I hope that everyone who reads this shares my prayers for the victims, families and friends of this fiendish act. Giffords, a passionate advocate for her point of view, is hanging on with high risks of brain swelling and other factors. But it appears that the bullet and skull fragments that pierced all the way through her head, did not cross the line between both hemispheres of the brain, nor did it hit the geometric center of the brain. The doctors say this bodes well for a potential recovery. She is responding but essentially comatose. Federal Judge Roll is among the dead.

Congratulations are due to the University Medical Center in Tucson which has a five star trauma unit. 38 minutes from injury to operating room is unheard of. I’ve had occasion to meet some of their doctors and staff and was impressed by the incredible skill and speed with which they worked. Lives were saved, but six people, including a nine year old child are dead, from a hail of well aimed gunfire from a 23 year old disaffected, confused young man.


Contrary to many pundits I do not single out any one person or group for having provoked this attack, nor is it the fault of the NRA, gun enthusiasts, conservatives, the Tea Party, liberals or anyone other than the shooter and a possible accomplice. Nobody ordered an assassination here. The shooter doesn’t fit any profile of a trained, programmed assassin.

But the ugly context of political discourse, the ethics of commerce,  the corruption of government, and the confusion of fact-deprived people taking positions and voting on people and policies they do not understand DO stand in the background context of this shooting. And we risk more of these events until we follow the advice of the PIMA County Sheriff who urged us all to do some soul searching.


In any society there are going to be a lot of people who are on or already over the edge between reality and delusion. Of those, at least some would tend toward violence if given the chance or excuse. Despite my ardent opposition to the rhetoric and PR of Banks, Business and “conservatives” on many issues, if we allow ourselves to blame them for this and potentially other tragedies we are opposing the 1st Amendment right of free speech, the essence of which is to protect the speaker of words that you hate to hear.

It is the condition of our country and our place in the world which leads to intense rhetoric and actions, some of which are going to be irrational and tragic. And some tragedies are going to happen in the best of times because in a country of over 300 million people, it is a statistical impossibility to avoid such events.

It is not the rhetoric that causes chaos and danger, it is the acts of people, society, business and government that causes conditions to deteriorate such that too many people are losing confidence in their own society, giving them the feeling that they are strictly on their own. Closing schools, fire houses, police stations, hospitals, and other social services undermines our confidence in society and increases the likelihood of someone concluding that theirs is no definable society anymore, there is no law, they are just on their own.

The worse we make it for the average Joe or Josephine, the more likely that they will snap or respond to what they perceive as an attack from their own society. Most people stocking up on guns and ammunition are doing so out of fear that our society will descend in lawless chaos and a desire to protect themselves and their loved ones from harm. Yet some of the people who are on the edge of self-control are riding this tide of fear and self-protection and excited by the prospect of holding a gun in their hand. It creates an illusion of control which is something we all crave.

Take away their homes, their jobs, their prospects and their hopes and dreams for their children is a sure fire way of getting people to react with intensity — particularly when they see small pockets of society doing better and better as the rest of society gets worse.


We can reduce but not eliminate the risks of this tragedy if those of us who are rationale and just normally neurotic use the skills and resources we have and act, as a society, with certain goals upon which we can all agree.

  1. We all want to be safe. Our loved ones, property and lives should be free from interference by anyone, any business or any government. As it turns out this is in the US Constitution. So we don’t have to write anything, we just have to read it. And it is a surprising short read.
  2. We all want our privacy to be respected. A society that gives up its liberties in the cause of security ends up with neither. I can’t remember who said that but it is true. Who do YOU want deciding whether any person, business, or government can look into your life on a fishing expedition? Nobody wants that. As it turns out, that is already in the US Constitution too. The Constitution, the ultimate law of the land, is a short document, even with the amendments.
  3. We all want our society to be orderly and safe from those who on a higher scale of power are no better than the Tucson gunman. We have that power through voting, as we are the ultimate boss, but we have used that power poorly because we delegated the task of fact-gathering to the press which has been acquired by large corporate interests who control the message. We have sacrificed freedom of the press and access to information in the name of laissez-faire economics. So deprived of the facts we need to decide how we think and what we want to happen, and subjected to bullies whose ascent to power is merely the manipulation of the information sources, our voting and opinions have been sloppy and chaotic, which is exactly how we got to this point in our society.
  4. There are far better ways to identify those who are prone or even intending to commit acts of violence or other acts designed to undermine our society. Our current methods are primitive at best, and actually merely an expression of controlling the facts and narrative to scare us into accepting the loss of the liberties that we fought for and won, in the American revolution.
  5. If we look around the world, we find that there are several countries whose security system at the airports and borders work far better than ours without the expenditure of billions of dollars on technology (bullies in business controlling our governmental decisions) and without being nearly as invasive (breaching our privacy) as the current methods at the airport, in our workplace and in our home.
  6. Given the right information and the imperative of making rational decisions based upon the good of society rather than some parts who will profit, we would all choose the systems and plans that have been proven to work.

Those bullets in Tucson can never be taken back. But we can all be taken aback by the ferocity of the act. Let’s take the Sheriff’s suggestion and do some introspection and let’s start moving in ways that makes sense out of our society so that we can have a certain amount of confidence that we know what happens next.

Neil F Garfield 1/8/2011

12 Responses

  1. This Guy is a nut case. Plain and simple.

  2. “With one of their own victimized, however, I’m concerned that politicians will close ranks, capitalize on the social mood to generate a renewed faith in government, and pass a host of reactionary policies… all after sanitizing their Twitter feeds for any reference to violence, of course.

    Perhaps some form of gun control is in the works… though with a Republican controlled Congress, I’d think new legislation targeting suspected ‘Anti-American subversives’ could be on the table, or something that gives sweeping new powers to government agents and police forces.

    In 1946, the 79th Congress of the United States passed public law 601 giving permanent standing to the House Committee on Un-American Activities. This committee was authorized significant powers to investigate ‘subversive and un-American propaganda’ and assist Congress in ‘necessary remedial legislation.’

    Ironically, in its efforts to ensure that America was nothing like the Soviet Union, the US government began turning the country into a fascist collective. Given what may come after the weekend’s shooting, I fear we may be returning to a time when it is increasingly dangerous to be a free thinking individual anywhere in the West.

    With Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano perched above WalMart shoppers encouraging Americans to spy on each other, I sense the boiling frog may soon be getting a few degrees warmer.”

  3. As Gerald Celente has said, “When people lose everything, they lose it.”

  4. Congress may get bill to make it a crime to threaten lawmakers:

    The politicians always are concerned with protecting themselves and will disgard civil liberties to do so.

    The attack on Gifford is a tragedy, but the death of the children is the greater loss.

  5. This was not the result of a need for “higher power”, this was a result because of A GOVERNMENT WHO THINKS THEY ARE THE HIGHER POWER. And the only way to remedy this problem and stop more of this from happening, is to level everything off from top to bottom evenly so there is no higher or lower ground for ANYONE. This is exactly why the REAL people you know the [redacted] ones that control the Government don’t do it themselves, they put the people in Government because they know that the repercussions that will come from the damage done to those with the least power in society will be a reaction to those with the most. And make no mistake People this was not an act of violence, THIS WAS A REACTION of violence. We constantly hear people on the news, judges in courtrooms and politicians saying that HOMEOWNERS HAVE TO BE HELD RESPONSIBLE FOR THEIR ACTIONS, WELL GUESS WHAT SO DOES THE GOVERNMENT. Anyone can be touched NOBODY is untouchable, and the [redacted] people controlling the media, banks and Government know that there’s no way of avoiding this so they put willful idiots in place to do it for them.

    What about the 145 People dead so far that THE GOVERNMENT HAS BLOOD ON ITS HANDS FOR BEACUSE OF INACTION. Go Here >
    Were they so naive to think there would be no collateral damage, this just futher proves how they think they’re God. This pyramid of power must be destroyed in order for equality to flourish and until that happens we will not be a civil society.

    What’s really sad is hardly anybody is willing to stand with me to exercise our rights to abolish Government power and bring about peace, equality and happiness for all of America’s People, which further shows our likeliness for Doom.

    “A Declaration by the People to Abolish the State and Federal Constitutions, Governments and Laws made in pursuance thereof.”
    “A Declaration of Rescission of All Foreclosures & Mortgage Transactions to Restore 2001 Title Conditions of All Real Property ”

  6. Introspection is what got us in this mess sheriff.
    A government who relies on the acts of a bailout. Lawyers who can not contest the acts of banks and lenders. Modifications that go unanswered and ignored. Fraud deterrence’s created by the media to blame parties and government. The irony of it all is it somehow reflects back to here. Why is this act falls back unchecked to here. Perhaps there is some truth here.

  7. The wing-nut that committed this crime is irrelevant to any socio-politcal group, as those groups are irrelevant to this individual. Some (D)’s have already tried to make this politically motivated, as have the media and others. We can only hope the families of the victims find some peace someday. Pain and sorrow are everywhere, every day, we just don’t experience it on this scale as the regular order of business…..YET.

    As the Dutchman implies, certain vitriolic language that incites hatred or violence, that NEEDS to be controlled, creates the impression that “freedom of speech” is somehow compromised. Balance is hard to find. The answer is found in assessing the act as “good” or “evil”. Evil, and Satan, are ever-present, and all must take that stand to defy evil in their daily lives. As we see, there always some who succumb to the Devil, and the consequences are tragic.

    It is unfortunate that a crisis like the one that has befallen us will not take the front page, or dominate the 24-7 news cycle, until a catastrophe of THIS proportion is attributed to it.

    We’ve had the woman who committed suicide in her car, found in the garage, when the new owners took possession. The war vet who shot himself as the Sheriff’s Department came through the front door, multiple murder-suicides committed in previously thought “stable” family situations, the cases are widespread. The reporting of such tragedies, however, is not. The story is on page 16, bottom left, and buried.

    Please realized that the Dems, and especially the establishment Republicans, are not your friends. The ARE THE ENEMY. The RULING CLASS is exerting ALL THEIR POWER TO STOP THIS FROM BEING EXPOSED. The media is complicit, save a few. Groups that take the forefront to educate and disseminate (i.e., National Consumer Law Center) are described as “liberal organizations”, and Republicans are referred to as “free market friendly”; that’s code for “pro-banking, pro-pharma, and pro-oil (instead of “pro-domestic-oil”). Understand that both political parties have sold out the American People at their own benefit.

    The “Tea Party” candidates and Congresswoman Giffords were not unlike each other. She was a former republican who changes parties, and quickly developed a reputation as a self-pronounced “Blue-Dog Democrat”. A “Blue-Dog Democrat” is they used to call “Reagan Democrats”. Do you see where I am going with this?

    Any politician who breaks on the side of conservatism, rule of law ( controlled immigration, smaller government), and Christianity is sure to be prosecuted by the people at both ends of the political spectrum.

    We must find our way to the middle. The MIDDLE has to be founded in GOOD. GOOD can only be found in Faith (in a higher power other than yourself) , Hope (for the able pursuit of Life, Liberty, and Happiness), and Charity (concern for your fellow man). These principles WILL RESTORE OUR COUNTRY. But they must be defended, because EVIL is easily leveraged against GOOD when one involves MONEY.

    “Any society that would give up a little liberty to gain a little security will deserve neither and lose both.” Ben Franklin

    “If the American people ever allow private banks to control the issue of their currency, first by inflation, then by deflation, the banks and corporations that will grow up around them will deprive the people of all property until their children wake up homeless on the continent their Fathers conquered…I believe that banking institutions are more dangerous to our liberties than standing armies… The issuing power should be taken from the banks and restored to the people, to whom it properly belongs.”

    Maybe the House of Representatives can throw in a couple of the founder’s quotes while they read aloud the Constitution. They could use the guidance.

  8. I whole heartedly agree with you. We do have the right to speak our minds. Because of the “dollar-driven” media, we’ve all heard far too much that is meant to incite hateful feelings toward those with opposing views. We all could use a Constitution refresher course, for sure. Along with that we need to realize that just because someone believes differently than we do, doesn’t mean we are right and they are wrong. As long as we all respect each others rights as individuals and keep peace as our primary goal for our life, we will make it through this difficult time.

  9. I regret to say that I disagree with Neil in some measure. Blame for the ratcheting up of violent threats in the national discourse can be laid at the feet of certain groups. Do you seriously suggest that “open carry” into bars is a good idea? In Canada (and Germany) if you are a “holocaust denier” then you are arrested and put in jail; some speech is simply found to be off-limits, in order to preserve the peace. Listing names on a national website and picturing gunsight crosshairs on the States occupied by those Democratic members of the national congress is not helpful. Suggesting that the predators working at large banks are going to change their behavior voluntarily is not realistic.

    The more plausible scenario, in a society with over 400 million firearms already in private hands, is for far more violence. The banker/foreclosure crowd will retreat into gated communities with private armed guards. The employees (especially the guards) will in turn go to kidnapping and ransom as lucrative sidelines, as we see in Colombia and Brazil. Colombia has lost 2,000 judges to murder; why should the USA be any different?

    Since there is paralysis in DC, and political lock-down of rational discourse, I shudder to contemplate where this is headed. Much, much more gun violence is coming, starting with foreclosure mills and then up to banker housing compounds. Just watch.

  10. Regardless of your political persuasion, our society is starting to wind down into chaos. Frankly, I am surprised something terrible like this has not happened sooner. Every day we hear hateful rhetoric coming out of the media, TV and radio. There are a large number of people out there who are very unstable. The constant barrage of hate coming at us is helping to melt down the whackjobs. I do not wish to say this, but it is going to happen again. If the US Gov’t will give back the homes, the economy will recover. When life is more stable, the violence will retreat. It will never completely go away.

  11. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by USA Advocate. USA Advocate said: TRAGEDY IN TUCSON: CONGRESSWOMAN GIFFORDS RESPONDING THIS MORNING, JUDGE ROLL, STAFFER DEAD : […]

  12. “Contrary to many pundits I do not single out any one person or group for having provoked this attack, nor is it the fault of the NRA, gun enthusiasts, conservatives, the Tea Party, liberals or anyone other than the shooter and a possible accomplice. Nobody ordered an assassination here. The shooter doesn’t fit any profile of a trained, programmed assassin.

    But the ugly context of political discourse, the ethics of commerce, the corruption of government, and the confusion of fact-deprived people taking positions and voting on people and policies they do not understand DO stand in the background context of this shooting.”

    Thank you, Neil, for your good article. I too am pulling for Congresswoman Giffords and my thoughts are with her and those who were injured or lost their lives. Mainstream media has already decided how we all are to think and feel about this tragedy and they will try to spin it for all its worth. Luckily, the people on this blog and others like it are not buying the MSM engineered blame game. I don’t personally care for the tea party, but I don’t think that they as a collective group are responsible for one person’s actions. This guy was anti-religion, one of the shooter’s favorite books was Communist Manifesto and he also burned the flag – something the TP would NOT condone & not part of its “values”. I would question whether the TPTB had anything to do with making sure Sarah Palin was out of the running for President – its rumored the shooter had an accomplice (more than one?). And MSM keeps showing us the SP cross-hair target states. The TP was convenient when needed to win GOP seats; now that GOP has won & they can’t control all the new TP members who have other ideas than the corporatist status quo agenda -it needs to be silenced & scorned.

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