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Jared Lee Loughner, charged with Saturday’s shootings, has invoked his right to silence, leaving us ignorant of his motives. Sources disagree on his politics — an acquaintance calls him an “extreme” liberal; a government memo links him to a “racial-realist” journal (one that denies any ties to him). His online writings point to an unhinged mind. But though much remains unclear, people are withdrawing some of their first theories, which rashly labeled the shootings a Tea Party / Republican plot.
Replacing those accusations is a broader look at how the shooter may have responded to intense political rhetoric. Critics again blame the right-wing, mainly Sarah Palin, whose PAC last year produced an image with crosshairs on congressional seats such as Giffords’. It was only a slight escalation from the usual manner of treating politics as war (Targeted districts, swiftboating, battleground states, political campaigns).
Tag Archives | Guns
The only story that matters as we start the week is the Giffords shooting, for which a nationwide moment of silence is about to begin as I post this story. The New York Times is reporting that the attack was premeditated:
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TUCSON — Prosecutors charged Jared L. Loughner, a troubled 22-year-old college dropout, with five federal counts on Sunday, including the attempted assassination of a member of Congress, in connection with a shooting rampage on Saturday morning that left six people dead and 14 wounded.
Evidence seized from Mr. Loughner’s home, about five miles from the shooting, indicated that he had planned to kill Representative Gabrielle Giffords, Democrat of Arizona, according to documents filed in Federal District Court in Phoenix.
Special Agent Tony M. Taylor Jr. of the F.B.I. said in an affidavit that an envelope found in a safe in the home bore these handwritten words: “I planned ahead,” “My assassination” and “Giffords.”
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Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was shot in the head by a gunman at a public event in Tucson on Saturday. There are conflicting reports about whether she was killed.
The Pima County, Ariz., sheriff’s office told member station KJZZ the 40-year-old Democrat was killed. A hospital spokeswoman said Giffords was in critical condition and undergoing surgery.
At least eight other people, including members of her staff, were injured. There also were conflicting reports on the number of deaths at the scene, but President Obama, in a statement, said “we know that some have passed away” and that Giffords was “gravely wounded.”
Giffords, who was re-elected to a third term in November, was hosting a “Congress on Your Corner” event at a Safeway in northwest Tucson when a gunman ran up and started shooting, according to Peter Michaels, news director of Arizona Public Media.
The suspect fired indiscriminately from about four feet away, Michaels said.
HOUSTON (KTRK) — TSA checkpoints at airports are at the front lines of preventing terrorism. When you go through security, you expect to be scanned and searched. And you expect TSA to prevent contraband from getting on planes, but as we've learned, that doesn't always happen. Houston businessman Farid Seif says it was a startling discovery. He didn't intend to bring a loaded gun on a flight out of Houston and can't understand how TSA screeners didn't catch it. Nearing the height of last year's Christmas travel season, TSA screeners at Bush Intercontinental Airport somehow missed a loaded pistol, one that was tucked away inside a carry-on computer bag. "I mean, this is not a small gun," Seif said. "It's a .40 caliber gun."
Ah, America, where machine guns are dispensed like party favors. Via Aol News:
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A truck dealership in Florida is firing up sales with the promise of a rapid-fire machine gun.
Customers have been streaming into Nations Trucks in Sanford, near Orlando, purchasing two dozen vehicles since the sale campaign began on Veterans Day last week. Each new truck owner also walks out with a free AK-47. “We’ve tripled our business,” general sales manager Nick Ginetta told AOL News. “We knew it would be controversial, but it’s been a phenomenal response.”
An image of the semiautomatic rifle is taped to the showroom’s window to lure shoppers. Buyers receive a $400 voucher good for one Kalashnikov at Shoot Straight, a weapons dealer with several locations in the Sunshine State.
All prospective gun owners must meet state and federal gun-control laws, but Ginetta has still drawn fire from anti-gun activists and alarmed neighbors.
Want to travel through the country with your firearms, but can’t get through airport security? No worries, take the train! Amtrak will soon allow passengers to transport their firearms, unloaded and stored away. The Sacramento Bee reports:
Reversing a near decadelong ban, Amtrak will allow passengers to bring guns on most trains starting next month, including several that stop in Sacramento.
The change, pushed by gun rights advocates and ordered by Congress, aligns Amtrak’s firearms policy with air travel rules that allow unloaded guns to be stored in locked baggage holds.
Federal Homeland Security officials on Monday said they are OK with guns being on trains as long as security protocols are enforced.
“It’s deemed safe and appropriate,” federal Transportation Security Administration spokesman Nico Melendez said. “If people follow the rules, it’s pretty simple.”
[Continues at The Sacramento Bee]
Via the First Church of Mutterhals:
That sounds like a Warren Zevon song from hell, but it’s not. It’s what I saw on someone’s car on the way to work today. Three bumper stickers, right in a row; the first one said Jesus Saves, Obama Spends. The second said Obama is Socializing and Sodomizing America. The third said Body Piercings by Glock.
Let me pull up my favorite arm chair and give this guy a go. I think his choice in bumper stickers has less to do with his distaste for Obama and his policies and more to do with his fervent desire to get reamed long and hard by a Jewish hippie. Of course, that’s really none of my business. But is it appropriate to put your deep seated sexual fantasies on the back of your car?
Also, I thought christians were supposed to be anti-sodomy?… Read the rest