Terror Alert Level

Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Who Is He?

We still really don't know what motivated Jared Loughner to mass murder in Arizonia, but the SPLC thinks he may be influenced by the far right-wing anti-federal government movement, although there are no indications that he belongs to any organized group. Of course, with the intertubes, it wouldn't be hard for someone to pick up on an ideology without formally affliating with a movement.

One thing that seems clear is that Giffords, who was terribly wounded but survived, was the nearest and most obvious representative of “the government” that Loughner could find.

Meanwhile, the more "everyday" right-wing continues to freak out over the suggestion that their mainstreaming of eliminationist rhetoric (rhetoric that in many cases can be traced to individuals and groups on the fringe) could have had any influence at all on the actions of mentally disturbed individuals with access to firearms. As David Neiwert notes in The Eliminationists:

"such rhetoric has played a critical role in giving permission for it to proceed, by creating the cultural and psychological conditions that enable the subsequent violence."

Oh, and they weren't "gunsights." They were surveying symbols.

John Cole has more on right's aggressive efforts to deflect any possible criticism of them brought on by violence-tinged rantings:

I have learned this week that it is completely inappropriate for people to be upset about violent rhetoric and crosshairs over politicians after one of the targeted politicians is almost assassinated by a deranged lunatic. Normal people might think this is reasonable, even if the assassin wasn’t directly motivated by said rhetoric. It’s just the sane way to look at things, or so I thought. I’ve also learned, interestingly enough, that opponents of gun violence have a moral obligation to just shut the fuck up about gun violence whenever there is… horrible gun violence. Additionally, I’ve discovered that when you say “We need to tone things down a bit and tamp down the violent rhetoric,” you are actually launching a full frontal assault on Republicans. Who knew?

A mirror is being held aloft, and these folks do not like what they see reflected within it.

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