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Posted at 1:13 PM ET, 01/11/2011

Mental illness expert: We should be asking whether political climate helped trigger shooting

By Greg Sargent

A leading expert in mental illness tells me that asking whether the Arizona shooter's violent behavior might have been partly triggered by the nation's political climate is a wholly appropriate line of inquiry -- even if the shooter is found to be insane.

"It's a reasonable question to ask," Dr. Marvin Swartz, a psychiatry professor at Duke University who specializes in how environment impacts the behavior of the mentally ill, said in an interview this morning. "The nature of someone's delusions is affected by culture. It's a reasonable line of inquiry to ask, `How does a political culture affect the content of people's delusions?'"

Dr. Swartz's assessment goes directly to the heart of the raging debate over the shooting between right and left. Conservatives have pointed out that Jared Loughner is deeply disturbed, and that there's no connection between his violent behavior and the current political climate -- whether it be violent imagery, eliminationist rhetoric, references to armed revolution or secession, or hints that the political opposition is illegitimate.

While some on the left have wrongly blamed specific voices on the right for the shooting, many liberals have simply argued that even if the shooter is a madman, the tragedy is a good jumping off point for a discussion of whether our toxic climate risks playing a role in tipping the unhinged towards political violence.

Dr. Swartz is the co-author of a 2006 study, reported on yesterday by Time magazine, finding that environmental factors can play a role in increasing violence in schizophrenics. I thought it would be worth asking him for his thoughts on the current debate over the shooting.

Dr. Swartz cautioned that there's still much we don't know about Loughner or more generally about the impact of the political climate on the mentally ill. But he asserted that asking how our politics might have impacted Loughner's behavior was an entirely natural line of questioning.

"We know the manifestation of mental illness is affected by cultural factors," Dr. Swartz said. "One's cultural context does effect people's thinking and particularly their delusions. It gives some content and shape to their delusions. While we don know whether there was a specific relationship between the political climate that he was exposed to and his thinking, it's a reasonable line of inquiry to explore."

Asked whether Loughner's mental illness invalidated questions as to whether his behavior might have been partly caused by the political climate or by violent rhetoric and imagery, Dr. Swartz said it shouldn't.

"Studying the cultural influences on people's delusions or persecutory thinking, and looking at different aspects of culture and how they effect people's behavior, is a legitmate area of inquiry," Dr. Swartz said.

In other words, even if the shooter is a complete nut, we should be asking whether the tone of our political discourse might also have played a role in triggering the shooting -- and if so, whether such a thing could happen again.

By Greg Sargent  | January 11, 2011; 1:13 PM ET
Categories:  House Dems  
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Comments

Great post Greg, thank you. I'm right there with you. Just was reading this @slate:

The Tea Party and the Tucson Tragedy

http://www.slate.com/id/2280711/

On mental health, the author, Jacob Weisberg, brings up a great point:

"""if you really want trouble, you should also make it hard for them to get treatment for mental illness. I don't know if Loughner had health insurance, but he falls into a pool of people who often go uninsured—not young enough to be covered by parents (until the health-care bill's coverage of twentysomethings kicked in a few months ago), not old enough for Medicare, not poor enough for Medicaid. If such a person happens to have a history of mental illness, he will be effectively uninsurable. To get treatment, he actually has to commit a crime. If Republicans succeed in repealing the Obama health care bill, that's how it will remain."""

Rile up the base with talk of tyranny.

Make guns easily available.

Fail to treat mental illness.

When society lets these things happen, what does anyone honestly expect as a result???

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 1:19 PM | Report abuse

This is obvious. I just can't *believe* people get paid to say stuff like this. Other branches of medicine actually have to do things. Shrinks get paid to speculate. What a scam.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

"While some on the left have wrongly blamed specific voices on the right for the shooting."

That *is* the problem some of us are having.

And sure, it's perfectly okay to ask how our politics might have impacted Loughner's behavior. But it sure seemed like yesterday that was the ONLY topic. Couple that with those on the left wrongly blaming specific persons on the right, and we had an environment - at least yesterday - that was not helpful in the least.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 1:20 PM | Report abuse

Nate Silver went at this at another angle to better understand how to possibly forecast such a tragedy.

"It might also be possible, with careful study, to see whether there is a correlation between the frequency of different types of political rhetoric and the number of such threats. Searches of Lexis-Nexis, for instance, could determine whether violent political metaphors have in fact become more common, and if so, whether their timing coincides with with them."

http://fivethirtyeight.blogs.nytimes.com/2011/01/10/to-understand-assassination-threat-look-beyond-tucson/

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 1:24 PM | Report abuse

Sure is a one sided statement sbj3. Are you saying the right wasn't spamming this web site yesterday blaming everyone from President Obama to Greg?

I think the lame duck session was blamed also.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 1:32 PM | Report abuse


" arguing that Clinton politicized the bombing for his own gain. "


Clinton did EXACTLY THAT.


It was outrageous that day - and it is outrageous today.


Clinton lost a great deal of support that day - AND it just may have resolved people to his IMPEACHMENT.


.


________________________

Yes, we should be talking about the political climate - WHICH HAS BEEN DRAGGED DOWN BY OBAMA AND THE LIBERALS.

The liberals are still angry about the Florida recount - 10 years ago.

AND they are still seeking REVENGE for the vote to go to war in Iraq - a vote which COULD HAVE BEEN BLOCKED IF ALL THE DEMOCRATIC SENATORS VOTED AGAINST IT.

Because of this, the country has been subjected to 8 years of Bush Lied


AND the democrats seem to care little about the MULTIPLE LIES AND DECEPTIONS OF OBAMA.


The liberals seem to be COMPLETELY UNAWARE that the nation is completely sick of them, sick of their agenda and sick of their hypocrisy.


No one wants to listen to Obama or the liberals

Ever


Again


Perhaps for a generation now.


AND the liberals STILL DON'T GET IT.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 1:33 PM | Report abuse

Jesus Rain, do you always have to go full retard on us or what?

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=svwGRJA28lY

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 1:35 PM | Report abuse

From the Time article: "Loughner... could have been influenced in the choice of his targets by... politically violent messages combined with paranoid ideation."

That's possible. But it begs the question: so what are we to do about free speech that might "influence" the behavior of violent psychotics? It seems obvious to me that we can do nothing to curtail free speech that falls short of inciting violence (which is already illegal).

Read more: http://swampland.blogs.time.com/2011/01/10/environmental-influence-on-violent-psychotics/#ixzz1AklUj8n6

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

"'It's a reasonable question to ask,' Dr. Marvin Swartz, a psychiatry professor at Duke University who specializes in how environment impacts the behavior of the mentally ill"

In other news: "As it turns out," the hammer told us, "everything actually is a nail."

But yes, everything in a free society should be up for candid discussion. Here's another question: let's say it turns out violent rhetoric has no impact on behavior. Is it therefor totally awesome, and we should just keeping doing it?

Or what if the violent rhetoric of one side causes all the problem. Should only rhetoric from those people be prohibited?

Is asserting people are socialists or fascists--does that qualify as a form of incitement? What if we call political leaders liars or murderers? What if we suggest that a duly elected president is invalid because he wasn't born here? Or didn't win the popular vote and was selected by the supreme court? Or what if we accuse a sitting president of sending our young men and women to die, based on a lie?

What about suggesting a president has betrayed the country by cutting special deals with Wall Street fat cats? Or what about saying an entire political party wants people to die in the street because they disagree with the other parties healthcare policy?

Lots of things to think about. But when we talk about heated rhetoric, it's not simple.

The Bachman example. "What if I say we should be armed and dangerous when it comes to healthcare." Am I inciting violence? Then, what if I said directly before that, "Certain people may not want you to hear the information we've got, because having the truth about certain healthcare issues makes you "dangerous" to their special backroom deals. So . . . " am I still inciting violence. What if I said directly after that, "Armed . . . with a love of country, a sense of duty, and a reverence for life!" I mean, what I just said would have been incoherent, but how far do we stretch (or how tight do we limit) context in order to assess the incitement to violence in regards to speech?

I suspect this is such an impossible and polarizing undertaking that very little will be done, and what is done will evolve naturally, rather than involve legal remedies or people all getting together and swearing an oath to do what's right.

Dunno. Just thinking. I'll apologize ahead of time if anything I just mused on makes me stupid or an idiot.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 1:40 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "Sure is a one sided statement sbj3. Are you saying the right wasn't spamming this web site yesterday blaming everyone from President Obama to Greg?"

Any fair analysis of the content of yesterday's news/opinion would show that the most-covered aspect was the "violent rhetoric" issue.

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

"It seems obvious to me that we can do nothing to curtail free speech that falls short of inciting violence (which is already illegal)."

So, if the FBI determines there was a direct link between the heated political rhetoric and inciting this maniacs violent rampage, should the rhetoric be included into current law?

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 1:43 PM | Report abuse

@KW:

"Lots of things to think about."

Not really. BE RESPONSIBLE. That's pretty much all you need to know/do.

"But when we talk about heated rhetoric, it's not simple."

Yes. It is simple. BE RESPONSIBLE.

I don't understand your efforts to complicate these matters, Kevin, at all. You are twisting yourself into knots trying to describe the semantics of "heated rhetoric," when, in reality, the answer is just to use basic common sense and have respect for your fellow American.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 1:45 PM | Report abuse

Kevin just because something is perfectly obvious, that doesn't mean you shouldn't get paid to say it.

This shocking conclusion is so counterintuitive, I think it will need prospective, multi-trial replication using a double blind crossover method, the works, "environmental factors can play a role in increasing violence in schizophrenics."

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 1:47 PM | Report abuse

Next we might learn environmental factors can play a role in increasing violence in normal people, or alcoholics, or people with PTSD. From there we might find, environmental factors can play a role in increasing violence, but I will wait for conclusive research evidence before I speculate wildly.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 1:50 PM | Report abuse

I'd take this a little further than how it impacts (or doesn't) the mentally ill and just say that while all the name-calling, not-quite-violent threats, etc. are legal speech, they are just lame and surely don't put us in a great light, eh?

Maybe the great middle will look at the unhinged rantings of either extreme and pity them.

I suspect that part of the ambivalence at best and downright disgust at worst with politicians generally might have to do with this kind of rhetoric. Just sayin'...

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 11, 2011 1:51 PM | Report abuse

To the extent that this nutter was influenced by 9/11 truthers and people ranting about the rich taking over the world, I suppose it's okay to mention the political environment; but all I've heard is nonsense about Rush Limbaugh, Glen Beck, Sarah Palin and tactics routinely used in political campaigns by both left and right. As QB has pointed out, the left has either been flat-out lying or using the tragedy in a despicable attempt to score political points with their sicko base.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "So, if the FBI determines there was a direct link between the heated political rhetoric and inciting this maniacs violent rampage, should the rhetoric be included into current law?"

Well, I'm certainly no lawyer or expert on free speech but I made this point yesterday: If what I say is twisted by some psycho into justification for a violent act, it does not make my speech irresponsible (let alone illegal).

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

"Any fair analysis of the content of yesterday's news/opinion would show that the most-covered aspect was the "violent rhetoric" issue."

Well sbj3, when a Congressperson is shot and there was a ad with the scope target of a rifle on that same Congressperson, it's really not too difficult to come to that assumption thus leading to that sort of discussion.

Was it jumping the gun?

Yes.

Was it an illogical course of discussion?

I don't honestly think so.

Look, if a Dem makes an ad that makes national news with Palin's face in the cross hairs of the scope of a rifle and a month and a half later, she's been shot in the head, I bet the discussion would lead there. Fairly or unfairly it would.

That's all I'm saying.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

Keep praying, keep sending your love, folks:

http://tpmdc.talkingpointsmemo.com/2011/01/giffords-doctors-shes-breathing-on-her-own.php

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,
HA!

I love the comedy that comes from your post. As I said yesterday, your sarcasm is AWESOME!

I HEART your use of CAPS!

You NAILED IT when you mentioned the RECOUNT!!!!!

KEEP IT COMING!!!!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 1:53 PM | Report abuse

mikeinarlington:
"Look, if a Dem makes an ad that makes national news with Palin's face in the cross hairs of the scope of a rifle and a month and a half later, she's been shot in the head, I bet the discussion would lead there. Fairly or unfairly it would."
------

Did the Palin map actually have this woman's face in the cross hairs? Or was it just a map of congressional districts in play which included Gifford's district and name among others? I'd say this is a fairly important distinction.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 1:58 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,

Another FUNNY THING that you point out is that they "NEVER WANT" to listen to HIM AGAIN eventhough his numbers have been GOING UP since the MIDTERMS.

I LOVE YOUR IRONY!!!!!

and such...

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

What I want to know is, what is with the food metaphors for lunatics (the moon, I think I get), like crackers, nuts and bananas? Can I get my research published in Time if I speculate on the possible legitimacy of my asking this question?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 1:59 PM | Report abuse

OK Brigade, take Palin's face off of it.

If there was a target implying Sarah Palin was the target and she almost got killed a month and a half later, it wouldn't be some crazy leap of logic to see the discussion steer in that direction, fairly or unfairly.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:01 PM | Report abuse

somethingelse2 at 1:59 PM


It is fair to say that you are contributing to the negative political climate.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 2:06 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,

YES!!!!!

hahahahhaha

LOVE IT!!!!!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,

YES!!!!!

hahahahhaha

LOVE IT!!!!!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 2:08 PM | Report abuse

Greg work, Greg. On Saturday your team declared the unknown shooter a tea partier and Palin follower. Then it became general right wing rhetoric. If you keep lowering the bar and diluting the hypothesis you might get to a statement vague enough to be plausible. But then you will still have proved nothing.

How would we test whatever meaningless hypothesis you are scraping for? How would we know which elements of true envirnoment somehow contributed? How would you still pin it on your enemies? Did you ask the professor those questions?

Somehow I doubt they were on your agenda.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 2:12 PM | Report abuse

Leftists are now openly calling for Palin's assassination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI&feature=player_embedded#!

Death threats: how progressive!

Can Leftists imagine a Gifford effigy hung from a noose?
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/27/can-you-imagine-if-an-obama-effigy-were-hung-from-a-noose/

Own the Leftist violent rhetoric and vitriol.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

OK Brigade, take Palin's face off of it.

If there was a target implying Sarah Palin was the target and she almost got killed a month and a half later, it wouldn't be some crazy leap of logic to see the discussion steer in that direction, fairly or unfairly.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:01 PM
-----

So do you agree with cao that Palin should have been arrested?

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 2:14 PM | Report abuse

Leftists are now openly calling for Palin's assassination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI&feature=player_embedded#!

Death threats: how progressive!

Can Leftists imagine a Gifford effigy hung from a noose?
http://michellemalkin.com/2008/10/27/can-you-imagine-if-an-obama-effigy-were-hung-from-a-noose/

Own the Leftist violent rhetoric and vitriol.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:15 PM | Report abuse

"How would we test whatever meaningless hypothesis you are scraping for?" Hey you Somali pirate, get out of my wheelhouse. You are calling into questioning the whole concept of an expert in mental illness. Are you sure you weren't a public defender in a previous life?

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

@shrink....glad you're here there is a question I've been dying to ask you...hopefully just metaphorically dying lol
Is it just me or are all of us double checking everyone of our metaphors. LMAO

Shrink here's the question. I'm tired of the debate posed as left versus right we're just getting a bunch of conflicting opinions even from you professionals....

But correct me if I'm wrong Shrink because I'm strictly anecdotal here and have no statistics or research..hence the question for you..

Why is it that is seems these horrific multiple murders are always committed by predominantly Caucasian males..I realize the Va Tech Shooter was Asian and the Ft Hood of Middle Eastern descent..but where are the brothers? Where are the women.

BTW for the sake of revealing any conflict of interest here...I happen to be a white male.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 2:16 PM | Report abuse

"Somehow I doubt they were on your agenda."

What's YOUR agenda?

We don't know since you won't address the topic of this post.

Why is it legal for a mentally ill person to buy a 33-round extended clip?

Let's hear you defend the sale of these clips to the mentally ill.

Go ahead QB, Brigade, KaddafiDelendaEst. go ahead and defend the mentally ill's "right" to buy weapons of mass murder. Let's see you try. Go ahead.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 2:19 PM | Report abuse

Eleanor Roosevelt shoots pistol at Chazy Lake, New York (1934).

http://history1900s.about.com/library/photos/blyfdr122.htm

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 2:21 PM | Report abuse

Nope. But, being arrested is hardly violent either.

It might be a bit premature since evidence hasn't really been released to the public. We'll hopefully have a clearer picture soon.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

Nice post, Greg. Thanks. Last time for this (I promise):

The Tucson Shooting's Most Important Questions
by: David Sirota

Tue Jan 11, 2011 at 09:00

Since the shooting in Tucson on Saturday, lots of important questions have been raised - questions that go to issues than transcend even the monumentally horrific shooting itself. In the interest of summation, here are the best questions I've seen on Twitter, Facebook, in the blogosphere, on radio and elsewhere.
- If after a calculated political assassination attempt we cannot talk about the downsides of a right-wing media that effectively endorses political violence, when can we talk about this subject? Or should we never talk about this problem?

- Aren't calculated political assassination attempts by definition "political?" If so, then how can anyone argue that anyone is trying to "politicize" the Tucson shooting?

- If Osama bin Laden prominently posted a graphic on the Internet with a target on a particular congresswoman, and then a Muslim shot that congresswoman, would the GOP and the conservative media call it terrorism and in part blame bin Laden? If the answer is yes, why isn't the same standard applied to Sarah Palin?

- Knowing that Rep. Giffords publicly worried about the "conseqeuences" of Palin's violent rhetoric, don't we owe it to her to now talk about those consequences in a sober and serious way?

- Since the shooting, has a single conservative movement leader denounced violence-glorifying political rhetoric?

- If cultural conservatives believe violent video games and comic books are dangerous because they can foment violence, why don't those same conservatives believe violent rhetoric broadcast on TV and radio won't do the same thing?

- Do conservatives really expect America to believe someone can't be both crazy/deranged and also motivated by a culture that says violence is an acceptable form of political expression?

- Even if there is no direct/literal connection between right-wing rhetoric that glorifies violence and the shooting in Tucson, wouldn't society be better off without such violence-glorifying rhetoric being so ubiquitous? What would be such a terrible tragedy if this horrific shooting resulted in less such rhetoric?

http://openleft.com/

Posted by: wbgonne | January 11, 2011 2:22 PM | Report abuse

The relative dearth of female mass murderers is a separate question related, pretty obviously to me anyway, to sex linked disparities in extroverted criminality in general. As for non-white mass murderers, there are many; the cases in China involving aging men and school children remain as inexplicable as they were horrifying. I have read one laughable attempt to explain the socio-political-economic causes of those crimes after another.

If you are asking, why don't black men spray bullets into crowds of strangers (because certainly they do commit mass murder), I have no idea.

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Kaddafi thinks that if they copy/paste a bunch of links it'll exonerate right wing hate rhetoric, or something.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:26 PM | Report abuse

Anybody curious as to which states have the most deaths because of firearm violence.

For example you're five times more likely to die from a gunshot in Az than if you live in Ha. I take no inference from that...simply stating a fact...and I'll let you all go nuts over the results of the statistics that show some definite connections to gun laws and if you pay attention you'll see two geographic areas stand out as the most dangerous vis a vis gunfire. I make no point out of the result of these stats, I draw no conclusions and so save the invective for me please if the stats upset your applecart. The ONLY point I'm make with this post is that statistically, some states are more dangerous than others when it comes to death by gunfire.

http://www.thedailybeast.com/galleries/2504/1/

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 2:28 PM | Report abuse

Kaddafi, maybe if you copy/paste faster it'll exonerate the hate some on the right foment even quicker!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:29 PM | Report abuse

"From reading through page after page of Jared Lee Loughner’s rantings, I see no evidence that he has changed from the left winger that he was in 2007. Indeed, less than six months ago, he was calling the Iraq and Afghan Wars “war crimes” under the Geneva Convention.

"My hope in exploring Loughner’s politics is to take the political argument off the table, not to turn it around. Unfortunately, I think that the likeliest way to get some people to back off their hateful and inflammatory rhetoric — blaming people who are not at fault — is if the people doing the finger pointing begin to realize that Loughner was more probably a mentally deranged left winger than a mentally deranged right winger. In either event, the derangement, not his political orientation, is the proximate and ultimate cause of his mass murders."

http://volokh.com/2011/01/10/jared-loughners-anti-war-views/

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 2:31 PM | Report abuse

I think Greg is reaching a bit, and also asking the good doctor to speculate beyond the scope of his 2006 study to include an amorphous "political climate" to his study conclusions. From the Calebresi Time article"

"For example, a recent study by psychiatrists at Duke, Yale, Chapel Hill and Columbia found environmental factors like family conflict, joblessness and victimization, combined with paranoid ideation, increased violence among schizophrenics."
_ _ _ _ _ _

It's actually quite a far leap to conclude some amorphous 'political climate' would have anywhere near the same impact on a schizophrenic as something as innately up close and personal as "family conflict, joblessness and victimization..." - which was the actual conclusion of the referenced study.

The good doctor's views that he gave Greg are very carefully nuanced and interesting conjectures, but his 2006 study was how schizophrenics are affected in a far more intimate, personal way by violence in their personal sphere.

While there may well be some connection, it is tangential...certainly nothing like what has been bantered about since the shooting...that incendiary rhetoric is the prime causation.

The guy was a mostly an apolitical mental case who fixated upon a shooting spree on a nationally known congresswoman (just a local teacher would not do) who'd help him achieve his psychotic wish to create chaos and make the media explode.

Posted by: marybel9999 | January 11, 2011 2:33 PM | Report abuse

Good news.

"Doctors Say Giffords Is Able to Breathe on Her Own"

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/01/12/us/12giffords.html?_r=1

Posted by: wbgonne | January 11, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

@shrink........"I have no idea."

One of my favorite answers in many situations. It comforts me to know that the person with whom I am communicating has more honesty than personal ego and can admit a simple truth. Don't see that much in society these days...if you were a pol shrink you'd be toast lol

BTW Don't see it much on this blog although there are several here who will admit not knowing something and maybe a couple who will actually admit a mistake!

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 2:35 PM | Report abuse

LOL.

sbj complains how the right was being unfairly blamed and now sbj is busy trying to pin this guys ideology as a lefty.

smooth!

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:36 PM | Report abuse

Anybody curious as to which states have the most deaths because of firearm violence.
--------------------------------------------------
If I guessed about the 20 most dangerous states re gun deaths, I'll bet I would have gotten at least 75% of them right but not necessarily in order.

The intermountain west and the South. No surprise at all. That is the image most of us have of these states and it turns out to have an element of truth. I am from one of those top 20 states, for which I have a great deal of affection, so this is not a rant against those states. Just truth. Actually I was surprised my state wasn't higher in the list.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Actually to me this incident seems like a more or less natural escalation of the planned disruptions of town hall meetings that summer when health care legislation was first being worked on. If you go around telling outrageous lies about death panels and other horrible things that are supposedly going to happen with the health care reform package, and send crazies to disrupt and shout down legislators when they are looking for input from constituents, and then the legislation passes, seems kind of understandable that one of the nuttier people you have inflamed over this issue could decide to go further with violence.

And just ask yourself - if a Muslim spokesperson of some kind (cleric, for ex) had been talking like Glenn Beck or Sarah Palin, and published a map with crosshairs on different politicians, and then one of them got shot, don't you think this would be handled differently? He would be in jail or worse right now. But inciting violence is OK if it's done by "real" Americans I guess.

Posted by: catherine3 | January 11, 2011 2:38 PM | Report abuse

Ignore cited Evidence. Attack messenger. Repeat.

mikefromArlington is a broken record.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:40 PM | Report abuse

Go ahead QB, Brigade, KaddafiDelendaEst. go ahead and defend the mentally ill's "right" to buy weapons of mass murder. Let's see you try. Go ahead.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 2:19 PM
-----

I'd like to help you, but I think I'll pass.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

quarterback1, a few threads ago: "Your retort implies that Bernie Goldberg shot up a church full of lefties before he wrote his book on the 100 people screwing up the country. I didn't know that about him."

No, honey. My retort points out the truth of the matter than no one has shot up a church full of conservatives, and said in a police statement, "I really wanted to kill all of the people mentioned on Keith Olbermann's 'Worst Persons in the World' segments."

When that happens (and if you believe Michelle Malkin, it happens every day!), you be sure and let me know about it. Until then, you really should be less coy.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 11, 2011 2:41 PM | Report abuse

The Right wing wants to excuse violet Right wing rhetoric because there appears to be no direct relation, let's say, in this case.

Why can't they denounce violent Right wing rhetoric because violence has no constructive place in our political discourse?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 11, 2011 2:43 PM | Report abuse

@mike: "sbj complains how the right was being unfairly blamed and now sbj is busy trying to pin this guys ideology as a lefty."

Wow! You really missed the point of that snip, didn't you?

Here - let's try this again:

"My hope in exploring Loughner’s politics is to take the political argument off the table, not to turn it around... The derangement, not his political orientation, is the proximate and ultimate cause of his mass murders."

Posted by: sbj3 | January 11, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Tucson, Arizona (CNN) -- The Arizona Legislature is expected to pass legislation Tuesday that will bar protesters at funerals from getting within 300 feet of services, a spokesman for the state House said.

The action, according to House spokesman Daniel Scarpinato, is in direct response to a controversial church's announcement that it will picket the funeral of Christina Green, the 9-year-old who was among six people killed during Saturday's attempted assassination of U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Arizona.
---------------------------------------------------------------
Finally!

The AZ legislature which I believe is R controlled, is doing the decent thing--push these scumbag protestors back. Good for the legislature.

I guess the First Amendment rights of these people can be exercised from 300 feet away.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 2:44 PM | Report abuse

Leftists are now openly calling for Palin's assassination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI&feature=player_embedded#!

Death threats: how progressive!

Can someone here please show me EVIDENCE that conservatives are doing ANYTHING this despicable?

Nope. You won't, because you can't. Instead, Ethan fantasizes about a "right" to buy weapons of mass murder.

Leftists have now officially joined the AZ shooter in losing their minds.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:45 PM | Report abuse

@Marybel "It's actually quite a far leap to conclude some amorphous 'political climate' WOULD HAVE ANYWHERE NEAR THE SAME IMPACT on a schizophrenic as something as innately up close and personal as "family conflict, joblessness and victimization..." - which was the actual conclusion of the referenced study."

The caps are mine Marybel. You seem to need to deal in absolutes but your very post reveals that you've shattered your own objective. Read your own line that I have capped....That's just it...nobody is saying HOW much of an impact...they are suggesting EXACTLY what you did in your post...that violent political rhetoric and calls for action...playing on people's fears that their country is literally being taken from them by the leftists might just be one of the ingredients in this tragedy or potential future tragedies.

Posted by: rukidding7 | January 11, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

"mikefromArlington is a broken record."

hahahahha

That's rich coming from the guy that has copy/pasted the same crap dozens of times during the last 48 hours.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 2:47 PM | Report abuse

Leftists are now openly calling for Palin's assassination.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QxgJKNpjSNI&feature=player_embedded#!

Death threats: how progressive!

Can someone here please show me EVIDENCE that conservatives are doing ANYTHING this despicable?

Nope. You won't, because you can't. Instead, Ethan fantasizes about a "right" to buy weapons of mass murder.

Leftists have now officially joined the AZ shooter in losing their minds.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:50 PM | Report abuse

Shared psychotic disorder is a DSM-IV diagnostic category which was created to help explain this phenomenon. Just for example, you might have a cult leader who believes he is immortal and can fly, and another who believes this delusion. But perhaps more to the point is that some people with delusional disorder get into relationships with antisocial personality disordered individuals who con or manipulate others into believing delusions. The etiology of delusions can be completely unrelated to the "outside world" or, more commonly, is related to the outside world in a tangential or circumstantial way.

Posted by: benintn | January 11, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

The Right wing wants to excuse violet Right wing rhetoric because there appears to be no direct relation, let's say, in this case.

Why can't they denounce violent Right wing rhetoric because violence has no constructive place in our political discourse?

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 11, 2011 2:43 PM
------

Probably because they don't regard Palin's political map as "violent Right wing rhetoric." There are plenty of places on earth where heated political rhetoric is discouraged---Vietnam, China and North Korea come to mind. Some have chosen to relocate.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

I posted this on the previous thread, but after the discussion switched to this one.

KaddafiDelendaEst, all right, here's a leftist who completely agrees with you on the disgusting comments made about the YouTube thing you posted. It made me sick. I despise Gov. Palin's policies, but I neither wish her to be shot or get an incurable disease. I hope instead that someday, she'll develop a far more thoughtful worldview.

Jared Loughner was neither a right-wing nut nor a left-wing nut. He was apolitical and is insane. He developed an obsession about someone who happened to be a politician-- much like there are insane people who stalk and sometimes harm or kill celebrities with whom they actually have never really had a personal relationship.

With that said, I think some of the rhetoric from the right HAS encouraged some who are at least borderline insane to think that it may actually be acceptable in the cause of what THEY see as "liberty" to use "a Second Amendment solution." And certainly, there are people on the left who feel the same way. I'm grateful that my friends and family protest policies we don't like by writing letters, signing petitions, going to rallies, PEACEFULLY requesting meetings with our elected representatives, and especially, VOTING every two years. I can honestly say that I have NEVER heard anyone I know express such ugly statements as the ones in that video.

Incidentally, my former Congressman-- a Blue Dog Democrat, who frequently voted for the positions held by the right wing, was hung in effigy at least once outside his district office by a Tea Party follower. Charming. And he wasn't the only member of Congress to face that, either. Nor do I blame every person from the right wing. http://voices.washingtonpost.com/annapolis/2009/07/effigy_picture_burning_up_blog.html

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | January 11, 2011 2:52 PM | Report abuse

Finally!

The AZ legislature which I believe is R controlled, is doing the decent thing--push these scumbag protestors back. Good for the legislature.

I guess the First Amendment rights of these people can be exercised from 300 feet away.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 2:44 PM
--------

Now what will the ACLU say about all this?

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 2:53 PM | Report abuse

Outstanding job, Greg. Really, this is very good.

I see so much back and forth with no progress. Bringing in an expert to comment helps increase the intelligence of all of your readers, including me. I greatly appreciate your efforts. A simple phone call makes a big difference. Thank you.

Posted by: matt_ahrens | January 11, 2011 2:54 PM | Report abuse

No, mikey... that's coming AT the thread that attacks Palin with the same tired, boring, refried nonsense every other post.

But don't let the reality (that the shooter is one of your ideological own) interfere with the fantasy that its all Palin's fault.

See also, psychological projection.

Take your meds.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 2:55 PM | Report abuse

mikefromArlington in reply to your comment at 2:47 PM

You are dragging down the political climate again.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, if it turns out that Loughner was a regular watcher of Olbermann and the Daily Show, all this search for political causes is going to come back and bite Sargent in the rear.

Posted by: tomtildrum | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

Now what will the ACLU say about all this?
------------------------------
Don't know. Don't care.

I'm on the side of lowering the heat. This Church whose website is godhatesfags.com, if you can believe that, has targeted this little girl's funeral because she is Catholic and Catholics are evil in their world.

What else can we add to the witches brew of violent rhetoric?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM | Report abuse

"How would we test whatever meaningless hypothesis you are scraping for?" Hey you Somali pirate, get out of my wheelhouse. You are calling into questioning the whole concept of an expert in mental illness. Are you sure you weren't a public defender in a previous life? "

: ) No, just naturally skeptical joe with a couple of decades of biglaw experience perfecting my scientific bs detector.

I have only the deepest and ustmost highest respect for your honorable profession (most of the time anyway). I just look at what Greg reported here and say, huh? We swerved from Palin did it to it isn't illegitimate to look at environmental factors that might affect a schizophrenic?

Concretely, I think of it as, yes, we had an indictment of Palin-Limbaugh. They did this! The Palin Map being the immediate cause!

But now the expert is ushered in to take the stand and give this mealy-mouthed drivel to us? How will he explain that it was Limbaugh or Palin? How will he exclude Sheriff Dipstick himself from having "contributed" to the "environment" that affected this guy (whose thoughts I imagine to be something like a chaotic tumble of ball bearings). After all, the good Sheriff not six months ago was railing about his state's and its officials' being racists and making AZ a center of bigotry. How do we know THAT wasn't the straw that broke the camel's back?

And if this proves nothing other than some vague bs that amounts to saying a psychotic person isn't entirely mentally disconnected from the world, then it's just a big so what. I'm quite certain, in any event, that it's an abject failure as a way to salvage the indictment.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 2:59 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,

YES!!!!!!


Keep HOLDING THEIR feet to the FIRE!!!!

LOL!!!!!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 3:00 PM | Report abuse

12BarBluesAgain in reply to your comment at 2:58 PM


You have been coming onto this blog almost on a daily basis and harassing Conservatives.


That has dragged down the political climate.


So don't try to act so innocent.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 3:01 PM | Report abuse

"Y'know, if it turns out that Loughner was a regular watcher of Olbermann and the Daily Show, all this search for political causes is going to come back and bite Sargent in the rear.

Posted by: tomtildrum"

And if the guy was a religious watcher of Glen Beck the silence of this assassination on Fox will be deafening.

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 3:02 PM | Report abuse

Y'know, if it turns out that Loughner was a regular watcher of Olbermann and the Daily Show, all this search for political causes is going to come back and bite Sargent in the rear.

Posted by: tomtildrum | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM
-------

If that turned out to be the case, you wouldn't hear another peep here about the whole incident.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 3:03 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising:

GREAT POINT!!!!

LOL!!!!

Keep bringing in the FUNNY!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 3:05 PM | Report abuse

I'm on the side of lowering the heat. This Church whose website is godhatesfags.com, if you can believe that, has targeted this little girl's funeral because she is Catholic and Catholics are evil in their world.

What else can we add to the witches brew of violent rhetoric?

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 2:58 PM
-------

Theirs isn't the only world in which Catholics are seen as evil or deranged. We could ask caothien9 to send the family an email telling them how ignorant and delusional they are to believe in God and provide some information about the Crusades. That would no doubt be a comfort.

Posted by: Brigade | January 11, 2011 3:07 PM | Report abuse

Everyone knows Obama is to blame.


The basic truth is the DEMOCRATS are not mature enough to handle a black President.

The FALSE CHARGES OF RACISM have been flying, unrestrained, for three years now.


Obama appeared to make little effort to adhere to his campaign promises - that did little to help the situation.


Obama thinks that he has a "pass" because he had 60 votes. However, the American Peopld don't see it that way. The American People believe Obama made the commitment to be bipartisan to THEM, not to the Republicans.

The conduct of the Republicans (which is disputed) has NO BEARING on Obama's commitment to be bipartisan and compromise - a commitment MADE TO THE AMERICAN PEOPLE.

Obama is to BLAME.


If Obama was a real man, he would RESIGN.


The best thing Obama can do for the nation right now is to RESIGN - and let the nation begin to heal.


The truth is that Obama's own conduct has damaged the political atmosphere in this country. There is little he can do to fix this - other than apologize and leave office.


MOST IMPORTANTLY - the country did NOT elect Obama to be a hostile, divisive force and that is EXACTLY what Obama has done in office.


Obama's conduct has PURPOSELY BEEN DIVISIVE.


And the conduct coming from the democrats - in defense of Obama - has been shameful and disgraceful.


The nation is SICK OF THE LIBERALS.


The nation does not want to listen to anything they have to say anymore.


The liberals have LIED time and time again - no one will believe their LIES at election time again - only to be caught a few months later when they ACT differently from what was promised during the election.


The Liberals have DONE THIS TO THEMSELVES.


Obama should resign and let the country start healing - and allow the Economy to start to recover.


.

Posted by: RainForestRising | January 11, 2011 3:12 PM | Report abuse

Weisberg on Slate:

"Again, none of this says that Tea Party caused the Tucson tragedy, only that its politics increased the odds of something like it happening. It was in criticizing writers on his own side for their naivete about communism that George Orwell wrote, "So much of left-wing thought is a kind of playing with fire by people who don't even know that fire is hot." Today it is the right that amuses itself with violent chat and proclaims an injured innocence when its flammable words blow up."

Perhaps Republican politicians will stop inciting violence when one of their own gets hit by a nut for voting for TARP or something. This is only warming up --there will be more before 2012. But pandora is out of the box now.

This is what it costs us:

"Gun statistics are nothing less than astonishing. More Americans were killed with guns in the 18-year period between 1979 and 1997 (651,697) than were killed in battle in all wars since 1775 (650,858)."

Posted by: fiona5 | January 11, 2011 3:14 PM | Report abuse

All, new post on who is to blame:

http://wapo.st/fW9b2W

Posted by: Greg Sargent | January 11, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

RainForestRising,

AWESOME!!!!!!!!!!!

LOL!!!!!!

You are BY FAR, the best, funniest, smartest person who post here!!!!

You should CONSIDER changing your name to Jon Stewart, YOU ARE THAT GOOD!

Posted by: somethingelse2 | January 11, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

"No, honey. My retort points out the truth of the matter than no one has shot up a church full of conservatives, and said in a police statement, "I really wanted to kill all of the people mentioned on Keith Olbermann's 'Worst Persons in the World' segments."

That's not what you said.

But as to your new assertion, (a) irrelevant to the point that if one is "hate speech" (or whatever) so is the other, (b) there are plenty of crimes committed by leftists who we could claim are inspired by the political left. The Florida school board shooter last month is a fine example. He left a class warfare diatribe quoting people like Warren Buffett and citing sources like Media Matters.

I'm sure KO is just as "guilty," but, no, I'm not going to run and fetch examples to play your irrational game of assigning blame for lunatic crimes to books they read or shows they watched.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

[dcgrasso1 lied: "my former Congressman-- a Blue Dog Democrat, who frequently voted for the positions held by the right wing, was hung in effigy at least once outside his district office by a Tea Party follower. Charming."]

LIAR. That effigy incident had NOTHING to do with the TEA party. It was a "moby" attack by a Leftist provocateur.
http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=moby

The AZ shooter is all yours. Own him.

Posted by: KaddafiDelendaEst | January 11, 2011 3:16 PM | Report abuse

Thanks for posting that link RUK (and welcome back to PL bud!!!)

Here are the Top 25 States with the highest rate of gun deaths per capita (in order, most to least)

Mississippi, Arizona, Alaska, Arkansas, Louisiana, New Mexico, Alabama, Nevada, Montana, Wyoming, Kentucky, West Virginia, Tennessee, Oklahoma, Idaho, Georgia, Missouri, South Carolina, North Carolina, Florida, Kansas, Indiana, Texas, Michigan

http://www.thedailybeast.com/blogs-and-stories/2011-01-11/20-deadliest-gun-states-from-mississippi-to-arizona/

New York State with all its urban violence? #45.

There definitely seems to be a correlation here between conservativism and gun deaths. It is most likely a tie between conservativism and gun control laws, and those states with conservative leadership tend to have lax gun laws, and states with lax gun laws have higher rates of gun deaths.

I'd be very interested in seeing a scientific study of this phenomenon. Seems pretty stark to me. Really amazing stuff. It makes you wonder if people in these states know these facts, or if they even care.

Posted by: Ethan2010 | January 11, 2011 3:18 PM | Report abuse

Does Brigade have a crush on cao or something? He can't seem to think about anything else.

Posted by: fiona5 | January 11, 2011 3:20 PM | Report abuse

"Does Brigade have a crush on cao or something? He can't seem to think about anything else."

He wants to play toilet stall footsie w/ him. :P

Posted by: mikefromArlington | January 11, 2011 3:21 PM | Report abuse

Ethan2010: "I don't understand your efforts to complicate these matters, Kevin, at all."

You certainly don't.

"the answer is just to use basic common sense and have respect for your fellow American."

Fair enough.

Posted by: Kevin_Willis | January 11, 2011 3:22 PM | Report abuse

"And if the guy was a religious watcher of Glen Beck the silence of this assassination on Fox will be deafening."

Sure, that's why they were first to put Sheriff Dipstik on to smear them on their own air.

We'll know the left is not acting in bad faith when they own up to their own equal "guilt" for hateful, vitriolic, "violent" speech. And that will happen . . . never.

Posted by: quarterback1 | January 11, 2011 3:25 PM | Report abuse

"That's not what you said."

It is what I said, but I keep forgetting you folx don't do nuance.

You were drawing a false equivalence argument, wrt Olbermann vs. Goldberg, and then bizarrely suggesting that *I* thought Goldberg did the actual shooting.

I don't blame you for not wanting to compare examples -- you know the score, and it doesn't look so good for those you wish to defend.
.

Posted by: jprestonian | January 11, 2011 3:26 PM | Report abuse

Uh, hate to tell you this, KaddafiDelendaEst, but the guy who hung Rep. Kratovil in effigy was absolutely NOT a left-wing "moby." Here's a link to his own description of this little activity: http://www.freerepublic.com/focus/chat/2305268/posts

Nope, I don't "own" the creepy Jared Loughner. Neither does the right wing.

Nor have I called YOU any names. Regardless, I am absolutely not a liar.

Posted by: dcgrasso1 | January 11, 2011 3:36 PM | Report abuse

Theirs isn't the only world in which Catholics are seen as evil or deranged. We could ask caothien9 to send the family an email telling them how ignorant and delusional they are to believe in God and provide some information about the Crusades.
-----------------------------------------
Give it up, brigade. Cao is a friend of mine. I am Catholic and prolife and he and I have talked about this many times. He does not hate Catholics or prolife either, otherwise he wouldn't be a friend of mine. He has his views but they are respectful of mine or I wouldn't put up with it.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 3:39 PM | Report abuse

Here are the Top 25 States with the highest rate of gun deaths per capita (in order, most to least)...It makes you wonder if people in these states know these facts, or if they even care.
-----------------------------------------
The people know. I have always known. I was born and grew up in #10. I was just surprised it wasn't higher in the list. Still, I am proud to be a Montanan. But, truth is truth.

Posted by: 12BarBluesAgain | January 11, 2011 3:43 PM | Report abuse

qb as you can imagine, I agree with your 2:59

Posted by: shrink2 | January 11, 2011 3:46 PM | Report abuse

wow has this discussion gone far, far afield.

Now we're talking about the horrors of gun ownership in America. Oh my.

But I have a question for the liberals here who decry the ready availability of fire arms in America. What would our country be like without them?

To me a perfect example of what happens to a population that cannot effectively defend itself is sitting right next door. The Mexicans are being slaughtered. The government is either complicit or unable to prevent it. And the citizens themselves are virtually unarmed by dint of government rules.

so the Mexican population is ravaged by bloodthirsty drug cartels and a dishonest government. And their means of self protection are at this point severely limited.

Yes, I know that liberals hate the thought of armed Americans because this threatens their dream of an expensive state funded by the brow sweat of hard working and compliant citizens. but absent our ability to protect ourselves we are liable to wind up like the Mexicans.

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 11, 2011 4:07 PM | Report abuse

I think the right is reading the sherrif wrongly.

It is liberalism that is driving his rhetoric, IMHO. It is nothing more than parochial self interest.

Let's look at it from his perspective. He has a huge, sprawling county to serve. It contains a large urban area with the same problems endemic to large urban areas. It also has some wild virtually untamed land. It is plagued by an influx of illegal drug and human smugglers. New ne'er do wells, attracted by the lack of snow, move to his district to adapt their hobo ways to the desert climate.

And the politicians never give him enough money to get the job done right.

The last thing this poor fellow needs is an argument between Americans. He doesn't have the man power necessary to deal with a confrontation between rival poltical factions within his jurisdiction.

so he's telling us to shut up because that way the rhetorical temperature will decline and his life will be easier. Of course if we lose our freedom in the process it won't matter all that much to him, he's got his gummint pension and he'll be fine. Apres him let whatever deluge deluge the poor guy who gets elected in his place.

so the Sherrif wants to limit dissent because it will mean fewer demands on his already strained budget

Posted by: skipsailing28 | January 11, 2011 4:14 PM | Report abuse

@Brigade-

I wasn't referring to Palin, necessarily.

Posted by: ChuckinDenton | January 11, 2011 4:21 PM | Report abuse

I think the stuck-on-stupid liberals who've been Obsessing over Every word Palin's said for the past 3 years... need Their heads examined.
Give it up. Get a life. Move on liberals.

Posted by: ohioan | January 11, 2011 5:09 PM | Report abuse

somethingelse:

That's good stuff. I hope it works.

Posted by: wbgonne | January 11, 2011 5:58 PM | Report abuse

This has got to be the stupidest thing I've heard in a long time. A question that apparently eludes professionals is going to be settled by the general public and pundits. REALLY? What next, are we going to have a "debate" on the causes of Alzheimer's?
If this is the state of affairs in the field of psychiatry, there's something seriously wrong.

Posted by: TobyTucker1 | January 12, 2011 1:08 AM | Report abuse

Clearly the right's violent rhetoric will continue (and probably increase) now that they have evidence that it produces the results they desire: the elimination of their political enemies.

Also, posted by skipsailing28 on January 11, 2011 at 4:07 PM:
"Yes, I know that liberals hate the thought of armed Americans because this threatens their dream of an expensive state funded by the brow sweat of hard working and compliant citizens. but absent our ability to protect ourselves we are liable to wind up like the Mexicans."

That's an interesting paranoid (nearly schizophrenic) interpretation of why many people support gun control. It couldn't have anything to do with facts like you are 26.5 times as likely be a victim of gun-homicide in the US (with lax gun-control) than in the UK (where gun-control is rather tight and the population is ravaged neither by bloodthirsty drug cartels nor a dishonest government a la Mexico).

"Homicide rates tend to be related to firearm ownership levels. Everything else being equal, a reduction in the percentage of households owning firearms should occasion a drop in the homicide rate".

"The level of gun ownership world-wide is directly related to murder and suicide rates and specifically to the level of death by gunfire."

These quotes are very simple to understand, and should be taken at face-value rather than assumed to be a part of some (non-existent) leftist conspiracy to take our guns away and make slaves of all of us.

We find ourselves citizens of a nation that has a military capacity far beyond the founders' wildest dreams, where the everyday weapons of choice kill enemies without the killer ever personally seeing the enemy (smart bombs, guided missiles, aerial gun-ships and drones) nor the killed ever seeing it coming.

In this, the present-day reality, the second ammendment provision for the right to bear arms to stand up to tyranny is only a fairy tale, and most rational men would not attempt, with guns or not, to overthrow a government backed with the means of such incredible force at it's disposal.

In other words, the right to bear arms for protection against the government is a moot point at this point, and without that rationale for owning guns, what other rationale is there?

The only purpose guns serve at this point is to encourage and make easier the crimes of homicide, mass homicide and various forms of theft and intimidation. Their only purpose today is to aid and abet criminals, and they should by all accounts be removed from the market, or at the least should be severely restricted.

Many people in non-tyrannical societies around the world have recognised such facts, and have benefited from gun-controls by a huge decrease in gun-related crimes and homicides, even though their own governments' military capacities are peanuts compared to that of the United States.

Posted by: getjiggly2 | January 12, 2011 3:36 AM | Report abuse

I'm of the vanishing old school that cringes when I see "impact" used as a verb.

It is a noun.

Posted by: moe99 | January 17, 2011 4:59 PM | Report abuse

I'm of the vanishing old school that cringes when "impact" is used as a verb.

It is a noun.

Posted by: moe99 | January 17, 2011 5:00 PM | Report abuse

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