The Wall Street Journal has a detailed article about the Tucson shooter and his activities in an online gaming forum. The story, “Postings of a Troubled Mind,” depict a deeply disturbed young man who alarmed everyone whose path he crossed. The shooter was a time bomb, but the search for a trigger is the work of political and journalistic hacks. I have close, personal experience with mentally ill people, and I can tell you this much: anything can be a trigger.
Now that the media and politicians have embarrassed themselves by trying to tie this horrific crime to Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement without the tiniest bit of evidence, they will now move on to blaming games as well. This is SOP. I’ve written different versions of this story for most of my career, and the political and media reaction is as predictable as the sunrise.
Just to be clear: I like Sarah Palin, although I’m not certain she’s presidential material; and I support the limited-government goals of the Tea Party movement. Neither Palin nor the Tea Party bear any responsibility in this tragedy, and I find it deeply hypocritical that the same people urging conservatives to “tone down the rhetoric” are simultaneously accusing us of complicity in mass murder. Talk about your irony impairment.
In keeping with my standard policy, the name of the shooter will not appear in any of my writing or anywhere on this site. Spree killers and assassins are fame whores, and their crimes are only fed by a media culture which rewards them with the recognition they so desperately crave. Only six names matter: Christina-Taylor Green, Gabe Zimmerman, John M. Roll, Dorwin Stoddard, Phyllis Schneck, and Dorothy Morris. Remember them. Pray for them and their families, as well as for Rep. Giffords and the other wounded.