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Monday, January 10, 2011

Giffords Shooting: Was it Politics or Just Mental Illness?

Posted By on Mon, Jan 10, 2011 at 2:32 PM

click to enlarge Critical Condition
  • Critical Condition

It's easy to blame the incendiary rhetoric of vociferous Tea Party Republicans for the recent shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, the Arizona Democrat who remains in critical condition after she was shot in the head on Saturday.

But in Phoenix, 113 miles from Tucson where the shooting occurred outside a supermarket, the Phoenix New Times, part of Village Voice Media, points out that it is mental illness, not passionate politics behind the weekend shooting.

"The shallow, self-serving calls for the moderation of rhetoric, for the

elimination of passionate politics, for the muzzling of the Tea Party's

adoption of an American symbol of the revolution -- a gun -- is a

hypocritical repudiation of this nation's particular embrace of

principle," writes Michael Lacey, executive editor of Village Voice Media, which owns SF Weekly

How Does This Look?
  • How Does This Look?

Immediately after the shooting, Republicans were on the defensive, accusing liberals of turning them into villains and demonizing conservatives.

The Village Voice summed up the thoughts of a slew of right-wing bloggers who speculate that the accused shooter, Jared Loughner, was in fact a left-wing nut, not a right-wing nut.

"Loughner was a 'left-winger' who listed amongst his favorite books The Communist Manifesto," wrote Paul Joseph Watson.

Conservatives were aghast when the sheriff in Tucson told reporters that

the shooting was the result of the vitriolic political climate in



a lunatic decided to kill others in a bid to give his worthless life

some meaning, Americans are being ordered to shut their mouths about

Obamacare, endless bailouts, and the fact that their political

representatives in Washington (with some notable exceptions) have ceased

to represent their interests," Watson said.

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About The Author

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert

Erin Sherbert was the Online News Editor for SF Weekly from 2010 to 2015. She's a Texas native and has a closet full of cowboy boots to prove it.


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