Jared Lee Loughner: social media footprints of Arizona shooting suspect

[Editors' note: Since this post was composed at 1230pm PT, additional reports have emerged about Jared Lee Loughner's web presence. Related reading: New York Times, Arizona Daily Star, Gawker, MSNBC. See also this related Boing Boing post with a full archive of Loughner's YouTube videos, and transcripts of the videos.]


This is a screen shot of the "photos" page of Jared Lee Loughner's MySpace profile, which has since been removed from public view. Loughner has been identified as the suspect is believed to have shot Congresswoman Giffords and 9 others earlier today in a Safeway parking lot in Tucson, Arizona. In addition to the above photos, the MySpace account listed Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto as his favorite books. More screenshots are after the jump.

Loughner also recently created a YouTube Channel with several text-intensive videos. In this video posted in December, he specifically discusses terrorism around the 2:40 mark.

On Twitter, Caitie Parker of Oro Valley, AZ is claiming to have gone to high school and college with Loughner, and adds that she's been out of touch with him since 2007. She described his persona during high school as "left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."




  1. OK, sorry to repeat myself, since there’s no way to delete comments once you’ve posted them. I *just* got finished making a comment in the previous article regarding Palin’s show being canceled. I’ll keep it brief.

    On this guy’s youtube page, he lists things in the past tense. He says for example that “My favorite hobby was reading”, “I had favorite books”, etc.

    Why would a self-proclaimed grammar nut choose the past tense unless he meant it?

    I think it was an attempted suicide-by-police/secret service. Anything else that comes out of it is either a coincidence, or a direct attack on Palin – perhaps he realized that she would be implicated because of her recent violent rhetoric. I would like to think that this is giving him too much credit, but one doesn’t have to be unintelligent to be a nut.

    1. Perhaps, murray, he enjoyed provoking his thoughts with the books. Because someone “likes” a book does not mean that the book defines their personal beliefs.

  2. Hopefully the country can start to realize that the Hate and division between differing political beliefs needs to be seriously tempered. This NUT was instantly accused of being Right wing and a “Tea Bagger”, now he is painted as Liberal and Left Wing. He is actually a NUT!

    1. – Sad Day –

      We have been following this for a good part of the day. He had a facebook profile, but it was taken down approximately 4pm EST. One of the 2 groups he had listed was the “Tea Bag Patriots”.

      Also, Beck and Palin videos have been removed.

      You can draw your own conclusions to this –

      The suspect is an Arizona native affiliated with the Tea Baggers.

      Anyone else think there are more that are involved?

      1. Very sad day and very sad response.

        Let’s say he is a Tea Party member, a registered Republican and worships Rush Limbaugh. What does that mean? Are you suggesting that anyone with conservative ideas is also going to kill people? That would be a gross, sweeping generalization, not unlike others who suggest all Arabs would be terrorists. Silly and dangerous thinking. The guy was a nut, regardless of his beliefs. If you look at his favorite books listed he could be following any political belief.

        Off my soap box. I just long for the days when we are ALL working together in this country and not categorized into one party or the other. We should recognize that this guy has some serious mental issues and need help. That is where this tragedy really started.

  3. I wont believe that he is a liberal until Catie Parker posts more evidence she really went to school with him and knew him. This event is more of a right wing nutter kind of thing.

    1. I find it fascinating that you believe that mental illness falls on party lines. Also, I find it a little sickening.

    2. I tend to agree. And why would a liberal, even a vicious murdering one, attempt to assassinate a pro-health care Democrat Congresswoman and federal judge?

  4. Since he also listed Ayn Rand’s We The Living and posted about “the new currency” (standard Tea Party doggerel), perhaps it’s better if we don’t speculate as to political leanings QUITE yet?

  5. And yet his writings are of an anti-government goldbug who can’t write a coherent sentence.

    Declassified CIA Assassination Manual: In lost assassination, the assassin must be a fanatic of some sort. Politics, religion, and revenge are about the only feasible motives. Since a fanatic is unstable psychologically, he must be handled with extreme care. He must not know the identities of the other members of the organization, for although it is intended that he die in the act, something may go wrong.

    The CIA has been manipulating fanatics and crazies into committing assassinations for 60 years, for as long as they have existed.

    1. The CIA has been manipulating fanatics and crazies into committing assassinations for 60 years, for as long as they have existed.

      Actually, the Illuminati have been controlling the CIA. Of course, the aliens from sigma 7 control the Illuminati. It really is part of the conspiracy to bring about the one world government, take away your freedom and terraform our planet for alien/human hybrids.

      Also, Muslims, 9/11, JFK, Obama and Soros.

      1. I feel it necessary to note that the CIA has not *secretly* been performing agent-provacateur duties. This constitutes much of their above-ground / unclassified work, and is a matter of public record.

        That said, were I to go into conspiracy-land, I’d point out the listing of ‘The Wizard of Oz’ under his favourite books. I don’t think anyone with that much knowledge of conspiracy theory literature could overlook the very popularly made associations between The Wizard of Oz and the hypothetical MONARCH brainwashing project (a terribly juicy idea that brings everyone from the christian right and the satanic ritual abuse people to the black-helicopters-and-shapeshifting-reptoid types to the yard). The tl;dr version of the MONARCH project is that some group uses sexual abuse in operant conditioning procedures on children to create separate personalities, whose shifts are controlled by references to particular media (typically the Wizard of Oz), then used as assasins.

  6. Maybe we can focus our frustrations and anger away from trying to draw party lines and onto our country’s failed mental health system. Possibly use this horrific event to incite improvement in our nation rather than greater divides and hatred. And now I will go frolic in my imagined fields of unicorns and kitten farts.

    1. The wisest thing I have read ALL DAY! Mental Health is always one of the first areas to feel the budget cuts and this guy may just be one of those who slipped through the cracks. It is time to take mental illness seriously.

    2. Amen, and amen. There are many anti-psychotics that are off-patent. If someone had cared enough to notice, a little bit of money could have saved an awful lot of pain.

    3. Wow, a sensible, reasonable opinion. I am genuinely surprised! ;-)

      Sadly, it’s pretty much a guarantee that the response to this tragedy will be to ignore a failed healthcare system and demonize the mentally ill, which only means people with problems won’t get help, even if they could afford the therapy and/or drugs needed to live a stable life. Already it’s “he’s a right-wing gun-obsessed nut acting on political rhetoric” or “he’s a left-wing nut trying to make Sarah Palin and the 2nd amendment look bad.”

  7. It’s somewhat misleading to say that Main kampf and the Communist Manifesto are his favorite books. Here’s the larger list:
    I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.

    1. Give or take a few, that looks similar to a list of favorite books I might have made when I was in high school.

    2. If you added Catcher in the Rye, he’d be eligible to be elected to the School Board.

    3. “Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.”

      Aside from the few I’ve not read(hence can’t comment on), this list seems to have one overarching theme: “I see that the reality which the world accepts is not the reality I see. Therefore it is incumbent upon me to correct the world.”

      That–in combination with a self-professed grammar nut posting grammatically and logically spotty and inconsistent rambles–tells me that this guy is a mediocre, mal-educated intellect beset with a heapin’ helpin’ of outraged self-esteem.

      No wonder he went nuts.

  8. You know, if you’ve actually been to high school then learned about judging for yourself, you know not to trust what one student says about another’s political views…

  9. Notice in the YouTube page the related video of some poor guy named Jared (not THE Jared) who is getting all sorts of comments about he is going to burn in hell for murder.

  10. Let us keep in mind that it is quite possible his political views have changed since high school. Mine have rearranged themselves at times over the years; at 45, I certainly hope they’re not set in stone or ever will be. Young adulthood is a common time to change the way one sees the world.

    One could speculate, if one were so inclined, that Catie Parker is a disinformation tool influenced by the Palin people. Remember, the woman didn’t draw the line at using her own daughter.

  11. This kid’s social philosophy is a weird mix. He is seemingly calling for a revolution to take property away from the propertied elites and at the same time he favors a gold or silver standard. The property one is easy to call Marxist, but not the fiat currency one. The fiat currency one is easy to call Ron Paul style libertarian, but not the property one.

    Also he seems to worry that the government is listening to him and debasing the grammar of the English language. Throughout the video, he tries to tie the notions of language and currency together. So he might simply be talking about fiat currency here, or he could be relating it back to his distrust of “the second United States Constitution” and how the law is read. Which I am not aware of any second US constitution meme, does anybody know what that means?

    Point being this is a patchwork of very odd ideas. Its not easy to call him Right-wing or a Left-Wing Nut Job.

    1. “Second United States Constitution” might refer to:

      1. The 1788 Constitution (with the Articles of Confederation as the first)

      2. The 1865-1870 amendments (which seem like improvements, since they ban slavery)

      … or it could refer to something completely different.

  12. Regardless of whether he is a crazy on the left, a crazy on the right, or a neither left-right hodge-podge of crazy; THOSE WHO ADVOCATE VIOLENCE and DISTORT THE TRUTH bear some responsibility when the susceptible pick up arms.

    Republican leaders recently have called Obama’s administration “the most corrupt in history” and Sarah Palin herself has repeatedly since 2008 used the terminology of weapons and violence. Sowing the seeds of paranoia and fertilizing with advocating violence — smart people shouldn’t be surprised when those already on the brink succumb.

    Similarly back to Oklahoma City — McVeigh wasn’t a republican (asfaik) but his paranoia was certainly fostered and enhanced by the anti-Clinton hysteria (and lies imho) of the Republicans.

    Or and for those who mentioned Daily Kos — I’ve NEVER seen a diary allowed to stand on Daily Kos that actually threatens violence. Glenn Beck on Fox News on the other hand…

  13. Mentally ill people get pushed to the fringe, because its the only place they can survive. They often don’t seek help, or don’t take the help offered because of how badly mental illness is handled through social services.. usually handled through the police department, who have no facilities.

    The difference between a mentally ill person with treatment and a support group, vs one without either who has fully de-compensated is shocking to see. Tuscon is an example.

    1. You sir hit the nail on the head. Proper mental health care is hard to find for free (Or low cost) and often involves months of waiting and no certainty as to how often one can be seen and treated.

      While I was in a free/low cost mental health clinic which was run by my local county, I often sat in waiting rooms for hours and hours, filled with frustrated people who had been in the system for years and often had drugs changes, doctors switched and other frustrations that made getting treated harder.

      Also, having a social network, and by that I mean, in real life, becomes harder when you get diagnosed. (Or in some cases remain un-diagnosed) Many times people simply refuse to deal with you and the effects of your illness, pushing many mentally ill people further into a seclusion where their personal opinions and thoughts can become dangerous and un-detected.

      “Loners” aren’t always a natural thing, many of them are created by the people around them who refuse to participate in their life.

  14. It is kind of horrifying how quickly everyone has charged towards trying to connect this guy with the ‘other side’ politically. When Reagan was shot, I don’t think any major group or news outlet bothered to try and associate Hinckley with anyone – the guy was clearly nuts, and to try and cast aspersions on any particular political group or movement based on anything Hinckley had said would equally clearly be nuts. It’s kind of depressing that this isn’t the case now..

    1. People rushed to connect this guy because violence has become connected with political rhetoric. Google “violent political rhetoric” for plenty of discussion on the topic. People have been calling for an end to this kind of speech for a long time.

      Its hostile, violent speech… picking violent metaphors certainly feeds into violent behavior. Not to mention showing a lack of respect for fellow Americans.

      Really we as a populace have tolerated it too long. Let people in political positions know how despicable you think their violent rhetoric is… and do it till they get the message.

      Sarah Palin, for her part in this, or lack thereof, has really infuriated me. I was politically independent before. I’m done with any political party that speaks this way anymore. I’ll vote against them on that principal, and the same goes for my selection of journalistic sources.

      I’m increasingly angry at the bastards continue to feed into the hate and disrespect for everyone who doesn’t think like they do. We’ve been so tolerant of these people showing up to political protests armed, and making death threats. They belong in prison.

      People who make death threats should be tracked down and tried for their crimes. People who incite violence should be held partially responsible when violence comes down.

      I don’t care about the political affiliations of those who preach violence… they cross a line from politics to oppression, coercion, and terrorism.

      This mentally ill mass murderer is really no different than all the other mentally ill mass murderers that commit suicide bombings. Same shit, different ideology. I’d like to see mental illness dealt with in a sane manner in our country, but the fact that he was a politically motivated mentally ill terrorist brings more into the discussion.

    2. I don’t know what politics Loughner has, and it looks like his connection to any parties is very slight. Even so, I would imagine other politicians who Palin displayed as rifle targets are suffering some extra fear over this. That’s why the connection matters.

    3. I always thought the reason the press didn’t speculate is that they didn’t want to publicly implicate Vice President Bush or his associates… from wikipedia

      Bush–Hinckley family connections

      According to the March 31, 1981, edition of the Houston Post, and reported by AP, UPI, NBC News and Newsweek, Hinckley is the son of one of George H.W. Bush’s political and financial supporters in his 1980 presidential primary campaign against Ronald Reagan; John Hinckley, Jr.’s elder brother, Scott Hinckley, and Bush’s son Neil Bush had a dinner appointment scheduled for the next day.[7][8]

      Associated Press published the following on March 31, 1981:
      “ The family of the man charged with trying to assassinate President Reagan is acquainted with the family of Vice-President George Bush and had made large contributions to his political campaign … Scott Hinckley, brother of John W. Hinckley, Jr., was to have dined tonight in Denver at the home of Neil Bush, one of the Vice-President’s sons … The Houston Post said it was unable to reach Scott Hinckley, vice-president of his father’s Denver-based firm, Vanderbilt Energy Corporation, for comment. Neil Bush lives in Denver, where he works for Standard Oil Company of Indiana. In 1978, Neil Bush served as campaign manager for his brother, George W. Bush, the Vice-President’s eldest son, who made an unsuccessful bid for Congress. Neil lived in Lubbock, Texas, throughout much of 1978, where John Hinckley lived from 1974 through 1980… Sharon Bush, Neil’s wife, said Scott Hinckley was coming to their house as a date of a girl friend of hers. “I don’t even know the brother. From what I know and I’ve heard, they (the Hinckleys) are a very nice family and have given a lot of money to the Bush campaign. I understand he was just the renegade brother in the family. They must feel awful,” she said.[9]

      1. On Topic > check
        Salient collective-memory point to make > check
        Verifiable Citation > check
        Substantive and direct rebuttal to hipster meta-comment > check

        You are why I read BoingBoing. +5 internets,

  15. Didn’t anyone else notice something about his “favorite” books? Every single one is on a high-school reading list somewhere. Virtually nobody walks into a bookstore and reads any of those titles for fun, at least not high-school students. And I’ll reserve judgement as to whether he as actually read *one* of them.

  16. “For example, we’re on Sarah Palin’s targeted list, but the thing is, that the way that she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun sight over our district. When people do that, they have to realize that there are consequences to that action”

    Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, in an interview with MSNBC.

    1. Some people might call this an oversimplification, but in the land of symbols, suggestion, and inuendo – and no clear understanding of the definitions and boundaries of the political arena, it’s actually an astute observation.

  17. “After another student read a poem about getting an abortion, Mr. Loughner compared the young woman to a “terrorist for killing the baby.”

  18. Whether Palin had any influence on this mentally ill man or not. HER mapping and targeting specific democratic areas with scope cross hairs is extremely irresponsible.
    I can’t imagine any great leader including, Martin Luther King, Mahatma Ghandi, Nelson Mandela, Jesus Christ, ever doing anything close to that. Great leaders promote hope, love, reconciliation, peace, dreams, possibilities, solutions. Not guns targets, attacking, hate, name calling.
    Lets wake up! Anyone that leads their people by inflicting fear, by promoting violence is not a leather but a narcissistic, manipulating lunatic that cares nothing for their people. I WILL NOT BE LEAD BY FEAR. I WANT SOLUTIONS, I WANT PEACE, RECONCILIATIONS, UNITY. Stop this growing egotistic, power seeking behavior in Washington. Think of your people first. People first.

  19. Yeah, booklist is a little odd… Why would Alice in Wonderland be placed that far from the companion volume Through the Looking Glass? And with his professed grammar issue, why are some of the names so mangled {assuming arbitraryaardvark’s list above is true copy, not hasty transcription]?

    But really, first thoughts to the families and friends of those affected by this awful act.

  20. Do we need qualifiers like “right wing”? How about just “nut job?”

    His reading habits and writings are those of someone desperate to find something to stand for, believe in and espouse. It’s a list of running the gamut from wry satire to diatribe. From left to right.

    He was a deluded pseudo-intellectual hoping we’d ponder and study his motives and find him deep and worthy of such attention. That we’d try and decipher his rambling non-thoughts and regurgitations of other people’s texts.

    The fact is if he didn’t shoot anybody, he’d still be the same, sad, loser he was two days ago which has as much to do with his motives as anything else. He belongs on the same list as the Columbine killers — fractured, narcissistic personalities that fell through the cracks.

    1. Fell through what cracks? There’s nothing but a gaping hole when it comes to social services. Even with attempts at health care reform, the easiest way to get help in a country that embraces selfishness is to hurt someone and go to jail.

  21. From the NYT article:
    “That behavior, along with a disturbing video, prompted school administrators to call in Mr. Loughner’s parents and tell them that their son had been suspended and would have to get a mental health evaluation to return to college. Instead, he dropped out in October, a spokesman for the college said.”

    And his parents didn’t get a mental health evaluation? This is what boggles me. This person could’ve gotten help months ago. I don’t understand how the red flag of “this person is mentally unstable” can go off, and people will ignore it until it gets to something like this. So sad.

    1. I don’t understand how the red flag of “this person is mentally unstable” can go off, and people will ignore it

      You’re joking, right? People ignore the mentally ill all of the time. And those that don’t ignore them blame it on the person and tell them to “get your act together” or “stop being so depressed”. Sure, this is a generalization, but in my experience this describes at least 80% of people.

      The rate of mental illness is extremely high. And those who are mentally ill hide it because people conflate it with violence. Admitting any type of mental illness is more likely to cause a person to be shunned than helped. The number of hoops a person has to go through to get treatment is enormous. If you don’t have a strong support system at home (and a strong support system with family or friends is rare for the mentally ill) then any type of treatment will only begin after a suicide attempt or a jail sentence. And even then the treatment will be half-assed because the government services are overburdened and there is a strong bias that there are fakers trying to steal government benefits (like SSDI). The standard of care is to drug a person because that is cheaper than therapy. When a patient quits taking their meds because they give them brain zaps, nausea, uncontrolled limb movement, massive weight gains, brain fog, etc., they are considered non-compliant and not worthy of pity, thus treatment is terminated. When they end up in the psych ward multiple times they are considered “frequent flyers” and are a nuisance. Finally, when a person kills himself or herself, they are a statistic.

      1. Maybe “understand” is the wrong word. I think I especially have trouble with the fact that he was still living with his parents and we have yet to know whether they got him help after a phone call like that. Maybe they did. But if they didn’t, I can’t imagine why. I’m also lucky as a person with a mental illness (major depression) in that I have had good resources and in that at least post-suicide-attempt at age 14, I’ve not gotten into quite that awful of a place again. The ignorance toward the mentally ill is terrible, but the idea of parents not getting their child help when told from his school that he needed examination is… unfathomable for me. I’m glad I was able to get the help I needed, and it’s incredibly sad for everyone who was wounded or killed and for Loughner that he couldn’t get adequate help in time.

        1. The ignorance toward the mentally ill is terrible, but the idea of parents not getting their child help when told from his school that he needed examination is… unfathomable for me.

          It doesn’t surprise me at all. A doctor told my dad I was depressed when I was 16 and I got screamed at for it. Later I got kicked out of the house because of my depression. My case is a fairly typical response based on talking with other people with mental illness that I know. Dysfunctional families breed mental illness and vice versa.

    2. @surreality: We don’t know what support system he had or didn’t have, and we didn’t know what signs they were seeing or what steps they might have been taking. Unless something really damning comes out, it’s cruel to blame the parents.

  22. A mass shooting at a politician’s meet-&-greet by a marginalized guy with a random philosophy and political orientation???

    Jared Lee Loughner sounds like another Travis Bickle to me.

    (Full disclosure: I used to vaguely know Hinckley in Evergreen Colorado, but I would have never guessed his political point-of-view or his TAXI DRIVER plans.)

  23. The reports of this bullet passing through her head, in through the temple out at the forehead, are just amazing. I know others met their end – but her prognosis, currently, is astounding.

  24. One of the things that is bothering me about this guy is that every one in the media is trying to figure out his political leanings. Looking at what the lunatic read is not the way. I have read Mein Kampf and the Communist Manifesto, only to know the extremists and their thoughts. I have also read just about all of the books he has listed (which, for the most part, looks like a required reading list for high school freshmen). What I think the media is missing is that most of the things that could have infected this kid’s psyche are put out my the media themselves. They should start looking at what is portrayed across the internet and the TV news by so-called qualified journalists. We, as a society, should have genuine intellects reporting the news, not overpaid wannabes.

  25. I think we are going to find out that he was an anti-Semite who went after Giffords because she was a Jewish Congresswoman.

  26. “Are you suggesting that anyone with conservative ideas is also going to kill people?”

    I don’t think anyone of sound mind would suggest that. But you can’t forget that at least two prominent conservatives, Sarah Palin and Sharron Angle, have used inflammatory rhetoric that could lead a susceptible person such as Loughner to commit the sort of act we saw today.

    I mean, does it really need to be spelled out? Do we really need to remind people that Angle was suggested “Second Amendment solutions” if the Tea Party didn’t win? Do we really need to show the crosshairs on Palin’s website, or comments about “reloading”?

    I can understand the desire not to play partisan politics today. I don’t think that’s the situation today. This isn’t an issue where both sides are equally wrong; I don’t think any Google search exists that shows two prominent liberal candidates in the last year advocating gun violence in response to an election they didn’t like. This isn’t about damning everyone who believes in conservative policies, but rather condemning that small, foul, vocal subgroup that believes that slyly dropping hints about killing people is the way to gain power.

    1. Thanks for typing that so I didn’t have to.

      He shot a Democrat member of the House of Reps in the head. Why do you think the media is asking questions about political allegiance? More lumps of shit for them to add to the stew they love to sell us.

      Also if the allegations about his college requiring his mental evaluation turn out to be true then I think some liability should fall on the parents if they didn’t follow up. At the very least they should have yanked the cat5 so he couldn’t have messed himself up any further with the confusion of boobs, advertising, hate and unicorns that is our wonderful internet.

      Please stop killing each other, people! It’s more rewarding to Photoshop your enemies in demeaning ways.

  27. There is a pattern to the writings. Many occurrences of: If A, then B. A is true. Therefore, B must be true. But the items A and B that he talks about are rather off-the-wall and disconnected from what most of us would care about, or even consider at all.

    The fixation on BCE vs ADE dates moving up vs down as one moves forward in time is especially curious to me. It’s so incredibly obvious to anyone beyond a 3rd grade education, yet he gives it a LOT of attention.

    This is not a brain that I could begin to comprehend.

  28. There’s a special place in hell for people who kill 9 year old girls. That’s all I gotta say. I don’t care what your perspective/perceived cause is. Fuck you.

  29. “The fact is if he didn’t shoot anybody, he’d still be the same, sad, loser he was two days ago which has as much to do with his motives as anything else. He belongs on the same list as the Columbine killers — fractured, narcissistic personalities that fell through the cracks.”

    It’s this kind of rushed, hateful speech that has the potential to push a mentally ill person over the edge. Using harassing words like “loser” further alienate such people. Just as people find it sad that some are using this incident to paint this as a left or the right issue, I find it sad that so many are so utterly dismissing the mental illness component by using such hateful, useless language. Poster “shannigans” made an thoughtful point regarding the state of mental illness treatment in this nation, so I won’t belabor that point. I don’t think we need any more hateful speech, but rather constructive dialogue on improving mental health care.

    That said, I personally do think that hate speech espoused by politicians in recent times (just like it has in other time periods in U.S. history, and, of course all over the world currently and in the past) increases the likelihood of inciting such individuals as this one to finally crack and kill. The cynic, or the realist, in me and many others are not only not surprised that a mentally unstable person finally did go out and kill a politician after so many of 2010’s incredibly hateful campaign runs. Whether or not this guy is an actual example of that, I don’t know, and I’m not going to hazard the guess here, but I didn’t feel shocked or surprised when I saw the breaking news today.

    1. I totally agree.

      The failure here lies with the individuals who may have read his social media pages and done nothing.

      Freedom of speech, sure, but I think that if I started seeing suicidal or out-of-the-ordinary anti-government ramblings from one of my facebook friends, I think I would do something.

  30. I’ve worked in community mental health for over 20 years… mental health services will only continue to diminish… as they have since Reagan opened the doors of the state hospitals and homelessness became the new norm… not so much before then… and it’s only gotten worse… people with mental illness are stigmatized and marginalized… no wonder so many who have issues never get treatment unless they become an ‘imminent’ threat to self or other… sad, really. And the thing is… 95% of people with mental illness are NOT dangerous to others…

  31. So on his MySpace account he refers to himself as Jared Loughner, not Jared Lee Loughner. Is it just the tradition that assassins are known by three names that prompted the media to refer to him as “Jared Lee Loughner”, or did he refer to himself that way somewhere else?

  32. Did any else notice that every book on the list, he supposidly read, was banned in the USA at one time or another?

    1. Seriously, banned books in the USA is another thing entirely – and equally as twisted.

      Now excuse me while I go burn my copy of The Crucible, Catcher in the Rye, The Adventures of Huck Finn, Uncle Tom’s Cabin, The Satanic Verses, and the Wizard of Oz…

  33. Regardless of the cost or availability of mental help for this guy, you’ve all forgotten the fact that no one can be forced to get mental help unless they have repeatedly threatened someone or themselves. And it has to be REALLY bad for someone to do something, since the whole process of committing someone is time-consuming. Obviously he’ll be getting tons of mental help now.

    It’s unfortunate that our laws basically allow people to be mentally ill if they want to be. Most psychotics and bipolar folks LOVE being this way because of the high they get. I suppose you could call it their right to freedom of speech. It’s sad, really.

  34. Why do anti-government ideals always seem to lead to some kind of shooting…isn’t there a better way to think of if you spend so much time writing about it?

    1. “Why do anti-government ideals always seem to lead to some kind of shooting…isn’t there a better way to think of if you spend so much time writing about it?”

      I don’t think anyone’s ideals led to the shooting. But, if you blame anti-government ideals for this, would it be fair to blame pro-government ideals for the World Wars and the Holocaust?

  35. I think this looks like a budding case of schizophrenia when you start putting the pieces together. The onset age is correct- the paranoia, the outbursts, the recent social isolation, the bizarre syntax. He was an adult and there is nothing the parents could legally do if he was not a threat to himself or others. Remember it was just October when he was kicked out of community college and December when the postings started. It often takes months just to get an initial appointment with a Doctor and usually you have to go through your general practitioner to get the referral (if he even had insurance). That would all take some time to get in action.
    The friend didn’t even know his correct last name (the one that tweeted he was a liberal). But even if three years ago he was a liberal, if the mental illness starting coming on around the time the tea party started getting press, it could have fed into his paranoia.
    However, to say this is not politically motivated, even if he is mentally ill, is just wrong.

  36. Mein Kampf and The Communist Manifesto are his favorite books? The Communist Manifesto is pretty short and some would argue still relevant, but Mein Kampf?? I’m not afraid of Hitler, so I tried reading Mein Kampf and gave up after about 100 pages. Yeah sure it was nicely written and everything but I just got sick of Hitler whining about the Habsburg Monarchy and the Austria-Hungarian Empire that both ceased to exist nearly 100 years ago.

  37. What others describe as his strange, rambling pseudo-intellectual philosophical writing and speech is something I would describe instead as showing disordered form of thought.

    Disordered form of thought is one of three symptoms necessary for the diagnosis of schizophrenia. I would go looking for the other two, i.e. hallucinations and delusions. When he talks about being the guy in charge of the new currency, that could be delusional. I haven’t found anything to suggest hallucinations yet, but he does seem to have paranoid ideation.

    Overall, there is a really good chance this story is about a guy who is developing schizophrenia. He may or may not have been influenced by crosshairs on a map: thinking becomes concrete, literal and non-metaphorical with this condition. Sarah Palin, are you listening?

  38. The left/right thing is rather irrelevant. Psychos don’t exactly need a coherent political philosophy. Hitler took ideas from all over the place if they suited a need.

    The more relevant factor here is that the Tea Party and in particular Palin and Beck have been indulging in the type of rhetoric that might well be described as ‘nut-case’ magnet. The Tea Party is a blank slate for discontents that anyone can fill in, the only real requirement being that they blame the Democrats for causing whatever they are discontented at.

    It really is rather sad that even at this stage Republicans are unable to recognize and condemn the lies and inflated rhetoric Palin has used. She did not actually say ‘go murder a Democrat’ but she came about as close as is possible without committing a felony. Her talk of death panels, the cross hairs her ‘reload’ comment.

    Either Palin is incredibly stupid and does not realize what she is saying or she is totally aware of what she is doing and is intentionally inciting murder.

    Let us try a thought experiment. Lets imagine a liberal posts a You Tube video with a picture of Bristol with crosshairs over her head. Can you imagine the instantaneous lather of indignation would ensure. Yet that is precisely what Palin herself has done here to Giffords and now there are six people murdered including a federal judge.

    Republicans need to be very careful here. The Tea Party cranks that they have attracted are not just going to be murdering Democrats. I had actually expected their first murder to be of a Republican who had ‘betrayed’ them in some way.

  39. From the NYT article:
    “That behavior, along with a disturbing video, prompted school administrators to call in Mr. Loughner’s parents and tell them that their son had been suspended and would have to get a mental health evaluation to return to college. Instead, he dropped out in October, a spokesman for the college said.”

    And his parents didn’t get a mental health evaluation? This is what boggles me. This person could’ve gotten help months ago. I don’t understand how the red flag of “this person is mentally unstable” can go off, and people will ignore it until it gets to something like this. So sad.

  40. *sigh*. . . the left will say “it’s the fault of the Tea Party and conservatives with all their anti-government rhetoric” and the right will say “this guy was clearly a liberal, as his love of the Communist Manifest should prove”, when in fact this guy was clearly suffering from schizophrenia. They are both trying to score political points over a double tragedy (the deaths, and this poor guys own illness.)

    The only real political argument here is whether gun laws would have changed anything. I know conservatives who think if everyone was required to carry a gun we would all be safer, however I don’t see how that would have helped in this situation (in fact I can see that making it worse).

    1. The only real political argument here is whether gun laws would have changed anything. I know conservatives who think if everyone was required to carry a gun we would all be safer

      Its not an argument when one side is provably wrong. Guns kill stuff. They can act as a deterrent, but they cannot PREVENT killing. That’s why horrible events like this won’t stop happening in the US until the conservatives you know (and their buddies) get over their selfish desires.

      To the second amendment fans: No, jackasses – despite whatever some old farts wrote on a piece of paper hundreds of years ago – being born does not forever enshrine your right to own devices designed to kill.

      1. “Its not an argument when one side is provably wrong. Guns kill stuff. They can act as a deterrent, but they cannot PREVENT killing”

        And yet a lowly 22 rifle a decade ago, under my bed, PREVENTED me from being murdered by an assailant wielding a 5lb sledge hammer. That person was not interested in the deterrence of the law, didn’t care people would know who did it, cared nothing for my pleading not to kill me. Presenting the gun and telling them to stop prevented my murder. I did not need to fire a shot and did not kill anything.

        1. Sure, but I bet a lot of other things could have prevented his attack: a samurai sword or a taser or pepper spray or a BB gun or replica that that just looked like a real gun.

          But that’s moot, the argument is about gun laws, and finding a happy medium, whereas the hardcore gun lovers live in a dream world where everyone is packing and yet there’s no violence. People like Jared Lee Loughner clearly disprove this idea. Similarly, if your assailant was carrying a 9mm instead of a hammer, well, your .22 wouldn’t necessarily deter him, and even if you had a 9mm too, that might not have mattered either.

          “Constitutional literalists” like Justice Scalia (and a lot of the Tea Party set apparently) think we should interpret the Constitution exactly as written, but Jefferson and Adams didn’t know about automatic weapons, flame throwers, or suitcase nukes. Should I then be allowed to own all those, and would you feel comfortable with the angry drunk guy in your neighborhood owning them? To paraphrase something Al Franken said: the 2nd amendment is a good thing, but it could be more precise.

  41. singer/songwriter caitie parker from az also tweets that “hopefully [she] ‘ll go back into obscurity again.”

    it looks like all the media attention took her by surprise. and i thought twitter was considered to be a mass medium.


  42. All the knee-jerk attempts here to psycho/politically analyze this perp are peripheral to the real issue… and so typical in our time. Everyone thinks they can dredge the depths of Loughner’s psyche by reading his facebook page or judge his motives by quoting Sara Palin and Glen Beck and then posting their hand-wringing conclusions on the internets in order to wear like it was one of those sticky gold stars they used to give you in Kindergarten. That’s pretty much our collective level of evolution folks! Congratulations, Droids for focusing on all the very subtle and not-so-subtle influences and the externals that “made him do it”. NO! Loughner himself made the decision to do what exactly what he did, knowing he’d get some great media attention, the instant gratification, and most likely three square meals in some quiet psych ward inside protective custody until he’s 85. Folks… quit blaming Palin, Beck, the health care system, the CIA, and the Devil. How about investigating his TV viewing and video game playing addictions? This perp deserves capital punishment – NOW – and it needs to be televised. Who gives a rat’s arse what deep dark secrets the depths of his mind might reveal for all the politico-media whores to probe, pander, debate and parade before the Nielson Ratings crowd over the next six weeks before moving on to the the next big media event. NO! Execute him for what HE DID, and start sending a REAL message to the rest of the border-line, tube-addicted psychos lurking on the fringe of insanity out there that such behavior is a one-way ticket to the gas chamber.

  43. As much as I detest Sarah Palin (and everything she says and stands for) I don’t think Jared Loughner’s actions can be laid at her feet or blamed on her.

    I think Palin’s rhetoric is vile and despicable, but blaming her political ads and speech for Loughner’s actions is like blaming rock and roll for “promiscuity” or pointing the finger at rap music as violence among black youth. It’s just not that simple to connect the dots.

    As someone said (George Carlin?) commenting on “violent TV shows” being responsible for real-world violence, “There’s a lot of sitcoms on TV but you don’t see people doing stand-up comedy in the streets.”

    I hope Jared Loughner rots in prison for the rest of his natural life, but try as I might I can’t point the finger at Sarah Palin or Glen Beck or any the right-wingnuts for what he did. He did what he did because he’s a nutcase, not because he was encouraged by some political ad…unless you want to credit political ads with a lot more power than any of us believe they have.

  44. Does anyone know WHY Gifford’s you-tube channel has her as subscribing to the shooters channel???

    I just checked and it definitely links there. A bing cache shows that it didn’t a few weeks ago. Its her page or it seems to be, its linked from her official congressional page. This is very very odd.

    shows her as subscribing to Classitup10 (the shooter)

  45. [Friend Timothy Cheves] said: “He was like a radical against both parties. . . . From what I got, it seemed like he didn’t like anybody that was in power.” (Washington Post)

  46. My $0.02:

    He probably caught his teachers in mistakes and/or they pigeonholed him in some way that he didn’t agree with, so he concluded he knew more than they but was bitter he had to sit through their classes anyway. So with the if/therefores he’s trying to construct a straightforward logical framework where he can invalidate not only the college’s authority but the entire government’s (the “worthless” community college being an extension thereof, and the gov’t accepting its money for the college’s courses gets extended to “therefore the government’s money is worthless” therefore the government is fraudulent).

    Still, he complains about grammar, but makes grammatical mistakes and various spelling mistakes. Pretty sure he means “conscious dreaming”, controlling the real world through thoughts as if it were a dream, instead of “conscience dreaming”. Also, there is no “year zero”. AD 1 directly follows
    BC 1.

    I wonder if he’s really read all of those books. I guess he could and still be unaware of the year zero thing and the difference between “conscience” and “conscious”.

    1. alternately, “conscience dreaming” sounds like a term to describe when his hallucinations maybe started being more powerful than his reality?

      1. Maybe. At any rate, it sure seems like his illusory construct of a world overpowered any pangs of conscience he would have about killing some people.

  47. We as people (and the world at large) obtain an almost incalculable benefit from living in a free society. We cannot expect such a society to entirely free of costs. One of the features of the fact that we believe that individuals have the right to self-determination is that oddballs can get along in our society. You can be off the norm and in the end, no one can coerce you to change. The cost of that is that there will be some people who probably should be coerced to change that will not. We set the bar very, very high when it comes to saying “You are so weird, unstable, etc. that we as a society are going to take away your choice and freedom.” Be very, very careful about wanting to move that bar. Do you prevent something like this? Maybe. Maybe not. Do you start hitting people who are not only harmless but probably quite valuable to society simply because they don’t fit in, or like what is considered odd or socially unacceptable stuff? Yes you do.

    The same holds true with what is probably the most basic human right there is: to secure your own person from harm. In the U.S., a large (and very effective) part of that right is the notion that you can own objects that are specifically design to kill other people. We set the bar less high on the “who can own a gun” question than we do on the one of mental health (i.e. it’s easier to be denied a gun purchase than it is to be locked up for mental health issues against your will), but still there is a line, and for now we err on the side of liberty.

    Of course, in a nation of over three hundred million people, the edge cases of these two principles will collide. It is an unavoidable consequence of the magnitude and freedom of our society, of human nature and biochemistry.

    I think that every time something like this happens, we should approach changing those trigger points with great caution. Perhaps trending information should be involved. Perhaps (gasp) state experimentation. Analyze the different levels of mental health services and law, along with firearms law in different states, correlate it with incidents such as this, normalize for population/demographics/etc., and see if any actual trends show up. Does one level work better than another, demonstrably? If so, perhaps we push those equations one way or another at a national level. If not, we have to accept it as a tragic down side of the many upsides we enjoy from the very same principles.

  48. Left wing, right wing… The guy was a nutjob, there’s not much you can do about that. *Except*, stop allowing them to own guns. Americans, stop with the angst and soul-searching after these monotonously regular multiple shootings and just ban handguns. Your obsession with “bearing arms” as decreed in an ancient document is wrong. It really is astonishing that the gun lobby continues to get away with it.

  49. “We the Living” by Ayn Rand was listed by Loughner as a favorite. Not so sure that we can categorize him as a leftist (or anything really) by his book list.

  50. Just an update, and I would still LOVE any verifiable information on what the heck was up with this!

    As of this morning youtube account giffords2 still subscribed to Classitup10’s (the shooter) youtube channel. I, btw, have a saved page (saved as all files in firefox, fwiw) for any interested party. As of 7:52pm MST this is no longer the case, the only channel subscription is now RepIkeSkeleton, as it was in Bing’s cache from 12/26/10.

    I have found no explanation for why Giffords youtube channel had been subscribed to the shooter (NOT the other way around as would make sense). This is a matter which is causing me some concern, it seems very very wrong and I feel we are not being told the entire story. Either she knew him, or he had hacked her youtube, or some staffer did something exceedingly bizarre after she was shot. I would like to know what happened if anyone has any info.

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