One commentator said that the madness of Jared Loughner, the Tucson mass murderer, lapped the far shores of both right and left.

So, apparently, does some of the thinking by others that has followed the atrocity.

One commentator generally seen as being on the American right, in discussing the Tucson atrocity, made reference to “deranged mass murderer Woodrow Wilson.”

Y’all don’t get a whole lot farther left than the Kremlin, from whence apparently comes this theory that President Obama and company sent Loughner to kill the Federal judge, to keep POTUS’ evil plans for domination from falling apart.

Pundits far and wide are lamenting that folks who call Loughner nuts will set the stage for him to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Now, I’m no shrink, but I HAVE been part of more homicide trials than the average bear, and I can tell you the trial judge will rigidly instruct the jury to disregard what the President, the High Sheriff of Pima County, you, me, and anyone else has to say about Loughner’s sanity except material and expert witnesses with psyche degrees who’ve examined the defendant and are allowed by said judge to testify. When I say the guy is nuts – bonkers, whack job, batshit crazy, whatever term is deemed insensitive to the mentally ill today – it’s just common sense in common lingo, and has nothing to do with the LEGAL definition of insanity. It will come under the M’Naghten Rule. Forests have died to print the legal scholars’ discussion of the subtleties of M’Naghten, but basically, it means that if Loughton could tell right from wrong and deliberately knew that he was doing wrong, it’s prison or death chamber, not a mental hospital. Given his long and careful planning in evidence, and his own request to be forgiven prior to the act, the prosecutors should have those bases thoroughly covered.

And one of the shooting victims has apparently since been arrested for a death threat, and brought in for psychiatric evaluation: The link comes from a blog reader on the ground in Tucson, BikerRN. Thanks, bro.

After reading the above links, if your mind needs to cleanse itself with some refreshing lucidity, I recommend this recent commentary from Professor John Lott:

A voice of reason: Professor John Lott, shown here at the 2010 Gun Rights Policy Conference.


  1. Did anyone notice Obama did not acknowledge the armed citizen who assisted in holding down Jared Loughner. This youg man risked his life, he ran towards the shooting from Walgreens where he was shopping to confront the shooter and was not acknowledged the night of the memorial service when all the citizens that helped were. I think this was done for political reasons and a disgrace.
    I am a retired police officer with over 20 years of service, a patrol supervisor, firearms instructor and encourage ordinary law abiding citizens, current and retired LEO’s to carry a concealed because unfortunately there plenty of Jared Loughner out there.

    Keep up the great articles Massad!!!

  2. We’re getting enough info now on this tragic affair to see not all the wackos have guns, some have cell phones and “pens” and microphones. But we knew that , didn’t we?

  3. “Forests have died to print the legal scholars’ discussion of the subtleties of M’Naghten, but basically, it means that if Loughton could tell right from wrong and deliberately knew that he was doing wrong, it’s prison or death chamber, not a mental hospital.”

    Never underestimate the idiocy or irrationality of JURORS, don’t you remember the John Hinckley and O.J. Simpson trials?

  4. Anti-gun, or at least people who dont normally think about guns, astound me. I have followed Lott’s article and read articles critical of firearms and other editorials.

    A theme that many of these talking heads have is dismay that the pro-gun side doesnt want to have a debate on the merits of magazines that hold more than ten rounds.

    What none seem to realize, or care about, is that WE HAVE debated this amongst ourselves in great depth, back when most of them didnt care about guns other than a vague disposition against them. They are starting at zero knowledge of the subject and in the habit of all uninformed people are incensed that the people who give a damn about this subject have mulled it over in depth and decided it is a BS issue. I know these folks consider themselves intellectual heavy weights and it hurts their feelings to be considered behind the power curve but they need to get over it.

    We think about guns all the time, for fun, for work, for defense. They know everything from short articles from the non-firearms press and from movies.

  5. One of my favorite responses to the statement “no one needs an assault rifle or high-capacity magazine” is, it’s a Bill of Rights not a Bill of Needs.

    No one needs high performance cars, we should all drive small electric cars. But you could argue larger SUVs are saver. I don’t need a 16 round magazine in my home defense gun, but I sure feel saver with it.

    If all these people who want more gun control are claiming it’s in the interest of public safety. Why not crack down harder on DUIs and people who speed? Far more lives could be saved there. How about putting AEDs in public areas?

    Heck, why not fast food control? I’m sure many more people die from assault hamburgers and their high-capacity saturated fat content…you can probably get +200% of your RDA of fat without ever reloading.

    Let’s not forget those Dairy Queen Assault Spoons. Those spoons scoop up more ice cream than normal spoons and they’re plastic! They’ll slip right through metal detectors!

    But the really scary thing is the spork, I mean it’s a spoon and it’s a fork?! What’s worst is it’s made out of a black polymer which will also slip through metal detectors, people could be carrying these and you would never even know. Plus it even has a textured grip to allow operation under any circumstance! Not to mention the black coloration is clearly a tactical military feature that no law abiding citizen needs.

    What we need now is strict control over all eating utensils, not just sporks. There should be a national background check with a 90 day waiting period. Perhaps even permits to own and to carry them. All utensils should be serialized and locked up safely. Fines and imprisonment for any violations. Money should be invested in new safety measures for eating utensils such as manual and passive safeties, biometric fingerprint scanners and micro stamping.

    Dealers will be required to notify authorities if anyone purchases more than one utensil in a month.

    I haven’t even got to napkin regulation and control!

    Heh any of this sound familiar?

  6. Dear Mas,

    I’ve read many of your articles were you hit upon your sensitivity in regards to racial discrimination.You mentioned about how you and your daughter were considered second class citizens under apartheid in South Africa and you seemed to take some satisfaction or pleasure in the United States electing a Black man as President despite disliking his particular politics. Based on your books and writings,you seem to be a pretty fair who has no chauvinistics attitudes toward women or bigotry toward other races.

    But,when it comes to discussing mental-illness,you seem to become rather crude for whatever reason. My Wife’s sister is “mentally-ill”,but she is not and has not ever been violent.She cannot purchase a gun nor does she want one. Her parents locked her away sheltered from the world to “protect” her and never sought treatment.When my wife and I got married,I felt a lot of compassion for this girl and how she was living and took it upon myself to try and help her.I got her treatment, personally took her to all her appointments and helped her sign up for social security & got her a Government apartment for the elderly and disabled.She is a extremely gentle person who spends her days in her apartment with her cat listening to music & writing stories.She goes to Church every Sunday and actually tithes 10% of everything she gets.When her farther passed away and she was left a sizable inheritance and she gave 10% of that to the Church as well.She likes to talk walks through the park and had people spit on her and throw things at simply because she is different.Who is truly “sick” in that situation.Should she be separated from society?

    My very first job was at a grocery store and the manager approached me one day and said the NAACP was forcing them to hiring a couple of “Niggers”.He told all of us White boys not to worry because he would give them all the shit jobs so that they would quit and he did indeed follow through and had them cleaning up trash in the alleys etc. On their first day of work when they walked into the break room,everyone got up and left except for me.I thought how much it must suck to not even be given a chance simly because of the color of your skin even though I was raised in a racist little segregated town by a family who about as racist as you can get without formally joining the clan and who bragged about our family’s past slave ownership.That job was really a turning point in questioning all the racial “wisdom” I was taught growing up.

    I worked for anheuser-busch when 9-11 happened and got real tired of all the racist rag-head,camel humper & sand-nigger comments coming from many employees.I asked management if they possibly could make a request in the next meeting to tone down the racist rhetoric and I was told that I should be understanding of such comments in light of what had happened.

    What percentage of the mentally ill are terrorist or criminals and/or violent? I would say it very safe to say that a far greater percentage of them are Black and Arab based on who fills out jails and who flies airplanes into buildings,but we’re told not to judge all Blacks & Arabs by a certain “small” percentage which really isn’t that small at all if you look at the numbers.I don’t know of any Arab country that flat out doesn’t completely suck ass with Israel being the only Civilized country in that forsaken land that doesn’t stone Women to death for exposing their neckline or some other such nonsense,but should we dismiss all arabs here in ths States as crazy idealogues from radical countries.

    Mas,the point is you don’t like yourself or your family being judged or associated with those “bad” arabs and you didn’t like being considered a second class citizen.My sister-in-law doesn’t like being called retarded or crazy and lumped in with people like Jared Loughner.Just like Sarah Palin gets up in arms if someone calls her Son retarded or some other “insensitive” label.How would you feel if some those less than flattering names for arabs were hurled at your own Children and Grandchildren?

    Just something to think about.

  7. I may be wrong but I think Arizona has a “Guilty but Insane” provision in their legal codes.
    This would provide for hospitalization and then, if cured, prison for life.
    Paul in Texas

  8. Clayton Cramer has studied mental illness for some time due to his brother’s bouts with schizophrenia. He believes the Tucson loonie-who-should-never-be-named is a classic schizophrenic, based on his reviews of said loonie’s youtube videos. I think he’s right. The “I’m being mind-controlled” theme is classic; this disease causes people to “hear voices” that they then want to attribute to an outside source, which could be anything from ghosts to aliens to demons to the CIA. That and the general muddled-logic-mess smells to me exactly like schizophrenia.

    That’s not to say he should get off, not hardly, but it does explain a lot. Including how one demented moron could be a fan of the work of Ayn Rand plus Marx plus “Mein Kampf” (yuck).

    This guy should have been under much tighter controls after the various death threats he made – threats that law enforcement didn’t take seriously. Mutterings are being made that investigative efforts were squelched by his mom, who was fairly high up in the county parks and recreation department. Cronyism and nepotism in the Pima County government is rampant enough that I for one take these rumors seriously.

  9. DWW — I hear ya, and I appreciate your message.

    Let me clarify. Today’s psychiatrists tell us that Abraham Lincoln probably had clinical depression. I’ve known folks with same diagnosis who were among some of the best and brightest writers, professors and, yes, cops that I have met and worked with. They kept it under control. They were shining examples of the benefits of proper mental health care.

    But six decades plus on this planet has also shown me a whole lot of folks who fall into one of two categories. One is the clever psychopath who gains pleasure from hurting others and has manipulated his loved ones (and sometimes, the system) into saying “Oh, poor X, it’s not his fault. He’s just sick. Let’s give him another chance…and it turns out to be just another chance to hurt innocent people. Another is the one so broken that he’s going to do irreparable harm to innocent people. Whether or not that second one could control it, the harm is done.

    Both, IMHO, need to be segregated from the pool of their potential victims as the first step.

    Know that your comments are always welcome here.

  10. Mas,

    Thanks for clarifying those comments and making the distinction between the violent sociopaths & and someone who simply has an illness like my sister-in-law. I imagine in your line of work,the majority of mentally ill people you encounter are of the violent type.Good point about Lincoln and the same could be said of Ernest Hemingway and a great number of Artists,Writers & Scientists. It seems there is often a fine line between madness & Genius as witnessed by Howard Hughes & Vincent Van Gogh among others and I would even say Einstein probably fits into that category.

    I don’t feel sorry for Jared Loughner or think he deserves any kind of pass as many liberals on the left feel and I feel great anger towards those cold calculating breed of murderers,rapists and especially those that prey on Children although I know there are certain muderers(Dahmer comes to mind)where I can’t even fathom what’s going on in their head to make them do such bizarre things as actuallyresorting to cannibalism. And in that sense don’t feel anger or animosity toward them anymore than I would an inanimate object since they don’t even really register as Human to me and instead simply feel sorrow for his victims hope insight is gained to possibly prevent such things from occurring again .

    Until there is some violation of the law and/or history of violence,you simply can’t force someone into treatment or haul them off and I persoanlly think it’s best it stay that way.Loughner was denied entry into the Military for reported drug problems and perhaps in his case that information should have been relayed to get him into treatment or at least prevented him from purchasing the Glock.Drug use & even Alcohol can have drastic effects of peoples mental state as I imagine many of us know individuals who are pretty easy going until they get a few beers in them,but once again I feel forced intervention is only warranted if there violation of law and documented danger to the public.

    Thanks again for the response Mas and I apoligize if my use of certain words was too salty for anyone,but felt they were necessary to illustrate my point.


  11. Thanks for clarifying the vast difference between mental problems and the legal definition of “legally insane”. The insanity defense is rarely effective in a court of law and it has been omitted from many of the states’ legal defenses.

    The media and government officials seem to want to brand the Tucson shooter as “insane”, but I feel that he is no more insane than the Ft. Hood shooter. Both used a rational pre-meditated thought process to purchase their weapons and ammo, then carefully planned and executed their attack. I know that the defense counsel want to move the venue to southern California to get a more favorable judge/jury, but this may not work for the Federal charges. Arizona will certainly press charges too on the state offenses of non-federal employees.

    I pray for the full recovery of the still-alive victims, but I wish the media would tone down the rhetoric about the shooter’s insanity. In the end, he will be tried after the media parade goes on to another subject.

  12. The city of Tucson, and/or Pima county can pass simple ordinances to address the issue of deranged killers at political events. Simply require all political events to be held indoors with controlled access and require a minimum amount of armed security (based on size of event) paid for by the politician, party, PACetc holding the event.

    Simple, does not infringe on rights, keeps rallies from blocking public right-of-way and will be safer fot the children that attend.

  13. Left useing Tucson in congress attack right to high cap mags for handguns and rifles. There claim that people should have right owen any high cap mags hold more than ten rounds. Worst thing can think up happen Massad Ayoob that people on left try turn rest counrty in state California which makes crimes owen any handgun rifle mags hold more ten rounds. There try claim now most people USA support ban try push on rest counrty. Those want take are guns are alive well use Tucson excuse to.

  14. Where was the security for the United States Congress Woman making a public speech in a super market parking lot?
    Don’t you think we needed police there for traffic control and crowd control at the very least? It was pathetic to allow this speech to happen with no law enforcement present and caused this incident to be as bad as it was. The sheriff talks a lot about Sarah Palin who had nothing to do with this he should be talking about his short comings and failures to keep his community safe.

  15. Mas,
    There will be many who call for the “reasonable” regulation of firearms, ammo, or magazines (not BHM) with respect to the “mentally ill”. That’s a PC softball, easy to accept.
    May I offer this as a word of caution:
    According to the National Institute of Mental Health, , approximately 26.2 percent of Americans, i.e., roughly about 78.6 million people, 18 and older, one in four adults, suffer from a diagnosable mental disorder in a given year.

    When the State is given the ability to separate people from their Rights, they tinker with definitions and conditions in order to maximize such an effort.

    Let’s also recall that there have been some who have openly wished for Soetoro / Obama to have an “Oklahoma City moment”

  16. DWW,

    Loughner HAS a history of violence or threats of violence. And instead of letting charges be filed, the results of which would most likely end up with Lougher being adjudicated mentally deficient, the Sheriff’s office discouraged it. The man was doing things which, had a “sane” person done them, would’ve landed them at least in jail, if not a prison sentence. Instead Pima Co. Sheriff’s Office sweeps it under the rug and tells a tall tale about him being well cared for by a mental health professional. BS.

    If anything, this does injustice to folks like your sister who is no harm to anyone. Because now folks will start thinking that any person with mental issues is potentially dangerous.

    Lougher was a KNOWN problem before this. Otherwise I would share your sentiments. What gets me so mad about this whole situation is that this is one of those cases where it was obviously preventable. Not only with benefit of hindsight in which almost anything is preventable, but actually preventable. There were clear warning signs well before Loughner did this, and nothing was done about it. And it was left to fest till he really did shoot someone.


  17. One of the things that bugs me greatly about this whole tragedy was the rush to blame. Blame the gun. Blame the media. Blame the right. Blame Sarah Palin. Blame conservative talk radio. Blame inflammatory speech. Blame the fact that he could carry 16 rounds instead of just 7. Blame politicians who “target” their opposition using “crosshairs”. Blame his mommy and daddy. Place blame anywhere you can except with the only place the blame needs to be – with the person who committed the crime.

    I am reminded of the Menendez brothers case where guilt wasn’t a question. But they were let go none the less because certain members of the jury felt sorry for the boys because they no longer had parents…

    We need to quit searching for a place to put the blame except on where it rightly belongs – with the person who committed the crime.

    My thoughts and prayers go out to all those directly affected by this tragedy.