Motive Sought in Arizona Shooting Aftermath
In the wake of Saturday’s attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, you might expect heightened scrutiny of anti-government and personal Internet rants. The Arizona shooting is so shocking, it could also almost make you forget the mail bombs intercepted in Maryland and Washington DC last Thursday and Friday.
- Arizona Congresswoman shot, federal judge and five others killed
- Killer had history of weirdly sinister political statements
- Internet threats of all sorts taken very seriously
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Political "Vitriol" a Contributing Factor?
Attempting to kill a member of Congress (or the President for that matter) is a specific federal offense. So are threats against the President. It seems after the fact we find the perpetrator has declared or at least hinted at his intent to commit a crime on a public Internet forum, like Facebook or MySpace.
This is why police must take these statements seriously. This is why frustrated passengers get arrested for jokingly threatening to blow up snowbound airports. This is why drunken teens get banned from entering the country for sending email rants to the President.
Although motive isn’t an element of a crime, it seems everybody wants to know why Jared Lee Loughner’s shot Giffords and killed six others. The sheriff where the incident occurred and others say harsh political discourse may be to blame. It’s hard not to speculate about political motives whenever a politician’s shot.
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