Friday, June 10, 2011
Earlier this year in Tucson, Arizona a shooting rampage targeting U.S. Rep. Gabrielle Giffords made international news – and prompted a coordinated effort to demonize Tea Party supporters (and free speech itself).
Without knowing the details of the case, Pima County Sheriff Clarence Dupnik immediately blamed the shooting on “the vitriol that comes out of certain mouths about tearing down the government.”
“The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous,” Dupnik said, calling Arizona “a mecca for prejudice and bigotry.”
Obviously, the world quickly learned that Dupnik was flat out wrong in his assessment of the situation. The violence in Tucson was the product of a deranged madman – not a discernible ideology. But that didn’t stop Democratic leaders like U.S. Rep. Jim Clyburn from saying that government should “rethink the parameters of free speech” in the wake of the shooting.
Five months after the Giffords’ tragedy, another fatal shooting took place in Tucson – only this one didn’t make international headlines. It has also failed to produce so much as a peep of disapproval from those who were so outraged earlier this year.
On May 5, 2011 – deputies and “operators” of the Pima County Sheriff’s Office raided the home of 26-year-old Jose Guerena, a U.S. Marine who served two tours in Iraq in 2003 and 2005. Having just fallen asleep after working the night shift at a local mine, Guerena was roused by his wife, Vanessa – who saw a man with a gun outside of the couple’s bedroom window. Thinking his home was being invaded, Guerena grabbed his rifle.
What happened next?
SWAT “operators” – executing a narcotics warrant – broke into Guerena’s home and fired 72 rounds within a matter of seconds, hitting him 22 times. Guerena’s five-year-old son, Joel, watched his father die. Initially, Pima County Sheriff’s investigators said that Guerena had fired his weapon at police officers. That report turned out to be patently false. In fact, Guerena never removed the safety from his rifle.
Also Guerena’s wife is adamant that the officers did not identify themselves as law enforcement agents until after the raid was completed. No drugs were found in the home – and it was later revealed that Guerena’s brother was the real target of the investigation.