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Did Jared Loughner's Parents Miss Signs Their Son Had Problems?

SodaHead Living 2011/01/11 14:53:29
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It was just a matter of time before people were going to start targeting Jared Lee Loughner's parents in the deadly Arizona shooting massacre.

Randy and Amy Loughner have already been described as "loners." But now, a neighbor says they were devastated to learn that their only child has been charged with killing six people and wounding many others, including a U.S. congresswoman.

"And they feel guilty for what happened," Wayne Smith, 70, told KPHO-TV on Monday.

"They want to know, where did they fail? I told them they didn't fail. They taught him everything about right and wrong. We all know you can teach someone everything and have no control how it works out."

Amy Loughner has been in bed crying since Saturday, Smith said.

"They're both in there crying. He's crying and hanging on to me and she's not even out of bed," Smith told The Los Angeles Times.

Smith described the Loughners as very private ("I didn't even know their last name until Saturday"), and said they knew few people on their street, although they had lived in the neighborhood since before Jared was born 22 years ago.

Smith said Loughner's mother, Amy, had a good job with good retirement and pay, and Randy was a stay-at-home dad who liked to work on cars.

"He worshiped the boy," Smith said.

But Smith said Loughner's dad is also grieving for the victims.

"He's broken up about his son, but also about all those people who died," he said.

While we feel for Loughner's parents, no one can say there weren't signs of strange behavior coming from their son. After Loughner had five run-ins with Pima Community College campus police and violated the student code of conduct, the college suspended Loughner and delivered a letter of suspension to his parents' home. Police officers reportedly spoke with Loughner and his parents.

On Oct. 7, Pima sent a letter to Loughner telling him that if he intended to return to school, he would have to get a letter from a mental health official indicating "his presence at the College does not present a danger to himself or others."

Loughner is a 22-year-old man, an age at which many of us have long stopped listening to our parents. But we wonder if the Loughners ever sent Jared for that mental health clearance.

Read More: http://articles.latimes.com/2011/jan/10/nation/la-...

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Top Opinion

  • lin sugar lips 2011/01/12 00:00:15
    No
    lin sugar lips
    +16
    Jarred Loughner is to blame He pulled the trigger.
    Now lets find out why his arrest in the past was covered up by the Sheriff in Pina county

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  • sami 2011/01/27 03:07:56
    Undecided
    sami
    It takes a village ... Too many guns out there ... If your child has problems, maybe they need extra care and monitoring ... Plus smiles and hugs ... Van Gogh was different too ... He took his own life though ...
  • TriumphTom 2011/01/24 04:17:17
    No
    TriumphTom
    Let me guess. If we had to live to avoid someone's image of "had problems" we would all be incarcerated by the thought police. Get real with your questions.
  • hannah 2011/01/22 01:44:52
    No
    hannah
    did his paretns pull the trigger? thought not...
  • TOCS 2011/01/21 01:15:57
    Yes
    TOCS
    Parents are responsible for raising their chilren--even if the state would like to take over. The seeds of behavoir problems and mental illness are sown years before the tragic results are seen.
  • TriumphTom TOCS 2011/01/24 04:21:43
    TriumphTom
    Not always. Everyone suffers from a less-than ideal childhood. Parents cannot always be blamed for the insidious treatment a child may receive in school or the actions of other bigoted adults in that child's life. And you probably know how easy it is to keep your thoughts and actions from your parents.
  • mama sew,gung ho 2011/01/20 03:24:38
    Yes
    mama sew,gung ho
    +1
    Contrary to popular belief,I wiil be a parent for the rest of my life!And so will the Loughner parents,and should bare the burden of guilt that they condoned if not imparted themselves apon the views of their son.When my learning disabled son with asbergers threatened to unleash all his frustrations on the next person who crosses his path.I stepped up,and said here I am!Any time I even hear language that seems rioutous against another living being I get to the bottom of the problem,before it evolves into actions.Because what you think,and what you feel.Is what you say,and what you do.So stop thinking,and feeling that way!
  • cherian 2011/01/19 00:57:55 (edited)
    Yes
    cherian
    +1
    I'm no expert but it seems as though Jared has a mental illness, and maybe I don't know all the facts but it also seems as though people around him ignored the signs of his mental illness and didn't give him the help he needed. If he has schizophrenia then the symptoms would only appear in his late teens early 20's, so by that time he may be an adult to society, but he's still only a person with a serious mental condition that wasn't treated. And this is the end result.
  • Glen 2011/01/17 20:57:58
    No
    Glen
    He's 22 now, old enough to take responsibility for his own actions.
  • KATLYN 2011/01/17 18:49:24
    Yes
    KATLYN
    +1
    they must have missed some signs but what parent would ever think this outcome would be in the future for their child we cant blame them
  • Ranne 2011/01/17 15:01:30
    Undecided
    Ranne
    My ex-son in law was always a "little" strange but we just accepted him because he was married to our daughter. About the time he turned 29, he started acting REALLY WEIRD. It was scary. He was then diagnosed as a schizophrenic. They are sometimes not diagnosed until something really awful happens. If this is the case with Jared, his parents probably blamed everything and themselves and tried to "fix" their son but weren't sure what was wrong with him. As in my ex-son-in-laws case, as soon as you made him talk to a doctor, he was as "right as rain" and you looked the fool. My sympathy goes out to them as with all of the victim's families. Hindsight is always 20/20. But reality is far different. They probably took him to doctors and he was able to fool them. He has learned to fool everyone to survive until his mental disease finally got the best of him.
  • emoxa 2011/01/17 04:04:32
    Undecided
    emoxa
    As a Parent You can always tell or Know whats going on wiht Your Kids!
  • EDWARD G 2011/01/17 03:12:57
    No
    EDWARD G
    We all reach a point where childhood ends and personal responsibility begins. That includes Jared.
  • mrgentile 2011/01/16 10:10:01
    No
    mrgentile
    My parents did what I consider to be a bad job raising me, but at some point, I have to take responsibility for my own life and stop blaming mom and dad. The same is true for Mr. Loughner. According to the article, his parents did the best they could. Their son was a grown man when he pulled that trigger. The only person to blame for this tragedy is the perpetrator. I feel terrible for his parents as they are obviously deeply hurt by their son's actions.
  • Andrew 2011/01/16 03:31:28
    No
    Andrew
    No, the guy brought this upon himself.
  • Beccy 2011/01/16 02:39:07
    No
    Beccy
    My heart goes out to these people they too have lost a loved one.
  • marie 2011/01/15 23:04:53
    Yes
    marie
    Their community failed them and their son
  • Gray Pilgrim 2011/01/15 16:25:49
    No
    Gray Pilgrim
    They may have been ill prepared for parenthood... Maybe did not see his problems as clearly as the Hindsight experts did, but in general they dealt with their family matters the same way millions of other parents do as their kids grow to adulthood...leave them alone now letthem grieve anad offer them help and guidance to get through this tragedy
  • dontTellMeWhatToThink 2011/01/15 06:18:08
    Yes
    dontTellMeWhatToThink
    +8
    Across America there are thousands of parents of older adolescents and young adults who are terrified that their child's strange behavior, paranoid rants, drinking, drug abuse, conspiracy fantasies, and other odd behaviors are red flags for a serious mental illness. That most of these parents have no idea what to do about it is frightening enough. And even if they succeed in getting their child mental-health care before tragedy strikes, the system is set up to thwart them at every turn.

    When an adult child with signs of mental illness refuses to acknowledge them, parents have only a few choices, none of them good. You can withhold support: no extra money, no TV, no borrowing the family car. (Experts do not recommend withholding food and shelter, or throwing a child into the street unless you fear for your safety.) But in severe psychosis, the person may be unable to perceive reality well enough for this kind of discipline to work.

    What I find disturbing is how Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has been editorializing and politicizing the tragic event on Saturday January 8 since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six peopl...





    Across America there are thousands of parents of older adolescents and young adults who are terrified that their child's strange behavior, paranoid rants, drinking, drug abuse, conspiracy fantasies, and other odd behaviors are red flags for a serious mental illness. That most of these parents have no idea what to do about it is frightening enough. And even if they succeed in getting their child mental-health care before tragedy strikes, the system is set up to thwart them at every turn.

    When an adult child with signs of mental illness refuses to acknowledge them, parents have only a few choices, none of them good. You can withhold support: no extra money, no TV, no borrowing the family car. (Experts do not recommend withholding food and shelter, or throwing a child into the street unless you fear for your safety.) But in severe psychosis, the person may be unable to perceive reality well enough for this kind of discipline to work.

    What I find disturbing is how Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik has been editorializing and politicizing the tragic event on Saturday January 8 since he took the podium to report on the incident. His blaming of radio personalities and bloggers is a pre-emptive strike because Mr. Dupnik knows this tragedy lays at his feet and his office. Six people died on his watch and he could have prevented it. He needs to step up and start apologizing to the families of the victims instead of spinning this event to serve his own political agenda.

    Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation. My sympathies and my heart goes out to her and the rest of Mr. Loughner’s family. This tragedy must be tearing them up inside wondering if they had done the right things in trying to manage Jared’s obvious mental instability.

    Every victim of his threats previously must also be wondering if this tragedy could have been prevented if they had been more aggressive in pursuing charges against Mr. Loughner. Perhaps with a felony conviction he would never have been able to get the Glock 9mm Model 19 that he used to strike down the lives of six people and decimate 14 more.

    This was not an act of politics. This was an act of a mentally disturbed young man hell bent on getting his 15 minutes of infamy. The Pima County Sheriff’s Department was aware of his violent nature and they failed to act appropriately. This tragedy leads right back to Sherriff Dupnik and all the spin in the world is not going to change that fact.
    (more)
  • Dale th... dontTel... 2011/01/15 16:27:14 (edited)
    Dale the whale
    +2
    If these statements prove true, this could get real interesting. Dumbnik may have already given the defense an angle to work on. I think the DA should look at his incompetence.
  • Sovereign4Ever 2011/01/15 02:49:18
    Yes
    Sovereign4Ever
    It would seem his parents probably realized their son had issues but, like so many parents, didn't want to accept that he needed MAJOR help. Thoughts that often go through the minds of parents w troubled children: "I can't do a thing w him/her, sleeps all day, up all night", "He/she can be difficult, but it's not always like that", "He/she just has trouble w authority", "He/she is just going through a phase but will grow out of it". Question: Is there any connection between Amy Loughner & the Pima County Sheriff's Dept?
  • Laura 2011/01/15 00:55:47
    Yes
    Laura
    I doubt if they knew what to do. The last couple of decades mental health on health insurance has been reduced dramatically.......if they had any insurance. I think the school probably had more responsibilty to request a mental health exam..............or the police.
    We need to start getting a handle on this...............from Columbine to VA Tech, the problem is expanding.
  • This is W³ 2011/01/14 23:27:56
    No
    This is W³
    This guy seemed to have gone off the deep end after he graduated from high school. His parents are not responsible for the things he does or says after he turned 18 years of age.
  • Sunny 2011/01/14 22:23:28
    Undecided
    Sunny
    They obviously were aware that there were problems as his father tried to follow him when he left strangely the morning of the shooting. Just the chronological photos show the changes in his eyes from gentle to wild.
    I also saw a neighbor interviewed who said he'd always felt sorry for the boy because he was never allowed to play outside with other kids... Maybe this was the case.. but maybe he didn't want to..??
  • Duchess505 2011/01/14 21:34:18
    No
    Duchess505
    Everybody has the ability to do wrong, yes sometimes evirornmental upbringing or parental upbringing may infulence your beliefs and philosophy and give you an excuse for negative behavior, but ultimately you alone are responsible for your actions.

    Of course mental health problems are a different matter as some people cant be held responsible for what they do as a result. Would the parents be responsible then? If their son kept his problems to himself then no, if they were aware of his problems and didnt do anything to help him they share partcial rewsponsibility.
  • Ty 2011/01/14 20:53:18
    Undecided
    Ty
    It is very hard to make a determination here. We have no way at this point of knowing what type upbringing Jared had. Were they christians parents, etc. If he was not taught about Christ, and His saving grace, therein lies the problem. And this problem will continue for all of us. MRTY
  • Sunny Ty 2011/01/14 22:26:50
    Sunny
    Christians have done some VERY violent negative things... Unfortunately, many Christians believe that they are justified in very extreme actions because they can ask for forgiveness and all will be well. The word Christian does not necessarily depict someone who lives considering "What would Jesus do?"
  • Dale th... Sunny 2011/01/15 16:16:51
    Dale the whale
    PEOPLE have done some VERY violent, negative things. Calling themselves Christians did NOT make them Christian.
  • Sunny Dale th... 2011/01/19 05:57:02
    Sunny
    You basically said the same thing I did. I was just responding to another answer.
  • adoptedonlychild 2011/01/14 20:45:29
    Yes
    adoptedonlychild
    I feel for his parents, too. But as an only child myself, I was pampered and overprotected by my mother who always refused to acknowledge there was anything wrong with me. I was perfect in her eyes. I've confessed many times that I cheated in school 20 years ago. She refused to believe it. You cloak your child's sins. I think they were in denial about it and refused to seek help for their son. Of course it's the kid's fault. He pulled the trigger. But parents need to stop idolizing their children and acknowledge any weaknesses they have so they can fix them early on.
  • mrgentile adopted... 2011/01/16 10:17:00
    mrgentile
    I do agree that sometimes parents can be too close to the situation. My mother worked in child protection, yet stood by when my father beat up on me. But, and this is a BIG but, when that child turns 18, the parents can no longer be held responsible when their child goes off the deep end. In reality, we all need a lot more information about this whole incident, the perpetrator's upbringing, etc. etc. My vote is with the parents. From the article I read, they did everything they could for their son and he still went off the rails. It happens and it's very unfortunate for everyone involved.
  • Steamtrain 2011/01/14 19:44:55
    No
    Steamtrain
    Loughner's parents, had they tried to get him help probably weren't allowed to by a morass of red tape. Most states (if not all) prohibit involuntary commitments unless it is proved that the person poses a risk to the safety of himself and others. This usually requires some type of provable extreme behavior. Too late to try, now. Sad.
  • modelermom 2011/01/14 17:42:39
    Yes
    modelermom
    i think the parents fail because if they was paying attetion to him if they had got him help when he was in high school, and started to show strange behavoir things he said and did they should have paid attention to him secong the school after the 1 report they should have call and make a time to meet with the parents and talk to them about his behavoir not after the 5 but after the 1 time the police was the next to fail they should have been there i know i cannot go to a high school game without a cop being there so where was the cops?
  • waynelaboy 2011/01/14 17:22:50
    Yes
    waynelaboy
    the apples don't fall 2 far from the tree. they expressed remorse, so what! he got it from somewhere.
  • mrgentile waynelaboy 2011/01/16 10:20:30
    mrgentile
    In this case, I have to say his apple fell very far away from the tree and rolled right on down the hill. Mental illness is not always easy to spot and is not easy to deal with. Loughner was obviously mental ill. Parents today are ill equipped to deal with these issues.

    The parents have done more than express remorse. If the article I read on this site is to be believed, they are grieving not only for the son they've lost, but for the people he's hurt and killed. These parents deserve our sympathy, not our cross examination.
  • waynelaboy mrgentile 2011/01/18 16:36:09
    waynelaboy
    it was driven by hate led by certain people telling the mentally weak to attack what the certain people hate and can't attack themselves. that's why the targets are put across people and/or districts representing people. so i thought everyone had to be cross examined because they should have their date in the court( not literally but) of public opinion. they saw it early on and should have notified authorities. i.e. guns in the room of an unstable being! come on.
  • REVGREEN 2011/01/14 10:25:42
    No
    REVGREEN
    NO but the c unts that sold him a gun sure did, still land of the the free
  • mrgentile REVGREEN 2011/01/16 10:21:05
    mrgentile
    HERE HERE!! I heard he bought the bullets at Walmart! That could have been prevented.
  • pkeyrich 2011/01/14 08:34:13
    Yes
    pkeyrich
    Keith Olbermann is the only public figure I am aware of who has expressed regret for any past statements that might have added to an overheated political climate. On a special Saturday edition of his Countdown program on MSNBC he issued a “Special Comment” in which he said, “The rhetoric has devolved and descended, past the ugly and past the threatening and past the fantastic and into the imminently murderous. ... Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence.”

    This is the sort of self-reflection that is needed. Olbermann is not accepting blame, but rather taking responsibility for the possibility that his words might have contributed to the current climate of hateful speech. If there is even a possibility that violent rhetoric might add to actual violence, then we owe it to ourselves to consider the possibility and attempt to find ways of toning down that rhetoric.

    I for one join Keith Olbermann in saying - Violence, or the threat of violence, has no place in our democracy, and I apologize for and repudiate any act or any thing in my past that may have even inadvertently encouraged violence. I will honor The Civility Pledge: I will be civil in my public discourse and behavior. I will be respectful of others whether or not I agree with them. I will stand against incivility when I see it.
  • Dale th... pkeyrich 2011/01/15 16:20:59
    Dale the whale
    How noble. Let's see how this pans out.
  • msjax98 2011/01/14 06:55:39
    No
    msjax98
    His parents didn't drive him to the crime scene and put a gun in his hand but I do question how dysfunctional was this family. Did his parents pass down possibly an antisocial disorder. Was he being abused physically and mentally? And why didn't they respond to their son's changed behavior? So many questions and we may never find out what actually went on at the place he called home.
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