Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, several others shot; Palin, Tea Party candidate
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The gunman, who may have come from inside the Safeway, walked up and shot Gifford in the head first, "point blank". According to [an eyewitness, Steven Rayle], who is a former ER doctor, Gifford was able to move her hands after being shot... After shooting Gifford, the gunman opened fire indiscriminately for a few seconds, firing 20-30 rounds and hitting a number of people, including a kid no older than 10 years old... The gunman was young, mid-to-late 20s, white, clean-shaven with short hair and wearing dark clothing and said nothing during the shooting or while being held down, although he struggled at first. He was "not particularly well-dressed"; he didn't look like a businessman, but more of a "fringe character," Rayle said.
There are certainly many possible motivations, and just one of the many is that the shooter is affiliated with the tea parties or libertarians movements. Both of those groups haven't shied away from painting their opponents in the worst terms possible and engaging in apocalyptic language. Sometimes that's included implied violence, such as in the two following graphics.
The first is from Sarah Palin's website and shows several Congressmen's districts in what appear to be gun crosshairs. Palin has since removed this from her site.
In March, Giffords spoke out about a window being broken at her office and various death threats, saying (link):
"Sarah Palin has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district and when people do that, they’ve gotta realize there are consequences to that action."
The second is from Giffords' former opponent, Jesse Kelly announcing a June 12, 2010 campaign event:
"Get on Target for Victory in November
Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office
Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly"
Once again: this might be completely unrelated to the teaparties, to Palin, or to politics at all. However, the atmosphere of implied violence that the teaparties have helped create is not helpful to those who want to oppose the far-left in constructive ways such as with the question authority plan.
1pm UPDATE: The Associated Press reports that the suspect's name is Jared Laughner.
1:12pm UPDATE: The suspect's name might actually be Jared Lee Loughner.
1:25pm UPDATE: The video below appears to be from the suspect (cached in case it's deleted). In it he says:
You don't have to accept the federalist laws... read the United States of America's Constitution to apprehend all of the current treasonous laws... I can't trust the current government because of the ratifications: The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar... No! I won't pay debt with a currency that's not backed by gold and silver... No! I won't trust in God!
3:15pm UPDATE: @caitieparker claims she "went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman". I was skeptical because she initially spelled his name "Laughner", but she now says "it's loughner just checked my year book". She also says (in successive tweets):
He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in '07, asked her a question & he told me she was "stupid & unintelligent"
he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven't seen him in person since '07 in a sign language class
As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy
he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in '06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.
more left [wing]. I haven't seen him since '07 though. He became very reclusive.
I haven't seen him since '07. Then, he was left wing.
1/9/11 UPDATE: Doctors are optimistic that Giffords will recover, however six other people are dead. The gunman had a second magazine that jammed; otherwise it might be even worse.
Meanwhile, the Department of Homeland Security is using this as an opportunity to try to smear opponents of illegal immigration, stupidly focusing on the higher-level white racial separatist group American Renaissance (Maggie Haberman, Politico, link).
A Department of Homeland Security memo quoted by Fox News says the agency is looking into whether Loughner is “possibly linked” to the fanatical group American Renaissance... The group promotes views that are “anti-government, anti-immigration, anti-ZOG (Zionist Occupation Government), anti-Semitic,” the memo says... Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, the target of Loughner’s firing frenzy, is “the first Jewish female elected to such a high position in the U.S. government. She was also opposite the group’s ideology when it came to immigration debate,” according the memo.
Jared Taylor called DHS' views "scurrilous" and took especial issue with the reference to his group being "anti-ZOG."
"That is complete nonsense," he said. "I have absolutely no idea what DHS is talking about. We have never used the term 'ZOG.' We have never thought in those terms. If this is the level of research we are getting from DHS, then Heaven help us."
Taylor, who earned a BA in philosophy from Yale in 1973 and a master's degree in international economics from the prestigious Institut d'Études Politiques de Paris ("Paris Institute of Political Studies," in English) in 1978, says he had never heard of Loughner until yesterday. Taylor says he checked his organization's records going back twenty years and Loughner never subscribed to AmRen's publications.
Taylor says he also has no indication that Loughner ever attended any of AmRen's events, all of which have been held on the East Coast.
I'm not that familiar with AmRen, but any ties Loughner had would probably be to libertarian-oriented groups on the far fringes. The DHS is just showing yet again how incompetent they are.
Also, Giffords' announcement of the event is here. She doesn't mention anyone else who'd be attending, and cops have said that she was the target. One of those killed was Judge John Roll who was involved in immigration issues (including deciding against rancher Roger Barnett, link). Death threats were made against Roll over that, but at least at this time it doesn't appear that it was public information that he was going to be at the event.
1/9/11 UPDATE 2: AmRen responds here:
American Renaissance condemns violence in the strongest possible terms, and nothing that has ever appeared in it pages could be interpreted as countenancing it.
AR is not anti-government, anti-Semitic, or anti-ZOG, as is clear from the 20 years of back issues that are posted on our website. The expression “ZOG” has never appeared in the pages of AR, and we have has always welcomed Jewish participation in our work. Many of the speakers at American Renaissance conferences have been Jewish.
Google shows just eight other pages mentioning her at their site and none focus on her or contain any questionable mentions of her.
1/9/11 UPDATE 3: Loughner's first Youtube video was uploaded on November 22, 2010. That's the anniversary of the JFK assassination; whether it's just a coincidence isn't known.
And, Giffords' Youtube account (youtube.com/user/giffords2) has just two subscriptions, one to Rep. Ike Skelton and the other to Loughner. Image attached. How exactly that happened is not clear.
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
* Friend's claim that Loughner wasn't political is two years out of date
* 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