I have a rule of thumb: if I write a post on a topic, and I get either hate mail or hate posts about it, then I’m onto something. Well, yesterday I wrote a post on Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik’s rather strange tactical decision to imply that the Chinese were behind Jared Loughner’s attempted assassination of Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords*, and I got both. Apparently, the Left was not too happy at my suggestion that Sheriff Dupnik’s re-election chances have taken a fatal hit; which was perhaps a bit surprising, because I’ve had Arizona political mavens tell me that Dupnik’s typically seen as being fairly safe.
Well, about that: perhaps Dupnik’s not all that safe after all. You see, reportedly Loughner had a history of making public death threats that been ignored by the Pima County Sheriff’s Department.
Let us be clear: it is not a matter of controversy whether or not Loughner made death threats, or at least it should not be. As was reported by both local sources (via here) and Reuters, Sheriff Dupnik himself revealed that Loughner had made death threats against at least one person who was not Congresswoman Giffords. This happened. What the The Cholla Jumps site is alleging – and which has not yet been confirmed- is the following:
Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County.
The question is, is this true? We don’t know – yet – but it’s certainly plausible. Again, we know that there were death threats made, because Dupnik himself admitted that they had happened (that’s the NPR link). And we also know that Loughner was sufficiently unstable to have been thrown out of college as being, frankly, a menace to the local community. And when I say ‘thrown out’ I want it to be understood that the police were involved, because they were. But it could be that this is not actually a true report: a violent paranoid schizophrenic with a history of erratic behavior might have managed to restrain himself to making death threats to one specific person outside of the jurisdiction of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office – thus making him not specifically the problem of one Clarence Dupnik.
But if it comes out that the Sheriff’s office was aware of the threats, and did not act on them, then Clarence Dupnik needs to stop blaming the Right for the murder of six people and start blaming himself. Because Sheriff Dupnik is not in office to, say, fight partisan battles over state immigration policy: he’s in office to keep the peace. If he’s forgotten that, the voters will be happy to remind him.
Moe Lane (crosspost)
PS: Heh. Great minds think alike.
*Executive summary: Dupnik revisited the ‘foreign countries (read: Chinese) were funneling money to the Chamber of Commerce’ conspiracy theory nonsense that the Democrats tried to throw up in the last months of the 2010 election cycle (and that progressives revisited after the election was safely over, in stunningly typical fashion). Megyn Kelly gutted him for it, but in a gentle fashion.