Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik, when he wasn't blaming Rush Limbaugh, let slip that Jared Loughner had been investigated for death threats before last weekend's shooting. Campus police at Pima Community College had been called five times in response to his disturbing behavior. Two officers had been sent to his house to relay to his parents that he wouldn't be allowed back in school until he had received a mental evaluation declaring he wasn't a danger to himself or others.
Now this is strange: If officials were concerned that Mr. Loughner was a danger to himself and others, how is expelling him a solution?
Nearly 50 years ago, Dallas was considered a hotbed of conservative (OK, right-wing) hostility to John Kennedy, a fact that didn't go unmentioned in coverage of the Kennedy assassination. The fact continued to be mentioned even after Oswald was found to be a Castro supporter and Marxist. The fact continues to be mentioned today despite a Warren Commission finding that a) Dallas featured many ardent political opponents of the president and b) this had nothing to do with Oswald's actions.
We'll leave it to the Sunday morning media to explain how an intolerable heightening of political rhetoric is behind last week's Tucson shootings. We're not aware of any systematic evidence that political feelings are hotter today than in the past. In any case, such accusations were lofted so quickly that evidence could not have been consulted. These were reflexive accusations, leveled at people with whom the speakers disagreed simply because an excuse presented itself. Click here to read more.