The shooter of Gabrielle Giffords, Judge John Rell and others in Tuscon, Arizona has been identified as 22 year-old Jared Loughner of Tuscon, Arizona.

Loughner was a student at Pima Community College.  The photo was grabbed from his MySpace page before it was taken down.

Loughner’s observations offered up on YouTube were devoted to a variety of themes. He was apparently angered by something that had happened at Pima Community College and felt he was being ripped off, but it’s not clear what triggered it. At one point he identifies himself as an Army recruit.

To the extent that his videos are political, they appear to be libertarian-leaning. He was apparently a gold bug: “I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!” he says.  He also has issues with the whether his community college is operating in violation of the 10th amendment, though it’s not clear why.

His YouTube page hosts 5 videos, one of which is entitled “Introduction: Jared Loughner.”  It was posted on December 15, and opens with the words “My Final Thoughts: Jared Lee Loughner!”:

The videos are essentially a series of syllogisms rendered in white text on a black screen.   In the Introduction” video, he talks about terrorism:

“If i define terrorist then a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

I define terrorist.

Thus, a terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon.

If you call me a terrorist then the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.
You call me a terrorist.
Thus, the argument to call me a terrorist is Ad hominem.

He says he “is a United States Military recruit at MEPS in Phonenix,” and as such, he is “receiving one mini bible before the tests.” He says “I didn’t write a belief on my Army application, and the recruiter wrote on the application: None.”

He encourages people to read the Constitution in order to “apprehend of the current treasonous laws.” He appears to be more paranoid than political, however, and concludes “The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”

Update: As Dr. Jeff Kaye notes, Loughner sounds schizophrenic.

Update II: According to a friend of Giffords who is reporting from the hospital, she was shot from behind and the bullet exited her forehead.  She is now in eye surgery.

Update III: MNBC is reporting that Giffords was shot from the front, and that the bullet exited the back of her head.