Republicans have pulled off a neat trick with respect to Jared Loughner. They have worked very hard to characterize him as a “whacko” and a “nutjob” (inadvertently hurting the prospect of a successful prosecution, by the way), going so far as to use the shooting as an opportunity to revamp the nation’s mental health system. I’m all for that, but the ulterior motive from the right is to absolve themselves of blame and marginalize the voices talking about overheated political rhetoric.
|By: David Dayen Monday January 17, 2011 9:15 am|
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 11, 2011 5:15 pm|
It turned out that Zamudio actually pushed the holder of the gun into a wall, and thus came much closer to doing violence on an innocent man who had just taken the gun from Jared Loughner than even this description suggests. The potential for yet another innocent death was pretty high here. And a Wild West show with alternating bouts of gunfire seems like an extremely dangerous environment for bystanders.
Frank Lautenberg said it very clearly on MSNBC: the difference between this country and practically every other industrialized nation, which has a tiny fraction of the gun violence as we have in the US, is that “we don’t have more madmen, we have more guns.” And increasing the amount of armed people out there won’t help this ratio, either.
|By: David Dayen Tuesday January 11, 2011 7:00 am|
Arizona is one of the worst states in the nation at delivering mental health services, and cut back significantly on its mental health programs during the Great Recession in order to balance their budget.
|By: David Dayen Monday January 10, 2011 11:45 am|
Whether Loughner was merely a deranged kid who would latch onto whatever philosophy he could find, or whether he actively sought out far-right conspiracy theories, I don’t think you can deny the general milieu of anti-government rhetoric that just so happened to nestle in the very state where Loughner lived.
|By: David Dayen Monday January 10, 2011 7:50 am|
You can credibly characterize Loughner as an unstable individual, but the zeitgeist seems to have played a role.
|By: David Dayen Monday January 10, 2011 6:45 am|
Rep. Carolyn McCarthy, who lost her husband to gun violence before coming to Congress, and who has since become one of the leading pro-gun control politicians in the country, plans to introduce legislation in response to the shooting in Tuscon, Arizona that claimed the life of six and left Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in a medically induced coma.