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The Tucson tragedy


 

Was it the result of nasty political rhetoricor not… of weak gun lawsor not…  or yet another failure of an educational institution to deal with someone who is mentally ill — or not?


 
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The Tucson tragedy

    • Do you have…like…a job? Or is this your 'job'?

      • The last forlorn whine of the Con…it's a plot!

        LOL

        • So, that would be 'no', you don't have one…well, at least that explains how you can be on here so much..

          • Emily could be the nom de plume of many people, working around the clock to give right wing regulars on this site high blood pressure — like Franklin W. Dixon or Carolyn Keene.

          • They are at Emily Control Headquarters with finger on the trigger. Domeone should do an analysis of the time between the blog and the first Emily to hit the button!

  1. The incident is like a Rorschach ink blot: what people see in it reveals more about themselves than about the incident.

    • Well said.

    • As your avatar inspiration might say, "Wanting to shoot a nine-year-old girl is sometimes better than getting to shoot a nine-year-old girl."

      (I am paraphrasing heavily.)

    • A_logician wrote:
      "The incident is like a Rorschach ink blot: what people see in it reveals more about themselves than about the incident"

      Damn….wish I had thought of that one.

  2. The American press has descended on Loughner's neighbors, high school classmates, college professors, and college acquaintances. They paint a portrait of a mentally disturbed young man who got worse over the years. The US Army rejected his attempt to enlist. His college expelled him for disrupting class, insubordination to professors, and frightening the bejeezus out of other students. He believed that government experimented in mind control through the agency of English grammar rules.

    Following the attempted car bombing of Times Square last year, the first recourse of elected officials was to blame the Tea Party and inflammatory rhetoric. Following Tucson, the same thing.

    He is mentally ill. So ill that he may never go to trial or be convicted.

    • Mentally ill but able to purchase a gun and magazines that are only used to kill people. I don't remember the Tea Party being blamed for the Times Square bomb attempt. Do have a source for that?

      • Punch "times square bombing bloomberg tea party" into a search engine for as many sources as you require.

      • Today's Washington Post, editorial section, Thiesson's piece. Mayor Bloomberg originated the allegation and then others picked up the thread and ran with it until they identified the culprit as a Pakistani immigrant who freely confessed to being a jihadi.

      • This is the second time I've tried to post this. Is it being deleted because of the last sentence?

        Today's Washington Post, editorial section, Theissen. Mayor Bloomberg of NYC opined in a public press conference immediately after the attempted attack that he thought Tea Party members inflamed by right-wing rhetoric might be responsible. Then, others picked up the thread by reporting on Bloomberg. The actual attack, you will recall, was a Pakistani immigrant to the United States who confessed at trial to being a muslim holy warrior…check the transcript if you like McLean's every newspaper on earth reported it.

        • Did that Pakistani get to see himself as a muslim holy warrior because of his diet? His lack of exercise? Or could it be that at young age he was in contact with other muslims who think that the US is evil and that those who destroy that evil empire will have a choice place in heaven? In other words, could muslim angry rhetoric and political views play a role in this?

          Or do you think people are born with ideas like that?

          • He was a naturalized US citizen in his mid-30s who had emigrated to the US in his teens. He married a muslim woman, fathered a child, got an MBA, worked in the corporate world…and then lost his job, his wife, and his family. He returned to Pakistan for a time and returned to his adopted country to attempt murder.

            You tell me, Loraine. What do you think his motivation was?

          • Do we know why he lost his job, his wife and his family? Seems to me that an attempt to plant a bomb in Time Square by a person with the history you mention is motivated by political hate propaganda. Otherwise, he would have attempted to kill his wife and kids, or maybe go on a rampage at his former place of work. That happens a lot too, you know.

            The reality of the world is that there are many valid and different point of views that are acceptable for debate. Depicting others as enemies to be targeted or evil to be fought because they hold ideas that one disagrees with is irresponsible.

          • I've no argument with you there.

  3. They paint a portrait of a mentally disturbed young man who got worse over the years. The US Army rejected his attempt to enlist. His college expelled him for disrupting class, insubordination to professors, and frightening the bejeezus out of other students. He believed that government experimented in mind control through the agency of English grammar rules.

    Yet, this clearly disturbed individual was able to purchase a Glock capable of holding a 30 shot clip and, because this is Arizona we're talking about, he could carry it around, loaded and concealed on his person, and no one had apparently broken a single law until he fired his first shot.

    There may not be arguments for further restricting the public's access to guns from this case, but does one not have to at least address some possible loopholes in a system through which an apparently disturbed person can so easily purchase such a deadly weapon?

    • American federal law forbids selling a firearm to someone who has been institutionalized or even treated for a mental disorder. Given the man's routine incoherence, I do not understand how a clerk in a gun store could have sold him firearm. The feds need to investigate that sale, because Loughner, according to reports, cannot string three sentences together coherently. There is a background check for every firearms sale in the United States. The only reason that he could have passed is that he'd never been institutionalized or ordered by a court to undergo psychiatric evaluation.

      It's not just Arizona. A US citizen can by a firearm in any jurisdiction in the United States provided that s/he is a resident.

      • It's not just Arizona where you can BUY a firearm, but comparatively few jurisdictions allow citizens to carry a concealed weapon in public, and Arizona is one of them.

        • I'm sorry, but you are wrong. Although I no longer do, I once worked for a European executive protection company in its US operations subsidiary and carried a concealed handgun as a condition of employment. I still possess a concealed handgun permit recognized in 32 states of the United States. Comparatively few state jurisdictions forbid concealed carry.

          • OK, I'll take your word on that and thanks for the correction.

            So, wow. Basically the whole country is more scary than I thought it was (well, 64% of it anyway!).

          • Ahhhh. Maybe that's what I was confusing their concealed carry laws with when I thought Arizona's carry laws were so rare.

    • I'm not sure the Canadian press has reported it, but one of the two private citizens who subdued Loughner at the scene of the attack was carrying legally a concealed handgun at the time.

      • Do you know if said citizen used his/her firearm in the process of subduing Loughner?

        • He did not. When asked why, he gave an answer a professional would have been proud of…it wasn't necessary.

        • No, he did not. Here's from Huff Post: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/arizona-

          At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik offered more details on how suspected Arizona shooter Jared Loughner was disarmed. Dupnik said that when Loughner ran out of bullets in his first magazine clip, a woman who had already been shot "went up and grabbed" the new magazine "and tore it away from him." Dupnik said the name of the woman was known but he did not share it during the press conference. After the confrontation with the woman, Loughner was able to load another magazine into his weapon, but "the spring in the magazine failed," Dupnik said, and two men were able to get his weapon away from him and subdue him until law enforcement arrived. Dupnik said the work of these three people potentially averted a "huge greater catastrophe."

        • [My first post of this disappeared somehow. I'll try it again.] No, he didn't use his gun. Here's from Huff Post:

          At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik offered more details on how suspected Arizona shooter Jared Loughner was disarmed. Dupnik said that when Loughner ran out of bullets in his first magazine clip, a woman who had already been shot "went up and grabbed" the new magazine "and tore it away from him." Dupnik said the name of the woman was known but he did not share it during the press conference. After the confrontation with the woman, Loughner was able to load another magazine into his weapon, but "the spring in the magazine failed," Dupnik said, and two men were able to get his weapon away from him and subdue him until law enforcement arrived. Dupnik said the work of these three people potentially averted a "huge greater catastrophe." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/arizona-

    • Apparently, the shooter had made several death threats and was known to the local sheriff, but the local sheriff for some reason decided to never press charges. Had the local sheriff pressed charges in these instances, the shooter would not have been approved for the purchase of a gun.

      • The local Sheriff a life long Democrat had the nerve to accuse political opponents for inciting the shooting. He was aware of the identity of the shooter so he did it to cover his behind and shift the blame from himself.

  4. Here's a good narrative roll call of similar events, with links: http://www.perrspectives.com/blog/archives/002069…. And the list is only of politically-motivated acts or those with political impact. Doesn't begin to touch the multiple shooting sprees against family, schools, employers, etc. that seem to happen at least once a week somewhere down there.

  5. @ LdKitchenersOwn: Tried twice to post this as a reply, post disappeared both times. So I'll try the main thread.

    As for whether the person who subdued Loughner used his concealed firearm: The answer is No.

    Here's from Huff Post:

    At a press conference on Sunday afternoon, Pima County, Ariz., Sheriff Clarence Dupnik offered more details on how suspected Arizona shooter Jared Loughner was disarmed. Dupnik said that when Loughner ran out of bullets in his first magazine clip, a woman who had already been shot "went up and grabbed" the new magazine "and tore it away from him." Dupnik said the name of the woman was known but he did not share it during the press conference. After the confrontation with the woman, Loughner was able to load another magazine into his weapon, but "the spring in the magazine failed," Dupnik said, and two men were able to get his weapon away from him and subdue him until law enforcement arrived. Dupnik said the work of these three people potentially averted a "huge greater catastrophe." http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/01/09/arizona-

    • Thanks, good to know.

    • A magazine failure is probably the least common pistol failure there is. Read into that what you will. Regardless of this the people who intervened are heroes whether they were armed or not.

  6. John Lennon was shot by a nut in New York City and NYC has very restrictive hand gun laws.

    • But that doesn't stop someone from buying a gun elsewhere and bringing it in.

  7. @ LdKitchenersOwn & Dubh

    I've tried to answer your questions or comment on earlier posts, but they don't seem to be attaching. Dubh is correct, LKO, the armed man who subdued Loughner did not use his firearm. In his own words…it wasn't necessary.

    It may be a terminological difference between the United States and Canada, Dubh, but "open carry" in the US means carrying a firearm openly displayed at all times. Almost all states in the United States allow open carry without a permit. Arizona is among a handful of states that allow concealed carry without the additional requirement of a special permit. That is very unusual.

    How do you get a concealed handgun permit in the United States? Normally, it requires passing a nationally-certified test, undergoing a practical test on a firing range to demonstrate marksmanship, and a local-state-FBI criminal background check. State rules vary, but often it is a District judge who grants the permit.

  8. From a mental health point of view, I do know that it is often the case in Alberta that if the police are called by a university to remove a student who is ranting and raving in class and frightening other students, they will use the Mental Health Act to convey the person for a psychiatric examination to a local emergency dept. The person is held there for 24 hrs and seen by a physician and a psychiatrist. If ill,
    they are held for 30 days and treatment is started. There would be no gun licenses in their future. I am not sure why this does not seem to happen in the US, especially in a case like this.

    • That is exactly what should be done in the US and is not.

    • They're starting to talk about it. From the New Republic:

      The Tucson Shooter and the Case for Involuntary Commitment
      How many more mass murders and assassinations do we need before we understand that the rights-based hyper-individualism of our laws governing mental illness is endangering the security of our community and the functioning of our democracy? http://www.tnr.com/blog/william-galston/81228/the

    • They love their guns in the U.S.A.

  9. UPDATE on the person with a concealed firearm who helped subdue Loughner:

    Friendly Firearms: How an armed hero nearly shot the wrong man: http://www.slate.com/toolbar.aspx?action=print&am

    "I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready," he explained on Fox and Friends. "I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this." Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. "And that's who I at first thought was the shooter," Zamudio recalled. "I told him to 'Drop it, drop it!' "

    But the man with the gun wasn't the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. "Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess," the interviewer pointed out. Zamudio agreed: "I was very lucky. Honestly, it was a matter of seconds. Two, maybe three seconds between when I came through the doorway and when I was laying on top of [the real shooter], holding him down. So, I mean, in that short amount of time I made a lot of really big decisions really fast. … I was really lucky."

    That's what happens when you run with a firearm to a scene of bloody havoc. In the chaos and pressure of the moment, you can shoot the wrong person. Or, by drawing your weapon, you can become the wrong person—a hero mistaken for a second gunman by another would-be hero with a gun. Bang, you're dead. Or worse, bang bang bang bang bang: a firefight among several armed, confused, and innocent people in a crowd. It happens even among trained soldiers. Among civilians, the risk is that much greater.

    • This puts to waste the man I just saw on CNN – sounded like a NRA rep – who said that if somebody there had had a gun they could have stopped the shooter, He made it out to be simple – you see a shooter – you take him out. The logic being, if we all had a gun, we'd be safer.

    • No Shoot Scenario: We get this a lot. A high-stress situation where someone who is not an immediate threat presents a supposed lethal threat. An angry man reaching into his pocket, for instance. As a cop, do you shoot??? Probably not. You risk your life not making the shot to save the innocent bystander (who is not wearing the vest that you are) and likely save the suspect who has not yet presented an observable threat (hand still in pocket). But then he pulls a gun and shoots indiscriminately: do you NOT shoot because you might hit an innocent person?? I would suggest that they are all under cover at that point and they are in more danger from the lunatic trying to kill people that the one that is trying to save them.

    • Dubh, thank you for the update.

      I'm greatly impressed by Mr. Zamudio's calm decision-making process under conditions of great stress. I presume Zamudio has no training for such conditions and yet he made at least five correct choices in sequence very rapidly. I've seen firearm violence during my career and participated in a bit of it. Any professional in the protection industry would have been proud to have performed as well as he did.

  10. BTW, I found this to be an excellent read (from Salon):

    Our permanent culture of political violence
    And why the calls for civility in the wake of Saturday's shooting won't end up changing anything http://www.salon.com/news/politics/war_room/2011/

  11. I’m surprised no one’s blamed George Bush yet.

  12. What bothers me more is that after watching and listening to Obama's excellent tribute to all concerned, , what do we get on CTV Power Play is that silly Taber woman's chewing over with other pundits whether the speech would affect his electoral chances in 2012!!! How tasteless can she be. Get Don back!

    • Where is Don – is he just off for a couple of days?

  13. it was noted:
    “that silly Taber woman’s chewing over with other pundits whether the speech would affect his electoral chances in 2012”

    Don’t be too upset….Jane Taber is simply an overpaid gossip columnist. Real journalists in Canada are few and far between. (Think, Coyne, Hebert)

  14. It was caused by the ravings of the media on all sides. Except 330 million Americans failed to shoot anyone that day. It is a measure of the significance of the media.

  15. heheh…..

    good point, Bill.

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