The gunman was a paranoid schizophrenic
That's a diagnosis that anyone with a knowledge of psychoses would make with ease from the following details about him. The "mind control" mention is particularly diagnostic. There is already some attempt to portray him as a Tea Party sympathizer but how many Tea Party supporters are flag-burning atheists? Any attempt to draw any political conclusions from the actions of a madman is truly desperate
Gunman Jared Loughner posted a picture of a handgun on his MySpace page before the attack. The 22-year-old, who claims he was recently recruited by the US Army, positioned a photo of the White House behind the weapon. The words ‘United States History’ also appear.
In a series of ramblings, Loughner bragged that he could create a ‘new currency’ and ‘new language’ and accused the American government of ‘mind-control’ and ‘brainwashing.’
Depicting himself as an angry and sleep-deprived anti-government activist, he added that ‘terrorism’ could bring about these reforms. ‘A terrorist is a person who employs terror or terrorism, especially as a political weapon . . . You don’t have to accept the federalist laws,’ he wrote on the MySpace page.
‘The government is employing mind-control and brainwashing on the people by controlling grammar . . . I can’t trust the current government. No! I won’t pay debt with a currency that’s not backed by gold and silver. No! I won’t trust in God.’
Loughner, who attended Pima Community College in Arizona, added: ‘My favourite interest was reading, and I studied grammar. Conscience dreams were a great study in college!’ He suffered from insomnia, according to the MySpace page, and was a sleepwalker: ‘Jared is in need of sleep,’ he wrote. He listed his favourite books as Mein Kampf, Animal Farm, Brave New World, The Wizard Of Oz and Aesop’s Fables. He also says he studied the Communist Manifesto.
On MySpace, Loughner complained that when he joined the military, he was given a ‘mini-Bible’ despite telling a recruiter that he was an atheist.
On YouTube, Loughner apparently posted a video on October 2 last year which was shot in the desert. The seven-minute long film shows a US flag planted in the ground. A hooded figure wearing a long plastic skirt walks towards the flag before turning around. The face of the figure is obscured by a home-made mask. The figure then holds the flag aloft for a short period before setting it alight.
Last night police surrounded Loughner’s house in North Soledad Avenue in Tucson, a few miles from the scene of the shooting.
One former classmate said Loughner was expelled from a maths course after frequent outbursts. Lynda Sorenson said: ‘He was obviously disturbed.'