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    Will The Media Investigate Why Eric Fuller Targeted Trent Humphries?

    Will The Media Investigate Why Eric Fuller Targeted Trent Humphries?

    Jared Loughner was not a political person, so far as has been revealed to date.  There is no evidence whatsoever that Loughner was inspired by, or even listened to, right wing radio or commentators, much less ever saw the 10-month old Sarah Palin electoral target map which caused numerous left-wing political types to blame Palin for the shooting.

    Eric Fuller, by contrast, was a highly political person very attuned to the politics of the day.  As reported by The New York Times, immediately prior to the shooting  in which Fuller was one of the victims, Fuller got into a heated political argument with someone who has not yet been identified:

    “Mr. Fuller was also involved in a confrontation on Jan. 8, shortly before the attack on Ms. Giffords, which occurred at an event she held for her constituents outside a Safeway supermarket. He said in a long interview last week with The New York Times that he had argued there with a man he described as a former Marine after a heated discussion over politics. Gabriel Zimmerman, an aide to Ms. Giffords, separated the two.”

    Now Fuller has been arrested for threatening the life of Trent Humphries, a local Tea Party leader.  According to reports, Fuller had a snapped a photo of Humphries and pointed to it and said “you’re dead” when Humphries rose to speak at a local forum being sponsored by ABC News.  Fuller has been sent to a mental hospital for evaluation.

    Was it coincidence that Humphries was targeted? Was Humphries simply someone who happened to be in the wrong place at the wrong time, much like Fuller was in the wrong place at the wrong time when Jared Loughner acted out his demented fantasies?

    The mainstream media and Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik have been obsessed with proving causation between right-wing political speech and violence.  It will be interesting to see if the media and Sheriff Dupnik look into whether Humphries was targeted by Fuller because of a widespread campaign to blame Tea Parties for the Tucson shooting, which resulted in Humphries receiving hate mail.

    In particular, in the last few days there has been an effort to demonize Humphries for allegedly “blaming” Congresswoman Giffords for the shooting.

    That accusation against Humphries was based on an interview Humphries gave to The Guardian newspaper in Britain in which, when asked about prior statements from Giffords expressing concern about violence, Humphries responded that if Giffords had a real fear of violence, she should have had security present (emphasis mine):

    “Pressed on whether he was concerned when he heard Giffords’s warning about Palin’s use of gunsights and calls for supporters not to retreat but “reload” in fighting Democrats, Humphries did not retreat. “It’s political gamesmanship. The real case is that she [Giffords] had no security whatsoever at this event. So if she lived under a constant fear of being targeted, if she lived under this constant fear of this rhetoric and hatred that was seething, why would she attend an event in full view of the public with no security whatsoever?” he said.  “For all the stuff they accuse her [Palin] of, that gun poster has not done a tenth of the damage to the political discourse as what we’re hearing right now. There are people who are genuinely confused, scared, and I understand it. But there are also people who are deliberately manipulating this event and tragedy for political ends.””

    The sentence quoted in The Guardian article does not appear in the edited video released by The Guardian, so it is hard to understand the true context of the quote.  Regardless, it is a stretch to portray Humphries as “blaming” Giffords for the shooting.

    In the video released of the interview, in which the quote in question is not presented, Humphries was quite effusive in his praise of Giffords and had only kind words for her:


    Nonetheless, the left-wing media — including outlets in Arizona — took this slender reed and spun it into a campaign to accuse Humphries of blaming Giffords for the shooting.  Here is just a sampling:

    Did this demonization of Humphries cause a “climate of hate” against Humphries in which Fuller got caught up?  The subject has not even been touched upon in the news reports I have seen.  Those news reports either fail to mention that Humphries was a Tea Party leader, or if they do, fail to mention the recent campaign of vilification against Humphries.

    Jared Loughner alone is responsible for his acts of homicide and assault, so too Eric Fuller alone is responsible for his death threat.  It would not make a difference if Loughner were a right-wing media junkie, just as it doesn’t make a difference that Fuller was steeped in left-wing politics.

    The issue is the inherent mainstream media bias in how it treats perpetrators depending upon their politics and victims, seeking political context for crimes only when convenient. 

    The media politicized the Loughner shooting because his intended victim was a Democratic Congresswoman and the media therefore projected assumed political ideas onto Loughner where none existed.  By contrast, Fuller is treated as someone suffering from mental illness whose politics are irrelevant.

    Shouldn’t the mainstream media at least put the Fuller threat in the political “context” of anti-Tea Party vitriol since the media insists on making up a political context for Jared Loughner?  Or is the context one in which the mainstream media is not interested because the victim of the threat was a Tea Party leader?

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    Eric Fuller shouldn't have said a single thing.

    And while it is obvious that Palin's website was not the cause of this incident. It certainly wouldn't hurt to tone things down a bit. No matter what side of the issues you are on, I think we can all agree that innocent American citizens do not need to die !

    Can we agree then that your personal friend Eric Fuller made a death threat to a man who had no connection whatsoever with the shootings?

    Can we agree that your personal friend Eric Fuller is in need of psychiatric help?

    Can we agree that irresponsible, bogus accusations by cynical left-wingers helped persuade your troubled friend that he was being reasonable and his imagined "enemies" were worthy of death?

    I'm not accusing left-wing pundits or even Sheriff Clarence Dupnik of having "caused" Eric Fuller's irrational threatening behavior. In fact, I believe there's considerable evidence that he was in need of professional mental help long before the shootings.

    So … as his personal friend, did you urge him to get help, or did you reinforce his irrationality?

    On Jan 16, at 1:12pm JOHN said: “That being said, I offer you this. Just this morning I went to the local Circle K to get some coffee, and lo and behold, two middle aged men came in to shop. Both men were armed. Why do we need to be packing heat to go get a cup of coffee? And why as a patron of the Circle K am I not entitled to shop without the worry or random customers (who are strangers in my eyes, who is to say they may not snap) carrying firearms. Why did these individuals feel the need to be armed at a Circle K. Was there a threat of some kind?”

    Random acts of violence are called random for a reason because they are random and we don’t know when they will strike. You can’t say to the shooter “Excuse me Mr. Shooter, I didn’t think there would be any random acts of violence today, could you let me go get my piece from home?” Nobody expected people to get shot at Rep Giffords’ meet and greet, yet it happened. Nobody expected 32 students at Virginia Tech to get shot, yet it happened. Nobody expected five students to get gunned down at Northern Illinois University, yet it happened. While shooting like those mentioned above are very rare (and unpredictable), what is wrong with being prepared. John mentioned that he was worried these strangers had guns. But if someone had decided that the local Circle K needed to be shot up (random), those two guys would have become your best friends because they could save your life.

    There are thousands upon thousand of people who are permitted to carry in Arizona. So what are the odds that some stranger is going to gun you down at the local Circle K, the Chevron Station, or at the local driving range? Probably pretty dang low. But just the law abiding citizen causing you problems the odds of you getting shot up in a tragedy like Tucson are also quite remote. But wouldn’t you want either you and someone else to have the ability to take down the shooter before he does too much damage?

    This is the pattern on the Left; exploit unrelated, senseless violence from a leftwingnut to justify threats and violence against their political adversaries.

    The second amendment is a constitutional guarantee that was not given lightly; it was given so people could protect themselves against despotic governments.

    The accident of Eric Fuller having been present when a shooting took place is completely separate from Eric Fuller's subsequent death threat to another. Tone down the rhetoric, indeed.

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