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Atrocity In Arizona

January 8th, 2011 by Myrhaf · 17 Comments · Uncategorized

A 22-year old degenerate opened fire at a shopping center in Tucson, Arizona where Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was meeting constituents. At the latest report six people are dead; that number will probably grow. Congresswoman Giffords was shot in the head, but she survived.

From his writings on YouTube it sounds like the shooter is mentally ill. However he is diagnosed, he murdered people, and it would be an injustice if he escapes the death penalty because of insanity. It has never made sense to me that crazy means you are not prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

This unspeakable act should be kept entirely separate of politics. People on all sides could try to score political points here. The shooter is a man whose favorite books are The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf, does not believe in God, used a gun, and has rambled incoherently about the state of monetary currency and grammar. The Congresswoman is a somewhat conservative Democrat whose office was vandalized because she voted for the health care bill and who has been criticized at Daily Kos. Whatever. This crime was an act of insanity, not politics.

I heard a moderate on Fox News say he hoped this shooting would lead to more bipartisanship in Washington. No! I completely disagree. This act of violence should not be used by the moderate hand-wringers to try to stop people from passionate partisanship.

America is still a free country with free speech and free elections. That means we draw a line between speech and force. Arguing, giving strong opinions and even being mean and uncourteous are different from killing people. It is wrong to try to draw a connection between talkers and killers, as President Clinton did when he spuriously linked Timothy McVeigh with Rush Limbaugh and talk radio. Clinton did what statists on the left often do: they exploit acts of violence to stifle speech they don’t like.

It is heartbreaking to see the clip of Congresswoman Giffords reading the first amendment, a pillar of our freedom, on the House floor earlier this week. The crime in Tucson was force, not speech. We need to be vigilante against those who would blur the distinction in order to destroy the freedom of speech — and extend statist force against free individuals.

UPDATE: I got the information about his favorite books from Fox News. I see now on the internet that the list is longer:

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.

17 Comments so far ↓

  • TW

    Very good points. The fact is, this person was pretty clearly suffering from schizophrenia. He does not have a well-functioning nervous system, and to blame his actions on–or in any way to tie his actions to– anyone else’s speech is absurd. Yet it started occurring almost immediately in the press, on the internet, and among politicians.

    I’ve known more than a few people with schizophrenia, and one thing I have noticed is that there is always a theme to their thought distortions drawn from whatever ideas were current at the time. When I was a little boy, at the height of the cold war, there was a lady in our neighborhood who constantly feared that the Soviets were controlling her television and trying to control her through it. I’ve known people with evangelical Christian-themed psychotic delusions. I’ve known people with scientific-sounding delusions, vast incoherent thought systems that used scientific language, but with no internal coherence or relation to reality. I once met a man living on the streets who told me he was trapped inside a video game.

    When your nervous system doesn’t work right, no one else can be blamed for things they might have said that you half picked up on and turned into a distorted system of thought.

  • L-C

    Doesn’t stop Leftists from blaming it on the Tea Party, Sarah Palin and the Right in general. Too bad WTL was on his book list…

  • Myrhaf

    I would only add, TW, that even if someone were sane, the fact that he chooses to kill is his responsibility alone. (We’re not talking about war here.) If a Democrat kills a Republican, it’s wrong to blame it on Democrat ideas or “a poisonous, partisan environment.” What about all the Democrats who didn’t kill?

    Today there is an effort on the left to deligitimize talk radio and the Tea Party Movement by linking them to force. Thus all the talk about mobs, Nazis, and KKK. The left doesn’t want to answer the ideas challenging them, so it works to smear the opposition as violent and dangerous.

  • TW

    Myrhaf writes: “I would only add, TW, that even if someone were sane, the fact that he chooses to kill is his responsibility alone. (We’re not talking about war here.)”

    Yes, I completely agree with you on that.

  • Myrhaf

    L-C, it would be laughable to blame this murder on the ideas of Ayn Rand because We The Living was one of the shooter’s favorite books. You might as well blame Lewis Carroll and Ken Kesey because this guy is as cuckoo as the Mad Hatter.

  • L-C

    Then I’ll prepare to laugh, because it’d have to be more illogical than that to stop them from doing it. Leftists are now chiding Conservatives for their “rhetoric of force” that “influenced” this killer, while everything Leftism stands for amounts to actual, physical force on a scale unmatched by all the individual murderers in history.

    I suppose hypocrisy is yet another trait inherent in Leftism that we shouldn’t find surprising, but it just doesn’t cease to baffle me.

  • madmax

    I just heard on FOX news that the shooter was a member of American Renaissance. American Renaisance is Jared Taylor’s Paleo Conservative organization which totally orients around defending the white race. This is Larry Auster type stuff and it is the ugliest elements of the Right. Its non-mainstream Right but still Right according to today’s false left-right divide.

    The Left will attempt to get alot of mileage out of this.

  • Jim May

    The Left will attempt to get alot of mileage out
    of this.
    Of course they will. That’s why clarity, as I
    have noted before, must be avoided at all costs. Today
    there is an effort on the left to deligitimize talk radio and the
    Tea Party Movement by linking them to force. Thus all the talk
    about mobs, Nazis, and KKK. The left doesn’t want to
    answer the ideas challenging them, so it works to smear the
    opposition as violent and dangerous.
    (Emphasis
    mine.) Precisely, Myrhaf. Again, as I have noted on this blog
    before, the Left cannot survive a straight battle of ideas, and so
    they have to smear the enemy with gratuitous charges of racism,
    violence, whatever of their stable of enemy stereotypes seems to
    fit at the moment. The long-range goal here is to create and
    maintain the ephemeral “atmosphere” of those charges in and around
    the Tea Party, in hopes that someday there will be someone with
    sufficient documentable “connections” to the TP who does something
    like this, to give them something plausibly “solid” to ground it
    all. If the battle were over ideas, then the Left would have to
    account for the results of their “rhetoric”
    over the past hundred years.
    They can’t have that, so
    here we are. And with that, I must note a caveat here: while
    Myrhaf’s points stand, they do not argue against ideological
    causality. As Dr. John Ridpath likes to say in his booming voice,
    bad ideas kill. The takeaway here is not to
    dismiss such possible connections outright, but to demonstrate
    them, just as we do with any other assertion of causal
    relationships. How does attacking Gabrielle Giffords follow from
    “We the Living”? A cursory examination of the relevant ideas would
    show that it doesn’t. On the other hand, such causality is
    demonstrable when it comes to the relationship between “From each
    according to his ability, to each according to his need” and the
    results documented in The Black Book of Communism. It is
    demonstrable in regard to Islam, and the extreme irrationality
    observed in Islamic cultures. So while we rightfully dismiss the
    Leftist poppycock, do not fall into the trap of letting
    them do the same thing in regards to what are
    properly regarded as the fruits of their tree. The key to
    differentiating the two is evidence.

  • vnbq

    I left a comment on this article regarding the incident. Here is my comment, which I am particularly proud of and wanted to share:

    “For all of those claiming that this man is a product of the “right-wing,” you may do well to remember that one of this young man’s favorite books was “The Communist Manifesto,” one of the most “hateful” advocates of class warfare and anti-individual rights that the world has ever seen.

    Republicans have certainly attempted in the past few months to expose the unconstitutionality and immorality of the agenda of the “progressives,” i.e., people have been standing up for their convictions. For the media to imply that to have convictions is “hateful” is no surprise – the progressives have been fighting against principles for the last 50+ years. How interesting that they imply that to have strong beliefs about something assumes that one will be violent. Would they prefer that we all be convictionless drones – apathetic to any violations of our rights?

    Besides, if the right is fueling an “environment of hate,” then what would one call the agenda of the left currently? For example, the left’s hatred of the rich, the encouragement of class warfare, and the regression into government controls that they attempt to call “progressive,” implying that government control of people is something new. Those that advocate freedom and a protection of individual rights (which by itself shows a respect for life – not violence) are labeled as “extremists” (by the way, how can a concept of measurement – i.e. “extreme” – be, in and of itself, bad, regardless of what one is extreme for?). Extremism, regardless of what one is extreme for, has been used as a smear to imply violence and hatred. In the words of Barry Goldwater, “I would remind you that extremism in the defense of liberty is no vice! And let me remind you also that moderation in the pursuit of justice is no virtue.”

    I would suggest that those calling the tea partiers “hateful” and “extreme” remember what exactly the tea party is extreme for. Is it proper to hate those who advocate for one’s slavery? I would say it is perfectly appropriate. Does “hate” necessarily imply an intention of violence? Most certainly not. Those “extreme” advocates of freedom also lovers of our country, which is a country born from the recognition of individual rights – i.e. every individual’s right to sustain and keep their own lives, liberty, and earned property. Does this very principle not show a respect for *life*? But of course, the left is so devoid of principles, besides their worship of egalitarianism (the principle that everyone should be given equal effects regardless of equal causes – equal money despite vastly unequal measurements of hard-work), that they could not possibly fathom such abstractions such as individual rights and the implications of those who recognize and respect such things.”

  • Fareed

    Here is a response i got from one liberal:

    “Contrast that with Right Wing Hate Radio, with an audience in the tens of millions. There simply is no analog on the Left. You’re acting like there is some kind of “they all do it” symmetry between the Left and the Right, and it just doesn’t exist. You can always find something intemperate that one person says one time. What you can’t find from the left is the demonization of half the country like we hear EVERY F’ING DAY from the Right. Just today I heard Limbaugh calling Democrats “conspirators” who were wrecking the future of his listeners children and grandchildren. His whole act is about demonization of Democrats. Not Left Wing Extremists, just plain old average Democrats. That’s the problem.”

  • TW

    @Fareed: Yes, it’s a typical liberal response, but I believe it’s objectively false. It’s a kind of confirmation bias. When a person of political persuasion x hears a person of political persuasion y say something that could be interpreted as violent or extreme, it fits a pattern they’re expecting, so they register it as confirmation of their belief.

    However, when a person of political persuasion x hears another person of persuasion x say something similar, it doesn’t fit their belief pattern so they either don’t notice it or find a way to explain it away.

    The end result is an increasingly strong, reinforced belief, and such a person will find any disagreement with that belief impossible to consider.

  • madmax

    Contrast that with Right Wing Hate Radio, with an audience in the tens of millions. There simply is no analog on the Left.

    This is true as far as it goes. But it ignores the important fact that the Left controls the culture. It controls the media (with the exception of FOX and a few major newspapers). It controls Hollywood. It controls the universities. And it controls Washington as it is the egalitarian welfare-state agenda which is unquestioned and unchallenged in any fundamental way be Republicans.

    So the Right (that mix of libertarians, Conservatives and the few Objectivists and Randians that there are) is fighting a counter attack against a far superior enemy (at least in terms of influence). The Right is fighting for its life against Leftist tyranny (being implemented incrementally and unhaltingly over the last 100 years but escalating in the 60s).

    That is the difference. The Right is fighting against the tyranny of the Left (and of course the Right is heavily compromised with a significant portion of Religious Conservatives wanting to impose a tyranny of their own). This makes all the difference in the world. The Left of course doesn’t see this. They can’t. To them any opposition to welfare state politics is the essence of pure evil.

    I don’t know if other Objectivists feel this way but I really see the Left as demonic. My hatred and contempt for them grows by the day. I truly loathe them. So much so that I wonder if this is healthy. But they seek to destroy every value I hold. How can a liberty loving person not hate them?

  • Avq

    madmax:

    I also hate the Republicans/Conservatives who say things like: “Few would argue that the United States is a Christian nation,” and the Republican Congressmen who claim that “Freedom of religion doesn’t mean freedom *from* religion.”

  • c andrew

    Jim May said, The long-range goal here is to
    create and maintain the ephemeral “atmosphere” of those charges in
    and around the Tea Party, in hopes that someday there will be
    someone with sufficient documentable “connections” to the TP who
    does something like this, to give them something plausibly “solid”
    to ground it all.

    Limbaugh said on his program that the
    script has already been written by the Left and they are just waiting for the right incident. He points out that there have already been a couple of abortive attempts to roll out the full production but that they have been trumped by the actual facts. One instance in particular was Mayor Bloomberg’s attempt regarding the attempted Time Square bomber.

    If I had to guess
    twenty-five cents this would be exactly that, somebody who’s
    homegrown, maybe a mentally deranged person, or somebody with a
    political agenda, that doesn’t like the health care bill or
    something.

    http://www.mediaite.com/tv/why-was-bloomberg-allowed-to-speculate-the-times-sq-bomber-was-homegrown-with-a-political-agenda/

  • madmax

    avq,

    The US is currently dominated by the secular religion of egalitarian Leftism. Christianity comes in a distant second in terms of cultural influence. I hate Conservatives too. But I *loathe* Leftists down to the essence of my soul. To me there is no equivalency between the two. One is terrible, the other is the essence of pure evil.

  • avq

    madmax,

    I most certainly agree with you. I hope that religion dies out as the primitive philosophy that it is. I think that it will take a tough battle to fight egalitarianism/secular altruism/statism – thank goodness we have to tools to win.

    It is especially frightening to see the mass amounts of young people attracted to the left’s indoctrination – it is held as intellectual among young people, and Ayn Rand has been thrust into a package deal, in their eyes, with the religious right. One needn’t look further than a popular young peoples’ news website, “www.reddit.com” to see the tragic intellectual confusion of young people. And to think that these people pose as young intellectuals!

  • Inspector

    The media’s efforts to paint him as having anything to do with the Tea Party are as offensive as they are ridiculous. I watched his rambling video, controlling my urge to throw something at my TV, and it was clear that he wasn’t acting out of any coherent political philosophy whatsoever. Or anything even remotely sane, at that.

    If I were forced to, I would actually lump him into the left wing, as his only remotely comprehensible complaint was that the education system was bad, and he seemed to imply it was the government’s responsibility to fix it. He certainly did not say that the government’s control over education should be abolished in favor of free market education.