I read daily the "YOUR OPINIONS" section in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel to try to keep my finger on the pulse of local residents. I’m struck how many are based on incorrect facts, which are either quoted or the truel facts omitted. Looking at some letters published this past week (01/02/2011) are illustrative. First, the Mayfair wilding of teenagers gets the attention of some writers, all of whom ignore the race of the majority of the participants. That’s not too surprising, since all the MJS’s news stories on the incident refused to identify the race of the majority as black. But then, neither did the Wauwatosa Police Report. Did you find it strange that a State Statute, effective January 1, 2011, requires police departments to fully document all traffic stops to include the race of a car’s occupants, but the Wauwatosa Police refused to do so in this wilding incident. To his credit, columnist Eugene Kane, made such identification immediately. Apparently the MJS and the Wauwatosa Police Department want to treat us all as juveniles, not mature enough to be able to handle all the facts. The Nanny State has arrived at your local newspaper and police station.
Since the tragedy in Tucson on January 8, 2011, where nineteen people were shot, six of them fatally, political vitriol has filled the media with accusations that blame the political climate for the event. News reports claimed that the target was US Representative Gabrielle Giffords, a Democrat, who was shot through the head at point-blank range. That was enough for the Pima County Sheriff, Clarence Dupnik, to state that the political venom in play throughout the country was behind the attack on Giffords. The other eighteen shot including the six fatalities, were apparently just collateral damage. The Sheriff’s diatribe set off certain lefty-leaning talking heads who tied the Tea Party and especially Sarah Palin into the shooting because Giffords was on Palin’s targeted list to defeat in the November, 2010 election. To date, no one has produced any evidence that the shooter, Jared Loughner, held any position other than an apolitical one. Rather, he was a very disturbed young man driven by his own inner demons.
I’m inclined toward that latter view by examining past political assassinations. One fact stood out as I reviewed those occurrences. The assassination, or the attempt, was overwhelmingly carried out by a single individual who had a specific target. He (they were all male) focused directly on the target and never, never incurred collateral victims as did Loughner.