Wednesday, January 12, 2011

When To Report Someone?

"T]wo law enforcement sources said that FBI agents had found a 2007 letter from Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-Ariz.) to the shooting suspect, with the words "Die, bitch" and "Die, cops" scrawled on it. The letter, which thanked [Jared] Loughner for attending an event of hers, was found in a safe in his Tuscon home, the sources said.

In 2007, there was no Tea Party movement and Sarah Palin was the obscure, recently elected governor of Alaska. If anything, the overhead heated political rhetoric at the time was coming from the left and was directed largely at President George W. Bush. It is time for all those whose reflexive reaction was to capitalize on this tragedy by blaming their political opponents (eg. the New York Times editorial page, the Daily Kos and Paul Krugman) to start issuing some apologies. They can start with Sarah Palin." (SOURCE)

As the MSM (namely CBS and NBC) continues to link the horrific shooting spree in Arizona to Sarah Palin, we should talk about the actual problem here. When do you report a colleague, neighbor, relative or friend that is exhibiting odd behavior? How many "weird things" constitute a call to a police officer?

The Man and I have had two neighbors that seem comparable to Jared Loughner. If either ended up on the news, neither of us would be in the least surprised. YET, we never had anything TANGIBLE to call authorities about. Bad feelings, odd noises, strange hours of operation...but nothing illegal.

And once I did call Philly's Child Protective Services about a couple that was shooting heroin with their kid in the house and putting wine cooler in his bottle and do you know what I was told? There had to be a prior police report before they could take my report?! Really...I thought my call was so we could avoid a police report.

That experience made me more than reluctant to delve into the bureaucracy of preemptive telephone calls.

The reports coming out about this kid's lunacy seem never ending. But this 20/20 hindsight had a high death toll. It seems he's been pining about Giffford since 2007 (long before Sarah Palin was a blip on the political radar)... Kicked out of college... Numerous campus police calls... skull shrines... email suggesting students were scared he was to be the next Dylan Klebold...

So when do we know to make the call?

At the end of the day, is Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik (one of the first to turn this tragedy into a political firestorm) the one to ultimately blame for ignoring the repeated blips from this kid on his radar?

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