Crazy shooter didn’t need push from Far Right
RICHARD ROEPER email@example.com January 11, 2011 1:09AM
Updated: September 24, 2012 6:25AM
Since the summer of 2001, Drowning Pool’s thrashing metal anthem “Bodies” has been a ubiquitous pop culture presence.
“Bodies” has been used on at least a half-dozen theatrical trailers for films such as “The Punisher,” “Friday the 13th: Jason X,” “Stop-Loss” and “Daredevil.” It’s been utilized in video games, HBO’s “True Blood” and a number of pro wrestling events.
When Red Sox closer Jonathan Papelbon jogs to the mound at Fenway Park, the sound system blasts “Bodies.”
The chorus of “Bodies” goes like this:
Let the bodies hit the floor Let the bodies hit the floor Let the bodies hit the floor Beaten why, why for Can’t take much more
Let the bodies hit the floor
Let the bodies hit the floor
Beaten why, why for
Can’t take much more
Jared Lee Loughner was apparently a big fan of “Bodies.” That’s the song blaring on the YouTube video in which the masked Loughner burns the American flag.
Drowning Pool says “Bodies” is about a mosh pit — but obviously it had a negative influence on Loughner, right? So let’s boycott Drowning Pool! Also all those favorite books that Loughner listed on his MySpace page. As well as any Republican politician or right-wing talk show host that has engaged in incendiary rhetoric!
Or we can take a deep breath and realize that every killer, from John Wayne Gacy to Ted Bundy to Timothy McVeigh, from the Columbine duo to the West Virginia shooter, was exposed to various teachings and writings and speeches and cultural influences — just like everyone else. Millions of people absorb themselves in violent video games. Millions of people hear the incendiary words of ratings-grabbing talk show hosts and opportunistic politicians. Millions of people listen to hip-hop and heavy metal music.
And 99.99 percent of them, no matter how worked up they might get, no matter how susceptible they might be to the words of others, never lay a finger on anyone.
Fire in a crowded theater?
Reaction to my column placing blame squarely on the twisted mind of Loughner has been overwhelming, with about 80 percent agreeing with me. While not exonerating Loughner by any means, a vocal minority says I’m letting Palin et al off the hook. They insist on turning this tragedy into a debate about political rhetoric, even if all the evidence to date tells us Loughner is a twisted psycho — not a tea partier gone mad.
Some said Palin’s “crosshairs map” and her “reload” comments are the same thing as shouting “Fire!” in a crowded theater.
No. When you shout fire in a crowded theater, you shout fire in a crowded theater. Palin wasn’t calling for actual violence any more than Barack Obama was speaking literally when he quoted “The Untouchables” and said, “If they bring a knife to the fight, we bring a gun.”
From a reader: “You agree with this? ‘Don’t retreat . . . reload’ from Sarah Palin? Hate radio like Beck and Rush? Fox News with their brainwashing tactics? SAD.”
So that’s what Glenn Beck and all those fabulous blondes are doing! I KNEW it.
I shouldn’t even have to point this out, but I’ve regularly gone after Palin, Beck, Rush, Fox News. As I’ve said time and again, I’m amazed so many people fall for Palin’s simplistic, opportunistic act, and I abhor some of her tactics, but I still found it alarming and sad that so many liberals jumped so quickly to draw lines between the Far Right and the Arizona shooter. This sick clown was reading Mein Kampf, The Communist Manifesto; burning the American flag; he put up a pathetic skull shrine in his backyard — and you’re telling me he’s a big conservative and a Sarah Palin fan, and that’s what drove him over the edge?
Another assessment of my column: “WRONG! Gun-toting tea baggers at rallies, Palin’s ‘reload,’ Angle’s ‘2nd Amendment remedies’ all contributed to another law-abiding citizen murdering people. As if we lived in a vacuum!”
So this gentle lamb of a law-abiding citizen was on his way to a productive life until he was driven to mass murder by some idiotic comments from some right-wingers? Really? And even if that were the case, are we supposed to round up the politicians and lock them up for being accessories to the crime?
Finally, from a Chicago reader:
“Until Palin comes out and retracts these tactics, she has blood on her hands.”
Couldn’t disagree more.
Yes, Palin and others should take better care with their words. But the blood is on the hands of Loughner and no one else.