Regardless of the political leanings of Loughner, who is probably psychotic, virtually all of the commentators that incited him were of the right wing - the Palins, Paladinos, Cantors, Mitchells, Limbaughs,O'Reilly's, Bachmanns, Becks, Robertsons, Grahams etc etc.  It goes on and on and on. There is nothing comparable to this amount of irresponsible, lockstep and reckless inciting of violence on the left.

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I'm aware that Gifford was "targeted" by both Palin and her Tea Party opponent, however, there are other links between Gifford and Loughner.  There was personal contact between Gifford and Loughner going back to 2007.  Letters were exchanged between the two.

 

I don't know the nature of that contact, but I submit that it may be more plausible that that personal contact may have more to do with Gifford being targeted by Loughner than the Palin/Tea Party "targets" or the right wing media that Loughner apparently didn't even listen to.

 

You may be right Eric, but I don't think we have the evidence yet to support that claim - at least evidence that has been made public.

 

 

In presenting your "evidence," you use words like "indirect," "likely," and "probable." These are synonomous with conjecture - not evidence.

 

The only indisputable evidence thus far is that Loughner was a nut.

The best I can do is act on the basis of likelihoods and probabilities which is the standard for all the sciences.  If you require certainty in everything you do then you may not be able to act appropriately or at all to avoid some very bad consequences. It's my opinion that the fact that he chose a democratic congresswoman to attack who was of the party that had been threatened with eliminationalist rhetoric and propaganda from the far right plus the overwhelming historical evidence of a connection between inflammatory rhetoric and violence make it higly probable that he was incited to violence by this group. I could certainly be wrong but what are the consequences of being wrong in this case?  If we all err in not discussing the probable consequences of violent rhetoric we all might inadvertently increase this rhetoric and the chances for violence.  On the other hand, if we err in wrongly blaming a politician for this behavior we reduce their standing in the polls and being re-elected.  I think that the first mistake is far more dangerous than the second.

the evidence I've seen is that Loughern did not watch TV and nor did he listen to talk radio.  He did watch "Zeitgeist" and apparently was a big follower of the big conspiracy theories.  

 

From Wiki (yes, already)

Loughner's best friend, Zach Osler, disputed speculation by media commentators that Loughner's actions were fueled by partisan politics and rhetoric, insisting, "He did not watch TV, he disliked the news, he didn't listen to political radio, he didn't take sides, he wasn't on the Left, he wasn't on the Right", and instead conspiracy theories had a profound effect on him. Another old friend, Bryce Tierney, discussed several of Loughner's views. According to him, Loughner had exhibited a longstanding dislike for Gabrielle Giffords, a Blue Dog Democrat, and he repeatedly derided her as a "fake." This grudge intensified when he attended her August 25, 2007 campaign event and she did not, in his view, sufficiently answer the question he asked her. The question was, "What is government if words have no meaning?"[16]

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Jared_Lee_Loughner

 

I just don't see the evidence that ties Loughner to right wing media or to conservative politics - as much as I would like to see it, me wishing it doesn't make it so.

 

He did, however, know enough of her politics to call her a "fake."  Where would he have gotten such information?  Also, he clearly had it in for the government which seems to be in line with the pervasive right wing anti-government rhetoric.

I don't know, but it seems like he was an independent thinker - REALLY independent - in his own little universe perhaps.

 

Perhaps Gifford was the target because she was the only congressional representative in Tucson.  and perhaps if that representative had been Republican, we would be having an entirely different conversation right now.

 

Loughner considering her "fake" does not correlate to him receiving that information from right wing media.

LarryL, you are a voice of reason in this discussion.

thanks, ETres,

sometimes fighting for the truth sucks

Why go after a congress person?  And why the hatred toward the government?  As for fighting for the truth sucking, you can say that again as I sure love being ganged up on.
I'm not at all happy with our government, regardless of who's in power. Actually, I'm pissed, for lots of reasons (that I shall refrain from listing). Both parties are irresponsible, IMO. But I'm not looney, so the thought never enters my head that a solution would be to kill a member of congress. Vote'em out, yes. Kill'em, nope, never.

Why go after Gifford?  Why congress?

 

Because Gifford was in Tucson, which is where Loughner also lived.  Perhaps his targeting of Gifford was a matter of simple convenience? 

 

 

Reply to LarryL below (program not offering reply:

 

If it was simply a matter of convenience why did he consider Gifford a "fake."  If it was simply a matter of convenience why did he have hatred toward the government?  And if it were only convenience why not kill the people next door?  It only makes sense to me if it was incited by the rhetoric.

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