What if Loughner had been a Tea Partier?

John Guardiano Freelance Writer
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Well, it took several days, but the Left seems finally to have found an actual shooting victim who is willing to blame the Tea Party and conservative talk show hosts for his attempted murder.

“It looks like Palin, Beck, Sharron Angle and the rest got their first target,” Eric Fuller told the far-left Democracy Now radio show today.

“Their wish for Second Amendment activism has been fulfilled. Senseless hatred leading to murder. Lunatic fringe anarchism subscribed to by John Boehner. Mainstream rebels with vengeance for all, even nine-year-old girls…”

“Can we have another fundraiser out at the target range, Jesse Kelly?”

Fuller is a 63-year-old disabled vet and campaign volunteer for Gabrielle Giffords. He was shot in the knee and suffered a fragmentary impact in his back.

All of us thank God that Fuller survived Loughner’s murder spree. However, just because Fuller was shot does not give him or anyone else the right to maliciously libel his political opponents with obscene, disgusting and wholly inaccurate accusations.

Again, as everyone now knows, and as I’ve reported at the American Spectator, Jared was not in any way, shape or form a political conservative or Tea Partier. In fact, he was not at all a political type or news junkie.

But let’s assume for the sake of argument that Loughner was a voracious reader who devoured conservative political tracts. And let’s assume that he listened devoutly to Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck and Sarah Palin, while religiously attending Tea Party meetings.

So what?! How would this make Rush, Beck, Palin and the Tea Party accomplices to his murder?!

The answer, of course, is that it would not.

Indeed, conservative talk radio and the Tea Party are no more responsible for a hypothetical act of murder by one of their fans or members than the United States Marine Corps is responsible for Lee Harvey Oswald’s assassination of John F. Kennedy.

Oswald, remember, was a former Marine. And, like all Marines, he was taught how to shoot with deadly accuracy.

What’s more, the Marines inculcated into Oswald a “warrior spirit,” so that he could “destroy the enemy” in combat.

So based on the current illogic (which now passes for serious-minded analysis in the Big Media), the Marine Corps is to blame for Oswald’s murder of JFK, because the Corps employed “violent martial imagery” that “pushed Oswald over the edge” and gave him an excuse (in his mind) to commit murder.

The Marines, then, need to “tone it down” and “dial it back” in recruit training. They need to realize that their actions “have consequences.”

This is lunacy, of course. The Marines cannot be held responsible for the lone murderous act of some deranged killer who happened to pass through their ranks.

By the same token, the Tea Party, the conservative movement and the Republican Party cannot be held accountable for the lone murderous act of some deranged killer who might, conceivably, pass through their ranks one day.

The only one responsible for murder is the murderer. Period. End of story. And anyone who doesn’t understand this — the New York Times, MSNBC and Keith Olbermann, among others — has disqualified himself from the national dialogue and debate.

John R. Guardiano is a writer and analyst in Arlington, Virginia. He writes and blogs for a variety of publications, including FrumForum, the American Spectator and The Daily Caller. Follow him at his personal blog, ResoluteCon.com, and on Twitter @JohnRGuardiano.