Sen. Rand Paul (R-KY) may only be an eye doctor but he didn’t hesitate in offering a medical diagnoses for the man that allegedly shot Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ) Saturday.
“I looked at some of the writings of this young man,” Paul told Fox News’ Bret Baier Sunday.
“From a medical point of view, there is a lot to suggest paranoid schizophrenia, that this man was a really sick individual,” he said of Jared Loughner, the man suspected of shooting Giffords.
“Absolutely we need to condemn the violence. And absolutely we need to have our prayers and our thoughts with those who suffered from this violence,” he added.
Paul, a self-certified ophthalmologist, didn’t reveal which qualifications allowed him to make the diagnosis.
As a darling of the tea party and a political ally of Fox News’ Sarah Palin, Paul may have reason to deemphasize any connections between Loughner and conservative ideology.
Giffords was on Palin’s so-called hit list of Democratic districts being “targeted” for defeat.
When Palin’s name was mentioned at a vigil for Giffords Saturday, Fox News quickly cut away.
Paul also said Sunday that calls for more restrictive gun laws shouldn’t play a part in the tragedy.
“I don’t think that plays into this at all. I think they’re unrelated,” he said. “This is probably about a very sick individual and what should be done for that person.”
“But the weapons don’t kill people, it’s the individual that kills — that killed these people.”
This video is from Fox News’ Fox News Sunday, broadcast Jan. 9, 2010.