Earlier on Twitter, some accused ABC of scrubbing the outburst from Tucson shooting victim Eric Fuller when Tea Party organizer Trent Humphries spoke at This Week’s townhall event. Not so, reports Mediaite, but it’s obvious why some people thought so; the interjection of Fuller allegedly saying “You’re dead” was hard to hear during Humphries’ miked-up contribution. Tommy Christopher boosted the audio and bold the preceding text to mark it, and even then it took two passes for me to hear it:
TRENT HUMPHRIES: It’s not just gun laws that are standing in the way of this happening.
There are all kinds of laws that Congress needs to look at and — and I think there is a time for this debate. But for what we saw and felt right now, I’m not sure that applause and things going on are appropriate right now until we’ve had actually, maybe had the funerals finished for the people that have –that were (sic) suffered and died.
My neighbor is one of those people. And — and I loved that man. And — and I want to see — I want to see some introspection maybe from the people before the national debate happens. You know, and those — and — and it’s very well to have those things. But something’s going to have to happen with — with everybody.
And — and I just — I mean, it’s — it’s something that where as a country, we talk about political discourse and what’s appropriate and what’s not. I think that — that applies to everybody including the media who’s — who’s — you know, and not in this — this — this has been a very, very cathartic thing for everybody.
Immediately after the shooting to see people jump to political angles. I just don’t want to see that right now and I’m a very political person. So I — I would ask that maybe we — we have that discussion and it’s a larger discussion and that — and that we have that just a little bit later.
NBC reports that Fuller has been held for involuntary psychiatric screening, as well as on charges of threats, intimidation, and disorderly conduct:
A Tucson mass shooting victim was taken into custody Saturday after yelling “you’re dead” at a Tea Party spokesman during the taping of an ABC-TV town hall event hosted by Christianne Amanpour.
The Pima County Sheriff’s Office said J. Eric Fuller, 63, was involuntarily committed to an undisclosed medical facility, NBC News reported. The Associated Press said he was undergoing a psychiatric evaluation.
He faces charges of threats and intimidation and disorderly conduct, according to Tucson TV station KGUN. …
Fuller was in the front row and apparently became upset when Humphries suggested that any conversations about gun control should be delayed until all the dead were buried, KGUN reported.
Fuller took a picture of Humphries and shouted, “You’re dead.”
Some reports, NBC notes, had Fuller making other remarks, as well as bystanders saying that they became increasingly concerned over his behavior.
This is an ironic turn after a week in which conservatives were accused of causing the shooting through supposedly “extreme rhetoric,” but people should resist the temptation to turn Fuller into some sort of poster boy of the Left in response. He was one of the victims of the January 8th attack, and that would be enough to make anyone angry enough to act a little irrationally in the immediate aftermath. Hopefully the psychiatric screening will prompt Fuller to seek counseling, or his family to insist on it. If this week taught us anything, it’s the danger of knee-jerk demonization for political pointscoring. We have been praying for all of the victims, and we’ll continue to do so for healing to those wounded, including Fuller.
Update: Just to clarify, Tommy boosted that part of the audio so that people could hear it more clearly in this clip; he heard it himself clearly when it first happened. I misunderstood what he wrote in his article.