Well, Bilious Bleat & Bray™ – who is not a victim, but plays one in the newspaper – says that liberals are so hateful because they think all of the poisonous right-wing hate speech and gun sucking had something to do with the attempted assassination of a congresswoman, the killing of six people, and the wounding of a dozen more. Why, it’s so unfair! He was just an crazy saxophone player.
But here are a few grafs in an article in the same issue of the Strib in which BB&B writes:
Those who see premeditation in the acts Loughner is accused of committing can cite, for example, his pleading of the Fifth Amendment or the envelope the authorities found in his safe that bore the handwritten words "Giffords," "My assassination" and "I planned ahead" -- or how he bided his time in the supermarket, even using the men's room. Those who suspect he is insane, and therefore a step removed from being responsible for his actions, can point to any of his online postings, including:
"If 987,123,478,961,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 is the year in B.C.E then the previous year of 987,123,478,961,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,618 B.C.E is 987,123,478,961,876,341,234,671,234,098,601,978,619 B.C.E."
What the cacophony of facts do suggest is that Loughner is struggling with a profound mental illness (most likely paranoid schizophrenia, many psychiatrists say); that his recent years have been marked by stinging rejection -- from his country's military, his community college, his girlfriends and, perhaps, his father; that he, in turn, rejected American society, including its government, its currency, its language, even its math. Loughner once declared to his professor that the number 6 could be called 18.
As he alienated himself from his small clutch of friends, grew contemptuous of women in positions of power and became increasingly oblivious to basic social mores, Loughner seemed to develop a dreamy alternate world, where the sky was sometimes orange, the grass sometimes blue and the Internet's informational chaos provided refuge.
He became an echo chamber for stray ideas, amplifying, for example, certain grandiose tenets of extremist right-wing groups -- including the need for a new money system and the government's mind-manipulation of the masses through language.
We don’t even need to mention a society that so casually and cheerfully will sell powerful handguns to – literally – any nut who walks in off the street.
But my object today is not even to quarrel with Katie; it is to remind her in that in other contexts she has said that violent video games will turn us all into stone killers, and that pornography will turn us all into slavering sexual predators.
Remarkably, however, according to the likes of Katie, using explicit language like take out, take down, eliminate, Second Amendment remedies, armed and dangerous, watering the tree of liberty (while wearing a sidearm at an Obama speech), and using gun sight imagery to identify real political adversaries – including the grievously wounded congresswoman – has no effect at all.