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Posts Tagged ‘Jared Loughner

This recent Times article provides eerie details of the life of Jared Loughner. It also supports what I believed about his mental health and implies his actions were not a result of the current abrasive political rhetoric. For all we know it may have fueled his fire, but at this point in time it truly seems he cannot distinguish reality from fiction. His rampage was a result of many variables and, in his mind, it was a solution to many of his problems. An interesting read if you have the time. I recommend it to everyone that is placing the blame on politicians like Palin. I do feel the political rhetoric is an issue that needs to be addressed, but I think that is an entirely separate situation from the Loughner case.

The New York Times: Looking Behind the Mug-Shot Grin

Once upon a time I could tell someone I am from Tucson and get a response of, “Where?” This all changed as of Saturday, January 8, 2011 when Tucson became the center of attention for all the wrong reasons.

I was born and raised in Tucson. My relationship with this city has been one of love & hate, but recently I have grown to appreciate it more. I love the vast community of artists, the strong presence of the city’s Mexican & Native roots and the small town feel of the growing city. The 100+ degree temperatures of summer make me cranky, but I certainly appreciate being able to wear flip flops in the winter.

My safety had never been an issue either. Being a petite female I do get paranoid going certain places alone, but deep down I know that I will be okay. This is why I was so shocked when I heard the news Saturday morning.

I had just returned from a wonderful breakfast outing with two of my dearest friends. Two more friends had stopped by to visit and one received a text- “Gabby Giffords shot point blank.” Stunned by the news, we all sat in silence momentarily. Once the harsh reality set in we attempted to learn more. We were shocked to learn 20 people were shot, six fatally and, even eerier, it happened at a Safeway- in the foothills (aka the “nicest” part of town), during an event called “Congress on Your Corner.” It was hard to fathom what kind of person could do such a thing.

Within the first few hours we knew the shooter was a 22 year old named Jared Loughner that went to Pima Community College, but that was it. Then the media had a frenzy. The blame game began. The media blamed the Arizona gun laws (or lack thereof), the sharp political rhetoric being thrown around, books like 1984, drugs, obscene music, a poor health care system, lucid dreams, and the list goes on. I am sure these factors could have influenced him, but can we really pinpoint an act like this on one thing? I understand the desire to find the motives behind Loughner’s twisted plan, but I was shocked the media did not state the obvious until recently- maybe this guy is just mentally unstable. He is just INSANE. How many people in their right mind would go on a shooting spree in a public place? I mean, come on now. We can play the blame game all we want, but will we ever know the inner workings of this lunatics mind? I doubt we will and I don’t even want to know to be honest.

Only within the past few days has the media shifted the focus to Loughner’s distorted reality and past incidents which demonstrated this. Society has access to his blogs and youtube videos to learn more about the reality of a mad man. I personally refuse to watch or read any of that. I feel that Loughner will only bask in this new-found “fame” more. In fact, I am pretty sure he already feels he has succeeded.

Even so, we continue to have these pointless heated debates about the political rhetoric and now people are even tearing apart Obama’s speech from last night. Apparently, these people missed the part about Obama emphasizing unity in the face of tragedy and a lowering of partisan voices. This statement perfectly captured my feelings about this situation.Everyone needs to back-up and recognize the tragedy at hand. There is no room for the blame game and, from what I have gathered, Loughner wanted to create more chaos in the world, so pointing fingers only makes him more powerful. Doesn’t it make more sense to take the high road and honor those that lost their lives while working together to prevent something like this from happening again? Tucsonans have definitely united in the face of this tragedy and I wish the rest of society (media included) could.

I would also like to point out that the University of Arizona never explicitly referred to last night’s event as a memorial and the event was titled “Together We Thrive, Tucson & America.” The mood in this city has been particularly somber and I think the “pep rally” feel was a response to Obama’s encouraging words. Tucson is such a small community and so many people were effected  by the shooting directly or indirectly. The crowd needed to hear words of optimism in this dark time. I watched his speech broadcast at the UA football stadium and there were times I felt were inappropriate for applause, but, in retrospect, I think that was the means of honoring those lost. It was obvious the crowd was very emotional (as was I a few times) and, speaking from experience, sometimes you don’t quite now how to react when your emotions have gone awry.

All I am saying is Tucsonans needed those words of hope to help us move forward. Sure, I think some of the audience may have forgotten the real issue at hand and reacted too “pep rally,” but I think what needed to be said was said (by Obama). Loughner did what he did and we will never know exactly why. In fact, his reality is so warped he may not even be able to rationally explain why. We can play this game and chase our tails to put this puzzle together, but it would be much more effective to focus collectively on coping with this tragedy. We can’t change what happened last Saturday, but we can sure as hell work towards a better future.


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