Though the left has desperately tried to connect conservatives in general (and Sarah Palin in particular) to Saturday's tragic shooting, evidence continues to mount that alleged shooter Jared Loughner's hatred of Rep. Gabrielle Giffords long predates the Tea Party or Palin's emergence in national politics.
The Wall Street Journal writes that Loughner "appeared to have been long obsessed with U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords." It is one of several news outlets to focus on a 2007 encounter Loughner had with Giffords, in which he reportedly asked something to the effect of, "How do you know words mean anything?" and received a response he found unsatisfactory.
Meanwhile, the liberal Mother Jones has an illuminating interview with someone purporting to be a longtime friend of Loughner, and explains that "Loughner held a years-long grudge against Giffords and had repeatedly derided her as a 'fake.'" The article later notes, citing the friend, that "Loughner did not display any specific political or ideological bent: 'It wasn't like he was in a certain party or went to rallies...It's not like he'd go on political rants.'"
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