How and why did this tragic shooting in Arizona morph into a national debate about political discourse?
The how is easy. It all started with Sherriff Dupnik. His statements about the alleged shooters motivations possibly being influence by political rhetoric sparked the firestore. Nevermind that they have no basis in fact and may well help in developing an insanity defense for the gunman. Within minutes after his statements the leftist media began grinding out commentary and “news stories” pushing this completely unproven theory as settled science. I’m surprised that they didn’t blame it on global warming.
The why is the hard part, but here is some food for thought. Dupnik’s office has a thick file on Loughner. Numerous reports and warnings about him, his threatening behaviour, his unstable mental condtion, have been filed with the Pima Co. Sherriffs office over a period of years. They had been to his house 10 times! I didn’t hear the sherriff mention that in his press conference. That has only come to light after vigorous reporting. What responsibility does the Dupnik feel his office should shoulder since they knew of Loughner’s past and failed to act?
One should also look at Dupnik’s own political motivations. Remember, sherriffs are elected to office. They need to have a strong base, collect campaign donations and they are by and large political figures in addition to being law enforcement officers. This is the same Sherriff Dupnik that became the darling of the leftist media for being one of the most outspoken of the few law enforement officials who opposed Arizona’s immigration law earlier last year.
What’s a politician to do when he has a microphone and the entire nation listening? Is it possible that whatever it is, it could be in conflict with what a Sherriff is supposed to do during an investigation?