Giffords Shooting: Was it Politics or Just Mental Illness?

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Critical Condition
It's easy to blame the incendiary rhetoric of vociferous Tea Party Republicans for the recent shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who remains in critical condition after she was shot in the head on Saturday.

But in Phoenix, 113 miles from Tucson where the shooting occurred outside a supermarket, the Phoenix New Times, part of Village Voice Media, points out that it is mental illness, not passionate politics behind the weekend shooting.

"The shallow, self-serving calls for the moderation of rhetoric, for the elimination of passionate politics, for the muzzling of the Tea Party's adoption of an American symbol of the revolution -- a gun -- is a hypocritical repudiation of this nation's particular embrace of principle," writes Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media, which owns SF Weekly
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Immediately after the shooting, Republicans were on the defensive, accusing liberals of turning them into villains and demonizing conservatives.

The Village Voice summed up the thoughts of a slew of right-wing bloggers who speculate that the accused shooter, Jared Loughner, was in fact a left-wing nut, not a right-wing nut.

"Loughner was a 'left-winger' who listed amongst his favorite books The Communist Manifesto," wrote Paul Joseph Watson.

Conservatives were aghast when the sheriff in Tucson told reporters that the shooting was the result of the vitriolic political climate in Arizona.

"Because a lunatic decided to kill others in a bid to give his worthless life some meaning, Americans are being ordered to shut their mouths about Obamacare, endless bailouts, and the fact that their political representatives in Washington (with some notable exceptions) have ceased to represent their interests," Watson said.

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3 comments
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thomas mc
thomas mc

Guffaw, you speak as though Arizona Politics and Mental Illness are different things.

Ahdonye
Ahdonye

If it was political, then it had to be influanced by the nutty "No Lables" movement. The shooter is a regesterd independant, he shot a democrat congresswoman, and killed a republican judge

buzzgirl
buzzgirl

Why is it a question of either or? I think it was both political and mental illness. Of course, since it's a white guy his mental state is called into question...had it been a brown guy shooting a member of Congress, he'd have been labeled a terrorist, not mentally ill.

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