Tucson shooter had personal grievance with Giffords

Posted Jan 10, 2011 by Michael Krebs
Jared Lee Loughner was many things - from a 'left-wing pothead' to a mentally-unstable Army reject - but his violent actions were not politically inspired, new reports found.
A mugshot of Jared Lee Loughner  22  accused of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabriel...
A mugshot of Jared Lee Loughner, 22, accused of the attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and the killing of six others in Tucson, Arizona.
Pima County Sheriff's Forensic Unit
A former classmate of Jared Lee Loughner described the 22-year-old shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords as a "left-wing pothead," according to a column in the Phoenix New Times. And while this description does feature a political identity of sorts, (he was also described as "quite liberal"), it does not fit the mold cast by some in the media - like Keith Olbermann - of a right-wing gun-toting American.
In fact, Mr. Loughner's violent actions appear to be the end result of a troubling disconnection from mainstream society and a mental instability that can sometimes yield these results. In email transcripts published by the Washington Post, Loughner is clearly seen by one of his former teachers to be a disruptive and unstable voice.
But the main explanation behind the shootings appears to be that Loughner had a specific problem with Congresswoman Giffords.
"Mr. Loughner had complained to a friend about how he was treated by the Arizona lawmaker during an event several years ago," the Wall Street Journal reported on Monday.
The picture that has emerged is a classic depiction of a mentally-deranged person who is isolated and who resorts to violence as a means of expression. Loughner does not fit the sketch of a politically-motivated shooter at odds with the policy objectives of Congresswoman Giffords.
Loughner's shrine of skulls, as detailed in a New York Daily News report, speaks volumes on the young man's mental state.