Giffords shooter Jared Lee Loughner has spawned bitter comments from both sides of the “blame someone else” American media and bloggers.
Every time there is politically motivated violence in our society of late, it seems that the blogosphere lines up on two sides to point out that the perpetrator of that violence is either a liberal or conservative wacko. Following shortly is an attempt to assess blame to one group or another. In reality, however, we have had some high profile incidents by people who are disturbed, put simply, they are crazy people espousing odd beliefs and acting out in a manner that should make no sense to either side of the political spectrum. However, crazy does not seem to have a specific agenda.
Going back to a federal tax collector in Kentucky who appears to have committed suicide in a manner that would implicate right-wingers, blogs and mainstream media alike began to blame the likes of Glen Beck and the Tea Party. Some on MSNBC went as far as to point out that Sarah Palin and Glen Beck had blood on their hands, others called it the first Tea Party murder. The disturbed person who flew his plane into a Federal building in Austin, Texas was immediately tagged as a Tea Partier. The recent shooting at a Florida school board meeting spawned the same type of speculation. All have turned out to be false.
In the recent shooting of Arizona Representative Gabrielle Giffords, immediate accusations were pointed toward Sarah Palin and Giffords’ Republican/Tea Party challenger. These types of assertions are irresponsible at best. Jared Lee Loughner seems to be another in a long line of crazy people spouting political babble and resorting to violence. From Bill Ayers to the UniBomber to Timmothy McVeig,h we have many examples of politics causing a disconnect in people who irrationally turn to violence.
So what side is Loughner on? Regardless of the speculation, Tea Partiers usually do not list The Communist Manifesto and Mien Kampf as their favorite books. In the same vein, progressives prone to violence probably would not have the same reading list. The favorite book listed by the Tucson shooter that most accurately describes the situation might just be One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest. So which side is he on, we may never know. No political view has has a monopoly on violance and no one owns crazy. These are tragic acts of disturbed individuals.