Pima County Sheriff Dupnik had the following to say about the horrific shooting yesterday:
I think it’s time as a country that we need to do a little soul searching. Because it’s the vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the tv business, and what we see on tv and how our youngsters are being raised.
When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government. The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And, unfortunately, Arizona I think has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.
He is taking heat for that statement from Senator Kyl, who said that Dupnik’s comments had no place in a police briefing.
Let’s remember that Giffords’ opponent in last year’s election, Jesse Kelly, invited his supporters to “Get on Target for Victory in November — Help remove Gabrielle Giffords from office Shoot a fully automatic M16 with Jesse Kelly,” and Sarah Palin offered a map with a gunsight target over Giffords’ district with a tweet urging her supports “Don’t Retreat, instead RELOAD.” And don’t get me started on Ann Coulter or Rush Limbaugh, who often “joke” about solving political differences by murdering their opponents and their opponents’ supporters. Or Sharon Angle, who nearly became a Nevada senator, and who called for people to exercise their “Second Amendment remedies” if the elections didn’t go her way.
And any regular reader of this blog is familiar with the anonymous comments sent to newspaper Websites that call for killing bicyclists. That kind of rhetoric isn’t funny, isn’t constructive, doesn’t belong in the polis, and its cowardice and repugnance need to be condemned more often.
So I’m here to thank Sheriff Dupnik for doing so in such a public fashion, and you can count me among the thousands of others in this city who are offering their condolences to all the victims of yesterday’s shooting and their families and friends. That includes the family of Mr. Loughner, who are also suffering this day.
Sheriff Dupnik’s address is 1750 E Benson Highway, Tucson, Arizona 85714. I sent him a note already.