Posted by: reformedmusings | January 13, 2011

The Correct Conclusion to Draw From the Tuscon Shooting

Only a few commentators got it right. Evidence now shows that the shooter, Jared Loughner, wasn’t a Limbaugh or Palin or any talk radio listener or follower. He was a liberal radical pothead. He loved Mein Kampf, the Communist Manifesto, Brave New World, and Nietzsche. Marx and Nietzsche hardly make up the mainstream reading of the Tea Party or the political right. BTW, did anyone catch that a legally armed citizen helped to subdue the murderer?

The sad fact is that Loughner suffers from serious mental illness that no one confronted directly. Psychiatrist Dr. Keith Ablow hit the nail on the head:

The story of alleged gunman Jared Loughner’s murderous rampage, which took the lives of six innocent victims and critically wounded Arizona Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, will ultimately prove to be a story about how severe mental illness—including that linked to violence—routinely goes untreated.

Now, the vast majority of the mentally ill aren’t dangerous. But the relatively few that do pose a hazard to society must be identified and treated. Dr. Ablow concludes:

While polarized political parties may not be the best way to govern, I believe they will turn out to have absolutely nothing to do with Loughner turning into a killer. His murderousness will have nothing to do with the availability of firearms. His violence will be understood as a result of a severe, untreated or undertreated mental illness — the kind that afflicts millions of young people in this country.

I’ve been attuned to this issue for many years. Michael Lacy goes into the history a bit more in his piece:

The civil society advocates cloud the fundamental issue of Giffords’ shooting: mental health.

The crazy who roam our streets without notice or treatment, not loudmouths, are the menace.

How did this happen? Lacy correctly remembers:

In 1971, a University of Arizona graduate, Geraldo Rivera, exposed the scandalous conditions in Willowbrook, a mental institution in New York.

Rather than triggering reform, Rivera’s report began the abandonment of the mentally ill, who were dumped upon the streets of America, where they remain.

In Arizona, as in much of this nation, the single largest source of mental health treatment, such as it is, occurs in jail.

Liberal “compassion” kills again. Remember Seung-Hui Cho who murdered 32 at Virginia Tech? Same story line. People saw he needed help, but no one “insisted”.

I have personal experience with this issue. I serve as a volunteer guardian for the Commonwealth of Virginia, and mainly deal with mental health issues. The mental health workers here, in my experience, provide compassionate and helpful care to those who need it and are directed to them. But, if no one raises an alarm to get someone help, it’s almost inevitable that the first referral will be by way of the local police department.

So amidst the left’s empty rhetoric vilifying political figures on the right and the worthless calls for gun control, the real issue is being buried. If Obama wanted to truly help the country, he would have called for greater attention to mental health issues and propose undoing the disastrous mistakes of the liberals who turned the mentally ill loose to homelessness and crime in the 1970’s. But then, it’s much easier to blame your political opponents and move on as if nothing had been learned. That’s the difference between a statesman the tackles real issues head-on and a politician just after power and your money.



  1. It’s interesting that Nietzsche and the nihilistic world view of contemporary youth culture is also ignored by press coverage. I agree the real issue is that of mental illness. Learned a few things from reading your perspective on news coverage of recent events in Tucson.

  2. Thank you for your kind comment and taking time to write.

    I am sorry for your loss. God has a wonderful way of using your fond memories to continue to bless you as you keep Sam ever close in your heart.

  3. […] written in this post, this post, and this one about the real problem with the recent mass murders – America’s failed […]

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