Words have consequences.
Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik, on the shooting of Arizona Democratic Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords and others, along with those murdered today in Tucson, Arizona:
Pima County Sheriff Clarence W. Dupnik offered an emotional, angry assessment of the state of America in the wake of the shootings in Arizona, saying that two of his close friends — Ms. Giffords and Judge John Roll – were among the victims.
Mr. Dupnik called the shooting a “very sad day for Tucson” and a “horrendous, horrendous, senseless, unbelievable crime.” And then he blamed the crime on the rhetoric — presumably political rhetoric — in the country.
“When you look at unbalanced people, how they respond to the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government,” he said. “The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on this country is getting to be outrageous and unfortunately Arizona has become sort of the capital. We have become the Mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
Mr. Dupnik said it is time for the country to “do a little soul-searching.”
He added: “The vitriolic rhetoric that we hear day in and day out from people in the radio business and some people in the TV business … This has not become the nice United States that most of us grew up in.”
Later, he said: “It’s not unusual for all public officials to get threats constantly, myself included. That’s the sad thing about what’s going on in America: pretty soon we’re not going to be able to find reasonable decent people willing to subject themselves to serve in public office.”
We cannot allow this to be “the new normal.”
This has to stop. Now.