The Rush to Judgment

by Bill O'Connell on January 10, 2011

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“Now, I don’t know, not having been there and not seeing all the facts, what role race played in that. But I think it’s fair to say, number one, any of us would be pretty angry; number two, that the Cambridge police acted stupidly.”  President Obama commenting on a police incident in Cambridge, Mass. involving Sgt. Crowley and Professor Gates

“We don’t know all the answers yet and I would caution against jumping to conclusions,” President Obama speaking about Major Nidal Hasan after he killed 13 at Fort Hood.

“There is no credible evidence so far that this attack was more than at least one person, the driver,” said Mayor Mike Bloomberg. “After that there is no evidence that anyone else was involved. It may be, but we can’t say that it is.”…“If I had to guess, twenty five cents, this would be exactly that,” Bloomberg said. “Homegrown maybe a mentally deranged person or someone with a political agenda that doesn’t like the health care bill or something. It could be anything.” – New York Mayor Michael Bloomberg commenting on the Times Square bomber

“You know, at this point I have no information that it’s anything other than a one-off,” – Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano commenting on the Times Square bomber

“The odds are quite high that this was a lone wolf.” – New York Senator Charles Schumer commenting on the Times Square bomber

“Rep. Andre Carson said he and Rep. John Lewis had racial slurs yelled at them as they left the Cannon House Office Building, with protesters chanting what he referred to as “the N-word” fifteen times.” – CBS News report on the Health Care Vote.  Andrew Breitbart put up $100,000 to anyone who came forward with video or audio proof of Carson’s accusations.  To date, no one has come forward.

If it involves a black and a white, don’t wait for facts, blame the white guy; if it involves a Muslim, not so fast.  If involves an act of violence, it’s probably because of ObamaCare and since the Tea Party opposed ObamaCare, ceteris paribus, they are responsible for the violence.

In the aftermath of the shooting in Tucson, Arizona, instead of focusing on the victims and their well being, and for those killed, on their families, the left wasted no time trying, once again, to play their insipid game of Pin the Tail on the Tea Party.  But like perpetual guests on the reality show “Jackass” they seem to always end up sticking the pin in their own eye.

It is almost as if they believe if they say it first, if they say it loud, if they say it often, it will finally stick.  But as the quotes above show, they are rapidly approaching the point reached by the boy who cried wolf, where no one will believe what they say at all.

This is not about political rhetoric.  This is about a mentally ill person.  A demented person with many, many witnesses to his mental illness long before he pointed a loaded gun at nineteen people at a political meeting.  And yet our society has seemed to succumb to the left’s version of “Don’t ask, don’t tell.”  Don’t blame the victim, they tell us, it’s not his fault.  Maybe so, but whose fault is it for not seeing something and saying something?

There were many opportunities to stop what happened before it happened.  His friends noticed his mental state deteriorating beginning in the tenth grade.  He turned from those friends and turned instead to drugs.  He had an encounter with Representative Giffords back in 2007, before the Tea Parties existed, that a friend noticed really bothered the shooter, Loughner.

[At] Mr. Loughner’s first meeting with Ms. Giffords in 2007. Mr. Loughner said he asked the lawmaker, “How do you know words mean anything?” recalled Mr. Montanaro. He said Mr. Loughner was “aggravated” when Ms. Giffords, after pausing for a couple of seconds, “responded to him in Spanish and moved on with the meeting.”

“I really can’t understand why Jared was so interested in Giffords,” Mr. Montanaro said. “I imagine it was simply because she was the most accessible.”

There is no mention of Tea Parties, Sarah Palin, or anything else setting off an otherwise normal person to start shooting people.  In looking at his background, his politics appeared to be decidedly left wing (click on links to see Tweets).

One of Loughner’s classmates in high school and community college, Caitie Parker, voided much of the baseless media speculation with a few Twitter messages Saturday afternoon. Parker, herself a liberal, said Loughner was “a really good friend,” whom she described as having been “left wing,” ”a political radical” and “quite liberal” when she knew him, although she lost touch with him after 2007 when he “became very reclusive.” Loughner was a “loner” and a “pot head,” Parker said in a Twitter colloquy with Anthony De Rosa of Reuters.

His classmates and teacher in community college were also terrified of him and feared for their lives.  At the first Walmart that Loughner went into looking to purchase ammunition, he scared the clerk so much that the clerk went in the back of the store and stalled before returning to say the store was out of ammunition.  If anyone should have had a target on them it was Loughner.  There were numerous red flags raised over  a six year period that someone who cared about this individual or cared for the public’s safety should have said something.  I am all for individual freedom and less government intrusion, but when someone sufficiently loses their grip that they are no longer rationally in control of their actions, it is time to get them the help they need.

Congressional Knee Jerk Reactions

Several Democratic members of Congress leapt into action to craft new legislation to prevent this from happening again.  Anti-gun stalwart, Carolyn McCarthy proposed legislation banning a part of the gun that was used.  One of the heroes who helped subdue Loughner, Joe Zamudio, carries a gun and because of that when he heard the shooting he ran towards the sounds of the shots rather than running for safety.  The left likes to paint gun owners as crazed fanatics.  Judge for yourself if this is fanatic.

Let Cooler Heads Prevail

Now is not the time for action.  It is the time for investigation and reflection.  Let us pray for those who died and pray for the speedy recovery of those still alive.  Let the facts come out about this case and not jump to conclusions over what set him off.  For anyone to use this to promote their political agenda is despicable.

That’s my opinion; I’d like to know yours.  Please comment below.

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