"The Communist Manifesto" and Hitler's "Mein Kampf" were among the favorite reading materials of Jared Lee Loughner, the suspected gunman in today's fatal shooting that reportedly left six dead and gravely injured a U.S. congresswoman.
Loughner, 22, listed those tomes among his favorites on his YouTube channel, in which he wrote that "conscience dreams" were a "great study" at his college, Pima Community College.
One user on Twitter, Caitie Parker, wrote she went to high school, college and was in a band with the gunman. She said she hadn't seen him since 2007.
Parker wrote of Loughner, "As I knew him he was left wing, quite liberal and oddly obsessed with the 2012 prophecy."
She also described him as "more left."
Loughner also left a trail of bold political statements.
On his now deleted MySpace page, Lougher wrote a series of disjointed rants, including:
- "If there's no flag in the Constitution, then the flag in the film is unknown. There's no flag in the Constitution. Therefore, the flag in the film is unknown. Burn every new and old flag that you see. Burn your flag!"
- "I bet you can imagine this in your mind with a faster speed. Watch this protest in reverse!
Ask the local police, 'What's your illegal activity on duty?'"
- "If you protest the government, then there's a new government from protesting. There's not a new government from protesting. Thus, you aren't protesting the government."
Three months ago, Loughner made a YouTube video in which he proclaimed, "I know you're illiterate! This is the greatest protest for exposure into a wrongful act. The school is breaking the Constitution. If you watch the video then you'll understand. The teachers are taking advantage of you in the First and Fifth Amendment. The United States Constitution, which is the law, can be broken at this school."
With research by Brenda J. Elliott