Friend: Loughner wasn't political, not left or right (two years out of date; Zeitgeist)
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On Good Morning America, Zach Osler - a former friend of Gabrielle Giffords shooter Jared Lee Loughner - said the following about Loughner (video below):
He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn’t listen to political radio. He didn’t take sides. He wasn’t on the left. He wasn’t on the right.
However, in the same interview, Osler admits not having seen Loughner for two years. Obviously, a lot can happen in two years, but don't expect partisan hacks to acknowledge that or in some cases even mention that Osler's information is two years out of date.
Osler's claims also contradict claims from another former classmate that in 2007 Loughner was left-wing (although her abilities at political classification aren't clear). And, the last two years has seen the rise of the tea parties, a group that specializes in loud, anti-intellectual rants against politicians, intimidating politicians, bringing guns to public meetings, waving "We came unarmed [this time]" signs, and on and on. The chance that Loughner didn't see some of that is indeed slim, whether on TV or on Youtube.
Note also that Osler places the blame for Loughner's slide in part on the drug Salvia and in part on the libertarian documentary Zeitgeist. As I've stated many times, some of Loughner's ideas are those of a deranged libertarian extremist. That doesn't make him a libertarian however, just that he was influenced by their ideas. And, when it comes to committing violence against politicians, he may have been influenced by the tea parties. Perhaps his Youtube viewing history or similar will come out at his trial.
ADDED: See also
* FAQ: Is Jared Lee Loughner linked to Tea Party, conservatives, or libertarians? (Gabrielle Giffords shooting)
* Jared Loughner: anti-Bush, pro-small government? Intellectually dishonest Tea Party defenders
* Claims by Tea Party enablers that Pima Sheriff Dupnik could have stopped Loughner are false
* Loughner's "Genocide school" video
* Jared Loughner's AboveTopSecret postings show no clear political slant
* Arizona state Fusion Center uses Giffords shooting to smear American Renaissance)
* Glenn Reynolds denies Tea Party's history of intimidation
* first post on Gabrielle Giffords shooting