A Jungian view of the Tucson events

For a while, this website will focus on trying to understand the events surrounding Tucson from a Jungian viewpoint.
Any thoughts or comments readers have would be appreciated. (Email me at jungcurrents@gmail.com if you would like your ideas to remain anonymous.)
It seems to me that this event has very much struck at the heart of America, even more so than any of the far too many mass shootings we have had, including Columbine and Virginia Tech. I am not sure why–perhaps because a member of Congress was involved, perhaps because it came in the midst of over-heated political rhetoric, perhaps because the internet and conspiracy theories were so involved. This was the first time in any of the tragedies that a President came to give a major talk at the scene.
My work over the last thirty years as a forensic psychologist in Alaska has involved assessing many people similar to Jared Loughner for whether they are dangerous and should be allowed to attend school, and (much more frequently) whether they should be committed to a psychiatric facility. Additionally, I have been frequently involved in evaluating people for the Alaska equivalent of “Not Guilty by Reason of Insanity” — which is “Guilty but Mentally Ill.” (I also was involved in a federal case where the death penalty was sought, which is likely to become an issue.)
As a result of my interest in the Jared Loughner case, I have established a website about articles related to the case: www.loughner.info. Much of the material used in the trying to formulate a Jungian view of the events will come from that website.
For a starting understanding of the facts in the case, I would recommend the Wikipedia entry on Jared Loughner.

2 Responses to A Jungian view of the Tucson events

  1. There are many reasons why I think this event struck at the heart of America, including the fact that this particular congresswoman had spoken out about the heated rhetoric before she was shot. She was at a place people consider “safe” – the local grocery store – and her crowd was composed of people of all ages, what we would think of as a typically American crowd for this type of gathering. The congresswoman was a Blue Dog Democrat – someone who did not support party lines but voted for what she and her constituents felt was important, which means as a Democrat in a typically Republican constituency, she was reaching both sides. She is the mother of two young children, and the wife of an astronaut – so we have the image of the mother here as well as the celebrity status of an astronaut. This event looked like the very essence of Americana on the surface, which meant that the shooter shattered the image of what many on both sides of the political arena consider America to be, a land of opportunity, a safe place, a place where you can be whatever you want to be if you work hard enough, a place where your voice is heard insofar as political representation. As for some of the other victims of the shooting – the idealistic child, the man who was killed protecting his wife, etc. – again, these are iconic figures in our society. Those in attendance – and involved in this situation – were from various races, religious views, and sexual orientation – a microcosm of what America is supposed to be. And if you look at the president’s speech – and those he spoke of – you can hear him speak of more of the images we consider typically American.

  2. Susanbegood:

    Excellent review of why this struck at the heart of America, exactly the kind of dialogue I was looking for. Yes, lots of iconic fragmentation.

    When Kennedy was shot, it had that same feeling of an ideal being shattered, of the world being less safe…

    If Jared is somehow an symbol or metaphor or manifestation from the Collective Unconscious, what is this about…

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