In 1951, Jones became a member of the Communist Party USA, and began attending meetings and rallies in Indianapolis.<quoted text>
Several problems with your comparison: Loughner was not ascertained to be either left or right wing, just insane. Jim Jones led a cult and was hardly a "hero" of the whole political left. Jones cult certainly never had as many left wing followers as Adolf Hitler had on the political right (Wade Michael Page being among Hitler's admirers). As a matter of fact, you have just opened up Pandora's jar with this line of reasoning since the Jonestown cult is dead, but there are still thousands of right wing Nazi admirers in the US alone who commit crimes, go on murder sprees and fantacize about their stupid race war project. It is the far right that bought this poisonous ideology into the US and the whole country unfortunately ends up paying for in one way or another.
By the spring of 1976, Jones began openly admitting even to outsiders that he was an atheist.
By the early 1970s, Jones began deriding traditional Christianity as "fly away religion," rejecting the Bible as being white mens justification to subordinate women and subjugate people of color and stating that it spoke of a "Sky God" who was no God at all.
Unlike most other figures deemed as cult leaders, Jones was able to gain public support and contact with prominent local and national United States politicians. For example, Jones and Moscone met privately with vice presidential candidate Walter Mondale on his campaign plane days before the 1976 election and Mondale publicly praised the Temple. First LadyRosalynn Carter also personally met with Jones on multiple occasions, corresponded with him about Cuba, and spoke with him at the grand opening of the San Francisco Democratic Party Headquarters where Jones garnered louder applause than Mrs. Carter.
In his San Francisco Temple apartment, Jones regularly hosted San Francisco radical political figures such as Angela Davis for discussions.
He spoke with friend and San Francisco Sun-Reporter publisher Dr. Carlton Goodlett about Jones' remorse regarding not being able to travel to socialist countries such as China and the Soviet Union, speculating that he could be Chief Dairyman of the Soviet Union.
Despite the Temple's fear that the IRS was investigating its religious tax exemption, by 1977 Marceline Jones admitted to the New York Times that, as early as age 18 when he watched his then idol Mao Zedong overthrow the Chinese government, Jim Jones realized that the way to achieve social change through Marxism in the United States was to mobilize people through religion. She stated that "Jim used religion to try to get some people out of the opiate of religion," and had slammed the Bible on the table yelling "I've got to destroy this paper idol!" In one sermon, Jones said that, "You're gonna help yourself, or you'll get no help! There's only one hope of glory; that's within you! Nobody's gonna come out of the sky! There's no heaven up there! We'll have to make heaven down here!"