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Massad Ayoob on Guns

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Archive for January 16th, 2011

Massad Ayoob


Sunday, January 16th, 2011

One commentator said that the madness of Jared Loughner, the Tucson mass murderer, lapped the far shores of both right and left.

So, apparently, does some of the thinking by others that has followed the atrocity.

One commentator generally seen as being on the American right, in discussing the Tucson atrocity, made reference to “deranged mass murderer Woodrow Wilson.”

Y’all don’t get a whole lot farther left than the Kremlin, from whence apparently comes this theory that President Obama and company sent Loughner to kill the Federal judge, to keep POTUS’ evil plans for domination from falling apart.

Pundits far and wide are lamenting that folks who call Loughner nuts will set the stage for him to be found not guilty by reason of insanity. Now, I’m no shrink, but I HAVE been part of more homicide trials than the average bear, and I can tell you the trial judge will rigidly instruct the jury to disregard what the President, the High Sheriff of Pima County, you, me, and anyone else has to say about Loughner’s sanity except material and expert witnesses with psyche degrees who’ve examined the defendant and are allowed by said judge to testify. When I say the guy is nuts – bonkers, whack job, batshit crazy, whatever term is deemed insensitive to the mentally ill today – it’s just common sense in common lingo, and has nothing to do with the LEGAL definition of insanity. It will come under the M’Naghten Rule. Forests have died to print the legal scholars’ discussion of the subtleties of M’Naghten, but basically, it means that if Loughton could tell right from wrong and deliberately knew that he was doing wrong, it’s prison or death chamber, not a mental hospital. Given his long and careful planning in evidence, and his own request to be forgiven prior to the act, the prosecutors should have those bases thoroughly covered.

And one of the shooting victims has apparently since been arrested for a death threat, and brought in for psychiatric evaluation: The link comes from a blog reader on the ground in Tucson, BikerRN. Thanks, bro.

After reading the above links, if your mind needs to cleanse itself with some refreshing lucidity, I recommend this recent commentary from Professor John Lott:

A voice of reason: Professor John Lott, shown here at the 2010 Gun Rights Policy Conference.

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