Blame John Lennon not Sarah Palin

Interesting perspective being put forth on the Giffords shooting:

“If we feel that civility in public discourse is going to take away mass shootings we are mistaken,” said Dr. Michael Welner, a forensic psychiatrist at New York University and an ABC News consultant. “Because the one common threat in mass shooting is, what does the shooter get out of it? And the shooter recognizes that if you assassinate a political figure you will be notorious. I think John Lennon had more to do with this than Sarah Palin,” said Welner.

“The available information does not answer the question of whether he is alienated and paranoid as a social deviant, or as a person descending into schizophrenia,” noted Dr. Welner. “But his representations about Congresswoman Giffords show more inspiration from the murderer of John Lennon (who likewise deemed his victim fake) and Robert DeNiro’s shaved would-be assassin in Taxi Driver (who almost killed a politician) than from scapegoats like Sarah Palin. Mass shooting and assassination are both notoriety-seeking crimes, and his actions definitely reflect planning and an anticipation of public discussion. It is a crime that so reflects pop culture and a copy cat influence,” he added.

“It is vital at this point to focus discussion not on his agenda but on the heroism of those who saved lives and the utter meaninglessness and sadness of the deaths of those he murdered. I will mention his name as little as possible and would urge the responsible press to follow suit. Let others not identify with the attention he is gaining from nothing more than his capacity to ruin life around him.” As for the nature of the attack, Dr. Welner counseled, “my professional experience has taught me that you learn most by studying the initial point of attack. Congresswoman Giffords is a political figure, but above all she was a celebrity accessible to him. Her being female may also prove to be relevant in a crime that is so often found in sexually inept men who blame everyone else for their failure in manhood and choose spectacle destruction as a deviant outlet.

H/T Dan Friedman in email.

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  • GarandFan

    “Mass shooting and assassination are both notoriety-seeking crimes.”

    Huh? Then why does the shooter try to get away if they seek “notoriety”.

    Sorry Doc, that’s a big reach. Let’s face it, we don’t know what sets them off. Each is different, and each, within their own mind, finds some “justification” for their act.

  • whocares

    Sarah Palin is evil – no one can dispute that.

  • Jay Guevara

    “It is vital at this point to focus discussion not on his agenda but on the heroism of those who saved lives and the utter meaninglessness and sadness of the deaths of those he murdered. I will mention his name as little as possible and would urge the responsible press to follow suit. Let others not identify with the attention he is gaining from nothing more than his capacity to ruin life around him.”

    Hear, hear!

    An outbreak of common sense. Thank you, Dr. Weiner.

  • yttik

    “Her being female may also prove to be relevant in a crime that is so often found in sexually inept men who blame everyone else for their failure in manhood and choose spectacle destruction as a deviant outlet.”

    Precisely, and we can also blame the media for promoting violent sexism and misogyny, everything from Olbermann saying “somebody should take Hillary into a room and only they come out” to his well advertised “Hillary death watch.” Then we move on to Palin Derangement Syndrome and the way the media and bloggers have demonized and dehumanized her with violent imagery. In just the past couple of years, pundits, politicians, and bloggers have increased their violent wordage towards female politicians 100 times over. Recently it’s been coming from the Left with alarming frequency, and in fact is quite bi-partisan. Gifford even suffered the sexism of leftist bloggers and so did Hillary Clinton, even though both women are Democrats. The one common denominator in violent rhetoric is that it is being directed towards women. It’s as if Obama’s election triggered some sort of open season on women that wasn’t there just a few years ago.

  • Steve Crickmore

    The shooter was suffering from acute paranoia, that is certain. But he had so many other public paranoias to choose to reinforce his darker demonic ones, either that Bush was behind the 9/11 attacks-which he apparently believed- or Obama, was a Kenya by birth and muslim by faith, was going to introduce sharia law in the USA. and there is but one redress and not a petition. The whole country has been going a litle nuts with the toleration of this talk-there doesn’t seem to be clear rebuttals from our leaders- of these opinions that surprisingly large number of people hold. They just try to ignore them or coopt them-certainly not alienate them if they are on their side. That seems to only encourage the crazies on the fringes. Is it any wonder that in a culture of paranoia, one its manifestations might be a Lougnhner a very violent man, who seemed political rather than apolitical, was a man with several paranoias right and left, running through his head simultaneously; he probably didn’t even think he was sick, and most people who had contact with him may have thought he was just a litle kookier than normal, when he discussed life and politics, that is all.

  • Steve Crickmore

    I’m not just condemning extremists for fomenting a culture of paranoia. It doesn’t help that a centrist Democrat heavy like Hillary Clinton during the campaign when asked if Obama was a muslim, says “As far as I know he is not”.

  • WildWillie

    The left went crazy plain and simple. The killer is just plain nuts, but thanks to a lefty Sheriff, he is provided a defense of “the right made me do it”. Shame on you lefty loons for not only the ones that said such hateful things, but to the lefties that did nothing to stop it. I have a few in mind. ww

  • http://everywhere.com OregonMuse

    Crickmore blissfully misses the entire point. No amount of fulminating over “public paranoias” is going to stop the next mass shooting. Yes it’s true that Loughner believed in all sorts of wacky bullshit. But he probably also wore mismatched socks. Must we also have a law banning the wearing of mismatched socks?

  • http://everywhere.com OregonMuse

    And by the way, if the wounded Congresswoman was Michelle Bachmann, I doubt very much that any of our national lefties would be complaining about the excesses of “violent rhetoric.”

  • Steve Crickmore

    No, OrganMusethey would say that she brought in on.. I wish we had a less controversial topic to engage in but there it is. Perhaps the left is extrapolating too much, me too until we know more and even then…

    It is almost a relief not to hear our politicians in Congress talk of jobs, jobs for about a week, incesssantly which the lack of one and any reasonable prospect of ever getting one, may be another reason why this maniac saw he was at dead end . He seemed to have exhausted working for and applying to all the fast food restaurants in Tuscon. I’ll leave someone else to make that inference, that he is an unfortunate by-product of the recession..

  • RFA

    that he is an unfortunate by-product of the recession..

    Bullshit. He’s the unfortunate by-product of bad chromosomes. He’s been all screwed up for years and nobody did ANYTHING to get him under control.

    he was a mess long before Sara or Gabby. Why can’t our society deal with crazy people?

  • epador

    I still say the killer weed has to take some of the blame, and with it all the folks promulgating its use.

  • GarandFan

    Reading about the latest info on the shooter; in one of his last confrontations on campus, it appears to me the officer had more than enough probably cause to haul this guy in for a psych eval.

    But like all true campus cops, he just filed the paperwork. Don’t want to upset the students ya know.

  • RFA

    I still say the killer weed has to take some of the blame

    That’s absurd. Pot smokers are about the most non-violent people in the world.

  • epador

    Happiness is a warm gun, bang bang.

  • Jay Guevara

    Crickmore, your streak is intact. You’re the Cal Ripken Jr. of muddleheaded opinion.

  • http://everywhere.com OregonMuse

    No, OrganMusethey would say that she brought in on

    OK, so in other words, a blatant, crystal-clear double standard would be in operation.

    And you, apparently, are OK with that.

  • Steve Crickmore

    OregonMuse I really don’t want to think about too much, even if Bachmann is one that can go close to or over the edge.

    In March 2009, Bachmann was interviewed by the Northern Alliance Radio Network and promoted two forums she was hosting the next month in St. Cloud and Woodbury regarding Obama’s proposed cap and trade tax policy to limit greenhouse gas emissions. Bachmann said she wanted Minnesotans “armed and dangerous on this issue of the energy tax because we need to fight back.” In the interview, she also stated that Thomas Jefferson had said that “having a revolution every now and then is a good thing.” According to the Star Tribune, her quote went viral across the internet. Bachmann’s office quickly clarified that she was speaking metaphorically, meaning “armed with knowledge.

    (yeah sure)

    The issue really is that all congressman and congresswomen from both parties have received threats, and what as as a democracy can we do about it, if we want to continue to have many of our best people in public life running for office?

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