having been in the medical profession, I’ve seen how “civil rights” organizations and representatives sometimes make it very difficult to treat psych patients. The problem isn’t in identifying the mentally ill, as physicians get lots of training in doing that. It’s what happens after that diagnosis is made which then may involve social workers, lawyers, and courts.

      Another thing to consider is the behavior of all the people who interact with the mentally ill who are not medical professionals, like parents, teachers, friends, police, and society in general. What do you think about pervasive tolerance not just of unusual behavior, but of behavior that is inappropriate, disrespectful, amoral?… sort of like “diversity of behavior”… anything is acceptable, as was witnessed this past weekend… except, of course, if the behavior is that of an independently thinking/behaving Conservative.

      • morecowbell says:

        I agree completely, my comments were not intended to diss to the medical community. The problem is drawing the line. Physicians do a great job, but are handcuffed when it comes to patient privacy issues, civil rights and their liability. Unless a patient is an immediate danger to themselves or others and are of legal age, game over… they are free to do was they wish. Go figure.. lawyers are involved.

        Mental illness (and I include addiction as a form of mental illness) is the only disease I know of where the patients deny they are ill and refuse treatment.

        It is the only illness where patients lie about their symptoms.

        It’s the one illness where the family (and the community) blames itself for the illness of their child or spouse… or they, like the patient, deny it themselves until all hell breaks loose. Remember the scrutiny the VA tech shooters parents came under after that incident… as though they were somehow responsible for their son’s mental illness.

        The stigma attached to severe mental illnesses exacerbates the problem….talk about a marginalized segment of our population. What sound minded individual would want to admit they have Schizophrenia? Imagine a college aged adult dealing with that kind of diagnosis with a mind that tells him he is not sick. Tragic.

        My point.. mental illness is a very different kind of illness. The medical professionals have to be given more authority in making determinations without fear of litigation. Severely mentally ill people need to have their civil rights preserved, but there has to be more flexibility, a line, given to the medical professionals to temporarily encroach these rights for the health and safety of the patients and the community at large. Families need to be given more freedom over privacy right to help manage the care of their loved one.

  11. animalfarm says:

    EXCELLENT, excellent, and let me add excellent, opinion piece by Glenn Reynolds over at the WSJ entitled, “The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel:
    Those who purport to care about the tenor of political discourse don’t help civil debate when they seize on any pretext to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.”

    “So as the usual talking heads begin their “have you no decency?” routine aimed at talk radio and Republican politicians, perhaps we should turn the question around. Where is the decency in blood libel?”
    “Those who try to connect Sarah Palin and other political figures with whom they disagree to the shootings in Arizona use attacks on “rhetoric” and a “climate of hate” to obscure their own dishonesty in trying to imply responsibility where none exists. But the dishonesty remains.”

    Read it here:

    On a side note, “Why Chinese Mothers are Superior” is an interesting popular article over there too.

  12. hemetmenifee says:

    Fort Hood, 9/11, do not jump to conclusions! Don’t point fingers before you get facts! The media, the President, all fast and furious to tell us to be careful not to hurry to a conclusion. But, this, 100% change – rush, run, sprint, fly to a conclusion: Palin, Beck, Fox News, Tea Party, anti-Obamacare & anti-amnesty fanatics, Republicans, conservatives, pro-2nd amendment fans, all of you caused this shooting to happen –
    the blood is on your hands. Sheriff – yes, the right wing nuts did this. Debate did this. Facts, heck, we don’t need no stinking facts. They just ran to those conclusions, links, attributes w/i seconds. Never let a crisis go to waste. Obama White House on the trail of a good crisis to exploit. Led by MSNBC, NYTimes, Hollywood, ABC, CBS, NBC, LA Times, Air America, the usual crowd. I am disappointed, but ,not surprised. I am annoyed, but, not shocked. This is what George Soros, Daily Kos, The View, famous people w/ a forum, do every single time they can. One problem: we’re not that dumb, and we’re not going to roll over because it would be expedient. I want people to know the names of those hurt or killed, more than the cowardly killer. I want us to know what the facts in this case are, not the theories. I want to know what we could have done, if anything, to prevent him from doing this that day. I want those who are making outrageous connections to Palin and conservatives to say they were wrong………..I may wait forever for that. We need more debate ,not less. We need more passionate people involved, not less. We need brave souls to stand up to the massive wall of the left that would like to silence the right of any kind….and to do so w/facts, information ,and passion.
    May those injured recover fully. May those lost know many pray for their families and friends.

  13. Rhenna says:

    These sanctimonious types on the left who are *so* concerned about the supposed inflammatory phrases and imagery used by Gov. Palin and her staff have a very short and/or selective memory. They couldn’t seem to find their voices when Sen. Stevens met his unfortunate end last year in the crash of a private aircraft in Alaska.

    Following many articles on the web reporting the details of this incident, there were dozens and dozens of comments left about how unfortunate, some thought, that Sarah Palin wasn’t on board the plane. A few even went so far as to bemoan the fact that her entire family wasn’t on board! I couldn’t decide what was worse; those comments, or, the fact these relatively mainstream news sites left these awful thoughts public.

    I cannot get my mind around the way these people think; about what they hold dear, and about what sort of World we would live in if they had their way. My prayers are for all of us as a Nation.

  14. wpduggan says:

    If the use of military terminology during a campaign to defeat the opposition incites people to violence as the left has accused Sarah Palin of doing, and millions of people listen to this rhetoric, why has only one person turned to violence? Maybe because the rest of us (WE THE PEOPLE) are NOT deranged or mentally disturbed. We can be angry and not turn to violence. Paul Krugman must be a very disturbed gentleman ( and I use the term gentleman loosely).

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