Local Sheriff Among the First and Worst

Following Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s lead, politicians and Commentators from the Left rushed to blame their political adversaries for the mass shooting and killing in Arizona

It’s hard to find strong enough language to express the horror and outrage most of us experienced when we heard that a man had shot twenty people at a meet-and-greet event held by a member of Congress in a Safeway parking lot in Tuscon Arizona.  Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords was gravely wounded, and six other people, including a nine year old child were murdered.

Multiple accounts confirm that the shooter, Jared Loughner, was/is mentally unbalanced and has been for some time.  He was even expelled from a local junior college for his bizarre, threatening behavior.  While it’s natural for us to ask why a person would commit such a heinous act the investigation will produce no credible or rational “motive.”  We’re reminded of the psycho who shot President Reagan and his Press Secretary on a Washington sidewalk in 1981.  His “motive” was infatuation with actress Jodi Foster.

But politicians and commentators from the left were quick to blame the tea party movement and conservative commentators, especially the one they most despise, Sarah Palin.  During the Congressional campaign she had published a US map with tiny cross-hair icons on twenty Congressional districts held by vulnerable Democrats, including Gabriel Giffords’ Arizona district.  Of course there is no evidence Loughner ever saw her map.

A diligent blogger at Verum Serum has posted Palin’s map plus two maps published by the Democratic party showing bulls eyes on specific GOP Congressional districts.  One of the Democrats’ maps includes a caption that begins “Behind Enemy Lines…”

The local, Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik was among the first to irresponsibly politicize the tragedy.  In a press conference held just a few hours after the mass shooting he blamed “vitriolic” political speech on radio and TV.  In a interview with Megan Kelly on Fox News the next day he doubled down.  Here are some excerpts:

Question: Is it clear to you that Gabriel Giffords was his target?

Sheriff Dupnik: There’s no doubt in my mind that this was an act of a very troubled individual.

Question: “Was there something about Congresswoman Giffords that set him off?

Sheriff Dupnik: “There are a whole lot of people in this country that are very angry at the politics of people like Gabriel.  There was a lot of vitriolic statements made, night and day, on radio and TV about her support of health care about her support of other things and some of the vitriol got a lot of people agitated…but you’re talking about irrational behavior here and there is no way you can rationalize irrational behavior.”

So which is it, Sheriff?  Was “vitriolic” political language on radio and TV a rational motive for shooting not only a politician but nineteen other, randomly targeted people, including a nine year old child?  Or, was this indeed “irrational behavior,” not subject to political explanations?

Question: is there anything you have uncovered in your investigation that suggests this suspected killer was listening to radio or watching television and was in any way inspired by what he saw?

Sheriff Dupnik: Well, I know there has been some contact with Gabriel Giffords in the past.  We have a letter from her dated in 2007…she invited him to a similar event back in 2007.  So there is some history

Let us not forget that 2007 was two years before the Tea Party movement began in response to several initiatives by President Obama and the Democrats.

Question: Do you have reason to believe this suspected killer was taking in information or was any way influenced by the vitriol or the rhetoric you’re referring to that had gone out on the airways?

Sheriff Dupnik: If your question is specific I have to be specific and say I don’t have that information yet…But my belief, and I’ve been watching what’s going on in this country for the last 75 years and I’ve been a police officer for over 50 years, there’s no doubt in my mind that when a number of people night and day try to inflame the public there’s going to be some consequences from doing that.

Isn’t the Sheriff being inflammatory himself?  Is he not blaming political speech for what he admits is irrational behavior, even as he admits he has no information?

Question: Some people question if this is the time you should be injecting speculative opinion…

Sheriff Dupnik: Well I think difference of opinion is what makes the world go around…

What?  Apparently the Sheriff wants us to conclude that his difference of opinion is just fine but difference of opinion from people who oppose expanding government’s size, power and cost is an attempt to “inflame the pubic” and to blame for the irrational violence committed by a mentally deranged man.

Question: I know you’re a Democrat…and some of our viewers are asking themselves why you are putting a political spin on this when they maybe asking why you – the Sheriff – aren’t just focused on the facts?

Sheriff Dupnik: Well, I think it’s more than just a political spin.  I’m not sure that it has anything to do with politics.  It used to be that politicians from different parties could sit down forget about their ideology and work on the country’s problems.  we don’t see that happening today.  As a mater of fact we see just the opposite.  We see one party trying to block the attempts of another party to make this a better country.

Thus the Sheriff, appearing on national TV in his role as the top law enforcement officer of his county departed from facts to deliver a blatantly partisan message.  As the election results demonstrate, a majority of Americans do not believe the Obama/Democrat agenda will make this a better country.  Obviously, a majority of voters believe an agenda of massive deficit spending and government intervention will harm America, not make it better, and they rewarded the GOP for trying to block it.

It turns out that Sheriff Dupnik himself has been an active participant in “vitriolic” TV, appearing on MSNBC with liberal flame thrower Keith Olbermann, to denounce the Arizona Legislature as “racist” for enacting SB 1070 that empowered local law enforcement officers to identify illegal aliens and turn them over to federal authorities.

In the coming days there will likely be more attempts by the Left to use this horrible crime as a pretext to silence those of us who advocate for more liberty and less intrusive government.

3 Comments so far

  1. Drew on January 11th, 2011

    I wish I could say I’m surprised at the media and Sherriff’s attempts to politicize this event, but I’m not. These are not honorable people. They are ghoulish political thugs.

  2. thousand flowers blooming on January 11th, 2011

    The Sheriff is spot on. Calling health care reform a “government take over” and “Obamacare” is designed to make people think the government is going to do something to them instead of helping them access health care. We need a strong government to even the playing field against the insurance companies.

    Maybe this guy wasn’t a member of the tea party but he was influenced by all the ant-government hate they spew. Rush Limbaugh, Glenn Beck, Hannity have blood on their hands

  3. Drew on January 12th, 2011

    Speaking of hate, thousand brain cells on your best day: Rev Wright. William Ayers. Van Jones. Al Sharpton. And how about good old Al Gore?:

    “Gore Says George W. Bush Tried to Increase the Amount of Arsenic in America’s Drinking Water: “Instead of ensuring that our water is clean to drink, [the Bush Administration] tried to increase the amount of arsenic in our water.” – Al Gore, April 22, 2002 (Speech by Al Gore on Earth Day 2002, text available via http://www.algore04.com/gorefacts/speeches/index.shtml)

    Three days before George W. Bush was inaugurated, the Clinton Administration announced a rule reducing the amount of arsenic allowed in public water systems from 50 parts per billion to 10 ppb.2 The new rule, which was to replace a standard in effect since 1942, was one of many regulations proposed by the Clinton Administration during the brief time between Bush’s acknowledged election victory and Bush’s inauguration.

    On January 20, 2001, Bush signed an order temporarily delaying issuance of many of Clinton’s last-minute regulations to give his new Administration a chance to review their content. The new arsenic standard rule was among them. However, as it was not due to take effect until 2006, Bush’s temporary hold in 2001 had no impact on water quality.

    Tougher standards had been controversial because they were expected to be expensive (especially for small communities served by small water systems and in the Western U.S., which has more naturally-occurring arsenic) and because some argued tougher standards were unnecessary for human health.

    The Clinton Administration’s EPA had estimated a 10 ppb standard would save 23-33 lives per year. A joint American Enterprise Institute-Brookings Institution study, however, had concluded the new rules would actually cost lives (due to the negative impact of higher water costs on low income families).

    The Bush Administration asked the National Academies of Science to report to the Administration on the likely health impacts of various possible new arsenic standards (3 ppb, 5 ppb, 10 ppb and 20 ppb). (Notably, the Administration did not ask the NAS to study the impact of leaving the 1942 standard in place, making it unlikely that the Administration ever seriously contemplated leaving the rules unchanged.)

    The NAS studied the issue and, on September 11, 2001, issued a report concluding that the bladder/lung cancer risk for a 3 ppb standard would be 4 persons in 10,000; at 5 parts per billion, 6.5 in 10,000; at 10 parts per billion, greater than 1 in 1,000; and at 20 parts per billion, more than 2 in 1,000.6

    After reviewing the NAS study, the Bush Administration decided to accept the Clinton Administration recommendation of a new 10 ppb standard and to keep the Clinton Administration implementation date of 2006. On November 26, 2001, almost half a year before Gore’s speech quoted above, Bush lowered the allowable arsenic level to 10 ppb.

    Oh, and more hate speech:


    TFB: Are you just stupid and uninformed? Or are you just a dishonest person not to taken any more seriously than a clown?