My sincerest condolences to Rep. Gabrielle Giffords’ family and friends. What a horrible tragedy. My thoughts are also with the others who were shot during this massacre.
UPDATE (11:49 a.m. PST): Five seconds ago, Breakingnews.com tweeted that she might still be alive:
UPDATE (12:29 p.m. PST):
UPDATE (1:10 p.m. PST): Having thought about all this for awhile, there are two comments I’d like to make. First, sadly, if Gifford was indeed shot point-blank in the head, being alive may not mean more than breathing — with assistance. I hope that being alive means much more, but I’ll reserve my cheers until we know what happened.
Second, speaking of knowing more, beyond knowing that the shooter was young and white, last I heard we know nothing about him. He could be (a) crazy; (b) Left wing; (c) Right wing; (d) religious; (e) irreligious; (f) a stalker without any familiar motive; and (g) none of the above. Speculation at this time is both foolish and dangerous.
UPDATE (1:11 p.m. PST): While Rep. Gifford clings to life, US District Court judge John M. Roll has died. My condolences to his family and friends. Also, the shooter has a name: Jared Laughner Loughner of Arizona, born September 1988.
UPDATE (1:15 p.m. PST): Judging by his YouTube channel, choice (a), above (i.e., crazy) may be the correct identifier for Laughner Loughner. In the 1950s, he would have been talking about Martians and mind control. In the 1700s, he would have been concerned about witches and the devil. This video is more evidence of his profound reality disconnect. Also, from his YouTube site, check out some of the books that informed his reality (emphasis mine):
I had favorite books: Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of OZ, Aesop Fables, The Odyssey, Alice Adventures Into Wonderland, Fahrenheit 451, Peter Pan, To Kill A Mockingbird, We The Living, Phantom Toll Booth, One Flew Over The Cuckoo’s Nest, Pulp,Through The Looking Glass, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha, The Old Man And The Sea, Gulliver’s Travels, Mein Kampf, The Republic, and Meno.
UPDATE (1:59 p.m. PST): And even as credible evidence emerges that the gunman was a loony toons (see above), MSNBC is out of the gate with an article that strongly suggests that the forces arrayed against ObamaCare are behind the shooting. What makes this article even sleazier than its lack of any factual foundation is the fact that, at the end, after having waffled on about threats to Dems — threats that went nowhere, although the writer doesn’t say so — the writer, in a disingenuous display of non-evenhandedness, mentions that Republicans complained about violence too, but adds that their complaints were invalid. This is sleazy, drive-by journalism writ large.
UPDATE (2:27 p.m. PST): My liberal friends on the “real me” facebook, people I know through school, work, and community, are already implying or saying explicitly that Loughlin’s crime is tied to “right wing” thinking. Who needs facts? Who needs reality? Who needs logic? They’re ideologues, and their doctrines will see them through anything.
UPDATE (3:08 p.m. PST): Tweets from someone who claims to have been a classmate of his, and who may or may not be a reliable source. These tweets, if true, show that Loughner’s mania was fed from the Left side of the political spectrum. (H/t Sadie)
UPDATE (9:28 p.m. PST): If my facebook is a guide, the Left is indicting Sarah Palin as the shooter’s inspiration. Some are explicit. Some are a little more discrete, and refer to the dangers of hate speech. Next time one of the liberals makes a comment about “hate speech” (with the obvious implication that the hate emanates from the Right), agree with the liberal, coyly adding that the killer seemed to be inspired by Obama’s statement that, “If they [his opponents] bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
UPDATE (9:38 p.m. PST): Yeah — what Michael Ledeen says about the massive amount of misinformation emanating from the media, much of it irrationally hostile towards conservatives.
UPDATE (9:41 p.m. PST): The British paper The Daily Mail has a surprisingly good hodge podge of info about Rep. Giffords and about the shooting generally. That paper is a rag, but it’s a quality rag, if you don’t mind the oxymoron.
If you’re interested, others blogging about this are: