Jared Loughner, approached a public gathering being held for Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona wearing a black cap and baggy pants and asked to see the lawmaker. When he was told that he would have to wait his turn, he left, returned with a semiautomatic weapon, shot Giffords in the head, and then went on a shooting rampage, according to the Associated Press. When it was all over, Loughner had killed six people, including Arizona’s chief federal judge and had wounded 13.
The massacre ended when two bystanders tackled the suspect in the parking lot of a Safeway store in Tucson.
Was this the random act of an insane lunatic, or was this a premeditated, politically motivated attack?
Alex Villic, a former Giffords intern, said that Loughner “was a man on a mission.”
Let’s look at a couple possible motives: 1) Giffords is a moderate democrat that narrowly beat her tea party opponent. Her opponent’s campaign was nearly completely based on denouncing Giffords support of the health care reform. Did Lougher have issues with the passage of health care reform, or is he just a 22-year old nut?
2) Did the bitter political rhetoric that has consumed this country and Arizona in particular, motivate Loughner? After Giffords won the election her office was vandalized. Giffords reported that she had been receiving threatening phone calls before the office was ransacked. The representative indicated that she had concern over a statement that Sarah Palin made which put her on a “target list” for removal from office. Did Loughner interpret this as “removal by force? Giffords commented that “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action.”
3) Giffords republican opponent, Jesse Kelly, urged supporters to help him remove his rival by joining him in shooting M-16 rifle into the air during political rallies. Was Loughner encouraged by this irresponsible, idiotic act?
What is this country coming to? I have always been proud to be an American, because in this country you have the right “to agree to disagree.” The politicians who “wind the flames” of hateful, reckless rhetoric, ought to think twice before they spew negligent diatribes around in public forums: Don’t they know that there are a lot of friggin’ nutcases out there that do not need to be encouraged.