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About David A Fennell
David A. Fennell is a retired Air Force Officer whose 24 year career has literally taken him around the world. As one who seeks, his discoveries have left him encouraged at the personnel level that people (not governments) of all countries and cultures want little more than the freedom and liberty to live their lives and raise their families as they see fit. With degrees in History and Teaching David pursues his continuing self-education in the Florida Panhandle where he teaches.
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David A. Fennell
Jared Loughner: Everyone's Hidden Family Member
January 12, 2011

Normally news dumps that occur on a Saturday night are lost in the news cycle by Monday morning. But on occasion a news story is too big (or case inflammatory) to contain. Social networks, Bloggers, and credible news services are running more than one story on Jared Loughner's shooting attack in Tucson. Media of all types are on fire.


This story appeals to us because its tentacles run out in all directions, but then become buried beneath a veneer and no one knows (but we all fear) where they will end up. It is made up of the stuff that sensationalizes itself. It involves the shooting of conservative Democrat, thus arguably a "middle of the roader," a sheriff who can cite no credible information or source stating that news agencies that cite no credible source are responsible, an Arizona state Senator who falsely blames in on Afghani service he never had, and the extremely tragic death of six people, including a nine year old girl named Christina Taylor Green who was born on 9/11/2001 and was featured in a book called Faces of Hope.


In the face of all this the blogosphere is bouncing Jared Loughner's political affiliation around with the same intensity and fervor as a world class tennis match. Each side is pushing facts; some real, most contrived, with vain attempt to disassociate themselves from the mass murderer and great hope the stink will fall on the other side of the aisle. As I sit and watch the freewheeling rhetoric it occurs to me that Jared Loughner has become the family member we all have, either distant or nuclear, but are all afraid to reveal our genetic connection to out of fear that he may bring dishonor to our family name and reputation.


The reality is that regardless of political affiliation, whether he was an anarchist, socialist, fascist or communist, Jared Loughner is a sick man who needs help and must still be held responsible for his actions. So the argument we should be having is not whether this person is aligned with one group of people or another, thus representative all people in that group (almost the very definition of bigotry) but whether or not we are going to hold him accountable for his actions. He attempted to assassinate a sitting congresswoman from Arizona, injured a score of people and killed at least six – and we're talking about what party or social group he associated with?


I got news for you, any group membership with over 100 people and open recruiting is going to harbor a few nut jobs whether you like it or not. This holds true for liberal, progressives, conservatives and anarchists. You cannot control open memberships when they become too large. You will never know about these people in your own group until something tragic like this happens. I will not hold Sarah Palin accountable for his actions if he turns out to be a conservative, nor will I hold Keith Olbermann responsible if he really was an Obama supporter. Unless someone can find someone who knowingly and directly assisted him in this assassination attempt then I will hold Jared Loughner alone accountable.


Probably what frustrates me most is that there is now talk of the FCC clamping down on inflammatory rhetoric. This of course, is the fast road to stifling open political debate and will always be "defined" or "controlled" by the party in power and could lead to opposition views being ‘legally' suppressed in defiance of our Constitutional right to free speech.


Thus, while political wheels are moving to ensure no good emergency will go to waste, most of us are just trying to distance ourselves from that "distant cousin" or "funny uncle." And while we're not paying attention to the issues at hand our country is being fundamentally transformed.

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