When Megyn Kelly of Fox News interviewed Sheriff Clarence Dupnik on Sunday, she pressed him on the issue of whether any evidence existed that Jared Loughner was at all influenced by politics. Dupnik danced around the question, but ultimately had to concede that no evidence had turned up that the killer acted because he had been encouraged to do so by talk radio or any political movement.
Dupnik, of course, famously initiated that line of thinking with his ill-timed opinion at a press conference on Saturday. Ever since then, the media generally, and the political left specifically, have done all they can to cast blame on [in the following order] Sarah Palin, conservative radio and television commentators, and the Tea Party.
This rush to judgment is in direct contradiction to the facts. First, take a look at the mugshot for Jared Loughner.
Isn’t that about the most maniacal facial expression imaginable? The facts coming to the surface about Loughner belie any attempt to connect him with conservative politics.
As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, he is a self-confessed atheist. The Tucson newspaper has also intimated that there might be a type of shrine in the backyard of his home with a skull on top. That is not confirmed, but either he is an atheist or an occultist, which is not necessarily contradictory as he can be the latter and still deny the existence of a benevolent God.
He was kicked out of community college for his bizarre behavior; classmates felt threatened by his presence, with one even stating that she sat near the door to get out quickly, if necessary. His algebra instructor said he feared turning his back to the class in case Loughner might pull out a gun.
He was rejected from enlisting in the army. Privacy rules don’t allow the army to give the reason publicly, but it’s not hard to guess that either he came across as mentally unstable, or it was obvious he used drugs. He apparently is a Truther, believing that the Bush administration is responsible for 9/11, and he thinks the Mars Rover landing is a hoax perpetrated on the American public.
How about politics per se? The news has now been released that he is a registered independent who didn’t even vote in the last election. So much for being an outraged Tea Partier.
This mountain of personal information suggests one thing, and one thing only—this is a very emotionally disturbed man who lives in a fantasy world. Now, by that, I don’t mean he is insane; I believe he knows exactly what he is doing. He is responsible for his actions. He—and he alone—is to blame for what occurred on Saturday.
Yet the drumbeat of false accusations refuses to diminish.
There is hope, however, that the absurdity of the charges will undermine the accusers themselves. They deserve that fate.