Arizona sheriff sees others like Loughner
Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik sounds worried about the possibility of other attacks on elected officials like Gabrielle Giffords.
Not that he’s got evidence of another shooter or anything. But Dupnik says there are thousands of people like Jared Lee Loughner, the shooting suspect described as a mentally disturbed loner.
“These people are very susceptible to emotions like anger and paranoia and so forth, and I think that the tone of rhetoric that has occurred in this country over the past couple of years affects troubled personalities,” he tells NBC’s Today show.
Dupnik also says the unhealthy rhetoric is being driven by people who foment discontent for their own living and the benefit of some politicians.
“There are people in this country who make a living off of anger towards the government, which I think perhaps benefits some people in politics.”
“Constantly 24-hours a day, 7-days a week, making the people angry at government, public officials, elected officials and so forth, may benefit some party. But I think those people have to consider that they may have some responsibility when incidents like this occur and may occur in the future,” he tells ABC’s Good Morning America in a separate interview.
Dupnik doesn’t mention names.
The Democrat has already been chastised by Republicans including Arizona Senator Jon Kyl for linking Gifford’s attempted assassination to vitriolic political rhetoric. The conservative Web site RedState has gone so far as to predict that he will lose the next election over it.
The sheriff’s defense?
“That’s my feeling, that’s my belief. Do I have any proof? No.”
“I know these people personally and I’m very, very affected by what occurred, and I’m just expressing my feelings. I have no agenda.”
Reuters Photo Credits: Eric Thayer (Dupnik); Official Hand Out (Giffords); Rick Wilking (Memorial)
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