Knee Jerks

By Elisha Dorfsmith

Almost as soon as the news of the shooting of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and 17 others hit the airwaves yesterday, bloggers and media outlets sprang into action. Armed with preconceived ideas and a very deep grudge they painted the killer as a right wing tea partier who was inspired to violence by Sarah Palin and Glen Beck.

I first saw the breaking news on TV at a local fast food restaurant. 20 minutes later, at Bookmans, I was hearing people say “Palin did it”. I could almost sense a smug satisfaction in those around me as they proudly proclaimed that they knew this would happen. I felt sick as I realized a tragedy was unfolding and rather than come together to comfort each other, people were rushing as fast as they could to score political points.

When I got home I went straight to Facebook and Twitter and my worst fears were confirmed. First, the news was worse than I had realized. Several people were dead, including a 9-year-old child. Secondly, pundits everywhere  were trying to capitalize on what was taking place by blaming the “racist tea party”, conservative commentators, Republican politicians and guns.

I posted the following to my Facebook page and started digging for facts:

“Unbelievable. Can’t believe how many people are jumping to conclusions about this AZ shooting. I’ll pass on the knee jerk reactions and blame game. Amazing how people are already using a tragedy like this to score political points. The truth will come out. Give it some time.”

A little time has passed and while I don’t think all of our questions can be  answered, we are getting some information. Jared Loughner appears to be an extremely unstable person:

Jared Loughner’s behavior recorded by college classmate in e-mails


Arizona Suspect’s Recent Acts Offer Hints of Alienation


A high school friend described him as “left wing, quite liberal”.  He had an unusual list of favorite books that covered a wide range of topics and from what I can tell, he appears to be politically confused. One thing is abundantly clear, Jared Loughner DOES NOT fit the description of a Sarah Palin supporter. I see zero evidence that he was influenced by her in any way.  That doesn’t stop politically bitter people  from calling it an “obvious fact” on their blogs and Facebook pages. Who needs facts when a fantastic lie gives you the joy of saying “I told you so.” The Flagstaff Tea Party is already receiving hate mail from these knee jerk reactionaries.

I find it sadly ironic that just the other day, representative Giffords was reading the 1st Amendment of the Constitution before congress. Today, many on the left are screaming for censorship and new laws to silence everyone they disagree with.  Time after time I am told by my progressive friends that what the left says is good and what the right says is bad and it is implied that the 1st amendment only defends leftist speech. What hypocrisy. As you know, I don’t care much for Sarah Palin or Rush Limbaugh but I will defend their right to say what they say. I will also fight for the left and their right to free speech and yes, even their right to spread lies as facts. The 1st Amendment knows no political boundaries. Freedom and liberty for ALL!

As a Libertarian, I spend my time being equally angry and upset with both Republicans and Democrats. At this time of terrible tragedy, my hope is that we can all put politics aside and come together as individuals and human beings. Finger pointing and demonizing gets us nowhere. A very sick individual shot a bunch of innocent people. Rather than blame each other, let’s blame the person who is really responsible: the killer!

    January 10, 2011 at 9:16 am

    My husband and I felt the same about the knee jerk reactions. Interesting how things calmed down once it was noted that this disturbed young man was actually way left, in fact he followed Karl Marx and Lenin, Stalin and Hitler.

    One never knows what will trigger someone this vulnerable and disturbed to take violent action.

    The nation needs to come together and pray for the victims and their families.

  2. j
    January 10, 2011 at 8:07 pm

    world net daily now says he was into a band called “Anti-Flag”
    who they call a violent punk rock band heavily into left wing politics.
    May be the same band played on his youtube video of the flag burning.

  3. January 11, 2011 at 7:23 am

    I have not seen the flag burning video so I couldn’t say.

    Anti Flag is a political punk band who often rant against the wars, the media etc. I have all of their CDs and listen to them all the time. I hope World Net Daily is not trying to say that their music inspired any violence.

  4. j
    January 12, 2011 at 5:42 am

    they and msm are admitting that media is a form of at least attempted brainwashing.
    I have heard he was heavy into pot and alcohol.
    I’d attribute some portion to the violent mexican culture which has infiltrated drug dealing tucson in recent years.

  5. Grumpster
    May 23, 2014 at 9:41 am

    Yeah…debunking right wing bullshit really makes me an asshole, eh?

  6. Grumpster
  7. Grumpster
    May 23, 2014 at 9:42 am

    And you’re too chickenshit to allow comments/replies to your bullshit facebook posts too.

    • May 23, 2014 at 10:55 am

      What are you talking about? My facebook is public and allows comments. You’re living up to your name there Grumpster, whoever you are.

    • May 23, 2014 at 10:56 am

      Notice how Grumpster is too chicken to post under his/her real name.

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