Investigating Journalist Jon Rappoport
January 19, 2011
Several readers have pointed out to me that, had Loughner been a big fan of Limbaugh or Hannity or FOX or the Tea Party, the roof would have caved in from boulders dropped by the political left.
They're correct, of course.
Which leads me to write this piece.
For decades now, the left has hammered home the premise that criminals are shaped by their past, and extenuating circumstances are legion.
“We can't be too harsh on this murderer. After all, he wasn't breast fed, his father left home when he was three, his mother verbally abused him, and his teachers didn't realize he had talent as an artist.”
Defense lawyers make their living on this kind of approach.
Therefore, the causes of crime become submerged under a welter of sympathetic rhetoric.
Then, on television, we are treated to numerous stories of people who grew up under very trying circumstances, had “brushes with the law,” and finally straightened out their lives. Tales of heroism.
What about stories that recount long recovery from gunshot wounds inflicted during robberies? Do we see those documentary segments?
No, that's politically incorrect. The criminal is the real victim.
It all comes down to this. Either a criminal is responsible for what he did, or he isn't. Period. You can't work your way around it, unless you're writing fiction.
The society may be corrupt, people may be getting away with robbery every day, corporate hypsters may be conning consumers, the government may be exercising unconstitutional powers, politicians may be selling their souls to grab votes—but these and other generalized excuses for taking a cynical world view have no bearing on a man walking into a crowd and firing on bystanders.
Why did he do it? Because he decided to.
Are there any possible extenuating circumstances for such acts? Yes. For example, I've written about the horrendous effects SSRI antidepressants can have on some minds: suicidal and homicidal behavior.
However, what I'm talking about here is the relentless search for reasons to explain away straightforward crimes.
It's obfuscation, plain and simple.
Let's assume Loughner had been a right-wing devotee of conservative radio. Let's assume he met people who talked to him endlessly about the need to arm himself and learn how to shoot his weapons—because the government would one day come after him. Let's assume he subscribed to literature that attacked Obama for his skin color. Let's assume he watched, over and over, a hundred videos that purported to show 9/11was an inside job. Let's assume he spent every spare cent he had funding people who claimed Obama was not born in the US.
When he walked into that crowd at the Safeway with a loaded weapon and killed and wounded people, he was a killer. He did it. He went there. He pulled the trigger. Period. Those “influences” would have been irrelevant. They drove him to it? Nonsense. He drove himself to it.
You can run a society based on “he did it”—or you can enter a sea of speculation and phony expertise about the causes of crime.
Neither approach is perfect, but one is far better than the other.
“Influences” that could color a person's judgment and tip him over the edge into committing a crime—once you open that door, there is no end to the possibilities. And despite assurances from mental health professionals, whose high profile depends on their ability to intone authoritative-sounding judgments, there is no science that can accurately adjudicate between influences that do or do not become crucial.
And even if there were such science, in the end there is free will. There is choice. You take A or you take B. You stay home and watch television, or you put your gun in your pocket and drive to a crowded place and pull the trigger.
Now, we've come to the crux. You see, at bottom, this is the argument. Do we say free will exists, or do we say it doesn't?
The left expresses no clearcut opinion, but hiding behind veils of supposition and hedging, it makes the case that free will is a simplistic and delusional premise.
And if there is no free will, there can be no personal accountability or responsibility.
That is where we have been heading for some time, assisted by compliant and intellectually pretentious media.
And eventually, this is where we will have to make a stand and stake out territory. Sooner rather than later, because it is already late in the game.
Does freedom exist?
Was the entire American Revolution based on a foolish superstition?
I'd wager you could pile up journal articles and books that attempt to explain the causes of crime, and the stack would reach higher than the Empire State Building.
All of it would be about extenuation in one form or another, and all of it would, in truth, be about the diminution of the existence of freedom and choice.
Next to all of that, you would have this: freedom exists; it exists for every person; the commission of crime carries the responsibility that comes after the decision to carry out the crime.
That used to be basic law. It no longer is.
Well, how could it be in a society that is dedicated to multiplying, endlessly, the number of victims?
In the case of Loughner, it serves liberals to make him the victim of “discourse on the political right.” So they do.
It's all based on the preposterous theory that we must eliminate free and naked choice from our vocabulary and substitute, instead, these “influences.”
The left has one important talking point in its program: sympathy. People tend to feel sympathy for the plight of others, even outright criminals—particularly when there is a well-cooked story line that stimulates such feeling. And as I say, if the suffering of the criminal's victim is left out of the tale, it's easy to forget about that side of the human equation.
So people generally feel the kind of stark analysis I'm presenting here is too harsh. It has no forgiveness in it. No charity.
The left counts on that. Don't lose sight of it.
Actually, I do believe a good judge can navigate a decent path when it comes to sentencing. He doesn't have to be a rigid martinet. But at the same time, he does have to assess damage done to the person against whom the crime is committed. All in all, if he does that, he'll be tough, because a real victim of a real crime suffers.
The hogwash the left spews about criminals as victims is endless. It seeks to blame society for a crime, as if we all share in the guilt of a man who shoots somebody. This is pure insanity.
According to this logic, we should have somehow found a way to prevent murder by building a country in which children never grow up to be murderers. And of course, every budding social engineer has a plan for that, a plan he's sure will work, if only people will listen to him and follow his orders.
Let's get real. There are always going to be persons who commit heinous acts. They choose to commit them.
The people who deny this often have a hidden agenda. They want to make us share in the blame and thereby reduce us, psychologically, to a morally confused level at which we can only appeal to authority to straighten us out, to lead us, to exact obedience from us.
They want us to deny the existence of individual freedom and responsibility and, instead, take up the begging bowl of collectivism, in which our behavior and thought are always on the line, whenever someone steps into a crowd and pulls a trigger.
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If we will all just melt into one great syrup of humanity, our problems will be solved. That's the song.
Then we discover it was a cover for something else. Leaders magically emerge from the soup and claim they are representing all our thoughts, dreams, and aspirations. We will get everything we need if we realize our life is to be lived as a group and a group only.
One collective thought, one collective dream—guided and made manifest by the king.
And then the individual is gone.
� 2011 Jon Rappoport - All Rights Reserved
Jon Rappoport has worked as an investigative reporter for 30 years. Nominated for a Pulitzer Prize early in his career, Jon has published articles on medical fraud, politics, alternative health, and sports in LA Weekly, CBS Healthwatch, Spin, Stern, and other magazines and newspapers in the US and Europe.
He is the is author of several books, including The Secret Behind Secret Societies and The Magic Agent (a novel).
Jon is the author of a new course for home schoolers, LOGIC AND ANALYSIS.
E-Mail: [email protected]
Web site, www.nomorefakenews.com
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