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Dogwalk: Time To Put Tucson Behind

I am deeply sorry for the tradgedy that befell Gabrielle Giffords.  I couldn't be more pleased that her recovery thus far seems remarkable.  Other than that I'm getting tired of hearing about it as if she were some sort of fallen diety. She is not.  She's a Congresswoman from Arizona who, before the shooting, few, outside Congress and her state, were even aware of who she was.  It's time to move on. One of her fellow Democrats, Loretta Sanchez, D CA, even went so far as to suggest she should be removed from the Armed Services Committee until (and if) she recovers from her injuries. It seems some were outraged at the suggestion, saying it was bad for morale while she was recovering. Why?/Dogwalk Musings. More here. (AP file photo)

Question: Do you agree with Dogwalk Musings that it's time to move on from Tucson tragedy? Or is it still too soon?

Palin Calls Attacks ‘Blood Libel’

Sarah Palin today accused her opponents of manufacturing a "blood libel" by suggesting her rhetoric and campaign tactics had anything to do with the Arizona shootings. Four days after an incident which left six people dead and critically injured the congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, Palin released a video statement condemning the attack. She denied that a now infamous campaign map showing Giffords's electoral district in the cross hairs of a gun had influenced the shooter Jared Lee Loughner. In an attack on her accusers, she said: "Journalists and pundits should not manufacture a blood libel that serves only to incite the very hatred and violence they purport to condemn. That is reprehensible"/Matthew Weaver, The Guardian. More here.

Reaction?

AIB: Nothing Woulda Stopped Nut

Almost Innocent Bystander: I get weary of people wanting to blame Sarah Palin, for pete's sake, this guy prayed to a skull in a tent in his back yard. The only voices he heeded were the ones in his head. No political commentary from the left or the right were going to contain or expand his madness. Oh, and btw, he's a pot smoking Marxist whose girlfriend broke up with him. How about we outlaw Marx and girlfriends before we stick it to law abiding folks who own guns? I did admire Diane Sawyer for being somewhat astonished at the lame brain Sheriff down there, so some in the media have been responsible, it's a start.

Cis: Media Gave Killer What He Wants

But when I see the picture of the young man in the paper, I have got to say, I am not only upset with him even in his demented state of mind … but also with the Media … To me, the picture says it all. There he is in his range, with a big smile on his face … like he got what he wanted. MEDIA COVERAGE. He doesn’t have the demeanor of say the Unbomber, (which by the way, his lawyer has stepped up to the plate to be a lawyer for this mental case.) No head bowed like one usually is … when someone thinks the government is taking over his mind, and other claims by this person. No anger of say, like McVeigh, but it appears to be the, I am enjoying all of this attention. Sad on so many levels/Cis, From A Simple Mind. More here.

Question: How do you think the media have handled the Tucson shootings?

Assassin’s Family Asks For Privacy

A statement from the parents of Jared Loughner that was delivered to the media by unknown persons from inside the home Tuesday in Tucson, Ariz. is shown. Loughner is the alleged gunman in the shooting of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, D-Ariz., who is still in critical condition, and other victims who were shot on Saturday, leaving six dead and more injured. Washington Post story here. (AP Photo/Ross D. Franklin)

Question: Does the family of accused mass murderer Jared Loughner deserve our sympathy?

Giffords Breathing On Her Own

Fans pause during a moment of silence for Rep. Gabrielle Gifford, D-Ariz., and the victims of the shooting in Tucson, Ariz., before the BCS National Championship NCAA college football game at the University of Phoenix Stadium between Auburn and Oregon, Monday, in Glendale, Ariz. Today, doctors report that the congresswoman is breathing on her own. Story here. (AP Photo/Matt York)

Ariz. suspect could get Duncan’s lawyer

A well-known anti-death penalty lawyer tapped to represent alleged Tucson, Ariz., shooter Jared Loughner led child-killer Joseph Duncan's defense team during his 2008 trial in Boise.

Judy Clarke, formerly federal defender for Eastern Washington and Idaho, has also defended Unabomber Ted Kaczynski, child-killer Susan Smith and domestic terrorists Timothy McVeigh and Eric Robert Rudolph.

Clarke (pictured in 2007) was present during Duncan's death penalty trial in Boise, where he represented himself as his team of court-appointed lawyers stood by. They had earlier tried to leave Duncan's case, saying their participation would violate their professional ethics.

"We are not gunslingers who do the bidding of someone who does not have a rational understanding," Clarke told U.S. District Judge Edward Lodge.

Lodge declined Clarke's request.

Clarke currently is a lawyer in San Diego, where she has also been a federal defender.

She was called on over the weekend to defend Loughner, who is accused of shooting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords during an event in Tucson on Saturday. He's also accused of killing six others, including U.S. District Judge John Roll.

Clarke worked in Eastern Washington and Idaho from 1992 to June 2002. Her husband, Speedy Rice, was an instructor at Gonzaga Law School. She has twice argued cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and named one of her dogs in honor of former Supreme Court Justice Abe Fortas.

Read an in-depth profile on Clarke from 1996 here.

Fisherman: Deal w/Underlying Issue

Old Fisherman (re: weekend thread about attack on Congresswoman Giffords & others): After spending time to read through this long thread, it's refreshing to see a precious few of you are trying to make sense out of this and undersand what happened. Some of you pay respects to all those injured or dead, and their families. A few of you have hit the nail on the head regarding mental health. We as a Nation have failed miserably to provide for our citizens that have mental health issues, and yes, gov't cuts that funding first when the shoe pinches. That has to be corrected. Then our own state puts mental health on the block along with education. If someone were able to look back over the past 5 years at shootings, the numbers would be chilling. The reasons are pretty much the same. I am not saying if the alleged shooter had access to mental health this would not have happened, but it's worth thinking about.

Question: Would better funding for mental health services in this country help defuse murderous assaults like the one over the weekend in Tucson, Ariz.?

Arizona Murder Suspect Not Talking

A 22-year-old man charged with trying to assassinate a U.S. congresswoman in a shooting spree that left six people dead has remained silent and has not been cooperating with the investigation, according to a sheriff. Jared Loughner, described as a social outcast with wild beliefs steeped in paranoia and deep distrust of government, was due to make his first court appearance Monday at 4 p.m. ET. At 11 a.m. ET, President Obama led the nation in a moment of silence to remember the victims. A federal judge, a congressional aide and a young girl were among the six killed Saturday, while Rep. Gabrielle Giffords and 13 others were injured in the bursts of gunfire outside a Tucson supermarket/MSN.com. More here.

DFO: There were two impassioned threads over the weekend (here and here) re: this assault on Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords that left six dead and a dozen others wounded in Arizona Saturday. I allowed the discussion to continue to provide an outlet for raw feelings as the nation tried to cope with the horror of this attack. Some went over the line. Others tried to use this murderous assault for a political statement. I'm amazed by those who lament the political vitrole in this country and yet add to the fire. With the hope that we've had time to process this mass murder, I'll post this new thread on the attack, with the question:

Question: How can we come back together as a country and turn the hateful political rhetoric down?