The Real Purveyors of Hatred

I would like to introduce you to Eric Fuller, in case you haven’t yet heard of him. I’m not sure how much coverage this man is getting in the mainstream media, but he just may be the face of the unhinged Left.

Fuller was in the crowd in Tucson the morning that Jared Loughner decided to unleash himself on the world. Two of Loughner’s bullets hit Fuller—one in the leg and the other in his back. His injuries were not serious, and he is out on the street again doing what he does best—agitate.

Getting shot does not make Fuller a hero. In fact, the reason he was at Rep. Giffords’s meeting that morning was to confront any Tea Party activists who might show up, “to shout them down because I can make a lot of noise,” Fuller explained. His business card identifies himself as a “political circulator.” In fact, shortly before Loughner opened fire, Fuller was in a full-scale confrontation with a former Marine in the crowd. The discussion was apparently so heated that Gabe Zimmerman, Giffords’s aide who was killed just minutes later, had to intervene to stop Fuller from escalating the argument further.

Lately, Fuller has become infamous for a number of comments:

  • “It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle, and the rest got their first target.”
  • “Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled … senseless hatred leading to murder, lunatic fringe anarchism, subscribed to by John Boehner, mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even 9-year-old girls.”
  • In an interview with the New York Times: “[Republicans] appeal to simple-minded rednecks.”
  • In that same interview, he repeatedly referred to the “Tea Party crime syndicate.”

Then on Saturday, Fuller was in the audience at an ABC townhall broadcast in Tucson. One of the invited attendees was a Tea Party organizer, Trent Humphries. Throughout the meeting, those sitting by Fuller were increasingly concerned by his behavior, uncomfortable being near him. Finally, he rose up, took a picture of Humphries, and declared, “You’re dead.” At that point, sheriffs took him into custody and escorted him from the room. His final words to everyone in the room? “You’re all whores!”

Can any fair-minded person compare Fuller’s fulminations with words spoken by Palin, Beck, Rush, or anyone on the Right and draw a moral equivalence between them? All this talk of civility needs to begin with those who are the real purveyors of hatred, not those the media routinely accuses.

Note: After writing this post, I read where Fuller apologized to Humphries for his actions. One hopes this is sincere, yet being taken into custody and turned over for psychological evaluation can lead a person to do whatever is necessary outwardly to avoid consequences. I will be convinced this is genuine when his life mirrors his words.

Loughner: The Facts

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.

The Tucson Tragedy

When we celebrated our one-year-old grandson’s birthday in Tucson on December 29, I went to the nearest grocery store to buy the ice cream. It was a Safeway store located in a shopping center on the corner of Ina and Oracle. On Saturday, that very store was in the news as the scene for a most horrific shooting. As I have watched the coverage the past couple of days, I can visualize from my own experience the very spot where one young man carried out his sinful deed. Less than two weeks ago, I was there.

The object of his ire apparently was his congresswoman, Gabrielle Giffords. He succeeded in shooting her in the head, yet even though the bullet went through her brain, she remains alive in an intensive care unit. Doctors are cautiously optimistic, but any recovery will be slow. In the process, the shooter, later identified as Jared Loughner, killed six people outright, one being federal judge John Roll; a total of twenty were injured by his bullets. Fortunately, he was captured on the spot and is now in custody.

Almost immediately, information on Loughner surfaced. I’ve seen his You Tube screeds. If you’ve seen them, you know they are largely chaotic in nature with a logic that sometimes defies definition. Without doubt, they are the product of a troubled mind.

He is an atheist—that much is clear. Beyond that, it’s difficult to find much consistency in his belief “system,” if that’s the proper term for it. On the one hand, he writes about reading the Constitution and believes in holding gold rather than fiat money. Yet he’s not a “conservative.” Two of his favorite books are The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf. His atheism separates him from traditional morality based on God’s law. One of his high school acquaintances remembers him as someone who was “left wing, quite liberal” politically. Another called him a “hater,” adding, “He was a goth-type. He was more of an outcast.”

In other words, he is in no way connected, philosophically or in practice, with modern conservatism or the Tea Party movement.

That has not stopped some extremists from using this tragedy for their own political purposes. Leftist bloggers have already blamed Sarah Palin, the Tea Party, and any opposition to the Obama agenda for Loughner’s actions.

I was watching the Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, in his news conference Saturday evening when I was bowled over by his editorializing. I’d never heard of Sheriff Dupnik previously; I had no idea of his political leanings, but he didn’t leave a nationwide audience in the dark for long.

He immediately rushed to judgment, placing the blame for the shootings on what he called “vitriolic” comments from talk radio [code for Rush Limbaugh et. al.]. He then proceeded to trash his own state of Arizona, labeling it the most bigoted state in the nation [presumably for its strong stance against illegal immigration]. This man was supposed to be giving an update on the day’s proceedings; instead, he chose to unleash what I would consider to be “vitriol” of the lowest caliber.

Yesterday, in an interview with Fox News, Dupnik followed up his initial comments by declaring that Loughner’s actions were the result of an atmosphere created when “one party is trying to do something to make this country a better country and the other party is trying to block them.” For Dupnik, the party trying to make things better is the Democrats and the party trying to block them is the Republicans.

Can this man be trusted to be involved in an honest investigation of the facts?

The one thing the sheriff said that was true is that the political discourse has become heated. He didn’t help the situation, however; all he did was fan the flames with false accusations. The New Testament book of James provides this instruction:

But everyone must be quick to hear, slow to speak and slow to anger; for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God.

Let’s allow the righteousness of God to come to the forefront at this time.