How many times can a man turn his head…? Tucson, Arizona and the murderous events of January 8, 2011
by Dr. Jeffrey Lant
It was just an ordinary day at the La Toscana Village Safeway
store on West Ina Road except that U.S. Representative Gabrielle
Giffords (D-Arizona) with her mega-watt smile had dropped
by to do a “Congress on Your Corner” meet and greet, answer
some questions, pose for a few pictures. Maybe she was running
for the U.S. Senate, or not. She was keeping her options open, and this
was a good place to meet the folks and make a good
While Giffords was doing her job, Jared Loughner was preparing
to do his. He was in the parking lot, in a taxi, loaded down with
a Glock 19 semiautomatic pistol. The magazine was full. He
had another full magazine, too, that had about 30 bullets and
two more that each held about 15 bullets. Just in case, Jared
was also carrying a knife. But Jared had a problem. On his
way to destiny he found he didn’t have enough change to pay his
taxi fare. He and the driver stepped inside the store, sorting
it out… Jared then walked back inside.
In just an instant, in a moment of unspeakable horror death
descended, at the hand of the man now known as alleged
gunman Jared Loughner, aged 22.
Murdered! 9 year old Christina Green, student council
representative and A student.
Murdered! Judge John Roll, 63, his life dedicated to the law
and due process.
Murdered! Dorwin Stoddard, 76, who gave his life shielding
Murdered! Gabriel Zimmerman, 30, an expert on constituent
affairs in Gabby Gifford’s office.
Murdered! Phyllis Schneck, 79, affable church volunteer.
Murdered! Dorothy Morris, 76 good neighbor, enjoying a
Dead, all dead, with 12 more wounded, bleeding,
writhing. But Jared, who delivered death, lived on,
condemned to life, protected by the Constitution and
the hBill of Rights he sneered at.
Why had this happened when so many knew so much
for so long about the troubled mind and insistent presence
of Jared Loughner?
The U.S. Army had clues. Jared had applied and been
rejected for reasons officials would not disclose. What
did they know, when did they know it, what did they do?
Officials at Tucson’s Pima Community College,
where Jared was a disruptive, unsettling presence,
Campus police were called at least 5 times to deal
with Jared and his out-of-control classroom antics.
September 29, 2010 they had enough when Jared
posted the latest of a string of vituperative, rambling,
sense challenged videos, this one claiming the
college was illegal, according to the U.S. Constitution,
which doubtless he had never read and could not
So frequently forced to deal with Jared, what
did these officials know, when did they know
it, what did they do, beyond having two uniformed
police officers hand-deliver his suspension to his
home? They knew enough for that.
Readers of Jared’s Facebook and YouTube rants had
clues. Incoherent, violent, accusatory, Jared’s
poorly written posts reeked of the pains he felt and
the greater pains he aimed to inflict on someone, anyone.
There was one video titled “America: Your last
memory in a terrorist country!”. There a figure in the
dark clothing Jared habitually wore burned the
American flag while wearing a smiley-face mask.
Desecration of the flag is de rigueur for the
unbalanced and country hating and Jared juiced
up this evil sacrament with the soundtrack of a 2001
song by the band “Drowning Pool.”
“Let the bodies hit the floor!”
What did his readers know, when did they know it,
what did they do? Or did they even notice Jared, who
so desperately wanted to be noticed and understood.
Then Jared got serious.
He wrote the obligatory self-justifications. There were
3 of them, all found in a safe in Loughner’s home:
“I planned ahead”, “my assassination,” and, tellingly,
“Giffords.” There was even a flyer from one of
Giffords’ 2007 “Congress on Your Corner” events.
He had, we now know, attended this event, perhaps
brainstorming the options that would deliver
universal notice, even unto the President of these
United States, the land he so reviled.
He purchased his weapon of choice at Sportsman’s
Warehouse on November 30, 2010. Then he bought
his portable arsenal of bullets, lots of bullets.
No one at the store noticed anything particular
about this boy, already bursting with purpose and
arrogant determination. Boys with odd ticks and rumpled
clothes are a daily occurrence in the temple of weapons
and the priesthood of the Second Amendment. No one cared.
The sale, after all, went through. And that’s the important
thing, isn’t it? What did that obligatory pre-purchase
background check show about Loughner, who by now had
left so very many clues? Or was it given the most cursory
of notice? No one has yet said, but one may suppose.
Which brings us to the spruced up Jared, dressed for
mayhem and eternity. He called the taxi and rode off,
his driver apparently seeing nothing of the bulky paraphernalia
of death toted by the alleged culprit and gunman. We all wonder
how that could be.
Just as we wonder how so many could have seen so much
and done so little, leaving Jared the initiative, always free to act
while others watched and waited…. until the bodies hit the floor.
Fortunately, there are heroes here, two people who tackled
Jared gun of death in hand, bringing him down. These (so far
unnamed) people of courage did not hold back. They saw, they
acted, saving many lives, even at the risk of their own.
As for the rest and all the soul baffling questions, the answer is blowing
in the wind.
About The Author
Harvard-educated Dr. Jeffrey Lant is CEO of
Worldprofit, Inc., www.worldprofit.com where
small and home-based businesses learn how to
profit online. Attend Dr. Lant’s live webcast
TODAY and receive 50,000 free guaranteed
visitors to the website of your choice! For details
on Dr. Lant’s 18 best-selling business books,
go to www.jeffreylant.com
Author: Jeffrey LantThis author has published 572 articles so far. More info about the author is coming soon.