This will presumably simply be a delay of the proceedings against him for the shooting of Rep. Gabby Giffords and the numerous other victims of this gun violence (both direct and indirect).
Per the excellent site Findlaw.com:
Jared Loughner Incompetent to Stand TrialThere were oeople present at the site of the shooting, at least, nearby, who were armed. It it worth repeating that it made not the slightest difference in the outcome of this tragedy, despite the insistance by gun nuts that being armed prevents this kind of violence from occurring - or at least from occurring so extensively. There was nearly an additional shooting of victims, by armed bystander Joe Zamudio.
Jared Loughner is incompetent and will not stand trial for now, a federal judge ruled at Wednesday's mental incapacity proceeding. Loughner was arrested in the fatal Tucson shootings that wounded congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and killed six people.
Loughner had to be removed from the mental incapacity proceeding after an outburst. A reporter said he heard Loughner lower his head and say, "Thank you for the freak show. She died in front of me," reports CNN.
After his removal from the courtroom, Loughner watched the rest of the proceeding on a TV screen in a nearby room.
Loughner had spent the last five weeks undergoing a mental health evaluation. Prosecutors had ordered the mental health evaluation after they saw YouTube videos of Loughner wearing a hood, garbage bags and burning an American flag, reports The Houston Chronicle.
Loughner will now be sent to a federal facility for up to four months, at the end of which he will be evaluated to see if he is now competent to stand trial, according to The Houston Chronicle.
Is Jared Loughner incompetent? District Judge Larry Burns has ruled he is. If after more treatment and evaluation he is still deemed incompetent, his stay at the federal facility can be extended. If he is deemed competent, the trial against him will resume.
Let's be clear: the court did not find Jared Loughner insane.
A determination of mental competency is not the same as a determination that a person is legally insane. If a person is determined to be legally insane, they cannot be convicted and found guilty of the crimes that they are accused of because of their mental defect. The methods to prove insanity vary between states.
If a person is mentally incompetent to stand trial, the accused is simply unable to understand the legal proceedings. There is no judgment on the guilt or innocence of the party, and the trial against them may proceed when they are deemed competent.
Of course, if Loughner is found to be competent to stand trial in the coming months, the defense might mount an insanity defense. Defendants that are found to be legally insane in many states will still be committed to a mental institution.
So while Jared Loughner is incompetent now, this by no means that he will not stand trial for the Tucson shootings at some point.
"I came out of that store, I clicked the safety off, and I was ready," he explained on Fox and Friends. "I had my hand on my gun. I had it in my jacket pocket here. And I came around the corner like this." Zamudio demonstrated how his shooting hand was wrapped around the weapon, poised to draw and fire. As he rounded the corner, he saw a man holding a gun. "And that's who I at first thought was the shooter," Zamudio recalled. "I told him to 'Drop it, drop it!'"Loughner was arguably dangerously mentally ill; it is likely that will be his defense. He wasn't in any Arizona data base, and he certainly was not in the NCIS data base - Arizona is one of the worst states for supplying names to the NCIS. Joe Zamudio got lucky, very lucky. He could easily have drastically compounded this tragedy.
But the man with the gun wasn't the shooter. He had wrested the gun away from the shooter. "Had you shot that guy, it would have been a big, fat mess," the interviewer pointed out.
I was very lucky. Honestly, it was a matter of seconds. Two, maybe three seconds between when I came through the doorway and when I was laying on top of [the real shooter], holding him down. So, I mean, in that short amount of time I made a lot of really big decisions really fast. … I was really lucky.When Zamudio was asked what kind of weapons training he'd had, he answered: "My father raised me around guns … so I'm really comfortable with them. But I've never been in the military or had any professional training. I just reacted."
The Arizona Daily Star, based on its interview with Zamudio, adds two details to the story. First, upon seeing the man with the gun, Zamudio "grabbed his arm and shoved him into a wall" before realizing he wasn't the shooter. And second, one reason why Zamudio didn't pull out his own weapon was that "he didn't want to be confused as a second gunman."
This is a much more dangerous picture than has generally been reported. Zamudio had released his safety and was poised to fire when he saw what he thought was the killer still holding his weapon. Zamudio had a split second to decide whether to shoot. He was sufficiently convinced of the killer's identity to shove the man into a wall. But Zamudio didn't use his gun. That's how close he came to killing an innocent man. He was, as he acknowledges, "very lucky."
That's what happens when you run with a firearm to a scene of bloody havoc. In the chaos and pressure of the moment, you can shoot the wrong person. Or, by drawing your weapon, you can become the wrong person—a hero mistaken for a second gunman by another would-be hero with a gun. Bang, you're dead. Or worse, bang bang bang bang bang: a firefight among several armed, confused, and innocent people in a crowd. It happens even among trained soldiers. Among civilians, the risk is that much greater.
And now, as Giffords gets better, and Loughner sits in a mental institution. And too many other people are also recovering, wounded both physically and psychologically.
The answer to gun violence is NOT more guns, or more violence - so called 'good violence'. The answer is LESS violence, and fewer guns, less accessible guns.