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2007 letter from Giffords found in Loughner’s safe

Jared Lee Loughner

From NBC affiliate KPNX-12 in Arizona:

Letter from Giffords found in safe of murder suspect

A letter from Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords found in the safe of the home of accused gunman Jared Loughner thanks him for attending a 2007 “Congress on your Corner” event.

Handwriting on an envelope said, “I planned ahead” and “My assassination.”

It contained Giffords’ name, along with what appeared to be Loughner’s signature.

Those facts were contained as part of a federal complaint filed in U.S. District Court that charges Loughner with two counts of murder and three counts of attempted murder at Giffords’ “Congress on your Corner” event on Saturday.

This matches up with information we heard yesterday:

Caitie Parker, a former classmate, said Loughner had met Gabrielle Giffords at an event in 2007. He “asked her a question and he told me she was ‘stupid and unintelligent’,” she said. Clarence Dupnik, the Pima County Sheriff, said that Loughner had been in contact with Miss Giffords’s office about the event.

From what I have read about paranoid schizophrenia it is not uncommon for them to fixate on someone. It sounds like Loughner may have been fixated on Giffords a year before Sarah Palin ever came on the national scene.

Here is a copy of the criminal complaint filed against Loughner. From the complaint:

Some of the evidence seized from that located included a letter in a safe, addressed to “Mr. Jared Loughney” at 7741 N. Soledad Avenue, from Congresswoman Giffords, on Congressional stationary, dated August 30, 2007, thanking him for attending a “Congress on your Corner” event at the Foothills Mall in Tuscon. Also recovered in the safe was an envelope with handwriting on the envelope stating “I planned ahead,” and “My assassination,” and the name “Giffords,” along with what appears to be Loughner’s signature.

Sadly, I expect that this information will make no difference to the people determined to “prove” that yesterday’s tragedy was Sarah Palin’s fault.

(h/t 1539days)

154 Responses

  1. 2007? That’s a longtime to hang onto a fixation.

    • Not for a crazy person:

      In the unrestricted use of the term, common paranoid delusions can include the belief that the person is being followed, poisoned or loved at a distance (often by a media figure or important person, a delusion known as erotomania or de Clerambault syndrome).

      • Do long-term fixations get more violent over time? Or is there a seed-of-violence from the beginning?

        I wonder how long ago he wrote that note

        Handwriting on an envelope said, “I planned ahead” and “My assassination.”

      • Uh, what is this about? You’re trying to defend Sarah Palin’s targeted hit list? Why would you want to do that?

        Inflammatory language, language which incites people to harm others, whether it’s Ann Coulter’s, or Sarah Palin’s, or Bill O’Reilly’s or Karl Rove’s or other anti-governmentalists’, is not merely totally inappropriate, it’s wrong.

        • Because I don’t believe her language intended, nor did it incite anyone to do anything. Your suggestion, no your insistence that it did, without any proof is kinda sick.

  2. Didn’t say it was sarah’s fault.
    But that pic was really ill advised. If you’re going to play with matches, you’re going to get burned.
    It’s time the right wingers take responsibility for the poisonous atmosphere.
    You know, myiq, I have never gotten personal with Palin. I think you are doing the work of the angels. But at some point, I, personally, have to draw the line. I want to hear some humility and contrition from her and Beck for being so foolish. I would feel better about them if they did that.
    Don’t count me among the knee jerkers. I’ve just had enough of the hatred and winning by any means necessary. Even in the absence of the shooting, I would have felt that way. The right is dehumanizing us, liberals and progressives. That’s a very dangerous and unacceptable thing to me. It’s time for it to stop.

    • Agree RD, the partisan hatred has to stop. The media and blogosphere tend to flame things for attention. But whatever the right has done to the left (and I’m still not entirely clear what that is…the tea party marches on DC…the target marks on the map…radio jocks?) still doesn’t compare to what BO’s campaign did to Hillary and Palin in 2008. Not in my opinion.

      • Well said.

      • So, you are saying that because the left did some nasty things, we should excuse Sarah and Beck and other right wingers. Is that what you’re saying? No one is responsible or accountable because both sides have done it? One cancels out the other?
        I think you are very much mistaken. The Democrats are just getting started. They havent even dome close to the decades of relentless dehumanization of liberals.
        Regardless of whether the shooter was inspired by Palin’s picture or Beck’s angry rhetoric, it is still wrong to suggest to your millions of followers that liberals or Muslims or anyone you don’t agree with are evil, less than human and should be dealt with.
        It’s just wrong. It’s immoral, no matter who does it. Make Palin and the right acknowledge how immoral it is.
        Tutsis are not cockroaches, Jews are not backstabbers, liberals are not evil.
        Say it, believe it, make them acknowledge it. We all have a right to live in this country free of fear. We have a right to vote our consciences and believe in our own gods. Make them cry uncle. Start with the right and when the left steps out of place, make them acknowledge it too.
        We have the moral authority to insist on it. We have never dehumanized Palin here and I’m not going to start. But I expect better of people who aspire to national leadership positions and no one should lower their standards simply because the left sees yet another opportunity to pile on.
        Lose the resentment for a moment and condemn the egregious behavior. It is unnacceptable and it has to stop.

        • You’re right but you’re wrong. The problem is that *some people* came out the gate when the story broke blaming Sarah:

          Now I don’t know if you have been reading sites on both sides of the blogosphere since yesterday, but while the wingnuts were condemning the shooting and offering prayers for the dead and wounded, the left was busy blaming Sarah Palin. But as the evidence has come in it has become clear that Sarah Palin was not responsible in this case.

          If the evidence showed otherwise that would be one thing. But to keep pushing the “violent wingnut rhetoric” meme comes across as trying to take advantage of the tragedy for political gain.

          We should forget about Sarah for now and focus on how a paranoid schizophrenic was able to get a gun that held 30+ rounds. We should also question why his mental illness wasn’t identified sooner (the warning signs were there)

          BTW – Once again Sarah sucks up all the oxygen.

          • Exactly. To some of those first-out-of-the-gaters, this incident is important only because it offers a way to damage Palin’s prospects for 2012.

          • If Loughner was an Obot and Giffords a wingnut those same people would be telling the world he was a lone-nut and the shooting had no deeper meaning.

          • You’re right but you are wrong. I haven’t been reading the lefty blogs because I *expect* them to get all foamy at the mouth about Palin. Why give them any legitimacy?
            But you are wrong about the violent political rhetoric and thoughtless pictures. That predated the shooting and sarah herself. But I can’t absolve her of feeding the hate monster. Sorry. I’m not putting all the blame on Sarah. But she’s got to own up to putting a dangerously provocative picture on her site. Giffords had been threatened, vandalized and had a guy with a gun show up at her events before. Why can’t she legislate without fear for her personal safety?
            I’d have much more respect for Sarah if she said she had seen the light. Trying to point fingers at the other team isn’t doing it for me.
            BTW, I see this as two issues, partially related. The shooter, as you said, is clearly mentally ill. She’s not responsible for his illness. But the fact that giffords had been the target of violent behavior before? I’m not sure we can completely excuse Sarah or her buddies for indulging in creating a hate group for their more extreme followers to vent their rage.
            I still want to see some humility and contrition. We should hold her to a high standard. Would Hillary put a picture like that up? WWHD? She’s the gold standard.
            I know where you’re coming from but I don’t agree with you completely.

          • Palin ‘has been vocal about condemning violence,’ aide says

            “Republican leaders are themselves engaging in actions and rhetoric that previously would have been limited to fringe elements of the Republican Party,” Kaine said. “Sarah Palin has invoked health care ‘death panels’ and has now placed gun sights on 20 Members of Congress who supported reform.”

            An adviser to Palin responded by pointing to several instances in which the former Alaska governor has urged supporters to focus their energies on civil debate and action at the ballot box – not extremist activities.

            “We are now the keepers of an honorable tradition of conservative values and good works,” Palin said at the national Tea Party Convention in Nashville last month. “We must never forget that it is a sacred trust to carry these ideas forward. It demands civility and it requires decent, constructive, issue-oriented debate.”

            The adviser also noted that Palin spoke out last year after the murder of abortion provider George Tiller in Kansas, writing on her PAC Web site that “violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”

            “Its good that she finally agrees with the Democrats on something,” the adviser told CNN. “[House Majority Whip] Jim Clyburn said that silence equals consent, and in this matter she agrees, which is why she has been vocal about condemning violence.”

            That was from last March but you might have missed it because the media only focuses on the negative

          • “If Loughner was an Obot and Giffords a wingnut those same people would be telling the world he was a lone-nut and the shooting had no deeper meaning”

            I think you’re too generous. I think they’d be calling him a hero.

          • Yep, I missed it. And yet, I still think she needs to do some serious soul searching. Not just her, myiq.
            In light of the threats that democratic reps are getting, she should have taken her own advice and never put that picture up. That is not to say that it caused a mass murder but it has made violence against the reps on her list a lot more likely.
            Practice what you preach and all that. Beck and rush too. Their tirades on feminazis and abortion doctors and liberal conspiracy theories are making it harder to dissent from the pervasive and increasingly extremist right wing line.
            When Rush started in on this crap 18 years ago, he continually pushed the envelope and no one called him on it. Then, he pushed it more and still, the referees cut him a break. Then others jumped in and took it up a notch and by then, the outrage of the left was on mute and they got away with it.
            No one is ever called to account for it. I will admit that it is unfair to stick all of the blame on Sarah. She shouldn’t be the solitary poster girl in order for the Rush’s and Beck’s to get off scott free.
            But they all need to put the genie back in the bottle. I’d prefer they own up to it and maturely accept responsibility but in the absence of that, we shouldn’t be surprised that the mob had taken over.
            And don’t forget that some of it might be fueled by sarah’s own party. They don’t like her, think her and Beck’s followers are too radical for Republicans and would be more than happy to pile on sureptitiously.

          • How he got the gun?

            Apparently Loughner would have failed his background check for gun purchase, if the various people who had complained about his condition in the past had been listened to (or if they had complained more persistently).

            Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system.
            [ Cholla Jumps is a local Arizona blog whose owner has good credentials. ]

            “As we understand it, there have been law enforcement contacts with the individual where he made threats to kill,” Dupnik said during a press conference Saturday evening.

        • I’m tired of mean and violent crap from both sides. It doesn’t have to be this way but I think they are amping the anger the most crazy followers to prevent anyone from paying attention to what is happening at the higher levels of government with corruption.

        • I thought the wingnuts supported Paul Kagame in Rwanda. He’s a Tutsi. If anything, I’ve seen truther progs on facebook challenging Kagame’s intentions and legitimacy.

        • You’re right, Riverdaughter, and they’re wrong.

        • THANK YOU, RD.

          I had begun to fear this blog might go the way of No Quarter.

          The brownshirt-wannabe faction of the wingnuts don’t draw any distinction between Oborg drones and Hillary supporters. We’re ALL The Enemy to them.

    • +1000, RD.

      I feel like this is an opportunity to avoid a slide into the abyss. We had better work this through now, or the chance might not come again. (The Beltway is already framing the issue as civility, which always means STFU about injustice, like election fraud. I think the better frame is that people shouldn’t be calling for their political opponents to be killed.)

      • Agreed. Now, if we could only get the klown to let down his guard a little bit and see we are not totally disagreeing with him…
        The memes are out of the gate on both sides, the mobs are swayed, the moment may be lost.

  3. I guess after 2008, nothing should surprise me. But the speed and enthusiasm that the PDS trolls jumped on the Palin-is-to-blame bandwagon, sans any real facts of course, was truly astonishing. Even I couldn’t believe Barry’s vultures would descend so quickly in an effort to jump the gun and milk all the hate out of a tragedy that they possibly could. Un-freakin-believable. Chalk this up as a new ObamaNation low.

    • Let’s try to separate the Palin is Evil crowd who have been out there from day one from people like myself who want the right to dial down their violent rhetoric because it is potentially dangerous.
      The people who do these things are always mentally disturbed. Let’s not give them a reason to go over the edge.

      • I agree.

      • You mean, like, “There will be blood in the streets if Obama doesn’t win”?

        ANY violent rhetoric is potentially dangerous.

        • Yes, it is. But right wing vitriol has been going on for much longer. To them it’s personal. Wingers do not like liberals like us. I mean, they have been trained to hate us. I don’t excuse what the Democrats did to Hillary or their base. But unlike the left, the right never lets up. It is very different. The right plays to win at any cost, just like Obama, but don’t kid yourself. The right is much more serious and committed. I wouldn’t be surprised if there weren’t some Right wing politicians who arent all that upset that Giffords had been sidelined, even as they may be affected by the death of an innocent child or senior citizens.
          We aren’t people to the committed right wing extremist. We are obstacles to be overcome.
          I’m not going to play equivalents here. The right created it and perfected it. They’ve made it less safe to be a liberal in this country.

          • The left are still amateurs, the right are professionals at it. Agree. None of it is forgivable, and we must pay attention. At the same time, call our side on the same crap. If liberals are playing the same game, it gives more leeway to the right. Don’t give them that room.

          • Thank you , Dandy. 🙂

          • Have we ever left them off the hook? No, from the very beginning, we have called them on it. But the Democrats don’t control most of the radio stations and cable news channels in the country. The right does. And they have made it unsafe for liberals for many years.
            Call them on it. It’s past time.

          • pissing contest, rd

          • Let’s not forget the leftists of the 60s who advocated violence, like Bill Ayers. Some of the more reasoned pundits who highlighted Palin’s rhetoric also pointed out that the situation was reversed decades ago.

          • Don’t forget obama is a conservative by any measure.

            I’m not sure I’d say he or his fan base are good examples of liberals.

          • The difference 1539, is that the right tends to see us as a group that is not worthy. We have become objects, not people. It is a lot easier to mistreat an object than a human being.
            Bill ayers was definitely wrong for sure. But this right wing madness has gone on for so long and had been so ingrained in the Anerican psyche that we have been afraid to call ourselves liberals. Ayers never had that much power.

          • The equivalence folks are overlooking one major difference between the leftoid haters and the rightist haters. The leftoid haters don’t have a major “news” TV network and a horde of AM radio shouters catapulting their propaganda 24/7.

          • So you like MSNBC and CNN propaganda wing of the White House press office.

          • If that propaganda wing exists, 3W, it only promulgates DINOcrat propaganda instead of Elephascist propaganda–in other words, from the half-crazy conservative party instead of the fully crazy conservative party.

            To call MSNBC, CNN, and for that matter Obummer and his drones “Left” expands the definition of “Left” so broadly as to render it meaningless.

            Also, the Faux Noise-AM Hate Radio machine poisoning the minds of these lunatics is the same machine that spent the entire Clinton Administration slandering Bill and Hill both, lest we forget.

          • BTW, 3W, I don’t watch ANY of the Corporate Media on anything like a regular basis. The only difference between Faux Noise and the other major networks is the difference between pure poison and diluted poison.

          • Just to keep the history in perspective:

            Yes, the Weathermen and the Panthers were active and actively violent in th 60’s. But so were the Klan, who were responsible for murdering not only civil rights activists of all races but innocent children in Birmingham. So was the John Birch Society, a lot of whose financial backing came out of Dallas. (Yes, I think there’s a connection.) So were a number of small, free-lance “vigilance” groups, basically white terrorists.

      • RD, I completely agree that everyone needs to dial back the rhetoric. Right now, as a country, our communication lines are poisoned by it. As I said on the previous thread, if there is anything good that can come of this terrible tragedy, perhaps it will be that we reintroduce civility, compassion and tolerance into our political discourse.

        That said, the PDS trolls are shameless in their finger pointing because, IMO, the stalker psychosis that seems to have gripped Loughner is more closely related to, say, Andrew Sullivan’s obsession with Palin’s womb than it is with the abysmal state of our nation’s political discourse. I see this tragedy as more misogyny fueled than ideology fueled. My only gripe is with the ObamaNation anti-woman propaganda machine, not reasonable people of which there are, thankfully, many.

      • I think one can advocate cleaning up the discourse without succumbing to PDS. A really great start would be for “the right” to cool it with the gun rhetoric. While we’re at it, “the left” could cool it with the b*itch, and so forth, all too familiar from CDS.

        * * *

        To be clear, I think “the right” (which definitely includes a faction that identifies with Palin) has had the knobs turned up to 11 for some time on violence and eliminationist rhetoric, and “the left” (which definitely includes a facton that identifies with Obama) has only had its knobs turned up to 5 or 6, say. I do think that saying “both sides do it” is a false equivalence. That said, the end state should be both knobs at 2 ….

        • I would think “the right” had the knobs turned up to 11 if I read Blue Texan everyday…which I don’t, and not suggesting you do Lambert.

    • The Obot apparatchiks are attempting to destroy her as a candidate in 2012 before she even declares. This is exactly the same strategy they used to shriek thatt Hillary wouldnn’t drop out of the primariy because she was hoping someone would assassinate Obama. Depersonalization and demonization has always been their tactic.

      Both sides need to dial it down. Way down.

      • Yup and yup.

      • Well, if they want to win in 2012, jumping on Palin is not the way to do it.
        The left was looking got an excuse to put a nail in her coffin. I’m not in that mob. But I do want her to take responsibility for a very irresponsible picture.
        If I were a supporter of hers I wouldn’t let her off the hook. It’s important to uphold standards and principles. She shouldn’t get a pass even if the shooter never saw that picture. It shows a cavalier attitude for other people’s personal safety.
        Don’t let the right off the hook. They need to swallow this bitter pill.
        Prophylactic: I’m not saying Palin pulled the trigger. Only that she displayed and unacceptable level of negligence for the safety of legitimately elected politicians. She needs to accept that. That goes for Beck, Rush and any other right wing panderer.

        • Oh, I agree that the ad was irresponsible. I’d like to see Palin own up to it, too. It would be an admirable thing if she’d not only say sorry but act sorry by dropping the whole gun-totin’ shootin’-mah-lunch frontierswoman shtick. The gun-sights thing, unfortunately, fits right into her public persona, and I’d question whether she’d be willing to change something that’s worked so well with her own constituency.

          At the same time, I’d call the DLC on their “target” ad. Someone (Iambert?) found it relatively innocuous because it suggested a darts or archery target. Darts are outside my experience, but I am an archer (target shooting only) and can testify that it’s quite possible for even a beginner to kill someone with a practice arrow, given a heavy enough bow.

          I’d also agree that the Right has been peddling its violent rhetoric longer than “progressives” have. I just think the progs have made a heroic effort to catch up and are succeeding.

          • okashi:

            Definitely not me. I didn’t comment on the D ad. But I don’t think the cases are comparable: We’ve got crosshairs combined with pervasive gun rhetoric. We don’t have bull’s eyes combined with pervasive archery rhetoric. The “left” can certainly get to the “right’s” level, but they aren’t there yet and would have to work at it.

            PALIN PROPHYLACTIC Am I saying Palin is personally responsible for the Giffords assassination? No. Am I saying that the violent rhetoric from the right wing faction that identifies with Palin is immoral? Yes. Am I saying that such rhetoric increases the odds that such assassinations will happen? Yes. Look that the anti-abortion sites that advocates that doctors be killed for the precedent.

          • Imo both ads, the DNCC bullseye ad and Palin’s crosshairs ad, were equally innocuous to their own groups.

            Palin imo was naive, insufficiently paranoid. This does not make her in any way to blame for the shooting. But if she had had any thought of a coincidental shooting happening, she might have expected she would be blamed. — To me this suggests total innocence on her part; no concept that it was even a possibility, even as coincidence.

            To me, knowing rural hunting people, this is believable. They see guns as tools for getting food or protecting their homes from bears (yes it happens). They have such an ingrained responsibility ethic for safe use of the guns, that it’s not real to them that anyone would use a hunting gun otherwise. (Cf Lambert’s reaction to a bullseye as an archery target.) They certainly wouldn’t see their use of gun metaphors as likely to be taken seriously by a crazy city boy.

            So her map etc might be insular thinking, might be naive — but imo is far removed from the ‘hate’ that others read into it.

    • Uh, they may have jumped because the victim herself reacted with unalloyed disgust at being targeted (complete with crosshairs) by Palin’s PAC some time ago.

      Go google.

  4. To me, the AZ tragedy is similar to the Virginia Tech shooting. A deranged mind, acting out its obsessions.

    • Yes.

      But the immediate jumping on the blame-Sarah bandwagon for political purposes, with very little evidence, will not be forgotten by Peoria.

      It’ll backfire, just like the narrative about the tea partiers did.

      • Not so sure about that. A 9 year old child was collateral damage and that is going to stick.

        • Only if the left can convince people that Sarah is to blame.

          If people think insanity is to blame, trying to pin it on Sarah will likely backfire

          • Yes…..and Americans are closely watching how quickly the “left” created the Palin narrative. They won’t forget.

          • The left may blame her. I’m asking her to accept responsibility for her part in making the political atmosphere more dangerous for liberals. And she’s not the only one. Why single Sarah out when Beck and Rush and dozens of other right wingers have made us afraid to speak our minds?
            Responsibility. I’m a safety girl. You can’t control other people’s actions, you can only control your own. This country needs more accountability.
            That’s my theory and I’m sticking with it.

          • Sarah Palin has a nine year old daughter too I think. She often accompanies her mom on speaking engagements, etc. I don’t think trying to connectt Sarah with the death of that beautiful Christina would work.

            Willow Palin at age 14 was the butt of a “joke” by David Letterman and even just the other day Kathy Griffin said this about Willow who’s 16:
            “I’ve already gone for Sarah, Todd and Bristol obviously,” explained Griffin. “But I think it’s Willow’s year to go down.”

          • Why? Because Sarah is a mother too? Fine.
            But Sarah appears to have aspirations to serve and protect all Americans. And that means we must hold her to a higher standard.
            The left failed to do that with Obama and look what happened.
            BTW, I’m not saying she should be the poster girl for decades of right wing dangerous and indiscreet speech. The left would like to make her one but she shouldn’t wear this albatross all by herself. She’s got plenty of company on the right.

        • It’s likely to stick a lot longer and more tightly than the “blame-Sara” meme if for no other reason than that more people will be aware of it. The audiernce for DU, Kos and others is relatively small compared to the reach of the national and international media. No one outside the blogosphere pays attention to DU, and relatively few within it look to them for either facts or cogent opinion.

    • No, it is not at all the same.

      This is fueled by rabid rightwing anti-government rhetoric.

  5. There’s a special on NBC about the shooting. This is my first time to see national coverage about it.

  6. Oh come on.
    Our world is filled with violence. It is ever present and all encompassing. It fills our pores.
    Sarah’s silly map is the least of it.
    That shooting rhetoric is pretty common vernacular in states where hunting is popular and that is most states. It’s absurd to even call out individuals unless you call them all out.
    Jesse Jackson wanted to cut of O’s Ba((s on national media.
    Obama himself told his supporters to get in the opponents face and he praised that evil Vicks.

    It just takes an unstable person to uses anything he decides to push him to act insane.
    Who knows.
    But Sarah is nothing more than a side show personality. She barely registers in the big picture.
    We humans are bloody violent.

    So, glad Vicks lost.

    • Bravo and well said.

      USING this moment to “punish” people on the right –even if the punishers manage to admit it wasn’t the cause—- is incredibly offensive, to ALL sides of the political spectrum.

      Good Lord. THIS crap is why many of us are Independents now.

      • I think it’s an interesting tactic to equate a call for less violent rhetoric (and some accountability for those who use it) with being “punished.”

        • There’s an online petition to have Palin indicted for incitement to violence.

          I’d call that being “punished.”

          • The hate language I’m seeing thrown at her from determined progs on facebook and twitter makes that formal petition seem tame.

          • An online petition is “punishment”? Whoever thinks that must have awfully thin skin. Maybe saying bad things on the internet is punishment?

            Let me turn this question around: Let’s invent a hypothetical figure, call them Nilap. I say that when Nilap’s campaign organization publishes material that even implies their political opponents should be killed, that’s immoral and they should be held accountable and stop doing it.

            Assuming that such material has been published, do you agree?

          • Ass/u/me

    • Me too.

    • No, you are very wrong.

      The whole frame of “oh golly gee more of man’s inhumanity to man what can you do about it shrug shrug” is wrong.

    • And it was not a “silly map.”

      It was a hit list, pushed by a celebrity.

      Just like celebrity O’Reilly targeting the late, targeted Dr. Tiller.

      • And you somehow know that this wacko acted on this particular map of Palin’s.

      • Kos had a similar map, with words like “targeted for elimination,” which included Giffords, because she was a Blue Dog.

        Was that a hit list?

        I nominate Lambert to draw up a petition for Kos.

  7. And it’s not just political rhetoric that’s violent. Popular culture is saturated in it. Television shows that you can hardly watch without puking (CSI) from the violence. Movies, music, computer/video games ….

    How do people with a fragile hold on reality tell the difference between all the symbolic violence and the crazy world in their head?

  8. violet sox has got it right… no more bulshit about the “good leftists” please…effigies of palin..invitations to shoot her, gang rape her…threaten her kids..the obots are usung this tragic murder and obama makes hay! a minutes silence indeed… just another photo op…please don’t let em suck you in..

  9. I see this target map story to be the equivalent of the “Sarah Palin had Bristol’s secret baby” theory from back in 2008. When the story broke, some were expecting the shooter to be some kind of opponent of health care (a la Mayor Bloomberg toward the Times Square bombing attempt).

    As the night wore on, the shooter ended up being a nut, and critics of Palin started speaking in vague terms about a climate of violent rhetoric. I’m sure some people still thought Palin planted the seed in this man’s mind until the evidence released today.

    I understand the desire to call out people for their bad actions and trying to shame them into changing their ways. It just seems like that only adds fuel to the fire. Sarah Palin uses gun terminology because people who hate her hate guns as well. Why listen to someone trying to shame you who doesn’t agree with anything you believe? Why listen to the DNC when it uses your “shameful” language in fundraising letters?

    The only way to turn down the heat is to starve it of oxygen. 3 million people watch Beck. 20 millin listen to Rush. 60 million people voted for Obama, and tens of million listen when he talks. When he complains about Rush and Beck, he makes them more well-known. When MSNBC or Jon Stewart wring their hands over Fox News or simply mocks it, the audience is widened.

    You can’t expect people to be shamed in the public square anymore. You can only shun them, one viewer at a time.

    • It’s hard to “shame” someone who takes pride in what you’re criticizing.

      • exactly.

        Did you know that fights used to be rare on the Jerry Springer show? The original production company edited them out because they didn’t consider it worthy content. The show took off when a new company kept the fights in. That influenced the guests to fight even more.

        Shining a light on some things just adds heat.

    • 1539, you assert:

      Sarah Palin uses gun terminology because people who hate her hate guns as well.

      Evidence, please.

      It’s surely just as likely that Palin uses gun rhetoric because the right faction that identifies with her finds it congenial. Surely it’s rather a standard tactic for a politician to adapt their words to their audience?

      It also seems odd that Palin would use rhetoric to piss off the very people who are least likely to listen to her.

      • If the faux left media and blogosphere were not so faux pissed off at her, she would no longer be on the national political scene, and that would be fine by me. The progs started bashing her in 2008 and they haven’t stopped. Palin’s just learned to use that hateful energy to her advantage.

        • So, campaigning with McCain on the national ticket, tons of media exposure, a book deal, the teebee, and her own natural talents as a politician, which are considerable, had nothing to do with her success? It’s all the fault of the progs?

          Alrighty then. Not only does that give the progs way too much power on the political, it’s insulting to women, since your framing is that she only has the power she has because male progs hate her.

          You also give exactly as much evidence for your position as 1539 did. Since such evidence should be easy to find, I assume you don’t give it because there is none.

      • It’s both. This goes back to 2008 when Obama told an audience that people in the South cling to guns and religion. Palin has a fighter personality. If someone on the left tells her that “don’t retreat, reload” is an irresponsible thing to say, she has two choices. She can either say she’s wrong and refrain from that kind of language. Or, she can be defiant and not give them the victory.

        Of course she would use rhetoric that pisses off her enemies. IS she going to use rhetoric to piss off her friends? McCain tried that already.

        • 1539:

          First, let me set the record straight on the 2008 primaries. Obama’s “bitter”/”cling to” remarks were not directed to Southerners, but to the industrial states of OH and PA. (It’s important not to butcher that history, since those are industrial working class states that the Ds lost in the 2010 shellacking.)

          Second, either way you’ve got no evidence. And since my telepathic facility doesn’t operate on the weekends, I have no way to tell what motivates Palin, whether it be defiance or not.

          Third, I didn’t say “rhetoric that pisses off her enemies.” I said “rhetoric to piss off the very people who are least likely to listen to her.” Which I still think makes no sense. Play to your audience, no?

          Finally, there are plenty of ways to piss off your enemies without, even by implication, putting them in the crosshairs. That was Palin’s choice, and her “enemies” didn’t force her into it.

        • Oh, so it’s the fault of the left that she’s says, “don’t retreat, reload’?



        • “She can either say she’s wrong and refrain from that kind of language. Or, she can be defiant and not give them the victory.”

          That’s what I see. “Don’t retreat, repeat.” Make a joke of your enemies’ talking point. Make your enemies sputtering mad and watch them shoot themselves in the, oh dear.

          When she was misquoted about seeing Russia “from her house” she didn’t get serious and defensive and boringly correct the misquote (actually she had said Russia could be seen from some islands off Alaska, which is true). She made a joke of it. “I can see November from my house.”

          This sort of thing drives her enemies crazy, and people join in her crowd to laugh at them and admire her spunk.

          (Hillary sometimes uses the same tactic. Went on Leno or such and said she had been delayed at the Burbank airport, held down by sniper fire.)

  10. What RD said:

    WWHD? She’s the gold standard.

    Anybody who’s into strategic hate management (and that most definitely includes many on both sides of the political spectrum, including the career “progressives”)…. It doesn’t matter what they do. They are going to do what they do, and most probably because they are paid to do what they do.

  11. uhh…..maybe because she’s a hunter?? She also uses sports rhetoric and she named her kids: Track (sports) Bristol (after the bay where they fish) Willow (I assume after trees?) and Piper (the planes her husband pilots)

    • Or maybe not. Here’s a story from the Arizona Daily Star on Jesse Kelley, Gifford’s opponent:

      esse 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.”

      So, a few questions for you, imustprotest:

      1. Do you think such gun rhetoric is acceptable?

      2. WWHD? Would Hillary have run such an ad, and, if having run it, would and should she have expressed contrition?

      For my part, I consider it a safety issue. Gun owners should be as responsible in their rhetoric as they are in the field. And the burden should be on them to keep the rhetoric clean, exactly as the burden is them to take the safety off only when that’s appropriate.

      • Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969), was a United States Supreme Court case based on the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. It held that government cannot punish inflammatory speech unless it is directed to inciting and likely to incite imminent lawless action. In particular, it overruled Ohio’s criminal syndicalism statute, because that statute broadly prohibited the mere advocacy of violence.

        So you disagree with the Brandenberg decision? You would restrict freedom of speech?

        • Thanks for doing the research I’m too lazy to do.

          • 1529: I note your concession, via a dodge, here. Nice try. (The second shooter is off topic, I couched it as a hypothetical, and returned to retract it when the evidence was in.)

        • Nice dodge. I didn’t ask a lawyer for a brief.

          I asked you, personally, WWHD?

          And I’m still waiting for an answer.

          Do you have one?

        • Uh, if memory serves, freedom of speech does not include inciting to riot, yelling “fire” in a theater when there is none.

          Last I heard, advocating murder would count as a no-no, no?

      • Of course Jesse Kelly takes the gun/hunting rhetoric to the extreme. A lot of people take an idea and then carry it to an extreme. And what does Hillary have to do with this? But no, Hillary is not a hunter so I don’t imagine she would have run an ad like this. But her 3am ad was called “fear mongering”. She was ridiculed and villified for mentioning RFK’s assassination and accused of promoting the assassination of Obama.

        • Right, I forgot about the RFK assassination rage from the progs. This has a similar character.

        • Let me lay the questions against the answers:

          1. Do you think such gun rhetoric is acceptable?

          A lot of people take an idea and then carry it to an extreme.

          That’s not an answer. Is that gun rhetoric acceptable?

          2. WWHD? Would Hillary have run such an ad, and, if having run it, would and should she have expressed contrition?

          Hillary is not a hunter so I don’t imagine she would have run an ad like that

          Well, that is an answer. What it says to me is that it’s OK with you to run ads that imply that hunting and killing one’s political opponent’s is acceptable. As does Kelly:

          Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

          Good to know.

          myiq? Do you agree?

          • No, you mischaracterized my comments. I don’t agree with Jesse Kelly’s event. But what Jesse said and did was not what Sarah said and did. The point about Hillary was……why again are you mentioning Hillary?? Oh yeah its the standard default. But I answered it anyway. Hillary is not a hunter and hunting lingo is not part of who she is….so it doesn’t even make sense to suggest that she would run an ad with hunting type rhetoric. So how do you get from that to: “It’s OK with you to run ads that imply that hunting and killing one’s political opponents is acceptable”????HUH??? That’s not just a stretch, its a quantum leap!!

          • I have to respond out of band to imustprotest here due to comment depth.

            * * *

            We agree that Hillary wouldn’t have run the ad. OK.

            However, you say that Hillary would not have run Kelly’s ad not because Kelly’s ad was immoral, but because Clinton is not a hunter. That implies to me that if Clinton, like Kelly (apparently) had been a hunter, it would have been OK to run the ad. I’ll quote it again:

            Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office. Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly.”

            That’s acceptable to you? That gun rhetoric doesn’t even imply killing Giffords? From a hunter? To an audience of hunters and people who find gun rhetoric congenial? Pull the other one, it’s got bells on.

          • I think some of the difference seen here is because most of us are liberal. So really we don’t expect much out of the right. And we think about tactics and how focusing on Palin doesn’t help our cause. So some of this is, well, of course she does horrible advertising. Um, she’s Republican. So we don’t tend to all her or others on that stuff, because we expect it of them. We call Dems or liberals on stuff, and are harder on them, because we expect better.

            Perhaps as now independent liberals, we should hold them all to a gold standard. So even though the shooter happened to have planned this in ’07, Sarah’s target crap among other things was still wrong. We would be heart broken if Hillary did such a thing. I hope. So we should call her on it just the same.

            And same goes for Obama and the DNC and Obot platforms like some blogs. When they do the same crap, though we don’t expect better of them, continue to call them out.

    • Uh, yes, that’s the point. She is using gun language, and she knows what guns are for, and how they work. Boom! What part of this language is utterly inappropriate and tending to promote violence don’t you get, specifically, imust?

      • I’d say that people who consider hunting a sport probably don’t see any difference between using gun/hunting/shooting language that different than any other sport. Politicians and pundits use sports terms all the time as well as warfare terms. “Targeting districts”, “political war rooms”, “war chests”, etc.

        • These metaphors don’t just come from hunters. A whole nother set comes from people educated in the early and mid-20th century — WWII, WWI — and earlier when wars happened far off and were a sort of gentleman’s sport (Kipling). War chests, tactics, drawing their fire.

  12. btw, what about manchin, the democrat…shooting the health care bill…mmm very nice

  13. I’ve already said that Kelly’s gun event was over the top. The Hillary question was really irrelevant anyway. People who hunt (and I am not one of them) might would feel differently, but I don’t know….why don’t you ask a hunter what he/she thinks of the ad??

    • Well, I’d say that advocating that one’s political opponents be killed is immoral. “Over the top” seems a little neutral to me, like maybe just injuring them would not be over the top, but let me not quibble.

      Now the question becomes, as I wrote above, who determines what’s “over the top”:

      For my part, I consider it a safety issue. Gun owners should be as responsible in their rhetoric as they are in the field. And the burden should be on them [gun owners] to keep the rhetoric clean, exactly as the burden is them to take the safety off only when that’s appropriate.

      Do you agree?

      • Once again you distort. Geesh! Of course advocating that one’s political opponents be killed is immoral!! Where did I say that it wasn’t? I think Kelly’s ad is over the top, but it still doesn’t ADVOCATE KILLING ANYONE! Are you nuts? That’s a serious question.

      • I agree!

    • People who hunt/use guns gon’t generally turn everyday conversation into shooting metaphors. (Which is not to say that none do.) When they do, it’s generally because they’re talking about shooting something.

      • We’re not talking about every day conversation. Political/sporting is very common.

      • You should talk to some career marketing people…ask them how often they verbalize and visualize the concept of ‘targeting’ people in their business. I bet some of them are even pro 2nd amendment.

        • Slate:

          For as long as I’ve been alive, crosshairs and bull’s-eyes have been an accepted part of the graphical lexicon when it comes to political debates. Such “inflammatory” words as targeting, attacking, destroying, blasting, crushing, burying, knee-capping, and others have similarly guided political thought and action. Not once have the use of these images or words tempted me or anybody else I know to kill. I’ve listened to, read—and even written!—vicious attacks on government without reaching for my gun. I’ve even gotten angry, for goodness’ sake, without coming close to assassinating a politician or a judge.

          From what I can tell, I’m not an outlier. Only the tiniest handful of people—most of whom are already behind bars, in psychiatric institutions, or on psycho-meds—can be driven to kill by political whispers or shouts. Asking us to forever hold our tongues lest we awake their deeper demons infantilizes and neuters us and makes politicians no safer.

  14. Jeralyn:

    Jared Loughner just caught the biggest break of his life. CNN reports the federal court says former Spokane federal defender (also National Capital Resource Counsel and Federal Community Defender in San Diego), Judy Clarke has been appointed to represent him. Via CNN:

    Veteran federal public defender Judy Clarke, who has experience in several high-profile cases including those of “Unabomber” Ted Kaczynski and convicted terrorist Zacarias Moussaoui, was appointed to defend suspect Jared Lee Loughner, a federal judicial source said.

    They don’t make defense lawyers any better than Judy. You may remember her from the Susan Smith case in South Carolina, where Smith was charged with drowning her two sons; or the Unabomber case, or the case of Eric Rudolf. Thanks to Judy (and those who helped her), all avoided the death penalty. She also worked on the Zacarias Moussaoui defense team for a while. The AP called her “a one woman dream team.”

    I could be snarky and point out that all those people were convicted but sometimes a sentence of life in prison is a victory for the defense.

  15. Ass Press:

    Shooting suspect’s nihilism rose with isolation

    At an event roughly three years ago, Rep. Gabrielle Giffords took a question from Jared Loughner, the man accused of trying to assassinate her and killing six other people. According to two of his high school friends the question was essentially this: “What is government if words have no meaning?”

    Loughner was angry about her response — she read the question and didn’t have much to say.

    “He was like … ‘What do you think of these people who are working for the government and they can’t describe what they do?'” one friend told The Associated Press on Sunday. “He did not like government officials, how they spoke. Like they were just trying to cover up some conspiracy.”

    Both friends spoke on condition of anonymity, saying they wanted to avoid the publicity surrounding the case. To them, the question was classic Jared: confrontational, nonsensical and obsessed with how words create reality.


    Mistrust of government was Loughner’s defining conviction, the friends said. He believed the U.S. government was behind 9/11, and worried that governments were maneuvering to create a unified monetary system (“a New World Order currency” one friend said) so that social elites and bureaucrats could control the rest of the world.

  16. It’s not that I personally believe this is Palin’s “fault” but more like the entire environment where violent imagery and suggestive propaganda is so prevalent — and defended as acceptable. When we have so many republicans spewing such nasty violent ideas, it’s only a matter of time before more people act on those suggestions. The actual perps feel like they have the support and encouragement of their community, after all.

  17. This whole story gives me the creeps! My deepest condolences to the victims and their families. Wishing Giffords and all the wounded a speedy recovery.

  18. For my 2 cents I agree with RIverdaughter. The rhetoric coming from Palin was completely unacceptable and she should apologize for putting up that poster with the gun sights on it. It was wrong. She is trying to weasel out of it because she knows how politically damaging the poster is.

    Anyway, she’s pretty much done politically. I’m willing to bet that the GOP will finish her off now simply because they’ve been looking to do it for quite a while anyway and now they have the evidence to do it.

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