The facts about the incident were convoluted with conjecture at that time - and little has changed. However, we now know more about the shooter, Jared Loughner.
Loughner was an apolitical individual according to his high school friend, Zach Osler, who said on ABC's Good Morning America "He did not watch TV. He disliked the news. He didn't listen to political radio. He didn't take sides. He wasn't on the left; he wasn't on the right.". We now know that Loughner had an obsession with Congresswoman Giffords that went back as far as 2007; before any type of newfound Tea Party existed. We now know that Jared Loughner was a cultist of sorts with shrines and skulls and what-not in his backyard. We know that he liked conspiracy theory documentaries. We know that he was a fan of Hollywood psychological thrillers that delved into the darkness of man's consciousness, such as "A Scanner Darkly" and "Donnie Darko". We have found out that his reading list consisted of the father of communism's writings, Karl Marx; and Hitler's Mein Kampf. The guy is disturbed beyond comprehension; and if the initial argument was that the Tea Party influenced his actions; since we have found out that he absorbed no Tea Party rhetoric or followed conservatism in any way - then can we shift the blame to that media which he did consume - the mad rantings of paranoid tinfoil hattists, megalomaniacal dictators, and Hollywood schlock?
We know that Gabrielle Giffords is a former Republican turned blue-dog Democrat; hardly the type of divisive, Harry Reid or Nancy Pelosi-type leftist that would be the focus of Tea Party ire. She is a staunch supporter of gun rights, and supports tougher border security. Gabrielle Giffords was virtually unheard of to people outside of Pima County, Arizona in this past election season - because she did not fit the template of the most liberal candidates that the Tea Party fought at a national level.
Given the overwhelming evidence of fact, it is not only logical; but absolutely conclusive to deduce that the right, the Tea Party, and/or conservatism at large had absolutely nothing to do with the actions of a crazed lone gunman who committed a reprehensible act of violence.
We also now know that the left-leaning media hotheads will never let facts stand in the way of paranoid delusions that they themselves evaluate as having political progress and gain attached to them. Virtually everyone from Keith Olbermann (who was on the air when the gun barrel was still warm) to our own Tricia Vance and the Star News editorial board has weighed in on this, attempting to blame the right and the Tea Party for this tragedy.
Some of the most ridiculous allegations arise out of the blogosphere; such as a blog with the official-sounding moniker "American Chronicle", in which the writer who calls himself "Christian Church" writes:
These allegations are so unbelievably absurd, that they border on libelous. Referring to the insane Westboro Baptist Church crowd as "Tea Party activists" defies all logic. The extreme religious group is known for their hellfire and brimstone approach to all that they deem immoral, and regularly chant and wave signs that read such absurdities as "God hates fags" and the like. However, their motivation is not and has never been political; but merely religious extremism. Church offers no proof or evidence of his claim that Tea Partiers are using this incident to raise money, defend the killer, or are referring to Loughner as a "hero". That his paranoid and divisive mind can concoct such allegations seems to be sufficient enough to publish such dreck.Conservative Tea Party Activists from the Westboro Baptist Church in Topeka, Kansas say they will picket the funeral of Christina Greene, the 9-year-old girl who was murdered in cold blood during the Tea Party sponsored assassination rampage in Tucson, Arizona last weekend.Gifford now lies in a hospital after Tea Party activist Jared Loughner shot and wounded her. Six others, including a federal judge and Christina Greene, were murdered by Loughner in cold blood. Tea Party activists in the state are calling the murder spree an "event." And they are using publicity from these murders to fundraise for their cause. Some Tea Party activists have pledged to use the money they raise to help defend the killer in court. Many Tea Party activists are calling Loughner a "hero." http://www.americanchronicle.com/articles/view/210649
Here locally, the all-seeing, all-knowing Star News editorial board was quick to offer its wisdom on the issue, dutifully plagiarizing on the leftist template as of late, and exploiting the tragic death of 9-year-old Christina Green to futilely defend their position:
Our "democracy" is actually our Constitutionally-limited Representative Republic. Part of that distinction consists of a Constitution, which affords a Bill of Rights to citizens; among which the very first being the right to free speech. Posing a more severe threat to us all would be to limit or regulate what free speech is - which is apparently what the Star News is advocating for.But the incident sparked a long-overdue national discussion, and it’s worth asking: What kind of example are we setting for the Christina Greens of the world when what passes for political discourse in this country consists of name-calling, foot-stomping refusal to compromise, schoolyard-bully tactics and putting elected officials “in the cross hairs,” even figuratively speaking?Other candidates, including Southeastern North Carolina’s Ilario Pantano, staged campaign events around weapons and used gun lingo in their speeches and campaign platforms.Someone who disagrees with us on a political question is not merely wrong but an evildoer who hates this country and wants to hand it over to terrorists. “He’s a communist.” “She’s a wingnut.” “Take back America!” As if one group of Americans has a greater right to the country than the rest of the citizenry.All that shouting threatens to silence the voices of reason, and that in turn hurts our democracy. http://www.starnewsonline.com/article/20110111/ARTICLES/110119942/1108/editorial?p=1&tc=pg
In the aftermath of the rampage perpetrated by Major Malik Nadal Hasan in Texas, the left was forgiving, even coining a new medical term to explain his actions - "pre-post-traumatic stress disorder". The president and other leaders of the left urged restraint of the national discourse. We were told to not jump to conclusions. We were informed of Hasan's "demons" and even suffered his being painted as some sort of social victim. Hasan was a Muslim, and fit the mold of someone which would draw the sympathy and defense of the left for his actions.
When Amy Bishop, the socialist, vehement Obama-supporting professor at the University of Alabama Huntsville shot and killed three of her colleagues at work, the story was virtually buried in the media. There was certainly no allegation that leftist rhetoric played a part in her actions, and the difference was that the right agreed. We were all able to chalk up that tragedy as nothing more than a psychotic sociopath acting out her evil on others.
However, when a person fitting the exact same psychological profile; with a history of disturbing behavior; and even stalking his victim for years shoots a Democrat member of Congress, suddenly restraint is out the window. Conjecture is king. Blame is delivered to political enemies with haste. Emotional response become fact. Rhetoric becomes discourse. Insanity becomes reason.
To blame the right, talk radio, the Tea Party, or any other faction of conservative media or vehicle for the actions of Jared Loughner; when no such connection exists even in the slightest regard; while giving a pass to that which he did consume on a regular basis, and which could conceivably incite rage and violence in an unstable individual, such as the mad ravings of documentary filmmakers who blamed the Bush administration for 9/11 and the world's ills at large; the darkest of Hollywood's psychological films; and the insane writings of madmen - is absolutely ludicrous. It is a position that defies rationality and reason. It is a precedent which must consume one's credibility in order to proceed.
The American political left suffered a sounding defeat in this past election season. Their tired message of "social progress" still comes without jobs, wealth, prosperity, freedom, or well-being. Their discourse does not connect with the American people at large. They have not been able to show any positive gains in any area of our society as a direct result of their political positions. They are desperate, and have devolved to investing everything they have left into attempting to tear down and destroy their opponents with libelous innuendo and irrational delusion. They work to try and regulate the very voices and opinions of those whom they disagree with. They attempt to manipulate the rule of law for their own agenda. They gladly sacrifice Representative Giffords, and any other victim who fits the template on their ill-conceived altar of political gain. Their mission is not to try and apply their message in a potable manner, and lift themselves up; but rather accept their position at the bottom and attempt to pull down their opposition to some sub-level below even themselves, with the desperate hope that in the end they will finally connect with the citizenry, after destroying all other avenues of thought that stand in their way.