Right now, the public isn’t ready to believe an argument that Jared Loughner was motivated by right-wing rhetoric. Fortunately, nobody has said that, because it’s the wrong claim to make. Nobody has claimed that crosshairs on a map or talk of “Second Amendment remedies” is specifically to blame (some on the right have blamed heavy metal music and a skull in his backyard, and that’s just as silly). The main claim is that the toxic stew of noxious rhetoric, particularly in Loughner’s home district and home state of Arizona, creates an environment that amps up a lunatic fringe. Loughner couldn’t help but trip over that, and indeed his writings do have a cockeyed resonance to some of the really far-right groups like Posse Comitatus and the Patriot movement. That doesn’t make those practitioners of angry rhetoric culpable, but it sure doesn’t mean what they’re doing helped, either.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 11, 2011 3:45 pm|
|By: Jim White Monday January 10, 2011 8:45 am|
The vitriol-filled right is busily trying to refute its role in creating the environment in which Jared Loughner carried out his horrendous attack on Saturday when Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding a “Congress on Your Corner” meeting at a Tucson Safeway. While much of the walk-back by hate radio and hate politicians is in response to Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s condemnation of Arizona as “the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry”, another aspect of Dupnik’s experience-based comments deserves equal attention. At the same news conference, Dupnik “criticize[d] the Arizona Legislature for pushing to allow weapons pretty much everywhere.” He then went so far as to say “[Tucson] is the tombstone of the United States of America.” That is an incredibly important point that should not be overlooked as the country looks to move on from this tragedy. Just as we need to dial back the hate in our social and political discourse, we also need to change the atmosphere which has idolized guns to the point that they are actively encouraged in state legislative buildings and where automatic weapons are given away with the purchase of a truck.
|By: Blue Texan Monday January 10, 2011 4:49 am|
This clip is rather revealing. Note that Sheriff Dupnik never says “right-wing vitriol” or “conservative hate speech” — or even mentioned Faux News or El Rushbo. No, he simply called for more civility.
|By: Jane Hamsher Sunday January 9, 2011 1:50 pm|
COMPLAINT United States District Court DISTRICT OF ARIZONA United States of America v JARED LEE LOUGHNER DOB: xx/xx/1988; United States Citizen DOCKET NO. MAGISTRATE’S CASE NO. 11-0035M Complaint for violation of Title 18 United States Code 351(c); Title 18 United States Code 1114 and 1111; and Title 18 United States Code 1114 and 1113 COMPLAINTANT’S [...]
|By: Jane Hamsher Sunday January 9, 2011 10:08 am|
Dupnik: “I think that when the rhetoric about hatred, about mistrust of government, about paranoia of how government operates, and to try to inflame the public on a daily basis 24 hours a day, 7 days a week has an impact especially on people who are unbalanced personalities to begin with.”
|By: Jane Hamsher Sunday January 9, 2011 10:00 am|
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office have released a photo of the second suspect in the Saturday shooting that killed six people and left Rep. Gabriel Giffords and 12 others injured.
|By: Jane Hamsher Saturday January 8, 2011 5:03 pm|
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik: Suspect is a white male, 22 years old, won’t divulge his name, recently the subject of police interest. Has a troubled past, and Dupnik is not convinced he acted alone. Some reason to believe suspect came to this location with another individual, and that there was an indication the other individual was involved. They have pictures of him. But cannot, on advice of council, give more details at this time. Says it is a male, white, and they are “actively in pursuit” of him.