Sunday, January 9, 2011

Details of accused gunman in Tucson rampage slowly emerge

Definitely some serious issues here:

Loughner lives with his parents about a five-minute drive from the shootings, in a middle-class neighbourhood lined with desert landscaping and palm trees. Sheriff’s deputies blocked off much of the street Sunday.

Neighbours said Loughner kept to himself and was often seen walking his dog, almost always wearing a hooded sweat shirt and listening to his iPod.

His high school friends said they fell out of touch with Loughner and last spoke to him around March, when one of them was going to set up some bottles in the desert for target practice and Loughner suggested he might come along. It was unusual — Loughner hadn’t expressed an interest in guns before — and his increasingly confrontational behaviour was pushing them apart. He would send nonsensical text messages, but also break off contact for weeks on end.

“We just started getting sketched out about him,” the friend said. It was the first time he’d felt that way.

Around the same time, Loughner’s behaviour also began to worry officials at Pima Community College, where Loughner began attending classes in 2005, the school said in a release.

Between February and September, Loughner “had five contacts with PCC police for classroom and library disruptions,” the statement said. He was suspended in September 2010 after college police discovered a YouTube video in which Loughner claimed the college was illegal according to the U.S. Constitution. He withdrew voluntarily the following month, and was told he could return only if, among other things, a mental health professional agreed he did not present a danger, the school said.

From the Star. Politically, he seems a bit confused as well:

Mistrust of government was Loughner’s defining conviction, the friends said. He believed the U.S. government was behind the Sept. 11 attacks, and worried that governments were manoeuvring to create a unified monetary system (“a New World Order currency” one friend said) so that social elites and bureaucrats could control the rest of the world.

On his YouTube page, he listed among his favourite books “Animal Farm” and “Brave New World” — two novels about how authorities control the masses. Other books in the wide-ranging list included “Mein Kampf,” “The Communist Manifesto,” “Peter Pan” and Aesop’s Fables.

The mere fact that The Communist Manifesto, Mein Kampf, and Animal Farm are all among his favourite books suggests that he doesn't fully understand any of those works. On the other hand, his views on monetary policy seem to be in line with a lot of the teabaggers. There are also suggestions that he thinks he's Earl Turner. And there are other odd things; he's an ardent atheist (a decidedly un-teabagger-like trait, incidentally), but evidently also a pro-lifer:
When other students, always seated, read their poems, Coorough said Loughner “would laugh at things that you wouldn’t laugh at.” After one woman read a poem about abortion, “he was turning all shades of red and laughing,” and said, “Wow, she’s just like a terrorist, she killed a baby,” Coorough said.
Given that one of the people he's accused of killing was a nine year old girl, there's more than a little irony in that.

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