Monday, January 10, 2011

On Saturday, Jared Lee Loughner, 22, walked up to Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, at one of her townall meetings out front of a Safeway in Tucson, and shot her point blank in the head with a 9mm Glock he bought in November.  He then turned to fire on the crowd, killing 6 people and wounding 14 – among those killed, federal judge John Roll, 9-year-old Christina Green who was born on 9/11/2001, three retirees, and a young Giffords intern who was getting married next year.

Heroes on the scene were Patricia Maisch, who grabbed Loughner's ammo as he reached to re-load, and Roger Salzeber, Bill Badger, and Joseph Zamudio who helped tackle and hold him down before authorities constrained him.  After Giffords was shot, Daniel Hernandez, who had only been her intern for 5 days, applied pressure to her head wound keeping her alive until taken away in an ambulance.

According to the criminal complaint, inside of Loughner's safe was an envelope stating, "I planned ahead.  My assassination.  Giffords," along with his signature.

Some of the strange things about Loughner:

1) Ben McGahee, his math professor at Pima Community College, said that he was a very troubled student who often wrote bizarre answers on tests, "I felt he was planning something all along."  He told USA Today, "I remember going home and thinking to myself, 'Is he going to bring a weapon to class?'" (• NY Daily News (1/10/2011) Gabrielle Giffords shooting: Frightening, twisted shrine in Arizona killer Jared Lee Loughner's yard.)

2) In early June, Lynda Sorenson, 52, went back to Pima to take an algebra class, and in emails to a friend, commented on her growing alarm at Loughner's strange and disruptive behavior in class.  (David A. Fahrenthold, Washington Post Blog (1/9/2011) Jared Loughner's behavior recorded by college classmate in e-mails.)

            • From June 1, the first day of class:  "One day down and nineteen to go. We do have one student in the class who was disruptive today, I'm not certain yet if he was on drugs (as one person surmised) or disturbed. He scares me a bit. The teacher tried to throw him out and he refused to go, so I talked to the teacher afterward. Hopefully he will be out of class very soon, and not come back with an automatic weapon." 

              From June 10:  "As for me, Thursday means the end to week two of algebra class. It seems to be going by quickly, but then I do have three weeks to go so we'll see how I feel by then. Class isn't dull as we have a seriously disturbed student in the class, and they are trying to figure out how to get rid of him before he does something bad, but on the other hand, until he does something bad, you can't do anything about him. Needless to say, I sit by the door."

            • From June 14:  "We have a mentally unstable person in the class that scares the living crap out of me. He is one of those whose picture you see on the news, after he has come into class with an automatic weapon. Everyone interviewed would say, Yeah, he was in my math class and he was really weird. I sit by the door with my purse handy. If you see it on the news one night, know that I got out fast...."

3) In the back of his home behind a camouflaged tent barricade, was a "sinister shrine revealing a chilling occult dimension" with "an alarming skull sitting atop a pot filled with shriveled oranges, and a row of ceremonial candles and a bag of potting soil laying nearby." (• NY Daily News (1/10/2011) Gabrielle Giffords shooting: Frightening, twisted shrine in Arizona killer Jared Lee Loughner's yard.)

400-408 – Tony Perkins, president of the Family Research Council (, on being labeled a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center because the FRC supports traditional marriage, and the similarity of that to the left blaming the right for the murders in Tucson.  In response to the SPLC, Tony set up the website.

• Evelyn Schlatter, Southern Poverty Law Center (Winter 2010) 18 Anti-Gay Groups and Their Propaganda.  As listed:  Abiding Truth Ministries, the American Family Association, Americans for Truth About Homosexuality, American Vision, Chalcedon Foundation, Christian Anti-Defamation Commission, Concerned Women for America, Coral Ridge Ministries, Dove World Outreach Center, Faithful Word Baptist Church, Family Research Council, Family Research Institute, Heterosexuals Organized for a Moral Environment, Illinois Family Institute, Liberty Counsel, MassResistance, National Organization for Marriage, and the Traditional Values Coalition.

413-423 – Patricia Maisch, corrected the widespread story that she was the first to reach Jared Lee Loughner on Saturday.  She was not.  Roger Salzgeber and Bill Badger were the first and they had tackled him to the ground.  While he was on the ground, Patricia grabbed the gun clip and then laid on his legs so he couldn't break free, as Roger and Bill secured his upper body.  Providentially, she had arrived early and should have been the third in line.  But, she had stayed in the store, came out, and found 15 people already in line.  Rather than taking her rightful place, she went to the back of the line.  Likely, saving her life.

428-437 – Quick summary of the interview with Patricia in the previous segment because we went so long with her.

443-452 – •• YouTube (1/8/2011) Megyn Kelly Asks Pima Co. Sheriff Why Are You Politicizing This Tragedy. Democrat Sheriff of Pima County, Clarence Dupnik, wasted no time pointing fingers at Republicans and talk radio during his press conference, but had nothing to say regarding the facts surrounding the case such as the killer's motive. On Sunday, following an emotional interview with the father of the 9-year-old who was killed during the shooting, Fox's Megyn Kelly got Sheriff Dupnik to admit he had no evidence for his press conference statements about the "vitriol" coming from talk radio.

(1:51) Megyn Kelly with Sheriff Dupnik on Sunday.

•• Byron York, Washington Examiner (1/9/2011) Journalists urged caution after Ft. Hood, now race to blame Palin after Arizona shootings.

458-508 – (2:58) Tucson Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, a Democrat, politicizes the first press conference on Saturday and blames the shooting by Jared Lee Loughner as a consequence of the vitriol of talk radio.

DUPNIK:  "And today, I want to tell you, I hope all Americans are as saddened and shocked as we are.  And I hope that some of them, or most of them, are as angry as I am, and as a lot of us are.  And I think it's time as a country that we need to do a little soul searching.  Because I think the vitriol, rhetoric, that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the tv business, and what we see on tv and [how our ministers are being raised]. That this has not become the nice, United States of America that most of us grew up in.  And I think it's time we do the soul searching.

QUESTION:  What do you think about the possible motive for this?

DUPNIK:  Well, I can tell you this, that the 22 year old individual does have a criminal background, and there are reports that he was a Pima College student and that there have been some difficulties with him.  And again, I'd just like to say that  when you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous, and unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."

QUESTION:  Was this related to prejudice and bigotry?

DUPNIK:   All I can tell you is that there's reason to believe that this individual may have a mental issue. And I think that people who are unbalanced are especially susceptible to vitriol." ... But it's not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included.  And that's the sad thing of what's going on in America.  Pretty soon, we're not going to be able to find reasonable, decent people who are willing to subject themselves to serve in public office."

QUESTION:  About medical issues.

DUPNIK:  Let me just say one thing. People tend to poo poo 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.

512-523 – Calls

528-539 – Calls

544-554 – • WSJ (6/14/2008) OBAMA FLASHBACK: 'If They Bring a Knife to the Fight, We Bring a Gun'...  Candidate Barack Obama said at a Philadelphia fundraiser that he would counter Republican attacks with a show of greater force, "If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun. Because from what I understand, folks in Philly like a good brawl. I've seen Eagles fans."

(2:44) Jessica Yellin, CNN National Political correspondents, with Wolf Blitzer on Saturday night (1/8/2011).  Palin "Allowed This Kind Of Instance To Happen."

BLITZER:  But the Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, did place some blame.  He suggested, and his word, and I'm quoting him now, "vitriol", that's a direct quote, "in politics and the media, inflaming the American public to dangerous levels."  Let's bring in our senior political analyst, Gloria Borger, and our national political correspondent, Jessica Yellin, they're both working this story for us.  You know, I've covered a lot of these news conferences, Jessica, normally sheriff comes out, gives us the nuts and bolts, this was extraordinary what we heard from this sheriff in Pima county.

YELLIN:  That's right, because he singled out some of the political rhetoric, as you point out, in creating the environment that allowed this kind of instance to happen. Even though, as you point out, this suspect is not cooperating with investigators, so we don't know the motive.  President Obama also delivered that message, saying it's partly the political rhetoric that led to this.  So that's why we want to bring up one of the themes that's burning up the social media right now.  On Twitter and Facebook, there is a lot of talk, in particular, about Sarah Palin.  And as you might recall, back in March of last year, when the health care vote was coming to the floor of the House and this was all heating up, Palin tweeted out a message on Twitter saying 'common sense conservatives, don't retreat -- instead reload.'  And she referred folks to her Facebook page.  On that Facebook page was a list of Democratic members she was putting in crosshairs, and Gabrielle Giffords was one of those in the crosshairs.  Um, now Palin has said that she did not mean that literally, it was not meant to be a violence statement, she didn't want anyone to follow through on it, but Gabriel Giffords herself was asked about this on television, and she said she felt targeted.  This was Gabriel Gifford in March. "We're on Sarah Palin's targeted list. But the thing is, that the way she has it depicted has the crosshairs of a gun site over our district.  When people do that, they got to realize there are consequences to that action."  Ugh, well today, Palin posted a statement on Facebook saying quote that 'my sincere condolences are offered to the family of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and other victims of today's tragic shooting in Arizona.  On behalf of Todd and my family, we all pray for the victims and for their families and for peace and justice.'" And I should point out that Republican leaders in Washington have said that this is not a partisan issue, this is about violence, as have some tea party groups.  But clearly this is a moment to talk about our political rhetoric."

BLITZER:  It certainly is. But the question is, is there any evidence that the suspected shooter in this particular case was a Sarah Palin fan [NO], read Sarah Palin's website [ABSOLUTELY NOT], was a member on Facebook, watched her tweets, or anything like that?"

YELLIN:  None at all, and there is no evidence that this was even inspired by rage over health care, broadly.  So there is no overt connection between Sarah Palin, health care, and the [shootings]."

• Victor Davis Hanson, NRO (1/9/2011) Political Vultures: The sick art of turning insanity into politics.

• Jonah Goldberg, NRO (1/9/2011) Goodbye To All That.  Goldberg considers purging political discourse of military metaphors.

•• WSJ Editorial (1/9/2011) Murder in Tucson: Jared Loughner's sickness is not the product of politics.

• Glenn Reynolds, WSJ (1/9/2011) The Arizona Tragedy and the Politics of Blood Libel.  Those who purport to care about the tenor of political discourse don't help civil debate when they seize on any pretext to call their political opponents accomplices to murder.

• Guardian (1/9/2011) Gabrielle Giffords shooting reignites row over rightwing rhetoric in US.  Sarah Palin at centre of storm over political vitriol after spree leaves six dead and congresswoman in critical condition.

• Fox News (1/9/2011) Unsuspecting Heroes Help Contain Violence of Arizona Shooting Spree.

• LA Times (1/9/2011) Profiles of the Arizona shooting victims.  Besides a federal judge, the slain are a congressional staffer, three retirees and a girl born on Sept. 11, 2001.

• Nicholas Riccardi, Los Angeles Times (1/9/2011) Arizona's us-versus-them brand of politics.  Years before 'tea party' entered the political lexicon, conservatives took over the state's Republican Party. Some have long warned that the heated rhetoric could have grim consequences.

558-608 – Jack Hibbs, senior pastor of Calvary Chapel Chino Hills (, whose Real Radio is heard weeknights at 9pm, talks about this weekend's FREE Prophecy Conference at the Ontario Convention Center.

This weekend at the Ontario Convention Center is our FREE Inland Empire Prophecy Conference entitled "Understanding the End Times: Israel, Islam, and Bible Prophecy."   On Friday, we'll do our show live from 400-700pm, then hop inside to hear from Chuck Missler and Pastor Jack Hibbs.  Then on Saturday, we'll go from 900am-900pm, with Tim LaHaye (900am), Ron Carlson (1025am), Ron Graff (1225pm), Lambert Dolphin (115pm), Gary Kah (340pm), William Koenig (540pm), and Chuck Missler (805pm).  I'll be the emcee and would love to see you there.  It's free, but we're asking everyone to pre-register at because seating will be limited – you're going to have to be pre-registered in order to get a wrist-band that will get you in.  And, also know, that there's an $8.00 Convention Center charge for parking.

612-623 – Calls

628-639 – Patricia Maisch,

644-656 – • ABC News (1/10/2011) Arizona Sheriff Blasts Rush Limbaugh for Spewing 'Irresponsible' Vitriol.

The Arizona sheriff investigating the Tucson shooting that left U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords critically wounded had harsh words today for those engaging in political rhetoric, calling conservative radio host Rush Limbaugh "irresponsible" for continuing the vitriol.

"The kind of rhetoric that flows from people like Rush Limbaugh, in my judgment he is irresponsible, uses partial information, sometimes wrong information," Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik said today. "[Limbaugh] attacks people, angers them against government, angers them against elected officials and that kind of behavior in my opinion is not without consequences."

Limbaugh today railed against the media and Dupnik for trying to draw a link between the heated political climate and the shooting rampage, calling the sheriff a "fool." But Dupnik stood by his assertions.

"The vitriol affects the [unstable] personality that we are talking about," he said. "You can say, 'Oh no, it doesn't,' but my opinion is that it does."

// Dupnik said he'd like to see the federal government establish some kind of commission to deal with civility in the United States and make recommendations about how to get it back. "I don't have a problem with heated arguments," he said. "As a matter of fact you are kind of getting a little heat out of me now, and it is because I am very angry at what has transpired."