Usually when a young 20-something man goes on a bloody shooting rampage, killing a whole bunch of innocent people, everyone is equally shocked and stunned and horrified, and nobody ever, in a million years, saw it coming.
Not so with Jared Loughner, the deranged 22-year-old lunatic who shot Arizona's popular Democratic Rep. Gabrielle Giffords point blank in the head, killed six others, including a little 9 year-old-girl, and injured 19 more in a tragic massacre outside a Tuscon Safeway during a 'Congress On Your Corner' meet 'n greet on Saturday.
Basically, everyone who met the dude was absolutely convinced it was only a matter of time before he went out and shot a bunch of people. The only question really was when.
This is what most people who knew this kid for the past few years are saying: he was a freaky loner who scared the bejesus out of anyone with a pulse. Which means everyone outside of Dick Cheney was pretty much convinced this guy was a ticking time bomb just waiting to explode, probably sooner than later, all over Arizona.
Now while the residents of Arizona may have been concerned about Jared Loughner, the state of Arizona was never really going to try to help him or anything because c'mon he wasn't a dirty Mexican or anything. And also personal responsibility! And fix your own damn mental health problems! This is
What Arizona was willing to do however, was help this more-likely-than-not mentally unstable young man purchase his semi automatic murder weapon of choice (a Glock 9mm), as well as the 30+ shot extended magazine clip for extra flesh 'n bone rippin' fun!
Until one of those very same bullets he purchased legally and with little effort actually pierced the flesh of an innocent person, or in this case, like 20 innocent people.
“I was getting concerned about the safety of the students and the school,” said algebra instructor Ben McGahee, who took to glancing out of the corner of his eye when he was writing on the board for fear that Mr. Loughner might do something. “I was afraid he was going to pull out a weapon.”Not surprisingly, the media has been falling over themselves trying to figure out what on God's green earth could have sparked Jared Lee Loughner to turn from your everyday run-of-the-mill weirdo into a paranoid schizophrenic/raging bloodthirsty madman obsessed with grammar and currency who shoots elected officials and nine-year-old girls with semiautomatic weapons in front of grocery stores.
A student in the class, Lynda Sorenson, 52, wrote an e-mail to a friend expressing her concerns.
“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,” Ms. Sorenson wrote in an e-mail in June that was forwarded Sunday to The New York Times.
“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.”
Mr. Loughner’s behavior grew so troubling that he was told he could no longer attend the school, and he appeared, given his various Internet postings, to find a sense of community in some of the more paranoid corners of the Internet.
At a meeting in early October at the college’s northwest campus, where he attended classes, Mr. Loughner said he would withdraw. Three days later, the college sent him a letter telling him that if he wanted to return, he would need to undergo a mental health evaluation. “After this event, there was no further college contact with Loughner,” the college said in a statement.
When Bryce Tierney first heard about the Tucson massacre, he had a sickening feeling: “They hadn’t released the name, but I said, ‘Holy shit, I think it’s Jared that did it.’” Tierney tells Mother Jones in an exclusive interview that Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a “fake.Of course, the problem with trying to understand the incomprehensible behavior of an obviously deranged man is that genuine craziness like Loughner's rejects easy classification and defies explanation. So accusing Sarah Palin and assorted other rifle-totin' Teabaggers of somehow inspiring or fostering this type of action is sort of like blaming birthday clowns for John Wayne Gacy or Alive: The Story of the Andes Survivors for Jeffrey Dahmer.
Since hearing of the rampage, Tierney has been trying to figure out why Loughner did what he allegedly did. "More chaos, maybe," he says. "I think the reason he did it was mainly to just promote chaos. He wanted the media to freak out about this whole thing. He wanted exactly what's happening. He wants all of that."
Tierney thinks that Loughner's mindset was like the Joker in the most recent Batman movie: "He fucks things up to fuck shit up, there's no rhyme or reason, he wants to watch the world burn. He probably wanted to take everyone out of their monotonous lives: 'Another Saturday, going to go get groceries'—to take people out of these norms that he thought society had trapped us in."
Sure, it doesn't help that public figures like Sarah Palin put up interactive maps with gun crosshairs targeting political rivals, like Gabrielle Giffords for instance, and constantly remind America "Don't Retreat, Reload." But even if we were to ban all the Sarah Palins and Glenn Becks in the world, crazy is still crazy. And in America, a person like Loughner may be too crazy for community college but certainly not too crazy to waltz into a store and waltz out with a semiautomatic weapon.
One of the talking points about the Tucson shooting is that the gun used is “just the same as the one police use”, and that’s true – the Glock 9mm pistol is a common police sidearm. But, police carry it with a 15 shot clip, not the 30+ shot extended magazine Loughner used. By the definition of the assault weapon ban, it’s an assault gun with that extended mag.And since Arizona essentially has no gun laws, there was nothing to stop a lunatic like Loughner from purchasing a gun, loading it, driving to the local Tuscon Safeway and opening fire on a crowd of unarmed men, woman, and children.
Perhaps, instead of asking the likes of Sarah Palin, Glenn Beck, the Tea Party and the entire Fox News team to refrain from open hatred and violent inflammatory rhetoric, we would be much better served considering enacting barriers to the purchase of semi-automatic weapons by obviously insane people.
Because if there's one thing America has collectively agreed upon at this point, it is that restricting our freedom to say meany things to one another is a helluva lot easier and more desirable than restricting our favoritest freedom to acquire powerful firearms to use on one another.
Apparently, many in our great nation, and in Arizona particularly, believe that registering firearms, requiring competency evaluations, or mandating that all gun sales be accompanied by a note from a mental health professional certifying mental stability is waaaaaay too much of a burden than say, the occasional senseless slaughter of innocent people and nine-year-old girls.
Good thing Arizona Governor Jan Brewer understands that the good people of America would much prefer to have the occasional mass killing than reasonable restrictions on the rights of crazy people to buy guns.
What Gov. Brewer is upset about, however isn't the selling of a semi-automatic assault weapon to a crazy person or even her state's terrible negligence when it comes to caring for the mentally ill, since they are pathetic losers who nobody likes anyway.
No, no what really grinds ol' Jan Brewer's gears is the fact that Loughner is not a Mexican, because everyone knows Mexicans are terrible criminals responsible for every unspeakable act of violence, everywhere.
Had Loughner been Mexican or even so much as looked even slightly Mexicanish, this whole tragedy would never have happened.
Dude would have been (legally!) harassed and detained so many times, he probably wouldn't even have made it to the damn Safeway.
Most Mexicans can't. Why else would they call it Safeway?