Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Gabrielle Giffords Shooting

I've been resistant to comment on this recent event because I thought I had nothing new to say. By now everyone has read or listened to the story on their favorite news source and come to their own conclusions. The anti-freedom moonbats are howling for more gun control, which is no surprise. Another set of moonbats are blaming Sarah Palin and her now infamous cross-hair map as being overly inflammatory, while others advocate the non-violent silencing of their own, personally least favorite and adversarial talk show host. Very few people want to accept this event for what it is: one single event, the work of a mentally ill man (Jared Loughner) who decided to shoot and kill a bunch of people, starting with Gabrielle Giffords. Jared Loughner's motivation for this shooting will always be unclear, because Jared is mentally ill. His television set, or radio or the dog next door told him to do this, and so, you see, here we are. This explanation is accurate to the extent that one or more professional headshrinkers have yet to examine Jared and reach one or more conclusions. Eventually that will happen unless Loughner mysteriously commits suicide in his cell.

While I'm at it, I'd like to point out the difference between mental illness and insanity. Insanity is a legal term, and indicates that your wires are so screwed up you do not know right from wrong. You can appear to be perfectly rational, by the way, but when asked a crucial question like, "Is it wrong to beat your mother to death with a shovel? Why or why not?" the insane person might respond that yes, indeed, it is wrong, but then will fail to explain just why this is so. Not having easy access to a shovel doesn't count.

A person can be mentally ill and not be insane. Acute clinical depression is a mental illness, and yet the people who suffer it will be able to explain just why it's wrong to beat your mother to death with a shovel, as well as being properly surprised at the question. The same thing is true for other forms of mental illness, such as paranoia or schizophrenia. If you're schizophrenic, you'll be watching a talking head on the television and in the middle of the afternoon news she'll tell you to start killing people, beginning with Gabrielle Giffords. Mind you, you still know that killing people is wrong, so your are not insane. You must also be able to participate in your own defense, which is kind of questionable if you're getting direction from the television set, but there you have it. Many people live with this condition and simply ignore it. They learn to tell reality from hallucination and leave it at that. I'm guessing that Jared Loughner is mentally ill but able to stand trial, or if he isn't he will be after they get him back on his medication for 30 days or so.

What I'd like to do is list the people who Loughner killed and ask that anyone who has religion please pray for their families. Here they are:

John Roll, 63, Judge
Christina Taylor Green, 9, Student
Gabe Zimmerman, 30, Giffords staffer
Phyllis Schneck, 79, Retired homemaker and Church volunteer
Dorwin Stoddard, 76, Retired, Killed while protecting his wife Mavy
Dorothy Morris, 76, Retired secretary

Christina Taylor Green will evoke the most sympathy from most people, which is understandable. My own sympathies rest with her parents who are forced to bury their child. That's hard.

Dorwin Stoddard was killed while protecting his wife. By all accounts Dorwin recognized gunfire when he heard it and understood what was happening right away. He pushed his wife to the ground and covered her with his body. Dorwin was shot in the head and died on top of his wife. I have a lot of respect for Dorwin and I wish I could have known him.


flask said...

actually, jack, i'm going to have to come down somewhere between you and the moonbats.

it's clear that while palin didn't cause this sick young man to do this, we have some unfortunate intersections of things: we have a violent culture in which a candidate for public office this last cycle (not palin) went on record as saying (stupidly) that if they didn't get what they wanted at the polls, they'd take "second amendment remedy".

that's serious stuff. there's no "second amendment remedy" to not getting what you want at the polls and we all know it.

and it's also not acceptable for people to use target metaphors like palin's in reference to people.

that's how crazy young men who shouldn't be allowed to have firearms but somehow get through the cracks somehow think it's ok to declare open season on people.

is it a coincidence that he picked someone on that target list? maybe. is it a coincidence that the last election cycle was full of candidates who talked about being angry in the same breath as shooting weapons? i mean, jesse kelly? really?

it's time to tone all that bullshit down a few steps because now they're talking about making it ILLEGAL to use bullseyes instead of addressing the real problem, which would not be targets or even freaking GUNS, but a culture of violence where it's considered acceptable to talk about shooting people and post lists of candidates with cute graphics suggesting that they might be shot and then scurry out of the way pointing fingers when some sick kid takes it seriously.


civil discourse, anyone? personal responsibility? am i living in a fantasy world here?

Full Metal Patriot said...

Great post, MJ.

It's good to get a little clarity on the difference between insanity and mental illness, and I think we're all about to see the classic "insanity defense" play out in court. From the records I've been able to uncover, Sheriff Dupnik was well aware of Loughner's mental illness and his numerous death threats, yet chose to do nothing.

I appreciate you taking the time to list Loughner's victims. With all the nasty political sniping and fingerpointing that's been going on, we as a people have lost focus of them. Gabrielle Giffords' condition continues to improve, but she still needs our prayers.

Mad Jack said...

When it comes to the politicos, I think a lack of emotional maturity is becoming more evident all the time. Now, that said, political commentators make their living by being outrageous.

From Full Metal Patriot: ...Sheriff Dupnik was well aware of Loughner's mental illness and his numerous death threats, yet chose to do nothing.

Thanks - you saw that too, huh? What no one has uncovered yet is just who Loughner's doctor was, who was on Loughner's treatment team (if he had one) and what led these mental health professionals to believe Loughner was stable enough to be outside the walls without a keeper. Then there's the big question about how much communication Loughner's doctor and team had with the local police - Sheriff Dupnik, etc. - and what they said. I'm betting that the parents tried to get Loughner kept inside but the mental health professionals and the police wouldn't cooperate. If that's true and the story gets printed... we're talking dump truck loads of fertilizer and a modern wind turbine!

I've been trying to find a list of the wounded, but I've had no luck so far. The families of the wounded are suffering terribly.