One more nail in the coffin formerly known as the left’s credibility. Such violent rhetoric, I know…
An old policy memo from the Clinton administration paved the way for accused Arizona gunman Jared Loughner to buy his first firearm.
Put in place by then-Attorney General Janet Reno, the policy prohibited the military from reporting certain drug abusers to the FBI, which manages the national list of prohibited gun-buyers, federal officials said.
Loughner attempted to enlist in the Army in December 2008 but was rejected because he failed a drug-screening process, Army officials said. Within a year, Loughner bought a Harrington & Richardson shotgun from Sportsman’s Warehouse in Tucson.
In November, he went back to the same store and purchased a Glock 19 – the one he is accused of using in the Jan. 8 rampage that killed six and wounded 13, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D).
Federal law since 1968 has prohibited gun sales to anyone who is an unlawful user of or addicted to a controlled substance. Licensed dealers have been required to check the backgrounds of gun-buyers since 1994. But the Reno policy told federal agencies not to report people who had voluntarily given drug tests for fear it would deter them from seeking treatment, federal officials said.
Add the NRA and the eeevil gun lobby to the long list of those whom the left has tried – and failed – to blame for the Tuscon massacre.
David Brooks nails it in his column today. Many others on the right have said as much in recent days, but when the left’s pet moderate calls out their shameful behavior it is more stinging and satisfying.
This probably won’t go over very well at the Upper West Side cocktail parties.
These accusations — that political actors contributed to the murder of 6 people, including a 9-year-old girl — are extremely grave. They were made despite the fact that there was, and is, no evidence that Loughner was part of these movements or a consumer of their literature. They were made despite the fact that the link between political rhetoric and actual violence is extremely murky. They were vicious charges made by people who claimed to be criticizing viciousness.
Yet such is the state of things. We have a news media that is psychologically ill informed but politically inflamed, so it naturally leans toward political explanations. We have a news media with a strong distaste for Sarah Palin and the Tea Party movement, and this seemed like a golden opportunity to tarnish them. We have a segmented news media, so there is nobody in most newsrooms to stand apart from the prevailing assumptions. We have a news media market in which the rewards go to anybody who can stroke the audience’s pleasure buttons.
I have no love for Sarah Palin, and I like to think I’m committed to civil discourse. But the political opportunism occasioned by this tragedy has ranged from the completely irrelevant to the shamelessly irresponsible.
Unfortunately, this will fall on deaf ears. The left has no shame as was proven within minutes of the Arizona shootings.