At least when it comes to field goal kickers; not when it comes to wingnuts.
"According to a law enforcement memo based on information provided by DHS and obtained by Fox News, Jared Loughner, the alleged shooter of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords, may have been influenced by a pro-white racist organization that publishes an anti-immigration newsletter.
No direct connection, but strong suspicion is being directed at American Renaissance, an organization that Loughner mentioned in some of his Internet postings and federal law enforcement officials are investigating Loughner's possible links to the organization." [Source]
So the shooter from Arizona was a xenophobic racist. (I guess there was something to that 2009 memo). No surprise there. He was also crazy. No surprise there. He was also able to purchase a handgun in spite of all the signs pointing to him being mentally unstable. No surprise there. This is, after all, NRAmerica.
Something else that isn't surprising: the wingnuts are now all claiming that the shooter was a democrat. "He was a godless leftist who read the Cummunist Manifesto." (He liked Mein Kamp as well but that's beside the point in wingnutland.) This all, of course, means nothing. (For the record, there is as much if not more evidence to prove that his ideology and influence is more right leaning than left.)
Still, Jared Lee Lougher's political and ideological leanings are irrelevant. As usual the wingnuts are missing the point. This is not about a deranged individual named Jared Lee Lougher going on a shooting spree. This is about the leaders of a movement (insert tea party here) and of a major political party calling for citizens to rise up against the government to regain political power. The rhetoric on the right came from the top. ("You lie!") It's about a major political figure on the right putting the congresswoman's face in her "cross hairs" with the image of the scope of a rifle for special effect.
It doesn't work that way. You created this environment and now you have to live with the consequences. Scrubbing your facebook page and having the benefit of FOX NEWS 24/7 propaganda won't change the facts. Your rhetoric and red meat fired up your base, and those among you who are well meaning came out and exercised their civic duty and voted out the bums who they thought were not acting in their best interest. That's fine. On the other hand, those among you (and those in the population at large) who hated the government for a different reason, saw this as an opportunity to put their hatred on full display.
I started this post on a sports note and I will end with one as it is directly connected to this story. The nine year old girl who tragically lost her life was the granddaughter of the manager who brought Philadelphia a championship in baseball back in 1980. She went to the gathering because she wanted to be a politician, (she was president of her elementary school class) and she admired the congresswoman. She paid for that visit with her life.
"According to the Alaska Dispatch site, Palin aide Rebecca Mansour said in an interview with Alaska radio host Tammy Bruce, a Palin supporter, that there was 'nothing ' about the 20 crosshair-like symbols that appeared on a map of districts targeted last year by Palin's PAC, including that of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.).
"We never ever, ever intended it to be gun sights. ... We never imagined, it never occurred to us that anybody would consider it violent,' Mansour said." [Source]