Meet Jared Loughner

This is the rather bizarre mugshot of Jared Loughner that was released yesterday afternoon. He has been assigned lawyer Judy Clarke, who defended the Unabomber.

One of the more interesting facts to emerge is that Loughner was expelled from his community college after complaints from classmates that he seemed on the edge of violence.

In the meantime, the Sheriff is being attacked for criticizing right-wing commentators for their over-the-top rhetoric, including conservative icon, Rush Limbaugh. Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik stated “The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information. . . [Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences.” [Update: Limbaugh has reportedly fired back by saying that the Democratic Party supports Loughner and is “attempting to find anybody but him to blame.” Wasn’t he supposed to be Costa Rica?] Reportedly near the scene of the shooting is this billboard:

Sarah Palin is also being criticized for putting a bullseye over Giffords’s district as someone she has “set her sights on” for defeat:

Notably, Palin was previously associated with threats against the President by the Secret Service, here.

Gifford’s husband has also blamed inflammatory rhetoric for the shooting.

For its part, the Brady Campaign, may the following point in a statement from Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence:

“The 22 year-old shooter in Tucson was not allowed to enlist in the military, was asked to leave school, and was considered “very disturbed” (according to former classmates), but that’s not enough to keep someone from legally buying as many guns as they want in America.” For the full statement, click here

One of the more worrisome (and predictable) developments is the proposal of legislation to further criminalize speech, here.

201 thoughts on “Meet Jared Loughner”

  1. “As to the latter your brand of free market medicine has the current US child mortality rate at about fifteenth in the industrialized world.”

    So, does anyone have a good source/site for the statistical numbers regarding just how much Government (populace) monies are given to corporations to develop and manufacture the drugs, schools, hospitals and medical machines currently in practice and use for the ‘free market’ healthcare industry?

    I get very irked when people are accused of ‘freeloading’ etc. because they can no longer afford to pay for services in industries that exist in thier current form. Especially when those industries were created or grew by either taking over what was publicly built or subsidized in some manner by public wealth. Idealism aside….what is the reality here folks…..
    Yesterday on a PBS interview I heard a MD actually spewing about how people should be turned away from the hospitals if they could not pay or demonstrate (up front) that they have insurance….I’m guessing his education came with grants, loans and other subsidies…. oh crap, I must be a commie! :p

  2. Mike Appleton wrote:

    “The purpose of news is to inform. The purpose of political commentary is to persuade. The purpose of directing angry diatribes against individuals or identifiable groups is to increase ratings by stirring the emotions of one’s audience.

    “It should come as no surprise that vituperative rhetoric can impact not only the fearful and ignorant, but the fearful and unstable as well. That is simply an observable fact of human nature. And though none of us would like to think that something he or she says will contribute to the hallucinatory meanderings of a paranoid mind, we know that it happens.”

    Buddha wrote:

    “I submit that “culprit” and “likely contributory” as distinct. Clearly, the culprit is the gunman’s mental instability. However, it is not unreasonable to make the leap that incitement exacerbates mental illness and indeed plays to it.”

    Matt Taibbi wrote:

    “To see that, all you have to do is attend almost any family gathering, where once-loving relationships have been completely lost because of the overheated right-left culture war. If real family relationships are being lost to this kind of political debate, if someone on TV can reach into your living room and break up your family without knowing anything about you or even knowing that you exist, that tells us that this mechanized mass-media rhetoric has been almost unimaginably successful at dehumanizing whole classes of people.”


    I think they all make good points.

    I’m not going to accuse anyone at this time of being in any way responsible for what Loughner did–except for Loughner. Still, I have heard enough hateful right-wing rhetoric/lies over the past few years. I can no longer reasonably discuss politics with an old friend (who was once more liberal than I) and a close relative. Why? Because they watch Fox News. I have seen what listening to Fox has done to them–and they aren’t crazy!

    Those in the media and politics who engage in fearmogering and hatemongering should be called out for what they do on a regular basis. It’s funny how those who like to dish it out have such thin skin when others point fingers at them. Live by the sword; die by the sword.

  3. Mike S. and Swarthmore mom,


    Am I wrong in understanding Palin’s usage of the term to be that of comparing the current unfounded association of political rhetoric to the Arizona shootings with the unfounded charges against Jews by anti-Semites?

    I support a call to minimize/end the hostile political rhetoric (universally; not just in the MSM). Figuring out how to do that without impeding free speech is virtually impossible. Any effort is made even more difficult because neither side is willing to accept that they all do it. (Even here, on this blawg, it came down to ‘your side does it more than mine’.)

    Although we have no evidence connecting that rhetoric to the shootings in Arizona, it may be the wake-up call this country needed that may prevent some future atrocity. I doubt the wake-up call will bear any fruit until both sides admit culpability.

  4. “What does “blood libel” mean?”

    It is the belief that during Passover Jews kidnapped, killed and ate Christian children with their Passover Seder meal. It has led to many a pogrom throughout the history of the middle ages and remains a belief among more diseased minds.

  5. Bdaman,
    Somewhere along the line I missed anything regarding yor mother’s health and I can only infer from some various comments that she was (or is still)ailing. Whatever the case let me also add my best wishes for her recovery (or continued recovery). Having lost my mother about fifty years ago I know how important one can be in a person’s life. They are irreplaceable. I hope that you are blessed with many more years of her presence and unconditional love, and that those years for her are healthful and rewarding.

  6. “Actually all of the sayings in that list of alleged right wing quotes you posted sound pretty sensible to me.”

    Is it possible that you have misread my intent in the post, or that I was unclear in my presentation? Those weren’t alleged right wing quotes, they were my assessments of how those champions of the non-existent “free market” misunderstand its effect on people. It was also my trying to explain my distrust of all “Isms.”

    As I’ve stated before all human beings should have the right to have adequate food, shelter, education and health care. The methods of achieving this are not tied up by one particular
    socio-political/economic philosphy, but by a general understanding and sympathy/empathy towards our fellow humans.

  7. Palin’s use of the words, “blood libel”, is stirring things up again today. Does she purposefully send these signals?

  8. “You are telling me that unless people have access to the medical care others before us never had, freedom is unachievable? That is utter nonsense and I’ve just proven it. You are absurd and ridiculous. You comment isn’t believable.”

    Your list of modern medicines/procedures that our ancestors didn’t have and followed by your statements regarding that back then they were happy and free w/o those medical advances is absurdly illogical. They also had a life expectancy of around 55 and an astronomical child mortality rate. As to the latter your brand of free market medicine has the current US child mortality rate at about fifteenth in the industrialized world.

    However, you purportedly good Christian that you claim you are, could care less about the ill timed deaths of others due to lack of health care because in your narrow mental formulations they are free to make choices.

    It is clear that you hate the idea of government and so would prefer that corporations and their inevitable cartels would rule your life. You do fervently believe that such a state would make yours and everyone elses lives better and freer.
    You do so with conviction since you lack insight into both history and the current state of US and the world.

    I in no way advocate a Marxist based State. The difference, however, between you and me is that I’ve actually known dedicated Marxists and so have first hand knowledge of why Marxism is unworkable. By the same token I look around me, read history and allow myself to think unblemished by pseudo-religious based propaganda. What I see is that there must be some balancing force to the excesses of corporatism and that perforce requires a government that can reign in those excesses. Admittedly the governments of the past fifty years have done a poor job of this being overwhelmed by the blandishments of corporate and private money. While both parties are guilty for allowing and condoning this, its’ greatest supporters have been those who you most obediently follow.

    You have clearly shown that you do not believe in a right to health care for everyone and to this I can only say that I hope that you and those you love never have to be the ones with treatable conditions, who must suffer due to your un-Christian selfishness and lack of concern for the afflictions of fellow humans.

  9. Bob, Esq. and mespo:

    I certainly agree that much of the left’s reaction to the Tucson tragedy has been overwrought. I try to avoid knee-jerk reactions, although not always successfully. But I believe my comment in this instance is completely rational. Mr. Loughner’s rants, while hardly models of coherence, are directed at the government. Anti-government rhetoric over the past two years has been more intense than at any other time in my lifetime. Indeed, even the legitimacy of the current president has been loudly and consistently questioned. And a literal call to arms has bubbled just beneath the surface of much of what passes for political debate in this country. Mr. Loughner may be disconnected from reality, but his own web entries indicate that he has not been disconnected from the paranoid political fantasies constantly swirling about.

  10. Slarti/James,

    Speaking of finger pointing, here is what Fat Bastard, er, Rush Limbaugh had to say about the shooter:

    “What Mr. Loughner knows is that he has the full support of a major political party in this country. He’s sitting there in jail. He knows what’s going on, he knows that…the Democrat party is attempting to find anybody but him to blame. He knows if he plays his cards right, he’s just a victim. He’s the latest in a never-ending parade of victims brought about by the unfairness of America…this guy clearly understands he’s getting all the attention and he understands he’s got a political party doing everything it can, plus a local sheriff doing everything that they can to make sure he’s not convicted of murder – but something lesser.”

    No, Rush. You must be on the Oxy again. Everyone with a shred of decency and common sense (which rules you out) wants Loughner prosecuted for murder. If his sentence is somehow mitigated by a valid assertion of the insanity defense, that’s not a partisan issue. However, none of this mitigates your personal culpability in inciting violence with your hot winded rhetoric, you egoistic gas bag.

  11. Mike S.

    Actually all of the sayings in that list of alleged right wing quotes you posted sound pretty sensible to me. This is one of the few times where you and I prepare to disagree.

    Of course it is quite possible for tea party types to use quotes to boost their crazy arguments when they have not read them or if they have read them but failed to understand them.

    Glad to see that you are back to frequent posting.

    You say, “Each of the above statements can be proven” do you mean “disproven”.

  12. Someone working for Sarah Palin has claimed that the symbols with cross hairs on the map are surveyors’ symbols. This person may in fact be correct. The cross hairs in a telescopic sight do not extend beyond the bounding circle.

    Of course only a minority of readers of the ad who actually use surveyors’ symbols would interpret them that way, the majority would interpret them as gun sights. However we may have to give the benefit of the doubt to the Sarah Palin worker who produced the map.

  13. The police were sent to the home where Jared L. Loughner lived with his family on more than one occasion before the attack here on Saturday that left a congresswoman fighting for her life and six others dead, the Pima County Sheriff’s Department said on Tuesday.

    A spokesman, Jason Ogan, said the details of the calls were being reviewed by legal counsel and would be released as soon as the review was complete. He said he did not know what the calls were about — they could possibly have been minor, even trivial matters — or whether they involved Jared Loughner or another member of the household.

    A friend of Mr. Loughner’s also said in an interview on Tuesday that Mr. Loughner, 22, was skilled with a gun — as early as high school — and had talked about a philosophy of fostering chaos.

    The news of police involvement with the Loughners suggests that county sheriff’s deputies were at least familiar with the family, even if the reason for their visits was unclear as of Tuesday night.

    The account by Mr. Loughner’s friend, a rare extended interview with someone close to Mr. Loughner in recent years, added some details to the emerging portrait of the suspect and his family.

    “He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos, and that is probably why he did the shooting, along with the fact he was sick in the head,” said Zane Gutierrez, 21, who was living in a trailer outside Tucson and met Mr. Loughner sometimes to shoot at cans for target practice.

    The more we look at the man behind the killing spree, the more we see how biased and disturbed the media has become.

  14. It was reported that he had a confrontation with his dad the day of the incident. His father reported that Jared removed a bag from the trunk of a car and his father chased him and he ran eventually taking a cab. The cabbie was the assumed second player and eventually cleared. My sources tell me this morning they have now found the black bag. No reports of the contents.

  15. Mespo: “We should avoid the lure of pointing to examples of the evil we all abhor until we can say with certainty that the evil was there in the first place. Elsewise we look like zealots who substitute emotion for reason and cherish only the satisfaction of gratifying our commonly held prejudices — no matter how well-founded those prejudices appear to be.”

    Fletch: “Well said; well spoken.”

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