The Hatewatch blog is managed by the staff of the Intelligence Project of the Southern Poverty Law Center, an Alabama-based civil rights organization.

Who is Jared Lee Loughner?

By Mark Potok on January 9, 2011 - 6:15 pm, Posted in Extremist Crime, Patriot Groups

Is Jared Lee Loughner, the alleged mass murderer who shot U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords of Arizona, a right-wing extremist?

Jared LoughnerIt’s hard to say. When you look at the Internet material he purportedly produced, the first impression you get is that the 22-year-old now in custody for the shooting of 20 people in Tucson was completely out of his mind, or at least mildly deranged. His writings will be virtually impossible for most people to understand, what with his runs of unexplained numbers, his fondness for weird syllogisms, his mysterious references and his apparent semi-literacy.

That said, there are some clues.

At one point, Loughner refers disparagingly to “currency that’s not backed by gold or silver.” The idea that silver and gold are the only “constitutional” money is widespread in the antigovernment “Patriot” movement that produced so much violence in the 1990s. It’s linked to the core Patriot theory that the Federal Reserve is actually a private corporation run for the benefit of unnamed international bankers. So-called Patriots say paper money — what they refer to with a sneer as “Federal Reserve notes” — is not lawful.

At another, Loughner makes extraordinarily obscure comments about language and grammar, suggesting that the government engages in “mind control on the people by controlling grammar.” That’s not the kind of idea that’s very common out there, even on the Internet. In fact, I think it’s pretty clear that Loughner is taking ideas from Patriot conspiracy theorist David Wynn Miller of Milwaukee. Miller claims that the government uses grammar to “enslave” Americans and offers up his truly weird “Truth-language” as an antidote. For example, he says that if you add colons and hyphens to your name in a certain way, you are no longer taxable. Miller may be mad as a hatter, but he has a real following on the right.

Loughner talks about how you “can’t trust the government” and someone burns a U.S. flag in one of the videos attributed to him. Although certain right-wing websites are already using that (and his listing of The Communist Manifesto as one of his favorite books) to claim that Loughner was a “left-winger,” that does not strike me as true. The main enemy of the Patriot movement is certainly the federal government. And so-called Patriots have certainly engaged in acts like burning the flag.

Finally, I think Loughner’s reading list, although it included children’s books and a few classics, had an underlying theme — the individual versus the totalitarian state. Certainly, that’s the explicit central theme of Ayn Rand’s We the Living and Orwell’s 1984 and Animal Farm, among others.  I would argue that that’s the way Loughner seems to be reading The Communist Manifesto and Hitler’s Mein Kampf — as variants of a kind of generalized “smash the state” attitude.

Chip Berlet of Political Research Associates, which does similar work to that of Hatewatch, points out in a post earlier today that Loughner also makes a reference to a “second American constitution.” As Chip notes, that is commonly understood to refer to the Reconstruction amendments that freed the slaves and gave them citizenship, among other things. Chip says that “raises the question of a possible racist and anti-immigrant tie” in the Arizona shooting.

On top of that, Fox News is reporting on an internal Department of Homeland Security message suggesting some tie between Loughner and American Renaissance, a kind of white-collar racist group.

I can’t speak to those allegations, although a federal official in a position to know gave me some details that made it clear the alleged link to American Renaissance appears very weak. Outside of what Chip pointed out, I didn’t see anything that suggested racial, anti-Semitic or anti-immigrant animus in Loughner’s writings. Certainly, there’s nothing I saw at all reminiscent of American Renaissance, which focuses heavily on the alleged intellectual and psychological inferiority of black people.

At this early stage, I think Loughner is probably best described as a mentally ill or unstable person who was influenced by the rhetoric and demonizing propaganda around him. Ideology may not explain why he allegedly killed, but it could help explain how he selected his target.

One thing that seems clear is that Giffords, who was terribly wounded but survived, was the nearest and most obvious representative of “the government” that Loughner could find. Another is that he likely absorbed some of his anger from the vitriolic political atmosphere in the United States in general and Arizona in particular. Perhaps no one made that point better than Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, speaking to a press conference yesterday. “When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government… The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”

  • Steve Bensen

    Floyd Lee Corkins II, the man who shot up the Family Research Council, specifically stated when he pled guilty to the crime that he picked out the FRC based on the Southern Poverty Law Center’s “Hate Map.”

    SPLC sends out thugs like these to attack innocent people and kill them. It is, after all, a ‘Hate Map’ and Corker understood that meant he should kill them.

    This is the hate filled face of the totalitarian left.

  • http://Www.keystothecloset.blogger.com Kristen frame

    I was very saddened to see the use of hostile discriminatory language on the page of an organization who champions tolerance and appropriate cultural competency in speech.
    Individuals who experience mental illness are not deranged or any other of the stigmatizing language used here.

    Language is important. Please be moe respectful. It is inappropriate and damaging to use this kind of language to describe Mr. Loughner. He is still accused, not convicted of a crime and the facts about his mental health is not public knowledge at this time. The conversation should focus more productively on violence prevention and on providing appropriate justice system and mental health resources for all Americans.

  • Robert

    For what it’s worth, a lot of what Loughner said about our money system and specifically about the Federal Reserve being a private, for-profit enterprise is true. Those views are actually not that controversial, it is not difficult to find mainstream sources that will confirm them.

  • Ann

    To say that Palin and Fox News are responsible for inciting Loughner’s actions is as assinine as saying that the Beatles’ White Album incited Charles Manson’s actions. Sorry, I meant the actions of his followers!

  • “I”

    I’m tired of this topic. I have much more important things to worry about in my life. That said, I appreciate that somebody responded to one of my posts. Problem is nash#’s, it was BY FAR the least thoughtful and heartfelt and PERSONAL of those posts. It was a sort of off hand “I give up” comment. Seeing I got you’re attention, any comments on my other posts?
    (If this blog is still relevent.?!)

  • alise

    Boy, is this character even is uglier than a peck of butt holes! He doesn’t even deserve his 15 minutes of fame. What motivates killers like him is that he wants notoriety, plain and simple. Colin Wilson puts it brilliantly in his book: The History of Murder, “man has become less concerned with the basics of life, because he has them, ” but now he is bored with that, so he turns to the crime of “self-esteem.” Loughner was seeking to become a somebody, because he was a nobody.

  • marvin nubwaxer

    ” . . .his apparent semi-literacy.”
    really? do you really wonder about anyone in the USA being semi-literate? I assume it.

  • nash984954

    So “I” People say things too, but it doesn’t mean that it is true.
    What you said is not what I hope to be true. My hope is that what people believe is based on reality and facts that can be verified. Truth is neither right nor left, nor are facts a matter of left or right, however, I would bet, and it is my opinion, for which I have a high regard for the facts, that there is more attention paid to the facts in those who are the liberals than the FOX noise machine right wing Republican conservatives.
    The recent poll about sources of information and whether there was misinformation more at particular media sources than others, and it was found that more people were misinformed who watched FOX noise than any other outlet. Don’t believe it? Look it up.

  • “I”

    People believe what they want to believe. Doesn’t make it true.

  • http://yahoo ruben

    this man had mental issues and a mentally deranged person can believe something one day and then believe something completely opposite the next because he is unstable! this man was caught up in the perfect storm that is arizona politics which is where he lives.hateful,scapegoating rhetoric.if this man was on the internet posting on you tube you would have to be naive to think that he wasn’t also on other sites like maybe sarah palins with the crosshairs and as far as the inflammatory/racist/hateful rhetoric i would say that most is coming from the right especially since obama became president.

  • skinnyminny

    Deft,
    Did you see the youtube video entitled, “Sarah Palin Battle Hymn,” allegedly sung by tea party?

    Dee,
    Agree with you 110%. All one has to do is come to ‘skidrow’ in downtown Los Angeles. At one point, it was alleged by reporters that ambulances/hospitals/police were dumping people in skidrow if they were considered/determined to be homeless. However, the Mission (Fred Jordan) seems to be the only one that really tries to help them. However, during the holidays, movie stars come out to help serve meals. What makes this scenario kind of dangerous, is, now there are families with small children that are moving there. Skidrow has a mix of homeless families, drug addicts, alcoholics, ex-convicts, and the mentally ill (some were former doctors, lawyers…).

  • Mark Myers

    Why the heck are we all so keen on assigning this nut to the left or right. He surely stands on his own here. The idea that everyone, who says something that others disagree with, has to be categorized politically as left or right is ridiculous. The fact is very few Americans agree with everything one political party espouses.

  • Abbey Driscoll

    All of you that are sitting here blaming the Tea Party, the Democrats, Sarah Palin, Fox News, Obama, etc etc… This is exactly what we need to stop. Pointing fingers in anger and blame will only fuel the fire. I think it’s safe to say that most everyone agrees that the inflammatory, insulting, violent rhetoric needs to stop. Maybe one political party uses it more than the other, but again, that is not the point here. What we should really be discussing is this: How are we going to stop it? What can you personally do to change the hostile, angry environment that politics has become? One person can’t do it alone, but together Americans can. The thing is, we can’t unite in this if we’re busy blaming each other’s parties for the issues. Stop debating about whose fault this tragedy is, and start thinking of ideas to prevent something like this from happening again.

  • “I”

    As of today, as more and more people are chiming in with oped columns and letters to the editor in my local mid-sized metropolitan newspaper, the overwhelming consensus seems to be this was an APOLITICAL act perpitrated by a sick and deranged and hatefilled INDIVIDUAL, period. How ’bout that for a run-on sentence!

  • Dee

    Why do the mentally ill not have Civil Rights as well? We are a country that wants to fight for everyone’s rights! Everyone has a say in the political process and we pride ourselves on the laws we’ve passed to make sure that happens.

    But, one group of Americans is categorically left out of the mainstream, shunned and looked down upon in this nation — those who are mentally ill.

    People cannot help it if they’re brain does not function neuro-typically. You cannot pop your fingers and make mental illness go away the same way you can’t pop your fingers and make cancer go away. You need help. You need support. You need a community of people who care enough about you to make sure that you get that help.

    I will never condone the actions of this young man. But, I am ashamed the way Americans look down their noses at the mentally ill. If someone had cared enough about this young man’s mental illness this tragedy would never have happened because he would probably be in a hospital getting the psychiatric help he needed.

    The mentally ill are medically sick, not always criminally hateful. They cannot help their actions sometimes because are they just — sick. And, we need to understand that and stop looking at them like they’re “un-American.”

    That’s my take. And, on MLK Day, MLK would also offer sympathy to this man’s family along with the victims because that was his character.

    Dee

  • nash984954

    Curiouser and curiouser, when those on the right spout their views, somehow it is considered that what they say is somehow true and when those on the left challenge every aspect of the right and show that it is either incorrect, not true, or a Republican Luntz talking point, which is basically a distortion of the topic. As in the “job killing health care bill” or “bailouts” or “government takeover of healthcare” or “death panels” in the healthcare bill to name a few.
    The healthcare bill that was passed does not actually cause any loss in jobs; theTARP was not really a bailout, but was a Temporary Assistance Recovery Program that was started by Bush before Obama was even in office;there is no government takeover, the insurance companies are still in control, and now have 32 million new customers; the end of life discussions with the terminally ill or elderly who are ill and are dying with doctors being paid to have these discussions, is not a death panel.
    Objectively describing right wing views is not namecalling, nor is it that anyone’s speech is being taken away when the right wing is being criticized; when the views of the arguments that are presented by the right are debunked factually, instead of accusing someone of disallowing a different point of view, maybe if the proponents of the right would talk to the issues it would be better. But because the right usually just spouts FOX noise misinformation and outright lies, these become the conservative views and naturally the views can be torn down and shown to be false it seems unlikely that those on the right will change.
    The 1st amendment guarantees separation of church and state in the very first line. Just because a friend of Glenn Beck, otherwise known as David Barton revises histroy by saying it does not exist, does not make it so. Barton is well known for distorting what the Founding Fathers said
    and is not a historian in actuality. The evangelicals have nothing to stand on in their religion but things for which there is no evidence. There is no science in the bible, it was written in the Bronze age and has been traced to Pagan writings that were written before the bible. So anything that Barton says about religion or the Constitution, should be taken with a grain of salt, and in most cases outright given no credibility. I kinow some commenters will be either defensive, offended or will just disagree, but that is ok.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “His former classmates described him as leftwing.”

    Right, because American teenagers have top-notch political education and can easily recognize the content of one’s ideology.

  • gbuddha2012

    went to a guns rights thing years ago – dominated by birchers, national alliance, and nwo types. you got to see these guys in action to believe them. anyone who hasn’t really doesn’t get the danger they represent.

  • gbuddha2012

    ayn rand, animal farm, and mein kampf don’t make you leftwing. the figure that seems to be emerging is of a libertarian/anti-communist. seen a lot of guys like him floating around the fringes for years.

  • Deft

    His former classmates described him as leftwing.

  • Roger

    If a person with a Middle Eastern name had made gun related comments similar to Sarah Palin and Jesse Kelly, that person would have been nailed by Homeland Security and held indefinitely for questioning, his background searched, and his reputation smeared forever. Palin and Kelly deserve the same treatment.

  • skinnyminny

    I believe he is not as crazy as people think! He was able to say he will not talk without an attorney. He was able to say that the Dems will represent him and save him – which, to me, says he knows that the left are definitely people who are caring and believe in human rights. Not one report from officials that he was ‘incoherent, rambling speech,” once in custody or while in detention.

    Either way, people need to not only turn off the television, people need to stop relying in technology so much. There are the text messages, blackberries, ipads, facebook…when did people get to the point where they can’t deal with people in person. In this country, people criticize minorities for ‘not being able to read and write,’ well with all of the technology, eventually we won’t be able to write. With all of the radio/television programs, technology, eventually we will all be anti-social.

  • Sam Molloy

    He doesn’t have to make any sense at all if he’s crazy.

  • Ruslan Amirkhanov

    “We should definitely get rid of the outdated 1st amendment to stifle those who disagree with us.”

    Nobody is advocating that.

    ” You, know, so we can be like China, Russia, Cuba, etc. Let tyranny reign.”

    From the Russian constitution:

    Article 28
    Everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of conscience, the freedom of religion, including the right to profess individually or together with other any religion or to profess no religion at all, to freely choose, possess and disseminate religious and other views and act according to them.’

    And…article 29:

    Article 29

    1. Everyone shall be guaranteed the freedom of ideas and speech.

    2. The propaganda or agitation instigating social, racial, national or religious hatred and strife shall not be allowed. The propaganda of social, racial, national, religious or linguistic supremacy shall be banned.

    3. No one may be forced to express his views and convictions or to reject them.

    4. Everyone shall have the right to freely look for, receive, transmit, produce and distribute information by any legal way. The list of data comprising state secrets shall be determined by a federal law.

    5. The freedom of mass communication shall be guaranteed. Censorship shall be banned.

    Russia, China, and Cuba have their respective problems for a number of reasons, but they are hardly “tyrannies.”

    Next time check your facts. Of course people say that things don’t really work that way in Russia, but then again the same thing applies in the US.

    Ok…then you wrote…

    ” We could change things to be more like Russia, who actually has “separation of church and state” written into their constitution.”

    http://www.constitution.ru/en/10003000-01.htm

    Please show me where that phrase appears. I have already posted Russia’s article relating to freedom of religion. In fact Russia needs separation of church and state, because the state has ties to various religious organizations.

    I highly suggest you start checking the claims you hear on the radio or Fox news from now on.

  • Jonathon

    Why am I always so late chiming into these online conversations? At any rate, I have to say, I am no fan of Sarah Palin and the Tea Party, to be honest I am a Marxist whose favorite book really is the Communist Manifesto. I’m no fan of Obama and the Democrats either. I do think an inordinate amount of the blame is being piled on Palin specifically and the right in general. Democrats have used plenty of violent rhetoric themselves. The analysis here wants to emphasize Loughner’s references to right rhetoric and discount his references to left rhetoric. The analysis on Tea Party websites wants to emphasize his references to left rhetoric and discount his references to right rhetoric. My guess is he did not truly understand either. He was confused and grasping at straws to explain the hypocrisy and injustice that is obvious to all of us, even if we choose many different interpretations as to it’s causes and solutions. Why is Palin to blame? Amy Bagadonuts, in the 15th comment from the top, provides some great links that are just as convincing in blaming Obama or Daily Kos. Palin is a moron, and a dangerous moron at that, but she doesn’t deserve to shoulder the blame for Loughner’s actions. Having said that, she looks more and more foolish every day that she defends herself. The best thing for her to do would be to apologize for anything she may have said that could have contributed to an atmosphere where this kind of tragedy is possible. Without accepting blame she should publicly pledge to tone down her rhetoric and plead for others, on all sides, to do the same. That would be the honorable thing to do. But then, when has Sarah Palin ever done the honorable thing?
    One last thing: how come there was nothing resembling this kind of debate when the shooting at Fort Hood occurred? How easy is it for us to accept that Arabs/Muslims commit violence without explanation, but when a white man does it someone must be to blame? And so we put the blame on a woman and consider ourselves progressive thinkers! I’ve got a suggestion: perhaps it is the capitalist economic system itself and it’s perpetual alienation of humanity that is to blame…

  • Hilda M. Saulsbury

    January 14, 2011

    I have no idea who Jared Lee Loughner nor any affiliation with him and his views, Money is necessary to use in this life, but threatening and taking peopled lives is not fare. What does taking a life or lives do to help the living? What good comes out of an expression of death is better for all?

  • Jenelle

    The left should decide what is responsible speech. Again, have you researched the history of “tolerance?” It has nothing to do with freedom. Why is it that only certain beliefs are to be tolerated?

    How can one find common ground on the issues at hand? Only the right must move to the center. Compromise is not automatically a good thing.

    “poisonous,demonizing and dangerous rhetoric” – why all this name calling? Is no one ever allowed to be skeptical?

  • “I”

    Case in point. I am 46 yrs. old. I do not, have NEVER, and do not plan to EVER own a gun. The ONLY time I have ever held a hand gun in my hand and fired it was while shooting at some empty milk jugs in a refuse pit on the farm we (dad, uncle, cousin, grandfather) were hunting on. I was a child, maybe 11, 12 yrs. old. POINT: It scared the shit out of me! One shot. Had enough. Too much power in the palm of the hand. Now, I enjoyed shooting at targets with “my” BB gun. Would carry and occationally shoot “my” shotgun (recoil; cheek/right shoulder— “Ouch!’). But shooting at and KILLING living things? Too much blood, too squemish.
    I relate this to illustrate I grew up around firearms. (almost entirely “long” guns) I went to a private parochial grade school and most kids would talk about hunting trips with their fathers/relatives. The point is while I was personally leery around firearms, I don’t EVER remember being afraid of the people around me. (maybe a little at times….??? but no ingrained event I can put my finger on). Where did all this voilence come from? I’m sure it existed but it seems to have skyrocketed. Why?
    Are you listening?

  • jenelle

    jenelle…..no one is calling to ban the first amendment on here….but do not hijack it either and use it in a irresponsible way…the way that the right has manipulated it recently is like russia ,china and cuba,incite harm to anyone who does not agree with your politics…both parties like to talk “smack” but by far the most poisonous,demonizing and dangerous rhetoric comes from the right…they leave zero room to find common ground with issues in the middle…with the right its either there way or they will tear you down one way or another.and again that is behaving like they do in russia,china or cuba.tolerance is indeed not liberty to a point…but living in a society with zero tolerance that is a tragedy.

  • “I”

    I don’t vote PERIOD. I want to, but I can’t bring myself to. I just do not trust either “side”. If the comments I’m reading here are an acurate gauge of the left, I will continue to hate politics. God help this country.

  • “I”

    Why is it that extremely isolated fringe groups HAVE to be labled either “far-right” or “far-left”? Do any of these groups actually engage in particapatory democracy? Do they even encourage their followers to vote? And if so, seeing that they are viruriently anti-government do they just say, “vote Rebublican” by defaut. I just don’t get it. Does that make me part of the poor feeble minded masses that is apparently so susceptable to the evil right? BAAAAAAAAAAAA!!! Please save me!?!?

  • Jenelle

    We should definitely get rid of the outdated 1st amendment to stifle those who disagree with us. You, know, so we can be like China, Russia, Cuba, etc. Let tyranny reign. There are so many outdated things in the U.S. constitution that we should just scrap the whole thing, especially the Bill of Rights. We could change things to be more like Russia, who actually has “separation of church and state” written into their constitution. Tolerate only those who agree with you – make everyone else uncomfortable and even afraid to speak their minds. Tolerance is not liberty. Check out the history of “tolerance.”

  • tim

    The evil part of all this is Loughner now has the unrestrained power of the world media to distribute whatever he says to further manipulate the reactionary actions of the left and right.

  • Jonathan

    My take on Jesus and what he stood for:
    It is far better to be the victim of murder than to be the perpetrator. It is far better to forgive than to burn with hate.
    The challenge is mine — and I challenge anyone who reads this — to maintain eye contact with your conservative neighbor, and your right-wing relatives. Keep greeting them with a smile, and keep talking politics and issues… without letting differences dominate your relationship. Ours is a dangerous country… but as long as you keep treating your neighbor as a fellow thinking, feeling human being (with dignity and respect) there’s still hope for you.
    Please DO NOT write anyone off as irrelevant or unworthy of your respect, just because their world-view is not compatible with yours.

  • nash984954

    Well, what a rash of comments. Someone mentioned polls taken and used the name of Rasmussen in a positive light. Nothing is further from the truth, for he has been discredited time and again for his inaccurate and gamed polling results.
    If rhetoric is to be connected to this tragedy, it is right wing rhetoric that is suspect. Daily one hears alternately FOX noise spouting the killing of Assange, Obama, Michael Moore, Nancy Pelosi, and others. The violent imagery and fantasies of gun violence is the agenda for the right wing and FOX noise machine. Allen West wants lawmakers “afraid to come out of their house,” Bachmann wants citizens “armed and dangerous,” and Broder says that violent revolution was proscribed by the Founding Fathers and should on the table and ready to be engaged in if the Democrats and the Obama administration continues its socialist policies and its tyranny against the “American people.” I guess Broder means against the conservatives, its not exactly clear that he’s speaking about a duly elected President and Democratic legislators who were chosen by the people to represent them but Broder thinks the Dems and Obama have targeted conservatives and have taken away their liberties and freedoms. Of course, that is the right wing line, victims always.
    I do not hear of any liberals who advocate using guns to get elected. “If votes don’t work, then bullets will.” So says Allen West’s “was gonna be” staffer. The right wing is a source of misinformation and if you want proof go to Media Matters and Factcheck and Politifact and Right Wing Watch, the facts are all there to see.
    Facts are neither left nor right, but are simply based on what is true, or what is reality. The Right wing and the Republicans are consistently not dedicated to objective facts(they make stuff up!!).
    No one on the left politically is adept at violent imagery nor do they engage in demonizing the right, but they will call out for what is factual, they do not lie, usually.

  • skinnyminny

    Ben Svenson,
    I believe that’s why it points back to rightwing politics. People in the minority community – have you seen the unemployment among blacks? Did you see the faces of the Hurricane Katrina victims? I haven’t seen any blacks go out and target elected officials! Believe me, if this were the case, it would be all over the news. That’s the only time the media find blacks (like me) worthy of news time, either to demean us or try to show how dangerous we could be. I personally think the reason why (this is not intended to an insult) is that we don’t brag and fool ourselves that we are superior to any and everyone.

    As far as him not having a girlfriend, men like this normally get women from different countries – heard of mailorder brides?

    Don’t construe my comments as being desensitized. As a person living in the ‘hood, this is nothing new. Politics, yes politics usually hit our neighborhoods first – we deal with people that have no healthcare, people released from prison, people that society doesn’t care about because of social standing/class.

    Back to politics again, Mr. Boehner, not appearing at the memorial! Yeah, yeah, the rightwingers say schedule conflict. Personally, I think if the entertainers can have pretaped speeches/messages, why couldn’t Boehner had done this for his pre-engagement? Singers/Actors personally don’t like to miss appearing at an awards show when they are nominated or win an award, but they do!

  • Ben Svenson

    I read a lot of the comments above but far from all. It seems that noone has brought up that the shooter had been without a job for half a year, applied to 60+ jobs, and not even got an interview. He had also been fired from several jobs and had had no success in school or with girls. This guy was rejected, rejected, rejected. Not an attractive 22-year old in any way, it seems. But it seemed he tried the usual for a young man trying to establish himself as an adult and failed badly. In another time or place he would have joined an organisation with a program to improve the lot of people like him. Of course, anyone who walks into a crowd and kills people is “crazy”, but I don’t think it will get us anywhere to debate what kind of craziness he was suffering from.

  • Marisa

    Mark, your analysis was right on target, and as I always say again and again – Thank goodness for the SPLC!!!!

  • ruben

    gbuddha2012…..good point….can anyone say that the hate rhetoric that has been coming from fox and the right these past few years especially with the emergence of palin is not the same as the rhetoric of a radical islamic imam.after all they are both right wing factions of there societies.in the end it will cause the same damage and its always the innocent that are the victims.

  • skinnyminny

    gbudda2012,
    This is what I have a hard time understanding! Some of the right-wingers came here hurling insults at us, and are trying to defend Sarah.

    LOL! Can you believe this! I remember around the time of the campaigns, her supporters were saying,”let Sarah be Sarah.” It was Sarah herself, who said she wanted to ‘go rogue.’ It was Sarah herself who write a book called ‘going rogue.’ It tickles me that a person that identifies him/herself as being rogue can’t try to get themselves out of sticky situations. Sarah loves attention on her terms. And with that, I say, ‘you go girl!’

    As far as I’m concerned, the media or her handlers can remove the lipsick and put a mustache on her, and I still won’t have a favorable impression of her. As a person from the ‘hood (that’s right, I’m a hoodrat), that doesn’t sit well with people to say you are rogue, especially when we have had our share of rogue cops. Notice how you’ve heard people from the ‘hood refer to Hillary in terms of endearment, like, ‘Oh, Hillary, that’s my girl!’

    With Palin, she has turned people off in the ‘hood. She have reminded minorities of what they face and have faced on the job for years – she has belittled the entire Obama family, and for that dis, I can never find myself to vote for her.

    And while we have been on the subject of mental illness – did you see the self-absorbed apology that backfired. I laughed, because it was all about ‘me, myself, and I,’ and blame, blame, blame. Maybe Sarah should have enlightened the atmosphere by having background music of the singer Rockwell – remember that song, “I always feel that someone is watching me, can’t have no privacy..”

  • gbuddha2012

    SPLC should explore civil action against FOX

  • gbuddha2012

    ruben you are exactly right… murdoch should be deported just as much as every fire breathing imam. hate should not have a litmus test

  • Mercedes

    There are a lot of people upset about the connection between mental illness and actions such Jared loughner. I have found a compelling case that relates violent, hateful, mass murderer behavior to people who actually have damage to the frontal lobe portion of their brains. As well as abuse. Search Jonathan pincus and murderer and you can read more about his studies. So mental illness isn’t a sign someone could be violent, but brain damage to a part that controls our decision-making process is. So, we can understand some people literally can’t control their actions the way others do. Unfortunately, this means they can be heavily influenced by their environment and until we can repair brain damage, rehabilitation is an unreliable option.

  • Kevin Brown

    I am reading the comments and the point that the vast majority of individuals with mental illness are not a threat and that quite frankly they are much more likely to be the victim of violent crime is well taken. That being said, the fact that this individual was mentally unstable and committed a horribly violent act is in no way a blanket statement about mentally ill individuals in general. Additionally, when the author makes comments like David Wayne Miller being “mad as a hatter” I don’t think he was implying legitimate mental illness so much as the fact that the guy is just a “wacko” in his incoherent political beliefs. It is hardly necessary for mental health advocates to chastise the author for his alleged insensitivities to the mentally ill. Let’s not have our own political correctness run amock here.