Like it or not, the gunman who killed six people in Tuscon yesterday, wounding 14 more (including Democratic Representative Gabrielle Giffords, his prime target), was influenced greatly by the melodramatic and violent rhetoric of the Tea Party and their extreme right wing fellow travelers. There is even word that he has links to a white supremacist anti-immigration militia group.
Reading the messages on his YouTube page, one can tell that Jared Loughner is a very disturbed, yet probably intelligent, young man, which is what people close to him have been telling the press. In one very long video, he (or someone else) is dressed in a homemade costume, and accompanied by loud music in which the refrain seems to be “bodies will hit the floor, eventually burns an American flag to the desert ground.
But the most telling of Loughfner’s uploads is his “Introduction” in which he loosely, and rather incoherently, lists a series of paranoid grievances, most of which you can hear any day on Fox News, particularly from Glenn Beck. He signs off with:
In conclusion, reading the second United States Constitution, I can’t trust the current government because of the ramifications. The government is implying mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.
No! I won’t pay debt by a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver!
No! I won’t trust in God!
What’s government if words don’t have meaning?
Emphasis on the Constitution, anti-federalist views, and the security of gold (and maybe silver) are major components of Glenn Beck’s daily school lesson. Take all this, throw in some revolutionary rhetoric (why do you think they call themselves militias?) and top it off with the gun sight targets that Sarah Palin’s website placed over ‘progressive’ Gifford’s congressional district (not too mention Palin’s impassioned call to not retreat but “reload”) and you have a recipe that any paranoid schizophrenic would love. And then have him easily and legally purchase a high capacity semi-automatic handgun and who would expect anything other than murder?
It’s time to stop with all this Revolutionary War language. The only similarity between then and now is the growing tendency towards violence.