There are some things we know for sure. On Saturday morning at a Safeway in Tucson, Arizona Congresswoman Gabrielle Giiffords, a self-described "blue dog" Democrat was shot in the head at point blank range. At this writing, she lies in a medical induced coma fighting for her life. Rep. Giffords was attending a "Congresswoman on the Corner" event doing what she has always done…making herself available to the people of her district. Twenty-two year old Jared Lee Loughner shot Giffords and then began spraying spectators with bullets. Less than a minute later six people lay dead or dying and twenty others lay wounded. In the middle of the chaos were the courageous acts of everyday Americans like Daniel Hernandez, who rushed to Rep. Giffords side; and Ray Badger, who tackled Loughner. These are the things we know for sure.
What most people do not know for sure is why Jared Loughner committed this atrocity. The reason I say most people is because a host of liberal commentators and politicians are sure Loughner's actions were inspired by the Tea Party, Sarah Palin, Fox News, Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, and everyone else who has ever questioned any liberal policy. At 3:22pm, before the identity of the shooter was known and before we knew for sure whether Representative Giffords was alive or dead, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman posted the following opening statement on his blog: "A Democratic Congresswoman has been shot in the head; another dozen were also shot. We don't have proof yet that this was political, but the odds are that it was." Krugman went on to suggest that Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and Republicans in general were likely the motivating factors. Bear in mind Krugman's comments were posted shortly after the story broke before we knew anything about the alleged shooter.
Joining Krugman in his rush to judgment was none other than Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik. Instead of spending his time trying to gather the facts that would help convict Loughner of this heinous crime, Sheriff Dupnik decided his time could be better spent looking for a political scapegoat. Shortly after it was reported that Loughner was in custody Dupnik, with TV cameras rolling said, "There's reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol. People tend to pooh-pooh this business about all the vitriol we hear inflaming the American public by people who make a living off of doing that. That may be free speech but it's not without consequences."
So…I suppose Democrat Sheriff Dupnik believes the best way to stop inflaming the American public is to use the mindless killing rampage of a profoundly disturbed individual as an opportunity to inflame the American public against anyone who dares to publically disagree with liberal policies. In an interview with Fox News' Megyn Kelly Dupnik reiterated that unbalanced individuals are uniquely "susceptible" to vitriol and then added, "We see one party trying to block the attempts of another party to make this a better country." In the middle of an interview about the actions of a crazed killer, the Sheriff of the county the killer chose to commit his carnage decided it would be a good idea to drop in a line of pure partisan politics. But of course, he thinks Sarah Palin and Fox News are the real venders of vitriol in American politics.
If you want to get in the line of those attempting to lay this shooting at the feet of political conservatives you had better hurry. It already stretches from garden variety liberal bloggers to the halls of the United States Senate. As you wait your turn to turn this event against anyone on the Right you will run into the likes of Democrat Senator Richard Durbin from Illinois, who said on CNN's "State of the Union" program, "We live in a world of violent images and violent words." He went on to give the Sarah Palin tweeted phrase, "don't retreat, reload" as an example of the kind of speech that can "invite the kind of toxic rhetoric that can lead unstable people to believe this is an acceptable response." Someone should remind Senator Durbin that speaking from the floor the U.S. Senate, he once compared U.S. troops to "Nazis, Soviets in their gulags, or some mad regime - Pol Pot or others that has no concern for human beings."
The stampede to turn a deranged killer into an instrument of the Right ran over something very important…the truth. The truth is now coming out about Jared Loughner and it turns out there is absolutely no connection that can be made between Loughner and Limbaugh, Palin, Fox News, or Glenn Beck. According to his own writings and those who knew him best Loughner was driven by a personal and completely unreasonable grudge against Rep. Giffords and his own disturbing dreams.
The Left would have been better served to listen to the wisdom of Rev. Franklin Graham, who said,
"To try to place blame before an investigation has occurred is in itself
Inciting hatred. Because we may disagree with a person from another
political party, and something bad happens to that person, does that
mean that we are responsible for what happens to that person? By
I say, amen to that Rev. Franklin. I also say why don't we stop trying to fix blame and simply pray for the families of a pastor, a nine year old girl, a federal judge, and three others who died. Why not pray for Rep. Giffords full recovery and for the full recovery of the other victims. Prayer always trumps political potshots and when it is fervently applied it can change vitriol into virtuous speech.