by Amanda Read | January 16th, 2011
“What is government if words have no meaning?”
Such was the question that Jared Loughner asked Representative Gabrielle Giffords at an event in 2007. Unsatisfied by Giffords’ response (or warranted lack thereof), Loughner targeted her with an apparently vengeful fixation.
The budding thought processes of this anarchical philosopher-wannabe clearly had nothing to do with then-obscure Sarah Palin and Glenn Beck – nor did they have anything to do with the then-nonexistent Tea Party. According to a CBS poll, 57% of Americans agree that today’s political tone did not impact Loughner’s attack.
It is unlikely that anyone would have seriously considered otherwise had Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik not blamed America’s political climate without evidence (disgracing his status as a law enforcement officer). Left-wing leaning media outlets subsequently seized Dupnik’s talking point with zeal and defined the debate in their favor.
However, just hours later, the primary sources that average citizens have access to via the internet flatly contradicted the politicization.
From online message boards to YouTube videos to the classroom, Loughner demonstrated himself to be a pathological riddler who was angry at the world for refusing to answer his intellectually dishonest questions. As Loughner’s incoherent ramblings and love of conspiracy spiraled downward to senseless bloodshed, King Solomon’s warning proved true – “the lips of a fool consume him; the beginning of his talking is folly and the end of it is wicked madness” (Ecclesiastes 10:12-13).
In response to the tragedy, President Obama’s January 12th speech in Tucson was a bit better than I expected. It was tender, and for the most part above-board and presidential (it is unfortunate that the hooting and hollering disrupted the atmosphere). Obama even dared to go off-script to emphasize that political rhetoric – and “a simply lack of civility” – did not cause the Tucson massacre…
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