Background on Giffords’ Shooter

In the true spirit of Assigned Reading, John over at Verum Serum has some interesting information on exactly who Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords’ shooter, Jared Lee Loughner, seemed to be.  Follow the following links to read into it, and if I see anything else, I’ll put it up in this space.

Verum Serum: Jared Loughner and Travis Bickle

I still think Loughner had an undiagnosed mental problem. I’m not just saying that because of his actions Saturday, but because of his writing which is very unusual going back at least a year. But, apart from any chemical problem, his chief mental problem seems to have been a vague anti-authority nihilism.

His fixation with Rep. Giffords fits into that. In fact if you step back from the political blame game you see this case has more in common with the kind of rampage we saw at Columbine than with any coherent set of policy views. Jared saw himself as superior to Giffords (who couldn’t answer his question). He also clearly saw himself as someone who saw through the nonsense that is the world and its rules, e.g. rules of grammar, monetary policy, etc. Eric Harris had a similar sense of superiority which led to his contempt for those around him. Contempt led to a plan to eliminate the people he despised.

On the political front, the Tea Party played no role in this. Loughner’s fixation with Giffords predates the existence of the Tea Party. It also predates Sarah Palin’s entrance on the national stage. It’s doubtful he was a fan of hers or of any politician in any party. His specific targeting of Giffords seems to have had more to do with proximity than anything else. She was the one “authority figure” he had had some contact with, the one face to which he could connect his rage at the system which judged him insignificant.

Verum Serum: Jared Loughner’s Postings on Above Top Secret Suggest He Was Losing Touch with Reality

Last night, Morgen noticed that Jared Loughner posted under the handle “erad3″ on the website Above Top Secret. He posted there as recently as December 7th of last year. In that instance, he was rambling about the Mars Rover:

Is one of your favorite toys a remote control car?

If NASA creates a mars rover that communicates from mars then the signal reaches from the distance of mars.
The signal doesn’t reach from the distance of mars.
Nonetheless, NASA creates a mars rover that doesn’t communicate from mars.

If NASA communication signals reaches mars then NASA communication signal from the mars rover.
The NASA communication signals reaches mars
Therefore, NASA communication signals from the mars rover.

If the pictures are from mars then the mars rover is on mars.
The Mars rover is not on mars.
Therefore, the pictures are not from mars.



  1. Thinkor says:

    What the posting shows is not Loughner’s disconnect from reality but his apparent fascination with something he was learning about logic combined with a desire to how off in an enigmatic way. (The meaning is a little obscured by a couple of obvious typos.)

    The three short paragraphs he posted have the following forms, where I am using “~” as an abbreviation for “Not”, a common practice among logicians. You can look up “transposition” and “modus ponens” in Wikipedia for definitions.

    #1. If P then Q.
    Nonetheless, R.

    (The point: you cannot infer R in this situation by transposition, because R isn’t ~P, even though it looks like it might be at first glance.)

    #2. If P then Q.
    Therefore Q.

    (The point: a valid inference by modus ponens.)

    #3. If P then Q.
    Therefore, ~P.

    (The point: a valid inference, by transposition.)

  2. Anonymous says:

    That last comment has me going insane. ~kidding

  3. Red Bear says:

    That comment by Thinkor is very insightful.

    I didnt notice the logic connection.


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