Jared L. Loughner: “Sick in the Head”

“Loughner’s Parents Plead for Privacy, and Express Sorrow” discloses a public statement made by the perplexed parents of Jared L. Loughner, who’s charged with murder and attempted murder after a bloody riot that left six dead and fourteen injured, including Arizona Representative, Gabrielle Giffords. “We don’t understand why this happened,” Randy and Amy Loughner said, “It may not make any difference, but we wish that we could change the heinous events of Saturday.” The piece further delves into a quasi psychoanalysis of Loughner, based solely on the statements of old friends: “He started getting really paranoid,” said Zane Gutierrez, 21, a high school friend of Loughner’s, “He thought we were plotting to kill him…He was a nihilist and loves causing chaos, and that is probably why he did the shooting, along with the fact he was sick in the sick.” After detailing the physicals states of those wounded, including that of Giffords–the apparent prime target of the attacks–the articles closes by reviewing different points in Loughner’s history, where he once tried to clear his record of a 2007 drug paraphernalia charge.

Although The New York Times’ report is entitled “Loughner’s Parents Plead for Privacy, and Express Sorrow,” only two of its twenty nine paragraphs relate to the Loughner parents. Along with a parenthesis relating the critical conditions of the wounded, most of the piece is more of a pyshcoanalysis on the accused murderer–which is, in my view, is its most alluring aspect. To hear that an accused man slaughterer may be mentally disturbed with one too many cracks in his brain gives to the public a possible reason for the rampage, which, for the journalist,answers a huge “why” in this case. As always, the editing and writing is first-rate, with clear breaks in thought and presentation, as is typical of The New York Times.


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