Before any information whatsoever was available about Jared Loughner, the man who shot Gabrielle Giffords, Judge John Roll, and 17 other people today in front of the Safeway supermarket near Ina and Oracle in Tucson, many were attempting to blame Glenn Beck, Sarah Palin, and Jesse Kelly. Apparently, Kelly held a campaign event at a shooting range (horror of horrors). Palin's PAC put Giffords in crosshairs as part of what appears to have been a hunting-themed direct mailing.
It doesn't seem likely that a hypothetical Loughner has been plotting, plotting, plotting since receiving Palin's mailing months ago. Indeed the idea sounds laughable. And that's without knowing anything about Loughner.
Loughner's Myspace page and Youtube videos show many signs of mental illness, including a bizarre writing style, paranoia about mind control, inventing one's own currency and own language to escape mind control, and talk of "conscience dreaming" (whatever that means) and sleepwalking to escape mind control. In short, he appears to be a regular nut not an angry political assassin deciding it's time to "go to the cartridge box" all by himself.
FM 104.1 here in Tucson was relaying KGUN 9's coverage of (Sheriff) Clarence Dupnik's press conference. Repeatedly, Sheriff Dupnik, instead of focusing on the matter at hand, blamed "vitriol" in the popular press. This despite him acknowledging, without naming Loughner's name, seeing "all 7 minutes" of Loughner's Youtube videos. Near the end of the conference a reporter I could not identify pinned him down on this: was there any evidence that Loughner was inspired by such "vitriol" or had any political motive. The answer, none at all. Maybe Dupnik means "liar" or "crass jackass" in some language. Our Congresswoman--who he called a friend--was shot, and he was in spite of the facts using that in an attempt to score political points against the Right.
We all know that the staff of the Huffington Post, which appears to have been the first to attempt to politicize today's spree shooting by blaming Republican talking heads and Sara Palin, have no shame. I found out today that some of my friends--one of whom (a foreigner, so perhaps she has an excuse) even suggested the abridgement of Beck and Palin's right to free speech--don't have much either, or that they do not understand the limits of decency. (Shall we blame Noam Chomsky and other market abolitionists on the Left for every home invasion, mugging, or property crime?) To blame the political right for today's spree shooting was bad enough. To do so before any information about the killer was available was simply shameful. It's a form of lying, to claim something about motives when he could just as easily been a leftist or have done it "to impress Jodie Foster". I would be ashamed and those who participated in such wild speculation, such lying to score political points owe everyone an apology.
Kudos, by the way, to Rodney Glassman for telling Democrats to stop pointing fingers until they have the facts.