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Bullets over Behavioral Sciences

Updated on September 16, 2014

by Chris Stevenson

We just witnessed the first Joe-Six-Pack assassination attempt of a public figure in America possibly steered by a hateful media-inspired political climate since the murder of Medgar Evers by Byron De La Beckwith. The despicable shootings of Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ), the 9-year-old girl Christina Taylor Green, District Court Judge John Roll and 17 others by Jared Lee Loughner may in the long run become a pivotal moment in American history, but right now it's not speaking volumes on the positive side for this country.

Many are pointing to conservative talk radio and soundbite-addict Sarah Palin as being the prime wordsmith responsiblefor this. In truth, it's hard to ignore her given her public persona, even an idiot can influence people if you overexpose them. Palin seems to be just such the idiot. She has a hit list. My historical tie-in of Evers is no coincidence, no doubt right-wing radio was present in the old-south, but not like today. Politicians however were as shameless and base as ever. During the 2nd unsuccessful trial to convict Beckwith of the shooting, then-former Mississippi Governor Ross Barnett (essentially the George Wallace of MS) literally stood up to shake Beckwith's hand while Evers' widow Myrlie was testifying. I mention Barnett because because of his position as Governor, and racially outrageous behavior throughout his career. Unlike Alabama's Wallace, whose "segregation forever" platform was actually 'Segregation until the blacks get the vote,' Barnett stubbornly clinched to his wrong beliefs. By 1967 a more liberal climate had even affected his state enough to make him look like a dinosaur during the gubernatorial election and he came in 4th.

Some time after Barnett lost his bid for a comeback, he was quoted as saying: "Generally speaking I'd do the same things again." What would Barnet think of Gabrielle Giffords before and after her shooting? Giffords was even considered by some to be a centrist (centrist to conservatives is still Liberal). Even more-so, what would Barnett think of President Barack Obama? This brings us back to another former Governor of note; Sarah Palin, apparently just as stubborn and stupid as Barnett. Palin is on of those who uses the "political climate" excuse whenever she says something politically or racially objectionable. She is in no better position to use it than Barnett was, and he didn't. A 3/28 letter by her is being circulated on Facebook where she starts off talking about March Madness (the NCAA college basketball playoffs) and compares the Final Four to the then-upcoming midterm elections. Militant connotations and buzz terms like "set your sights," "Targets," "shot across the bow," "the enemies crosshairs," "you must execute strong defensive tactics," and "never retreat, instead RELOAD," are in ample supply.

A chart from her "Sarah PAC" website displays a US map where Giffords was targeted as one of 20 "let's take back the 20 together" House Democrats who voted for the health care bill. This is considered by more than a few to be a "hit list," the question is were those words suggestive enough to sway a man like Loughner? For one thing that depends on what he is; a Me-Insurgent (simply a narcissist gone too far), mentally troubled, or a patsy. They say he was a little off, the type of guy who would tell you two-plus-two equals five andget mad at you if you didn't believe him. In truth we all know people like that, but what made him wake up and decide on the morning of 1/8/11 at 10:10 MST that he was going to kill? There's the Manchurian Candidate angle already online where Loughner is supposed to be the latest dupe of MK-ULTRA mind control by the secret society known as the Illuminati due to they're being upset with her over a bill signed some time ago which cracked down on drug cartels from nearby Mexico. Drug cartels unequivocally operate under the control or permission of a secret society due just their success in importing illegal narcotics into the US without hinder for decades.

It was the 22-year-old Loughner who was quoted on Youtube as saying he wasn't going to pay debt with a currency not backed by gold or silver, according to Cagle Newscolumnist Tina Dupuy, 15 minutes after the news of the Tucson shooting broke, Sarah Palin tweeted "the price of gold today is at $1,368.90 an ounce." Giffords republican opponent Jesse Kelly also had an ad that read "get on target for victory in November/Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office/shoot a fully automatic M-16 with Jesse Kelly." Now I know conservatives will never own up to playing any role in this tragedy no matter what some of them previously said. Since Reagan, inflammatory language is as natural to them as NASCAR is to North Carolina.

Chris Stevenson is a syndicated columnist, his articles also appear in Political Affairs Magazine and the buffalo bullet. Follow him on Twitter,, blackcommentator and facebook. Respond to him on comment section below.


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    • profile image

      Fay Paxton 

      7 years ago

      Very interesting read and comments. I would suggest that those who want to overlook the impact of atmosphere and words are painfully naive. What more did Hitler, or Jim Jones offer but words that influenced and captured the imagination? There are those who claim candidate Obama won because his rhetoric hypnotized the nation.

      I thoroughly reject arguments that suggest one has no right to find fault because "you do it". The Ghanian example is ridiculous. Ghana does not hold itself out as an exceptional nation where are all men are free to obtain some fleeting dream.

      I'm reminded of the Stanford experiment, in which students conducted a psychology experiment by simulating prison life. The two-week investigation had to be ended after only six days because the students who posed as guards became sadistic and the student prisoners became depressed and showed signs of extreme stress. But why? They weren't really in prison.

      Words matter. The Pledge of Allegiance is words. Martin Luther King spoke words. The Constitution is just words.

      People should be big enough to hold out the possibly, with the knowledge that death was certainly no ones intent and go forward with a new view.

      up and very useful

    • Right Black profile image

      Right Black 

      7 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

      pointblank009, you seem to be pointing in the wrong direction. Surely you don't think that the KKK, Neo Nazis or Skinheads are conservatives? The KKK was a Democratic invention, the Nazis are socialists and Skinheads are a conglomeration of the two. The far end of either political opinion is a little nuts so that's why Sarah Palin isn't responsible. Nuts are nuts with or without Sarah Palin or left and right wing talkshow hosts. Give it up, I personally don't think you have a hit list and if you did if someone else used it that doesn't make you responsible for their actions. A list is a list and murder is murder. Until someone can prove she said "go kill them" she is not responsible.

    • pointblank009 profile imageAUTHOR


      8 years ago from Buffalo

      Right Black, Fine. All you need to do is find my "hit-list" and you win. I'll go straight to Mrs Giffords and apologize myself and wait for the police to pick me up. Young Loughner may not be conservative, but he sure as hell seems plenty guillible. Judge Roll had a history of getting death threats since '09 after certifying a $32 million civil rights suit by illegal immigrants against a Texas rancher. It seems the threats started where else but on talk radio shows. Roll may have been republican but he was known to call it down the middle.

      While I agree with you on "Communist Manifesto," "Mein Kampf" is not a leftist classic, I can say without knowing first hand, that you can find it quicker on the shelves of any KKK, Neo Nazi, Skinhead or any member of a far-right militia or hate group with 8th-grade reading skills than you can in any green or black book store.

    • Right Black profile image

      Right Black 

      8 years ago from Huntington Beach, California

      pointblank009, I could argue that your name is inflammatory. What does pointblank mean? Maybe the killer was listening to you. Of course, this is silly but it is almost as silly as saying it is Sarah Palin's fault. The shooter/killer was no conservative as The Freedomist points out, "Jared Lee Loughner, identified today as the shooter responsible for the mass shooting this morning in Tucson which took the life of federal court judge and Bush appointee John Roll and critically injured Democrat U.S. Representative Gabrielle Giffords, lists The Communist Manifesto and Mein Kampf among his favorite books, calls himself a terrorist, and indicates he has no religious views." Maybe you might want to retract you article because these books are leftist classics.

    • Santi Lio profile image

      Santi Lio 

      8 years ago from erehwon

      This article is cleverly written and pertains to the national climate. In a case like this I would usually be tempted to inhabit a centrist position. But the evidence here so clearly points to this shooters agenda. He believed himself to be a martyr for the republican cause.

      Think of the institutionalism, better known as brainwashing, that occurs in the middle east in high doses. That level of vitriole has resulted in the most unstable region on earth.

      Even if I were to favor a centrist position on this issue, and give republicans the benefit of the doubt, I'd still maintain that the kind rhetoric used on their behalf is dangerous. The fear-mongering republicans use could and probably just did, inspire an attack that cost life.

      Was the kid obviously disturbed? Without a doubt. In a world free of neorepublican rhetoric, he might still be at home occupying himself with anonymous gay-bashing on Internet blogs, reading up on 2nd amendment literature, or whatever else young republicans do for fun.

      Santi Lio,

    • Harvey Stelman profile image

      Harvey Stelman 

      8 years ago from Illinois

      point, You may have to stay in Buffalo, and continue to enjoy the good weather. That's an analogy to what you have written.

      Place in the back of your mind what happened decades ago. I don't carry ill feelings towards German's killing Jews. Jew's were also killed down south, oh sure I hate all southerners. Even my relatives that live there.

      Do you hate African's because they rounded up the people that were sent north. In Ghana they still practice slavery, they sell children to other African's.

      The media, Palin, Rush, Beck, O'Reily and others had nothing to do with this. The shooter is simply a "sick man!" Why can't everyone just understand that. H


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