Tuesday, September 27th, 2016

Sticky: Shooter identified as Jared Loughner (Updates as we go along)

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And as Ben Smith at Politico is reporting, Jared Loughner left a bit of a social media trail that may give some insight into his troubled mind.

The police have named a suspect in the shooting of Gabriel Giffords, Jared Loughner. A person under that name has a YouTube account that includes suggestions of anti-government political views.

“”You don’t have to accept hte federalist laws,” the video above says; it also insists on the gold and silver standard, talks of revolution, and suggests that the government is imposing “mind control and brainwash on the people by controlling grammar.”

His linked MySpace page, no longer available, included statements about the gold standard and about SWAT teams paying for their equipment with illegal currency.

Among his long list of favorite books in his YouTube profile are Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto, Siddhartha.

To our friends on the left that were shamelessly speculating that this was an act of some right-wing tea party member before any facts were known, I would suggest that the Communist Manifesto is hardly a favorite conservative or libertarian book, even on the fringe.

We still do not have any idea of the motive of the shooter, but from what I’ve seen from Loughner’s YouTube page it would be hard to make any sense of this individual, and I do not envy investigators who have to sort this out.

I found this to be especially creepy.

Update:
Here is his You Tube profile before it gets taken down.

Update 2!
This is apparently a screen shot from a YouTube video of Jared Loughner setting fire to the American flag.

Update 3! Person on Twitter who claims she knew the shooter thought he was left wing, a “pot head,” and “oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.” Take it with a grain of salt.

caitieparker Caitie Parker
This is a circus. Good Morning America just called me.
57 minutes ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa it’s loughner just checked my year book.
58 minutes ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@lakarune I haven’t seen him since ’07. Then, he was left wing.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@noboa more left. I haven’t seen him since ’07 though. He became very reclusive.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa he had a lot of friends until he got alcohol poisoning in ’06, & dropped out of school. Mainly loner very philosophical.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal. & oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa he was a pot head & into rock like Hendrix,The Doors, Anti-Flag. I haven’t seen him in person since ’07 in a sign language class
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa He was a political radical & met Giffords once before in ’07, asked her a question & he told me she was “stupid & unintelligent”
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa I can. That is him.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
@
@antderosa I went to high school, college, & was in a band with the gunman. This tragedy has just turned to horrific.
1 hour ago

caitieparker Caitie Parker
Official I went to high school & college, & was in a band w/ the gunman. I can’t even fathom this right now.
1 hour ago
»

caitieparker Caitie Parker
Saying Jared Laughner was the gunman. Really hoping that’s not the same guy I went to HS with, really good friend. Freaking out right now!!!
2 hours ago

Update 4! The Arizona Daily Star gives more background on Jared Loughner.

A former classmate of Loughner at Pima Community College said he was “obviously very disturbed.”

“He disrupted class frequently with nonsensical outbursts,” said Lynda Sorenson, who took a math class with Loughner last summer at Pima Community College’s Northwest campus.

Sorenson doesn’t recall if he ever made any threats or uttered political statements but he was very disruptive, she said. He was asked to leave the pre-algebra class several times and eventually was barred from class, said Sorenson, a Tucson resident.

MySpace, YouTube and Facebook accounts maintained by Loughner suggest he has spent most of his life on the northwest side: His profile says he attended Thornydale Elementary, Tortolita Middle School, Mountain View High School and Pima Community College.

The online accounts also contain bizarre discussions of a new currency and literacy, as well as threatening and despairing messages.

“WOW! I’m glad i didn’t kill myself. I’ll see you on National T.v.! This is foreshadow …. why doesn’t anyone talk to me?..” he posted on MySpace Dec. 14.

On Dec. 13, he wrote: “I don’t feel good: I’m ready to kill a police officer! I can say it.”

In a posting on YouTube, Loughner wrote repeatedly about a new currency.

“I’m thinking of creating a new currency,” he wrote. “Therefore, I’m thinking of a design for my new coins size, shape, color, material, and image to start a new money system.”

He also wrote repeatedly about literacy. In a written message on YouTube, Loughner said: “The majority of people, who reside in District-8 are illiterate — hilarious. I don’t control your English grammar structure, but you control your English grammar structure.”

In a message posted on his MySpace account, titled “Goodbye friends,” Loughner said: “Dear friends…please don’t be mad at me. The literacy rate is below 5%. I haven’t talked to one person who is literate.” It was unclear when it was posted.

In a MySpace profile, Loughner said “My favorite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college.”

He lists among his favorite books “Mein Kampf” and “The Communist Manifesto”. But he also includes a broad variety of other titles, including: “Animal Farm,” “Brave New World,” “To Kill a Mockingbird,” and “One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest”.

In another YouTube message, Loughner said: “I know who’s listening: Government Officials, and the People. Nearly all the people, who don’t know this accurate information of a new currency, aren’t aware of mind control and brainwash methods. If I have my civil rights, then this message wouldn’t have happen.”

“In conclusion, my ambition – is for informing literate dreamers about a new currency; in a few days, you know I’m conscience dreaming! Thank you!”

Update 5! The New York Times has a summary of what is known about Loughner, including his attempted enlistment in the army and his sudden departure from college.

His MySpace page included a photograph of a United States history textbook, on top of which he had placed a handgun. He prepared a series of Internet videos in which he posted odd statements about the gold standard, the community college he attended and SWAT teams.

Jared Lee Loughner, in these few public hints, offered a sense of his alienation from society, confusion, anger as well as foreboding that his life could soon come to an end. Friends talked of how he had become reclusive in recent years, and his public postings raised questions, in retrospect at least, about his mental state.

Still, his comments offered little indication as to why, as police allege, he would go to a Safeway supermarket in northwest Tucson on Saturday morning and begin shooting at a popular Democratic congresswoman and more than a dozen others, killing six and wounding 19.

There was evidence of recent trouble, though. Mr. Loughner, 22, was suspended in late September from Pima Community College, where he had been attending classes, because the school became aware of a disturbing YouTube video. Mr. Loughner voluntarily withdrew from the College on Oct. 4.

Paul Schwalbach, a spokesman for the college, said that he did not know the content of the video or if it was considered threatening.

But the campus police and other officials viewed it and “found it very disturbing,” he said. “If he wanted to come back to the school, he would have needed a mental health clearance,” Mr. Schwalbach said.

Update 6! 1/9/11 2:11 AM One last update. Authorities are still looking for a possible 2nd suspect. Meanwhile Loughner is not talking.

Update 7! Dave Weigel explores the connection between Loughner and the self-proclaimed “King of Hawaii,” David Wynn Miller.

It’s possible that Loughner, whose reading list included plenty of fantasy books and books about overthrowing the government, could have encountered this work, processed it, and applied it to the theories he was already developing. But a quick read of Miller’s material doesn’t reveal calls for violence. Rather, there’s a lot of complicated Utopian thinking about government oppression and how to fight it, less coherent than the other material — Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto — that Loughner claims to have read.

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