How Not To Improve The Discourse

Yesterday, Eric Fuller, one of the victims of last week's shooting in Tuscon, blamed Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Glenn Beck and Sharron Angle for the tragedy. Today he was arrested for making a death threat to a local Tea Party leader.

Yesterday, Eric Fuller, one of the victims of last week’s shooting in Tuscon, blamed Sarah Palin, John Boehner, Glenn Beck and Sharron Angle for the tragedy.

Today he was arrested for making a death threat to a local Tea Party leader.

Toward the end of the town hall meeting Saturday morning, one of the shooting victims, J. Eric Fuller, took exception to comments by two of the speakers: Ariz. state Rep. Terri Proud, a Dist. 26 Republican, and Tucson Tea Party spokesman Trent Humphries.

According to sheriff’s deputies at the scene, Fuller took a photo of Humphries and said, “You’re Dead.”

Deputies immediately escorted Fuller from the room.

Pima County Sheriff’s spokesman Jason Ogan said later Saturday that Fuller has been charged with threats and intimidation and he also will be charged with disorderly conduct.

Mr. Fuller seems a bit confused:

I use extraordinary persuasive charisma to interest blase, apathetic, oblivious and at times hostile voters to listen to the voice of justice and consanguinity.

Myself, I don’t think death threats are especially charismatic.

UPDATE: Mr. Fuller has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

FILED UNDER: US Politics, , , , , ,
Dodd Harris
About Dodd Harris
Dodd, who used to run a blog named ipse dixit, is an attorney, a veteran of the United States Navy, and a fairly good poker player. He contributed over 650 pieces to OTB between May 2007 and September 2013. Follow him on Twitter @Amuk3.


  1. Steve Plunk says:

    I would cut him some slack personally since he’s been through a traumatic experience. But point taken, there are plenty of people who let emotions take hold before they speak. He probably no more wanted to kill anyone than Sarah Palin did with her map.

  2. matt says:

    I totally agree Steve.

  3. michael reynolds says:

    If someone is to blame here it’s probably whatever wife, relatives or friends let him appear in a TV forum like this. For that matter maybe the producers might have thought better of it.

    It’s hard enough for a cop or soldier to deal with the delayed stress of this kind of trauma. The guy was in a massacre, and he’s just a civilian. This isn’t the kind of experience most people just shrug off.

    Obviously the cops had to haul him in. But just as obviously the guy probably just needs some months to cope, maybe with a good shrink. Or at least a bottle of whisky.

  4. Patrick T. McGuire says:

    “But just as obviously the guy probably just needs some months to cope, maybe with a good shrink.”

    Something tells me that the same sentiment was expressed about Loughner too.

  5. michael reynolds says:

    There’s a big difference between schizophrenia and PTSD.

  6. john personna says:

    We are very lucky that we have enough law and infrastructure that this guy is getting a psych evaluation, and that he isn’t gathering a tribe to find vengeance.

    Look at the cycles that really go out of control in west Africa or eastern Europe. It isn’t just that violent rhetoric and extremism feed the unstable, it’s that cycles follow.

    One more reason to stand 4-square for civil discourse, and not hedge on where it “might not” lead.

  7. Zelsdorf Ragshaft III says:

    I guess we can blame this one on Paul Krugman. Funny how Reynolds is willing to make excuses for someone on the left who threatens the life of others. I can just imagine what Mikey would be writing if it were someone from the Tea Party who threatened rather than the ones who were threatened.

  8. michael reynolds says:


    Get a job, get off the dole and stop living off my money.

  9. Spiff says:

    @ Steve: When do you stop cutting him slack? …when he buys a gun himself? …when he shows up at a Palin rally?

    @ Michael: Police Officers ARE civilians. They, nor soldiers for that matter, receive any special training that inoculates them from PSTD. They suffer with it. No one is ever prepared to be in a massacre.

    Thank heaven that Fuller’s relatives let him speak. Now he may be getting some help.

  10. michael reynolds says:


    I was using civilian in the casual sense as not someone who signed on to a particular gig.

    Soldiers and cops buy into the possibility of violence. I’m sorry to hear soldiers don’t receive any PTSD prep. If true that’s troubling.

  11. anjin-san says:

    The ripple effect of tragedy…

  12. Smooth Jazz says:

    Hey OTB & Doug,

    Over the past few days, Doug posted about links to articles by media Liberals Doyle McManus from the LA Times and Joe Scarborough from MSDNC suggesting that “Sarah Palin was finished” because of her VIDEO in response to being smeared. Indeed, the idiot that is the subject of this post continued the smear by blaming Gov Palin for the shooting, as pointed out early in the post. Morever, this “Palin is finished” meme has been the subject of scores of Doug Mataconis posts over the pasts few months, and he barely can contain his glee when another Palin hit job appears in the media that he can post about.

    Now it turns out that a rather extensive poll has been published (approx 1400 respondents from ALL political parties) by an independent entity (not the DailyKOS/PPP polls that Doug likes to post) that suggests Gov Palin improved her standing because of her video response. This would run counter to the meme hived up by well known Liberals Joe Scarborough and Doyle McManus (and bandied about in the Wash DC/New York MSM echo chamber), that the video ruined her.

    I would bet my right arm that if an independent poll came out reinforcing the canard that “Palin was finished”, Doug would be tripping over his shoelaces and scrambling to his keyboard to get a post up about it. I suspect he would have trouble digesting a poll favorable to Gov Palin such as this one. Too bad these results run counter to your meme that she is done. I doubt we will see a separate post on here about results that contradict what is generally posted here about the former Alaska Gov. LOL.

  13. Pete says:

    This post was not by Doug.

  14. Franklin says:

    … and that has to do with the topic – how?

  15. Pete says:

    Just correcting Smooth Jazz’s reference to Doug.

  16. anjin-san says:


    Palin is finished. Accept it. Move on. Get a life.

  17. john personna says:

    I watched that video, Smooth. It wasn’t terrible, but it did hit a few uncomfortable notes.

    The most unpleasant theme was that this was politics, and get used to it. Hey, at least politicians aren’t dueling and shooting each other, right?

    While it called for peace and respect at one level, it didn’t go all the way to the top. It didn’t call for calm and respect. It said expect roughness.

  18. Pete says:

    Anjin, why are you such a bully? You seem to wait by the side of the road for commenters who offer you the opportunity to try to make yourself look smart. I think you should get a life.

  19. john personna says:

    BTW, I’ve suggested before that people Google News for the FT article called “Paranoia disfigures the Tea Party.” Going in via Google you shouldn’t hit a pay-wall.

    Sometimes when you are in the midst of a culture you can’t see it. Whereas, someone reporting from across an ocean can be a little more objective.

    What I read in your post Smooth Jazz, is that you too want to keep the paranoia, and that you don’t want this to be any kind of wake-up call.

  20. Pete says:

    Anjin, read JP’s post. That is an intelligent and reasoned post. Perhaps you could learn to do the same rather than your usual ad hominem slurs.

  21. PD Shaw says:

    Is it just me or does Fuller look like the late Bob Denver?

  22. Dodd says:

    FTR: I am not Doug.

  23. Steve Plunk says:

    Spiff, I think they did the right thing arresting this guy. Now it’s time to evaluate his mental state while remembering what he went through. I’m not on his side at all, he’s probably a world class jackass on a good day but we don’t need to jail every jackass.

    We had an incident here in Medford, Oregon last year when a Dept. of Transportation planner got fired and then bought some guns legally. Next thing you know the SWAT team shows up at 4:00 AM to take the guy into custody. No charges were filed and they took his guns. He never threatened anyone, never broke a law, yet the police stepped in at the request of his former supervisors. The thing is, regardless of risk, we can’t allow the state to arrest pre-crime. That is ceding too much power to people who can abuse it.

  24. Smooth Jazz says:

    “Anjin, why are you such a bully? You seem to wait by the side of the road for commenters who offer you the opportunity to try to make yourself look smart. I think you should get a life.”

    Don’t mind Anjin-Huckster; He’s just a left wing wacko who lives in the DailyKOS-Firedoglake echo chamber, and who visits OTB to attack anyone and everyone who doesn’t buy into left wing propaganda and fearmongering. Regrettably, this person is a nutcase and is beyond help at this point.

  25. anjin-san says:

    pete .. you ask a legitimate question. I don’t write a lot of thoughtful, eloquent commentary because I have been extremely busy life, and don’t have time to do serious writing unless I am being paid for it. there are exceptions, I did some halfway serious posting on the mental illnesses you recently, in light of the recent tragedy and the fact that I have a relative who suffers from exactly the same problem.

    I will re post those comments on this thread later I can’t do it on my phone. you can then judge for yourself if I’m capable of putting forth a thoughtful logical well reasoned argument. as for jazz he is a palin shill, operating under the false pretense that is impartial and just wants what he calls fairness for palin for fairness sake. if you make it easy on the comments in a public forum, day after day, well people might make fun of you.

    more later, I am tied up with some family business today, which is what s folks with no lives do, guess.

  26. anjin-san says:

    sorry I am using voice texting some of that gets lost in translation I was referring to jazz idiotic comments

  27. michael reynolds says:

    Steve P:

    The thing is, regardless of risk, we can’t allow the state to arrest pre-crime.

    Damn right because we cannot afford to be paying Tom Cruise. The man charges 20 million plus points.

  28. PD Shaw says:

    I wasn’t there of course, but I am suspicious of the need to institutionalize Gilligan. People have outbursts; they need to be escorted out of the room, and some times put in time out in lock up. I wouldn’t want to see anger, passion and a few unwise words become conflated with serious mental illness.

  29. PD Shaw says:

    michael PSTD has to have persistent symptoms for 30 days; he might have acute stress disorder, but more likely he’s just stressed and shocked.

  30. PD Shaw says:


    Lord it’s hard to be humble, when you spell and type like crap.

  31. An Interested Party says:

    It does seems a tad desperate to be trying to drag a poll about Sarah Palin into this discussion about a shooting victim who probably has PTSD…

  32. FT Stevens says:

    So they do to the dotty, old, acerbic coot what they should have done to Mr. Loughner months ago? Just pointing out the discrepancy.

  33. Eric Florack says:

    pete .. you ask a legitimate question. I don’t write a lot of thoughtful, eloquent commentary because I have been extremely busy life

    Not quite so busy as to prevent you from reading and responding to every post in here, give or take.

  34. BD57 says:

    Oh, I dunno – something tells me Mr. Fuller was a full fledged member of the “Hate Tea Party Caucus” prior to being shot by the a-political loon.

  35. anjin-san says:

    well bit I have a droid phone so I keep track of what’s going on here wherevler I am. I read extremely fast. and, as I admit, I don’t give too much thought to most of the things I say here it’s just sort of stream of consciousness popping off. do you have an excuse for the drivel you serve up every day? I admit I am just hacking around. it’s clear that you on the other hand, take yourself extremely seriously.

  36. Susan says:

    Pardon me, I am new to this site and cannot help noticing how obsessively-complusive this anjin-san is with its stream of consciousness. Pity there is nothing there to help it.

    Have a nice day.

  37. S. Weasel says:

    The voice of consanguinity? What the heck? The voice of blood relatives? Is there some other (liberal) meaning I’m not aware of?

    Maybe this guy really is as nutty as Loughner.

  38. Eric Florack says:

    @Susan: LOL

    Most leftsists… and Anjin certainly qualifies… do.


    I have a Palm that does much the same, and yet.,… Oh, never mind. It all blows right by you, anyway.

  39. Michelle says:

    All of the above fools making excuses for this wack-job would have no doubt made excuses for Loughner all the way up to the Safeway rally.
    Time to face reality, wankos. There are crazy people out there who want to spread their internal pain around as much as they can.
    You may be their next target.
    Don’t make excuses for this crap.

  40. Fen says:

    Eric Fuller was arrested for making death threats against a member of the Tea Party. His violent rhetoric is a result of the hate-mongering propaganda directed at the Tea Party by CNN, MSNBC, NYTs and Wapo.

    So, according to the latest liberal talking point, those news stations should be shut down and investigated.

  41. Fen says:

    Libtard: “Palin is finished. Accept it. Move on. Get a life.”

    You first? Really, Palin is hardly “finished”. You can’t stop talking about her.

  42. Hucbald says:

    A mime is a terrible thing to waste, Dodd.

  43. Dodd says:

    Nobody deserves mime, Buffy.

  44. > Mr. Fuller has been involuntarily committed to a mental health facility.

    Should we blame Frank Rich?

  45. anjin-san says:

    > I have a Palm that does much the same

    Since you are willing to publicly admit you sill have a palm, it is clear that you have long since come to terms with the fact you will never be one of the cool kids.

  46. anjin-san says:

    Sorry to let you down jazz, but I have actually never been to Firedog Lake, and last dropped by Kos shortly after Obama was elected. You should consider moving beyond canned rherotic.

  47. anjin-san says:

    Pete, as promised, here is a recent post I put a little more work into as it concerns a subject of special interest to me. Please feel free to rip it apart and thus prove I am unable to make an intelligent and well reasoned post. It is my response to a post by JT inferring that ared Laughner’s mental health problems are not a problem that should be “passed along to the general public”:

    > > Yup, good of them to pass the problem on to the general public.

    Let’s take a moment to examine the logical fallacy here, because it is a whopper.

    What could have happened differently to prevent Jared Loughner from committing this horrible crime? We know, despite Jay’s claim to the contrary, that people at the college he attended did speak up about his behavior and their related concerns. http://www.azcentral reports:

    >The college said he couldn’t come back until he got a mental-health clearance and proved he wasn’t a danger to himself and others.

    So Loughner was on the radar as a potentially dangerous person at a public college. Let’s now suppose that the system had worked better and the matter had escalated at this point, which apparently it was not. Perhaps the police could have been called in, or county mental health officials. What would happen next? I do not know Arizona law, but in California police, doctors and mental health officials can put a citizen on a 72 hour psych eval (5150). They are forcibly taken to a county psych ward to be evaluated by professionals. If they present a clear threat to themselves or others, the hold can be extended, or the county can petition to have the patient conserved.

    The case is presented to a judge, who can order patient to undergo Involuntary commitment. The patient is entitled to legal counsel, and they can challenge the proceedings. These cases are generally pretty clear cut. If someone is in court undergoing a conservation hearing, they probably have a long history of run-ins with the police, a number of psych holds and so on. They are probably so ill that it is obvious to people in the courtroom that they are in a bad way.

    If a person is committed, they completely lose their freedom. They are locked up, and lose all control of their lives. They are forced to take drugs they don’t want. They are physically restrained. Naturally, before the weight of government is brought down upon an individual in this way, a public hearing must be held.

    How can the public not be involved? How can this not be a public issue? How can anything other that the public interest be powerful enough to take someone’s freedom away in this manner? And if they conserved, and must be Institutionalized, how can this be done except with public funding?

    How can this problem possibly be dealt with EXCEPT by passing it along to the public? It can’t. What could have been done with Loughner to prevent this tragedy WITHOUT public involvement?

    Seriously, what is the tea party solution for this sort of problem with our mental health system?Let’s hear it. Something serious please. If you are going to say the system in place in Arizona should have dealt with Loughner before this happened, please be prepared to talk about Arizona law and give a realistic assessment of the available resources for mental health care in the Tucson area. Anything else is cheap grandstanding in an attempt to exploit a tragedy for political gain…