What appears to be a sudden clamp down yesterday on information related to the Planned Parenthood attack in Colorado Springs last Friday, as noted in Sunday’s report by WPTV, is a textbook example of how conspiracy theories are allowed to form.
The NBC affiliate in West Palm Beach, Florida, WPTV noted in its Sunday report, “Police say in a statement Sunday that they are sealing the warrants related to the case against 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear. They say they are not providing information on the weapon used in Friday’s shooting, a timeline of events or a motive of the suspect.” This was also reported by a CBS affiliate in New York.
There is no good reason to withhold some of this information, and perhaps a lot of bad reasons that will only help the tinfoil hatters create public doubt about whether they will ever know the truth about this attack. Like it or not, the public has a right to know about this case.
The suspect, Robert Lewis Dear, is scheduled to appear in court for the first time this afternoon. But there are a lot of questions that may not be answered by preliminary court documents.
Chief among them are details about the gun or guns the suspect allegedly carried. Would the rifle he reportedly carried be illegal under Colorado’s controversial gun control law, passed in 2013 against the advice of many state residents and county sheriffs? Is this another colossal failure of gun control?
Did the suspect bring the gun from his former state of residence? Did he obtain it legally?
The Los Angeles Times quoted Laura Carno, a Colorado conservative activist who helped recall one of the state lawmakers responsible for the gun control laws. She said the new laws “don’t make anyone safer.”
“These gun laws don’t keep guns out of the hands of criminals, because they’re criminals. … All they do is keep me from being able to buy the firearm of my choice,” she reportedly said.
So far what is known, or is being suggested, is that the suspect may not be mentally stable. He’s been widely quoted as telling an investigator something about “no more baby parts.” Is that it? Nothing else? Such a remark might suggest this guy is not entirely balanced, perhaps leading some to presume, if not conclude, that this is more of a mental health problem then a gun problem.
But the attack is already being exploited to push for more gun control laws. As this column noted over the weekend, President Barack Obama wasted little time to exploit the shooting in order to press his gun control agenda.
The authorities could help themselves and the public by just showing a picture of the gun recovered at the scene. Instead, when the “cone of silence” is lowered over such a case, it’s almost as though the authorities were playing a game of “I know something you don’t.” This is not the way to build trust among citizens that justice will be served.
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