Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Guest Blogger: Tuscon Tragedy

While I have been running on the treadmill at the gym, I try to multitask and educate myself on what is going on in the political world. I watch both CNN and Fox News. I hate that I am not well-versed in what is going on in politics. My dad, however, is so very well informed I usually turn to him for what is going on. He is very conservative in my opinion, but he does a good job at presenting me with the facts. He loves writing letters to the local newspapers about the state of politics so I asked him to write something my blog! I was very disturbed at the situation in Tuscon but even more baffled at the reaction from the politicians. I asked my dad to write his thoughts about this situation. I hope you all like this piece as much as I did, I am hoping to have him write more for me in the future!

Many liberal commentators and reporters are using the Tucson shooting to advance 
their personal agenda. It ranges from blaming lack of strict gun laws to 
restrict possession of private firearms, accusing tea party and other right-wing 
opponents for verbal and symbolic violence used in their clash with the Obama 
administration to muffle rhetoric in political debates, indict talk radio for 
inciting individuals and the need to reimplement the Fairness Doctrine to limit 
free speech,  pointing the finger at Sarah Palin for targeting districts with 
cross-hairs in the 2010 elections to make her unfit for future political office, 
to charging that Arizona is “the mecca for prejudice and bigotry” so it will not 
enforce federal immigration policy. It appears that these commentators follow 
the Rahm Emanuel creed "You never want a serious crisis to go to waste.”
It seems that personal responsibility for ones actions do not enter their 
discussions. The fact that this violence was committed by a deranged individual, 
one who appears to have no political affiliation, was not religious, has no 
record he listened to radio or visited conservative websites but did read Nazi 
and Communist books. The fact is this mentally challenged perpetrator should not 
cause knee jerk political reaction that restricts any of the constitutionally 
protected rights that our military fights to protect.
The facts without opinions are summarized below.
A shooting near Tucson, Arizona, occurred at 10:10MST am on January 8, 2011. 
Twenty people were injured, nineteen from gunfire, six of them fatally, during 
an open meeting that U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords was holding with 
members of her constituency in the Safeway supermarket parking lot in La Toscana 
Village mall, which is in Casas Adobes, an unincorporated areanorth of Tucson, 
Arizona. News reports identified the target of the attack as Giffords, a 
Democrat representing Arizona's 8th congressional district.
A 22-year-old Tucson man, Jared Lee Loughner, was arrested at the scene. Court 
filings include notes allegedly handwritten by Loughner indicating he planned to 
assassinate Giffords. The motive for the shooting remains unclear, as the 
suspect has not cooperated with authorities and has invoked his right to remain 
Giffords had set up a table outside the store and about 20 to 30 people were 
gathered around her when the gunman drew a pistol and shot Giffords in the head. 
He then allegedly proceeded to fire apparently randomly at other members of the 
crowd. The weapon used was reported to be a 9mm Glock model 19 semi-automatic 
pistol with a 33-round magazine. After the gunman ran out of ammunition in the 
first magazine, he stopped to reload, but dropped the loaded magazine from his 
pocket to the sidewalk, from where bystander Patricia Maisch grabbed it. A 
by-stander clubbed the back of the assailant's head with a folding chair in the 
process injuring his elbow and representing the 20th injury. The gunman was then 
tackled to the ground by 74-year-old retired colonel Bill Badger who himself had 
been shot, and was further subdued by Maisch and bystanders Roger Sulzgeber and 
Joseph Zamudio. 
While waiting for help to arrive, Giffords' intern Daniel Hernández Jr. applied 
pressure to the gunshot wound on her forehead, and made sure she did not choke 
on her blood. David and Nancy Bowman, a married doctor and nurse who were 
shopping in the store, immediately set up triage and attended to nine-year-old 
Christina-Taylor Green. Police arrived on the scene at 10:15 am, with paramedics 
arriving at 10:16 am. 
Five people died at the scene, including United States District Court for the 
District of Arizona Chief Judge John Roll and Giffords' community outreach 
director Gabe Zimmerman. Nine year old Christina-Taylor Green was later 
pronounced dead at the hospital. According to Green's father, her organs were 
donated "to a little girl in Boston." 
Within 38 minutes Giffords underwent emergency surgery where skull bone 
fragments and a small amount of necroticbrain tissue was extracted by doctors. 
Part of Gifford's skull was removed to prevent further brain damage caused by 
According to Dr. Peter M. Rheeof the medical center, she was "shot through and 
through on one side of the head....[it] went through her brain. The bullet 
traveled through the left hemisphere of her brain without crossing the midline, 
where the most critical injuries result." Neurosurgeon and medical commentator 
Sanjay Gupta said that the exit of the bullet was a factor in her survival as not 
all of its energy was transferred to the brain. Giffords was placed into a 
chemically-induced coma to allow her brain to rest. 
The gunman, Jared Lee Loughner, born on September 10, 1988, lives with his 
parents about 5 miles from the site of the shooting, is described as a white 
male, with short hair and "dressed in a shabby manner", was arrested after being 
detained by bystanders. The FBI attempted to question the suspect, but it was 
reported he was refusing to cooperate with authorities and had invoked his Fifth 
Amendment right. Authorities have said the alleged shooter's motivation was 
unknown. Caiti Parker, who claimed she knew the suspect in high school four 
years earlier, described him as a politically radical loner. Classmates noted 
that Loughner was critical of religion. 
A YouTube channel under an account called "Classitup10" was attributed to 
Loughner. The profile of this account stated among other things that some of the 
subject's favorite books were The Communist Manifesto, Animal Farm, Mein Kampf, 
Plato's Republic, and We the Living; one video told viewers that they "don't 
have to accept the federalist laws", called for a return to the gold standard, 
and accused the government of mind-controlling and brainwashing the citizenry. 
Sheriff Clarence Dupnik conceded that there was no evidence that the shooting was 
a result of anything in particular that Loughner might have read or heard. 
Loughner attended Pima Community Collegeuntil school authorities suspended him 
after receiving complaints of his inappropriate behavior in class. He described 
the college as "one of the biggest scams in America". Loughner chose to drop out 
in October 2010, rather than having the mental healthevaluation and clearance 
which would have been required for him to re-enroll. 
According to court records, Loughner had two previous offenses, one of which was 
for drug possession. U.S. Army officials said that Loughner had attempted to 
enlist, but his application had been rejected as "unqualified" for service in 
2008. They declined further disclosure due to confidentiality rules, although 
an administration official indicated to the media that this was due to a failed 
drug test.
Bryce Tierney, a friend of Loughner, received a voice message from Loughner 
eight hours before the shooting. Tierney stated that Loughner held a grudge 
against Giffords for failing to answer a question sufficiently, in his view. 
Loughner previously met Giffords at a "Congress on your Corner" event in a 
Tucson mall on August 25, 2007, where he asked the congresswoman, "How do you 
know words mean anything?" 
Pima County Registrar of Voters records show that Loughner registered as an 
independent on September 29, 2006, and voted in 2006 and 2008 but not in 2010. 
Police reports reveal he had purchased a Glock pistol at a Sportsman's 
Warehouse store less than six weeks before.
What are your thoughts? 



  1. It's too easy to get guns in Arizona. I lived in Tucson for 7 years and I owned a .45 Heckler & Koch USP, a chrome Browning .40, and a CAR AR-15 with a collapsible stock. That said, you still can get guns in every other state so... Maybe there should be a psychological profile done before you can buy a gun. It wouldn't catch all the crazies but it might help. The fucked up thing about Arizona is private party gun sales require no background check. You can sell your gun to a friend and it's totally legal. How do you think I got my H&K. Gun control is very tough to deal with due to the constitutional right to "bear arms." But what does "bear arms" mean. Does it mean I can own a nuclear missle because technically that is an "arm." So the constitution is very unclear and hard to decipher exactly what they meant by that. I don't have the solution, that's for sure.

  2. Yah but do you think just because this kid had a gun that was why he decided to kill someone? No, this guy was mentally ill and I believe he would have used whatever means necessary to accomplish his goal.

    Have you ever seen that episode of Family Guy where they are writing the Constitution and the right to "bear arms" actually means the right to own fuzzy animal bear arms? Funny stuff.

    Yes, I do think you should own your own nuclear missile just for bragging rights though and maybe because you'd start glowing from the radiation.