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In Giffords shooting, ironies abound

Gun control and health care for mentally fragile among Gabrielle Giffords' priorities.

No one is yet sure whether the 22-year-old assailant had an accomplice. But in the larger sense, he hardly acted alone.

Barry Goodfield, a world-savvy psychotherapist who lives near Phoenix, predicted correctly that friends would describe “quite a nice boy [who] was seen a loner.”

But, he said, this is a clear example of what happens when a modern wired society does too little to address perceived injustice and imbalance.

“Remember that somebody loaded that human bio-computer,” Goodfield said, “and unless we as a society learn how to identify and de-program these deranged loners, their numbers will grow.”

When we first met, Gabby chose an open-air table at Ike’s, a coffee joint where any disgruntled constituent could heave a chocolate cruller. Her out-of-shape aide was hardly a bodyguard.

Her job, she believes, is to listen without filters, to stay as long as necessary to hear points of view, to produce facts and figures when asked.

That was why she drew such a crowd at Safeway, people like Christina Green, now dead at 9, who wanted to learn how she could grew up to make America better.

Editor's note: This story was updated to correct a name.