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Gabrielle Giffords, Sarah Palin and Angry Americans Searching For Answers

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Six people including a judge and a nine-year-old girl were killed Saturday at a grocery store in Tucson, Arizona after a 22-year-old tried to assassinate Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords (AZ-D.)

Psychologists later said that the man was probably a paranoid schizophrenic. He was clearly troubled and got kicked out of his local college. Fellow students called him “creepy.” For fun, the 22-year-old, Jared Loughner, read the Communist Manifesto. In addition, according to people that knew Loughner, he was not a Republican and tended to lean left in the political scene.

Doctors say that Giffords will make a full recovery. Her doctor said there is a 101% chance of survival. As of yesterday, it is unclear if she will make a full recovery (regain speech, etc.), but she will survive.

What happened Saturday was indeed a tragedy. No one deserves to die like that especially the nine-year-old girl, who had just gotten elected to her own student council and went to see Giffords to learn more about politics. Absolutely heartbreaking.

People are looking for answers about why Jared Loughner would do this. At his home, police found a note that Jared wrote that stated that Jared had planned the attack out ahead of time, so it wasn’t random. Some say that Loughner had planned the attack in 2007, when Loughner went to one of Giffords’ rallies. People are now blaming Sarah Palin for the tragedy.

I am not a fan of Sarah Palin. Although I do consider myself a Republican, I dislike Sarah Palin immensely. I don’t think she’s very smart and I definitely hope she’s not the future of the Republican party. However, she does not deserve to be blamed for the tragedy. If you want to blame someone, blame Jared Loughner. You know, the guy who actually shot all of those people.

In March, Sarah Palin released a chart with cross hairs on it targeting Democrats who shouldn’t be reelected. Giffords, who was considered a blue dog democrat, was one of the ones listed. Oddly enough, the Democrats had a similar target chart released before the 2004 election. 

People say Palin’s chart caused Loughner to want to assassinate Giffords. It’s a bit (and when I say a bit, I mean really) a stretch. Loughner wasn’t even a Republican. Americans just want answers for why Loughner would kill all of those people (and I understand that) and Sarah Palin is an easy target (for a lack of better words). However, blaming Palin is not the answer.

“My sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and the other victims of today’s tragic shooting in Arizona,” Sarah Palin said, “On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and their families, and for peace and justice.”

But critics were not satisfied with that.

“What a hypocrite you are,”  Kathy Henn said, “You targeted this woman – literally with a target on her district – one of your freaky Fox followers hunted her down – and now you try to distance yourself from blame.”

It’s not proven that Loughner had seen the chart and if he had, he wasn’t even a Republican, so why would he listen to it?

It gets worse. People on Twitter started threatening Palin’s life.

“My hatred for Sarah Palin continues to grow… I think this woman should be assassinated. Sorry about chya,” Jenbobbi, a twitter user, said.
“Sarah Palin should be shot for her encouragement of fanaticism against Democrats,” Misskate83, another twitter user, said.

Some twitter users say their posts were taken out of context.

These people have gone too far. In fact, they are worse than Palin, because they are threatening Palin’s life. Sarah Palin never meant to imply Giffords should get shot, but these radical, angry Americans implied that Palin should get shot, which makes them 100x worse.

What happened was a complete tragedy, but blaming Sarah Palin is not the answer.

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About Maddy

  • Exactly, Maddy. What bothers me more is that the shooter exhibited self-destructive and homicidal behavior but got no treatment for it.

  • mike iacobellis

    if you are not a fan of sarah palin, then you are not a conservative and you belong in georgetown

  • Michael B

    On the internet the fact of bullying is now unacceptable, for it is determined to lead to suicides. OK understandable, so tell me what is the difference with the Palin, Glenn Beck, Rush L. and the rest. The people listening to these hate filled liars are NOT the pick of the litter, by no means. So if they what to continue with their attack policys then simply GIVE THEM NO VOTES, then maybe the right-wing extremists would learn to think. (right!)

  • If the bullets-solve-everything meme is exclusive to the right wing, then why does Hollywood (you know, that cesspool of wishy-washy, unpatriotic, anti-freedom Alec-Baldwin-wants-to-take-my-guns-away liberalism) churn out shoot-’em-up movies by the bucketload?

    No, it’s simply an American thing.

    Not saying all Americans think that way, just that it’s a prevalent mindset here which you don’t find anywhere else.

    And I’m not originally from here, so to me it’s particularly noticeable.

  • Shocked

    I don’t think you have to be Muslim to collect the money of a fatwa. The gun sites were drawn on the map for any crazy to carry out the deed.

  • Shocked

    How’s that Changey-Fatwa Thing Working Out for Ya?

  • Changey-Fatwa? Didn’t he just win some sort of award at the Grammys?

  • PAF

    What difference does it make as to whether or not the shooter was a Republican. Am I to believe that the only one who would go to Sarah Palin’s website are Republican’s, are they the only ones allowed there? So I guess their the only ones who are also allowed to read her book. The bottom line here is we still don’t know if this psycho saw her website or not, who cares what his political beliefs are. The point is like all of of Palin needs to be careful what she says, writes and does. I agree with you that those people on twitter also went too far! All of us need to think twice before writing hateful or threatening remarks. Hate spews hate, and its time to just stop it! I don’t know if Palin’s site played a pert in this, and I don’t really care at this point, because she wasn’t the only one making hateful remarks. Heck during the election you could of turned on your tv and had commercial after commercial of hateful remarks aimed a the so called opposition. Enough is enough, we have all go to just stop it, because such stuff only fuels psychos like this jerk who gunned down innocent people in Tucson.

  • This must be threadplace else. OK, Dr. Dreadful, there actually ARE quite a few “bullets-solve-everything” types in America. Unfortunately, a lot of them are wearing badges, and they want to take everyone ELSE’s guns away. Quite a few Americans who oppose this “bullets-solve-everything” attitude are PRO-gun-ownership as well as being ANTI-American-foreign-military aggression.

    It’s not just Americans who are anti-anti-gun-shy. Globally, people who have survived genocides–the preliminary step of which involves disarming the targeted population–are often less than trusting when the “Bring out Your Guns” wagon rolls around. Theodore Haas, who survived gunshot wounds during his imprisonment in Dachau is interviewed by Aaron Zelmon, founder of Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership.

    Now read Ted Koppel’s interview about the Darfur genocide here. (Koppel’s English-born, too. Watch out, Dr. D, *YOU* might be writing pieces like this if you stay in the USA much longer.)

    “In …Sudan… there were armed rebels groups. That these resistance groups had been able to acquire weapons illegally was a great affront to the United Nations and the gun prohibition lobbies, who denounce any form of gun possession by ‘non-state actors.’…The Sudanese resistance movements, although able to acquire some arms for their own operations, did not have the resources to protect the many isolated villages in the vast nation. So with the black villagers disarmed (thanks to Sudan’s strict gun laws) and the Arab gangs well-armed (thanks to the government), the stage was set for genocide…The tragedy of disarmed victims in the Sudan, and all over Africa, shows the deadly falseness of the prohibitionist promise. For decades, millions of Africans have been slaughtered by genocidal tyrants while the rest of the world stood idle. Now, the United Nations has become objectively complicit in genocide, by trying to ensure that never again will anyone targeted for genocide be able to use a firearm to save herself or her family.”

  • Elsewhere on this site, Sarah Palin was described as a “decoy.” To that I say, “You betcha.”

    “Yep, eee-yup, people who oppose gun-control are the same people who use cross-hairs symbols to indicate political targets.”

    No, not quite. A lot of people who oppose gun control do so because they oppose genocide. And a lot of people, sadly, who PROMOTE gun control do it because they PROMOTE genocide.

  • Dave Kopel (not English born) wrote the piece NOT Ted Koppel. There goes the one element of humor to be found in that comment.

  • John Lake

    No one living in an urban area could possible condone any politician promoting guns, or receiving support from the gun lobby. Hunting rifles of course remain an exception although there are those who would disagree. In cities children and other innocents are killed nightly. People who buy guns to defend themselves become the victims.
    At one point it was suggested that the constitution allowed guns in anticipation of a moment in time when the government might become so corrupt as to make it necessary for the people to rebel. That point hasn’t been approached and there is no indication that it might be. The entire concept is outdated.

  • Irene, all good points, but not really mine.

    The rootin-tootin-shootin meme is pervasive enough that hundreds of movies are year are based on it, and a certain breed of politician takes its cue from them.

    You would never see a British election candidate, for example, calling on his supporters to be “armed and dangerous”, or to “bring a gun to the fight” if his opponent “brings a knife”, or to “reload and aim”.

    Not a credible one, at any rate. He’d be committing political suicide.

    But it’s normal discouse over here, where everyone seems to think they’re Clint Eastwood.

  • paula flowers

    I’m a democrat and don’t feel that Sarah Palin is responisble for the shootings or that there is any proof that Jared was influenced by the images. I do think that she shouldn’t have made a national address the same night the President addressed the nation and the issue. I think it was very inappropriate and in bad taste – and she was obviously angry – and never made mention of regrett of posting the image – then tries to say it was a surveyors site. People are forgiving when you take ownership – if anything there will be more bitter feelings because of this. I think she has really shot herself in the foot…or rather feet. I don’t like her and I don’t think she is smart at all, and unfortunately, she doesn’t seem to see how embarrassing and irritating she really is. God Bless America…there are so many far more canidates..not that I want a Republican in office but lets not have her. I can’t imagine her being out President – Ronald Reagan she’s not.

  • John Lake

    I wonder if that’s Paula Flowers the Democratic politician from Tennessee?

  • Arch Conservative

    “if you are not a fan of sarah palin, then you are not a conservative and you belong in georgetown”

    WTF was that all about?

  • Dan

    I’m guessing that he means the georgetown where ultra leftist Jim Jones and his followers drank suicidal kool-aid.

  • Dr. Dreadful, there are two distinct classes of rooting, tooting shooters in the USA. Remember, long after there was a square foot of land left on the British Isles that wasn’t owned by some Lord or Duke, the wild, wild west had great opportunity for outlaws to grab whatever they wanted, unchecked. They had immunity from the government. Oftentimes, they WERE the government.

    The second kind of rootin tootin shooters opposed them, and if it hadn’t been for their rootin’ and tootin’ there’d have been a lot less law’n’order.

    These two kinds of shooters have left a legacy in American life. The first kind of gun-cherisher has, like his ancestor, no compunctions against eliminating brown people (Native Americans or civilian Iraqis or Afghanis) if they stand in the way of American Progress.

    The second kind of shooter has heard too many family stories like this one to be able to believe, “that kind of thing could never happen in America.”

  • Jean

    Coupling Palin’s rhetoric with the crosshairs is the most prominent use of gun imagery by someone that I can remember. Perhaps the image was used before but not with the pervasive rhetoric in an overheated environment. This is irresponsible independent of the incident. In light of the incident Palin could have shown some leadership and cooled down the situation. If she wants to be the country’s mama grizzly…she should have concentrated her comments to have less self-centered results.

  • Cannonshop

    It wasn’t rhetoric that generated the shootings, anymore than it was Marilyn Manson that generated the Columbine killings, or Dungeons and Dragons generating suicides, or Heavy Metal Music generating various things from drug-use to suicide to murder-suicides.

    It’s just easier to blame a “Thing” for the actions of a “Person” (esp. a thing you don’t agree with or dislike, or that offends your sensibilities in some fashion).

    in the case of this Loughner schitz, I suspect it had more to do with “If I shoot a famous person, I’ll be Famous” than any strain of politics involved-the guy’s mugshot looks positively gleeful while at the same time utterly deranged-which fits with the kind of personality he displayed in his Youtube videos.

    put simply for you Lefties out there:

    Palin is no more responsible for Loughner, than the Beatles are for Charles Manson.

  • Arch Conservative

    I’d sincerely like to Rochambeau Mr. Mike Iacobellis.

  • Jordan Richardson

    I think those that think people are blaming Palin for the shootings in any practical sense are missing the opportunity to rationally discuss the tone of political dialogue in the United States. That, to be, is the real red herring.

    There’s also a very distinctive difference between the creative art of the Beatles or Marilyn Manson and the political dialogue by representatives of the people. Cannonshop seems to suggest otherwise with his comment.

    I’d also add that what’s easiest is senseless categorizing (ie. “you lefties”).

    The shooting wasn’t partisan, but it was damn sure political.

  • Arch Conservative

    “The shooting wasn’t partisan, but it was damn sure political.”

    Based on what we’ve now learned about Jared Lee Loughner we know the shooting wasn’t political at all. He was a nutbag. Plain and simple.

    The reaction to the shooting (ie the left’s disgusting attempt to capitalize on it mere hours after it occurred) was both partisan and political and seemingly hasn’t stopped.

  • Baronius

    I kinda disagree with Arch. I remember when the shooting took place, hearing the righties speculating (was it an illegal immigrant?) as much as the lefties. Even when the famous reading list came out, while the Left latched on to Mein Kampf, the Right pointed to The Communist Manifesto. So there’s been some playing on both sides.

    I’ll say this, though. The Right is walking away from this as a non-issue, and the Left is walking away from it assuming they won. It’s one of their favorite moves.

  • D. Shick

    People sure comment before the facts are exposed. You don’t realize how you can destroy someone’s repetation with loose talk. The Sheriff started and the rest of you joined in. Bitter people lack common sence. Grow up so we can apply our efforts to save our Country.

  • Arch, you cannot be serious. Loughner didn’t just wander into a random Safeway looking for someone to shoot and it just happened to be the one Giffords was holding a constituency surgery in.

    He may be completely bonkers, but he also specifically targeted Giffords because she’s a politician. That makes it political. And if it had been the Archbishop of Phoenix he’d shot, that would have made it religious.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Pretty much. It’s a known fact that Loughner had a “history,” however one-sided, with Giffords. He may have targeted the politician for reasons known only to him, but he still targeted a politician.

    As to Palin’s “reputation” or the “reputation” of anyone else in this matter, I’m having a real hard time giving a shit with six people dead – including a nine-year old girl.

    The political fallout, at least from my perspective, appears more concerned with lowering the violent rhetoric than it does with pointing particular fingers. The incident ought to be a catalyst, one of many, for a very necessary conversation about rhetoric.

    And yet people are using it as a reason to distance themselves and insulate themselves from criticism. Sarah Palin doesn’t need to apologize or retract or anything of the sort. She just needs to shut up for a day or two.

    I’ve yet to come across anyone that believes the sort of rhetoric employed in the modern political arena is particularly positive or useful, so why are so many rushing to defend the Palins and Limbaughs of the world?

    Maybe it’s because the biggest Canadian equivalent I can come up with is Rex Murphy (maybe Don “Pinko” Cherry), but I don’t see the value in so much angry rhetoric on radio and TV. Why do so many Americans seem to not only tolerate it but favour it to legit discourse?

  • Politicians and the political system intact are failing us, Jordan. The people are at their wit’s end, yet they seem unable to think outside the box. Consequently, they’re bent on singing praises to the system in place – free speech, ownership of guns, you know the refrain. It’s only natural that Loghner is declared a loony, a misfit, an oddball, for it’s inconceivable to the American psyche that anyone in their right mind would commit such a senseless act. Thus, the people’s faith in the land of the free and the brave is preserved, and we can all live happily ever after. There is no need for discussion.

  • Jordan Richardson

    Baby steps, Roger. Baby steps.

  • zingzing

    “There is no need for discussion.”

    what does it say that a great many americans are having this discussion despite the fact that they (probably rightly) believe that loughner was a psycho?

    yes, some may say that free speech overrides whatever concerns about responsibility you can bring up, but this isn’t really a new discussion. as in so many things, the sides change as the political powers change. that’s the stupidity of politics… or humanity, i suppose. our memories are remarkably short.

  • Arch Conservative

    “The political fallout, at least from my perspective, appears more concerned with lowering the violent rhetoric than it does with pointing particular fingers.”

    So I guess when only hours after the shooting, Markos Miulitsas, founder of the Daily kos tweeteed “Mission accomplished, Sarah Palin” he was making a sincere and concerted effort to “lower the violent rhetoric?” Of course the liberal blogosphere participants were doing the same when they referred to Palin’s “crosshairs map” over and over and over and over and over.

    It’s obvious that the far left viewed the shooting as an opportunity to score political points and acted on that opportunity.

  • Jordan Richardson

    And it’s obvious that you, like the far left, can’t move on.

    Where are you seeing me defending anyone from the Daily Kos, Arch? Is the divisiveness so ingrained in your mentality that you’re even seeing it when it’s not there?

  • Boeke

    #31 Arch attempts to conflate a comment by an ink-stained wretch of a writer with a politician in a search for moral equivalence. The attempt fails. Palin is an actual politician-past and politician-in-waiting who would have a direct effect on policy.

  • Personally, for me, I think the most bizarre thing here at BC is how all the folks that don’t live here or recently became residents of our country are the ones making the most noise. Telling all of us how fucked up we are…
    This so called violent rhetoric has been going on in this country for well over 200 years. And yeah, a few people have died because of it and for it! That’s not gonna change anything!

    You can say all you want about the moonbat in Tucson, but the bottom line is, he’s a fucking moonbat, so no amount of dissection is gonna change that fact. He didn’t do what he did because of heated rhetoric, he did it because his dad picked on him, or he just didn’t fit in, or he was just a fucking moonbat or any of a thousand other reasons…pick one.

    And just so you LIBERALS know, this will not change the tone of people that disagree with you. We will NOT “disarm”, so to speak, just to make you happy.

    There are major differences in how people believe our country should move forward and when politicians say things like, “We don’t care what they want, we’re giving it to them anyway” people are going to have arguments and sometimes they get heated. Unwad your panties and get in the fight!

    We all have a right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. There’s nothing in any of our documents that says that you have the right to not have your feelings hurt.

    Deal with it!

    The only discussion that this terrible incident should bring up is how do we keep guns out of the hands of seriously sick individuals. And when we do have this discussion, we won’t even bring up the fact that it was liberals that made sure that crazy people couldn’t be put away as easily as some of them should be put away.

  • Clavos

    Hell, it was the liberals who, a few decades ago, opened up all the loony bins and put ’em all out on the street, Andy.

    “As ye sow, so shall ye reap.”

  • Andy – everybody in your country only “recently became residents of our country”. LOL!!!

    I pretty much agree with you about Loughner doing it just because he is/was a moonbat but I don’t think it is right to completely ignore the context within which he acted.

    If that was right, then nobody would be concerned about extremist views in other parts of the world contributing to actions taken by people in the West.

    As to your other points, to my political perception talking about liberals and conservatives or refusing to disarm is seriously missing the point.

    In terms of the positions of the two main political parties in the USA, the UK and almost certainly many other countries too, there aren’t “major differences” at all and I think that is what is at the heart of a lot of the unrest we see.

    What is needed is a complete re-think of the entire political process which, at the moment, can only deliver antagonistic dialogue that fails to address the challenges, needs and problems of the world we live in today.

    The only discussion should be how we resolve this challenge to create a political system that isn’t beholden to covert special interest groups, to prevent the current trends towards massively increasing legislation, to repeal huge swathes of unnecessary laws that impinge upon people’s freedoms – which would massively reduce the cost of government, and develop a military posture designed for effective and, if necessary, lethal defence, not being global policemen or enforcers.

  • CR – I guess recent can be a relative term…

    As long as there is one group of people in our country that think it’s fair to take folks money and redistribute it to the laziest of us all, there will be disagreements. When a politician is asked why he supports taxing money that’s already been taxed and he answers, you won’t be taxed, you’ll be dead, then there’s a need for anger! This is how liberal democrats look at the estate tax! The same guy, when asked about obamacare said, we don’t care what they want, we’re giving it to them anyway….

    I honestly understand the need for “safety nets” in America. I’ve used one or two myself a couple of times, unemployment insurance a few times and we actually got some govt cheese and milk for my girls WHEN I WAS ON ACTIVE DUTY. Isn’t that a fuckng shame that an active duty military member was and still is eligible for food stamps and WIC?

    The problem is that we have politicians that don’t listen to their constituents. That say they need to raise taxes in order to meet our debt. Are we as citizens allowed to go to our bosses and demand they pay us more because we’ve grown accustomed to a certain lifestyle? Or do we hunker down and cut our spending?
    Does a responsible person go out and buy things they can’t afford when they can’t afford them? Where do these politicians get off mandating that trillions of dollars that they don’t have be spent on something that most people don’t want?

    The democrats in this country want to give everyone something for nothing and most of us don’t want it!

    I spent 20 years in the navy in order to EARN what was promised to me. A check for the rest of my life and free health care for my family and I. Now, due to the govt’s irresponsibility both of those are in jeopardy. Gates says that military retirees aren’t paying enough for their healthcare and yes, we do pay, even though the govt promised us free healthcare for the rest of our lives.

    And some of those perks that everybody thinks are so great, like keeping your kids on your healthcare policy until they’re 26, well that doesn’t apply to the military healthcare system. It, like millions of other companies has been exempted from the “good parts” of the bill.

    Obviously, most of this rant has absolutely nothing to do with the conversation…but I’ve felt a need to rant lately…guess that’s why I’m back!

    And to your last paragraph…..I agree with ALL OFF IT!

    And under what “context” is it that you think he acted? Nobody seems to know what motivated this guy other than lunacy…