Patterico's Pontifications

10/14/2007

Privacy and the Public’s Right-to-Know

Filed under: Crime,Law — DRJ @ 7:42 pm



[Guest post by DRJ]

There was a mass shooting last week in Crandon WI (population 2,000) in which 6 young people and the shooter died. The events were tragic but the aftermath presents some interesting questions about the interface between the public’s right-to-know and individuals’ right to privacy.

On October 7, Tyler Peterson, a 20-year-old part-time deputy and Crandon WI police officer, shot and killed 6 young people and wounded another:

“Authorities have said that 20-year-old Tyler Peterson gunned down six people, including his ex-girlfriend, when he went to their late-night pizza party Oct. 7. Peterson wounded another person at the party before fleeing.”

Peterson also died but there are conflicting reports regarding whether he killed himself or was killed by a SWAT team.

The case has received significant, sustained media attention. Now the Wisconsin Attorney General effectively told reporters to stay away from Crandon:

Attorney General J.B. Van Hollen last week said law enforcers would not answer questions about the case in the city where it took place, and he relayed a request that Crandon residents ignore reporters asking questions. He then left the podium without taking questions.
***
Van Hollen said Tuesday at a news conference that victims’ families had “asked me to ask the community at large to stop talking to the press. As such, we in the law enforcement community will do our part by having no further comments to the press from Forest County.”

Van Hollen was simply passing on the families’ “very human desire to grieve in peace,” said Kevin St. John, a spokesman for the state Department of Justice, which Van Hollen leads. More information will be released in time, he said.”

Crandon Mayor Gary Bradley said “he wished Van Hollen would have come down harder on the press,” stating:

“The news media was very aggressive, very aggressive people. They’re not taking into consideration what people are going through here,” Bradley said. “They set their cameras up with no regard to where they were. These people aren’t running around with their brains.”

The Attorney General’s statement was construed by the media as “encouraging the public not to answer reporters’ questions,” and the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel’s response was similar to that of other regional media:

“The news media must give the survivors room to grieve in private,” the editorial said. “But they must also do their job — report on a matter of great importance to the state. Unfortunately, Van Hollen has signaled that he may make the media’s job harder.”

Doug Lee of Vanderbilt University’s First Amendment Center said Van Hollen’s request “reflects a trend in government to treat the media as the enemy.”

Like many legal issues, this is probably a question of balance. The public has a right to know what happened and this is especially true where the shooter was a law enforcement officer. On the other hand, the impact of so many deaths in a small community like Crandon is more intense than it would be in a town of 10 or 100 times that size.

I would frame the issue this way: Does the public have a right to know what happened at a future point such as when the investigation is completed, or does the public have an immediate interest in getting information as the investigation proceeds? Or is it somewhere in between?

It’s not an easy answer for me. In choosing between these valid public and private interests, where would you draw the line?

— DRJ

121 Responses to “Privacy and the Public’s Right-to-Know”

  1. In cases like this, where the entire case is logically already known, what is there left to be known? With that, the press should be a bit more understanding, and give time to the families. But, they don’t. Now, if the killer was still on the loose, then the “public’s right to know” would still be in play.

    What does the public have to know about the families of those who have been killed that is relevant to the “public’s right to know?”

    Too much “if it bleeds, it leads”….

    reff (4e3fcd)

  2. I’m purely speculating, but several questions immediately come to mind. Such as did the shooter have mental problems? did signs appear earlier that he was unstable? Did his superiors know? What does law enforcement there do to screen applicants? And more importantly, are there others who have dropped through the cracks? Is that not of immediate public interest? How long is appropriate? A week, a month, a year? Once again, I’m speculating and putting the families feelings aside for the moment, but if I’m the public I want to know now.

    Edward (e752f8)

  3. If I live there I might be interested in those questions Edward. Otherwise, how does it affect me?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  4. The potentially embarassing part is that the “suicide” was shot three times through the head. Kind of like that old medical examiner joke: “Worst case of suicide I’ve ever seen.” There’s also the question of a twenty-year old deputy (which I personally have no problem with but his bosses now might).

    nk (6e4f93)

  5. Yes, the public has a right to know…

    The people in that town also have a right to not talk to the press.

    Since they don’t seem to want to talk to the press, I’ll just have to get over the disappointment of not learning more. The press can’t make them talk.

    And by god, it better not try.

    Leave them alone. The members of the press were nothing but ghouls and vultures in the wake of V Tech. This is what they get.

    Scott Jacobs (a1de9d)

  6. Have to go with Scott on this one, the ‘right to know’ is easily defeated by the right not to talk.

    The ‘public’ has no right to intrude on these families at a time like this. A reporter’s job is getting the story, but sometimes the story must wait.

    Lord Nazh© (899dce)

  7. the attorney general seems to be lending his office to a coverup – of what?

    just a guess – a coverup of the fact that his state gave a badge to a 20 year-old psycho. remember the state’s reluctance to call it murder when cops shoot civilians, even when they do it on purpose. besides, this is northern wisconsin where all seven of them could just as easily have died ice fishing. if only his woman hadn’t been insubordinate, she and her friends would never have been manslaughtered.

    assistant devil's advocate (3f81c9)

  8. Obviously if someone doesn’t want to talk, reporters shouldn’t harangue them. But two points:the AG says law enforcement is not going to answer questions because “residents” asked them not to. All residents? some residents? Has there ever been a time that the AG acted the same way? If the shooter was a barber, would the AG closed down the media like this? Sorry, leaving questions unanswered until whenever isn’t going to cut it. And smearing all journalists because of some who crossed the line is like smearing all lawyers because of a few.

    Edward (e752f8)

  9. The “public’s right to know” isn’t co-equal with the “press’s right to report.”

    To me its the height of journalistic arrogance for the Milwaukee Journal to claim this shooting is “a matter of great importance to the state.” How did they arrive at that statement of fact? In looking at the map, Crandon is about 230 miles from Milwaukee.

    The shooting is a matter of great importance to the Milwaukee Journal’s interest in selling papers. I don’t think the people of Milwaukee care much about it. Does it matter to the people of San Diego if a young part time Sherrif’s Deputy kills six people in Delano, California?

    Those are two cities of approximately the same size, and they are about the same distance apart.

    Would the San Diego Union be editorializing on the subject?

    The “public has a right to know”. The press is owed nothing.

    wls (fb8809)

  10. I’ll leave it at this. I have never told a reporter or had an editor tell me to do a story because it will sell papers. And you would be surprised how many people from SD would care if a 20-year-old part-time deputy killed six people in Delano.

    Edward (e752f8)

  11. Sorry it’s late, but I really leave it at this wls. You need to make up your mind. It’s either the Milwaukee Journal is just trying to sell papers or no one from Milwaukee cares. It can’t be both. Unless of course you think people actually buy a newspaper for its editorials.

    Edward (e752f8)

  12. Hear, hear, Edward. The officials can’t just hire a total violent fuckwit and then say, “Screw you, media, we’re not going to answer your damn questions; we’re going to hide behind the understandable reluctance of our citizens to talk with the media while they’re grieving. And that doesn’t go for them, that goes for our paid officials whose job it is to share information with the media so the public transparently see what’s happening in their justice system.”

    I guess the agencies’ involved, including the whole state of Wisconsin as lead by their Attorney-General, can refuse to answer media questions… but they are self-serving in doing so. This is a legitimate story, people are interested in it, and the public has a right to know all facts — including negligence — leading to it. The public has a right to know when vacationing in small Wisconsin towns with their arrogant Attorney-General, just what quality of “police” they can expect.

    The fact that the police can hire this man then as directed by their Attorney-General refuse to answer media questions does not inspire confidence.

    And lack of confidence in the justice system and government transparency is always a matter of public interest.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  13. *doesn’t just go for them

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  14. The shooting is a matter of great importance to the Milwaukee Journal’s interest in selling papers. I don’t think the people of Milwaukee care much about it.

    = dense + retarded

    … see if you can spot the reason why.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  15. Christoph – I haven’t been following the story. What’s the negligence angle? Is there one or are you just throwing it out there for shits and giggles? The shooter was apparently off duty. Is there a suggestion this was job related?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  16. daleyrocks, the neglicence angle is that they put this man on the police pay roll. The public has a right to know why. Apparently, he received no psychological background check, something most states, but not Wisconsin, requires.

    Puts the Attorney-General’s refusal to answer questions in a different context.

    I don’t know if there is more to be reported here or not. But it’s irresponsible of him to direct his state not to answer questions.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  17. Some more facts… the shooter used an AR-15, I believe, to commit the murders. I don’t know whether this was his personal weapon or whether one he received from his police force.

    I’ve heard he was on or training for a SWAT type role. In any event, the correct response to my, your, and others’ uncertainty over what all the facts are isn’t, “We won’t answer your questions.”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  18. Christoph – He’s 20 years old in very rural Wisconsin. It sounds like he was pissed off at an ex girlfriend. That’s the land of beer and ammo combination stores up there, where people sit around in the bars and compare the number of DUI’s they’ve gotten. There are a lot of fire arms up there. I’m not sure why you’re out for the police department’s hide. Why is it improper to instruct law enforcement officials not to talk – any conversations should be cleared through a central source, when there is meaningful information to report. Anyone familiar with normal PR practices knows it is important to control the message. The is the basics and everyone here is reacting as if it is abnormal.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  19. The fact that the subscriber base of the Milwaukee Journal, or some fraction thereof, might have an interest in the paper doesn’t make it “a matter of great important TO THE STATE”, which is their excuse for editorializing as they did.

    Or maybe you’re to dense or retarded to read.

    The question of transparency on the part of the local authorities to explain their actions is part of a public accounting. Nothing says they have to make that accounting through the news pages of the Milwaukee Journal.

    wls (fb8809)

  20. Do you know the officer privately owned his AR-15 or not? If not, shouldn’t the public know.

    Why did this police force not do a psychological evaluation over their new hire — something most states do?

    For that matter, how is the community reacting to the event? It’s a human interest story and, believe it or not, the press has a right to ask.

    The Wisconsin Attorney-General’s statement in this case is not normal practice, it was bizarre.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  21. wls, I come down on the side of your reasoning more often than not, but it is you who is being willfully or otherwise “dense + retarded” (words chosen more to equal out the playing field than for any other reason: let it not be said I limit myself to offending only a very few people)

    Note the part in blockquotes. It isn’t this part: “a matter of great important TO THE STATE”.

    It is this part: “… the people of Milwaukee”.

    They are, I suspect, the main readers of the Milwaukee Journal, wouldn’t you say?

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  22. Christoph – Is the shooting job related? If not, how is the psychological testing relevant? If the guy was tested and not hired, would that have prevented him from going off? You’re back to the situation with the West Va. shooter. It’s interesting information, but not necessarily actionable.

    With respect to people’s right to know. Other than morbid curiousity, all they need to know is that it is being investigated and details will be released by the appropriate authorities. Police and law enforcement authorities in the one horse towns up there are not accustomed to hordes of press inquiries. As of 2002, Crandon only listed one full time police officer. It sounds to me like the attorney general was trying to take heat off the locals. People may care what happened, but they don’t have a right to know when they think do. People can clam up if they want to or state employees can be instructed to clam up by their superiors.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  23. “Other than morbid curiousity, all they need to know is that it is being investigated and details will be released by the appropriate authorities.”

    Just trust the state. God, that’s pathetic.

    A free and vigorous press serves a purpose.

    Is it job related? If it was his issue AR-15 and he was on a SWAT-type team without any psychological testing, why yes. There are questions here which must be asked.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  24. wls, this Advance Titan opinion piece says:

    “…psychological testing for potential officers has been recommended by national experts since the 1970’s, and it is about time action is taken to ensure this becomes required as opposed to simply suggested. Three Wisconsin state representatives are working on a bill that would do just that.”

    Whether you agree with that or not is not the point. Other people do including state lawmakers. To say the media shouldn’t question local authorities to get information out to the public while this is being debated at the state level is to say media shouldn’t do their jobs.

    So yes it is, “…a matter of great important TO THE STATE,” as well.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  25. Even if it was his personally-owned firearm. A badge allows police officers to privately purchase firearms not available to civilians. Also, owning a gun is not the same as knowing how to use one. He might not have been able to kill six people without the training he received.

    nk (6e4f93)

  26. Very good point, nk. As I was trained in infantry tactics, knowledge of how to use a Colt assault rifle and prioritizing targets is something I don’t give much thought to. Of course, before being trained by my government I didn’t have the same level of knowledge in applying lethal force. If he received SWAT training plus an AR-15 and ammunition, all without a psychological test, then there is an opportunity for improvement.

    The counterargument, of course, is Crandon, WI saved $400.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  27. Edward #2:

    I’m purely speculating,

    Ya’ think?

    but several questions immediately come to mind. Such as did the shooter have mental problems? did signs appear earlier that he was unstable? Did his superiors know? What does law enforcement there do to screen applicants?

    But since we’re “purely speculating,” let’s speculate about the screening process: which more than likely consisted of whoever hired him for the part time job in Crandon asking somebody else in the town hall office, “Hey, anybody know this Pedersen [mispelled for emphasis] kid? Who? Oh, that Peterson? All righty, then.” Considering the low population density of the county, his application for a deputy position wasn’t likely to receive much more scrutiny.

    And more importantly, are there others who have dropped through the cracks?

    Without doubt. A small community like Crandon isn’t likely to have the resources to address things like “anger management” as an adjunct to FFA or 4H.

    Is that not of immediate public interest?

    Not if the residents of Crandon disagree.

    How long is appropriate? A week, a month, a year?

    Never is quite appropriate, especially since the story will fade away outside the immediate area in a maddeningly short time.

    Once again, I’m speculating and putting the families feelings aside for the moment, but if I’m the public I want to know now.

    Which is why there is a market for the World Weekly News, National Enquirer, et al.#4 nk:

    The potentially embarassing part is that the “suicide” was shot three times through the head. Kind of like that old medical examiner joke: “Worst case of suicide I’ve ever seen.”

    Usually an element of truth to dark humor, but I’ll consult de Broglie on this one, and point out that if you really want to commit suicide right the first time, you use a speeding train instead of a gun.

    There’s also the question of a twenty-year old deputy (which I personally have no problem with but his bosses now might).

    It’s difficult to reconcile 20 year old sheriff’s deputy with veterans the same age who saw combat in Iraq. There is a huge maturity gap between them. But the vets don’t start out that way: they are closely mentored, observed, and trained in a way that the town of Crandon can’t match.#17 Christoph:

    I’ve heard he was on or training for a SWAT type role.

    You got a link for that? I find that a strange assertion, since the majority of police work in the area is likely to be solving cases of cow tipping, and the wanton murder of road signs. I doubt anybody is going to the expense of sending that kid to an expensive, specialized school, unless nobody else in the county wanted to go.#25 nk & #26 Christoph:

    Also, owning a gun is not the same as knowing how to use one. He might not have been able to kill six people without the training he received.

    As I was trained in infantry tactics, knowledge of how to use a Colt assault rifle and prioritizing targets is something I don’t give much thought to.

    Unfortunately, given the situation, no special knowledge was required to be effectively lethal in this situation (cf, Virginia Tech). And while you know I am a strong 2nd Amendment advocate because I believe it empowers the weak to defend themselves, given the age of the victims and the shooter it’s unlikely that his rampage could have been stopped by anyone at the scene.

    And how does all of this relate to the “public’s right to know?” Part of the problem is the sensationalism with which its being portrayed~as some Columbine like or Postal employee run amok story: when in truth its a tragic domestic violence story that wouldn’t rate more than a paragraph in Baltimore or Tampa.

    Sadly, only thing remarkable about it is that the kid had a job that allowed him to wear a uniform.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  28. Hmmm, “Live Preview” doesn’t always portray what gets posted.

    There should be paragraph breaks above at:

    National Enquirer, et al.

    #4 nk:

    …Crandon can’t match.

    #17 Christoph:

    and

    … nobody else in the county wanted to go.

    #25 nk & #26 Christoph:

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  29. EW1(SG), even if you’re completely right in all your analysis, it doesn’t matter. Because the questions isn’t who’s right or who’s wrong, but is this a news story?

    And as long as other people think it’s looking into, it is.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  30. And some news paper swere acuialy publishing the names of gun owners in the rags until the publicity forced them to stop

    krazy kagu (5006b4)

  31. #29 Christoph:

    And as long as other people think it’s looking into, it is.

    They can look, but nobody has to talk to them.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  32. It’s irresponsible for the government to close ranks around itself when such serious questions remain.

    But in any event, I was answering wls’s various questions about why this is a news story. I don’t disagree the violence could have played out without the law enforcement, issued AR-15/SWAT training angle, if that’s all true… but it does turn it into even more of a public story than a mass shooting incident usually would.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  33. Christoph – You sound just like Glenn Greewald on this one. Believe the government, no way. We have to have a free and adversarial press.

    Nobody is censoring the press here so you can save that indignation. I believe the Attorney General is telling the local authorities, who are probably not accustomed to talking to anyone but the local pree, maybe Wassau and Green Bay sometimes too, to keep a lid on it so that a myriad of different potentially innaccurate stories don’t get out there. Have you ever heard of a spokesperson?

    It’s too bad you have a hard time seeing that. Has the government in Wisconsin given you a reason to mistrust it?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  34. There’s no point in me discussing this further. For all the reasons I’ve stated, I think this is a real story. As far as whether Wisconsin has specifically given me reason to discuss it, no, but as a somewhat libertarian conservative, I believe in shining light on government whenever possible.

    I certainly think Wisconsin has the wrong policy here and I hope this incident provides the public pressure necessary to encourage it to change it.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  35. *reason to distrust it

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  36. Sorry if this has already been stated…

    But it seems to me that they are trying to keep people from knowing too much for the following (possibly understandable) reason. In the event of a civil suit being brought by the families against the police department, they may wish to avoid biasing potential jurors.

    otcconan (690250)

  37. The shooting is a matter of great importance to the Milwaukee Journal’s interest in selling papers. I don’t think the people of Milwaukee care much about it.

    = dense + retarded

    … see if you can spot the reason why.

    Pick me! If the people have no interest in reading about it, how the hell is that going to sell papers in that area?

    otcconan (690250)

  38. Bingo! You won.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  39. #32 Christoph:

    It’s irresponsible for the government to close ranks around itself when such serious questions remain.

    I see I didn’t really make my point very well: there isn’t enough government there to even HAVE “ranks!”

    I remember the hubbub in my hometown when our bank was robbed by some out of towners who lay in wait and murdered our police force when he showed up. We still talk about that even though his daughter is now older than he was when he was killed, and his murderers have been on parole for years.

    I don’t think the AG is avoiding publicity as much as taking pity on the townspeople of Crandon.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  40. There is a mayor, etc. I don’t want to crucify the town. I want Wisconsin to join the majority of states and give their officers psychological tests before hiring them and putting them on special weapon teams.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  41. daleyrocks,

    I am very insulted by your characterization of Forest County, WI. Just because there isn’t a Liberal Metropolitan City up there, doesn’t mean they are in the “Liberal Sterotype”, drunk, retarded, and stupid.

    I am one generation from living up there. I just came back from a family reunion in August. You owe the people up there an apology. The only thing we compare is the College degrees and how well our children are doing. My eldest graduated from USC Cum Laude. What have you and yours done?

    One point for the rest of your effites to consider. Tyler was a cop. If he had enlisted, he’d have rank, an M-16, if not a tank or a “Ma Deuce” to use. Think for once and get your heads out of the Democrat political blogs for a change.

    Also, the Press is filled with ethicless A**holes, and they prove it daily.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  42. Soldiers are not given M-16s stateside to use outside of training and duty assignments. Certainly not one they’re allowed to keep in their car with a bolt and full magazine.

    Speaking of thinking…

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  43. #40 Christoph:

    There is a mayor, etc. I don’t want to crucify the town.

    Well, we had a mayor also. Town hall was a boardroom off the volunteer fire department, and was locked up and empty except for the occasional town council meeting. (Come to think of it, I don’t ever remember meeting the mayor, unless he was the guy that owned the Western Auto store also.)

    I want Wisconsin to join the majority of states and give their officers psychological tests before hiring them and putting them on special weapon teams.

    And even if Wisconsin does that (and I have absolutely no problem with that, sounds like a fine idea) there are over 3000 counties in the States, many of which have their own police/sheriff/constabulary of some sort~and unless its an affluent county, they won’t have the resources to do the testing you desire. Now, compound that with tiny municipalities like Cranford, who very often just have enough money to issue a uniform blouse to the half dozen part time and volunteer policemen they have, and you’re way below the radar until one of them gets drunk, has a fight with his ex-wife or girlfriend, and in an alcoholic rage lets loose with a weapon that everybody in town is gonna wish tomorrow that they had taken away from him.

    The point being, no amount of investigation by a properly “vituperous press” is going to be the springboard for any effective remedy to the human condition. A hue and cry for the citizens of Cranford to ‘tell all’ as if they should wish to make a spectacle of themselves on Jerry Springer is misplaced.

    EW1(SG) (84e813)

  44. 42, I can get an AR-15 and not even be on a PD. Speaking of thinking. As far as a soldier or sailor getting loose in town with their issue weapon, don’t be so smug and sure. It can happen. Look at San Diego where the guy took off in that NG M-60 tank, and he wasn’t even in the Guard.

    My niece was abord ship in the gulf and was complaining about particular sailors not checking in and out their M-14s before and after watches. One was left in the mess room and she hid it to make a point and still nothing was done until I notified my Congresscritter who demanded an explanation from the Navy. An Admiral was dispatched by helo to go aboard and get those answers. So, Christoph, don’t be so sure people out here aren’t thinking and do know things don’t always go according to orders and regs.

    Another think for you, how did David Koresh get working “Ma Deuces”? You think he’s the only civilian to get his hands on automatic weapons?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  45. No, PCD, I never said that and it’s a straw man argument to pretend I did. In this case apparently he used his issue weapon to kill six people. There’s a news story in there somewhere.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  46. It is a balance in my opinion. It is not unreasonable for the AG to wait on the final report before making comment.
    There seems to be no imminent danger to the public. That is probably the benchmark that should drive whether or not ongoing updates are in order.
    The sniper shootings in DC is a good example of where the public arguably had the right to regular updates.
    The 9/11 transcripts and tapes didn’t come out for years and even then release of voice recordings was strictly limited. Had it been released in bits and pieces some of the truther speculations would have been fueled to fever pitch.

    Voice of Reason (10af7e)

  47. 45, Christoph, You are the one runing on a strawman in that you “only heard” that Tyler was on a SWAT team or taking SWAT training, and that the weapon was issued to him.

    First, cough up that URL, boy for him being SWAT, etc.

    2nd, He had .40 semi-automatic pistol. He could have wreaked the same havoc with that pistol as he did that rifle. Did you see the house? I did and my wife is still having nightmares about it since August. I know this only happened long after August. But her nightmares and your having heard things are just as worthless to this conversation and the truth.

    3rd, the story is that 5 were killed, period. There might be more, but badgering the citizens and abusing their property rights by setting up “remotes” on their lawns to feed stations who are trying to make like they are actual journalists is not right.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  48. Here.

    I found this in 15-seconds with the simple search string “tyler swat”. You could have found that too.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  49. “These same friends have indicated that he recently completed a law enforcement SWAT-like course, and was a member of the local law enforcement tactical team, evidenced by the AR-15 assault rifle issued to him by the sheriff’s department, a weapon, along with his semi-automatic pistol, that he proudly showed to others. It would be these weapons that would account for the death of he and 6 of his friends in the proceeding 24 hours.”

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  50. PCD – My comments were made based on spending time in the area so you can hold your indignation. I didn’t ask the people in the bars who were telling me about their DUI’s about their college pedigrees so I have no information about that. Are you saying that there are no “beer and ammo” stores? Are you saying that hunting is not a major interest in the area?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  51. He had .40 semi-automatic pistol. He could have wreaked the same havoc with that pistol as he did that rifle.

    You mean his issue pistol?

    Look, it depends on his level of training, although an AR-15 is one hell of a superior weapon to pistol. I’ve used both.

    With the right training, a person could have killed all or several of those people by hand. What’s your point? They were killed with weapons issued to him by his department, after giving him special weapons training, but without popping the $400 or so for a psychological test.

    Most states require this test. Wisconsin doesn’t. There is the story. If you don’t understand that, it really isn’t any skin off my nose.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  52. After the Duke Lax rape hoax, I have a lot less patience with sensationalism by the press.

    I’m with VoR on this one, Cristoph.

    LarryD (feb78b)

  53. I don’t care who you or anyone is with on this one, LarryD. I’m not sure I disagree with you about whether he could have inflicted this damage without the department training and weapons (although the fact is he didn’t). I just understand that this is indeed a valid news story.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  54. After the Duke Lax rape hoax, I have a lot less patience with sensationalism by the press.

    And whether you have patience with the press is not the point. I think the press are vultures. I heavily lean toward supporting cops over the press.

    BUT… the press are protected by the constitution and they have an enormously important role in any free democracy, pain in the ass though they are. Whether I or you like the coverage or not doesn’t change the fact the press need to ask questions and the public has a right to answers. Including to the press, not just official reports when they’re good and ready.

    I don’t trust the government. No true conservative does.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  55. 50, Daily, and there are no beer or spirits stores where you are? Are you in prison? As for swapping DUI stories, well let’s start with Lindsay Lohan and Paris Hilton and work through the elites of every big city and power center. On that score we can even go to Hyannisport and the Kennedy family for DUIs and how many people they killed by their actions.

    My point is that your elitist point of view is insulting, irrelevant to the story, and if we want to talk about hunting, which is legal, lets also go through the power centers, especially elite clubs with preserved animal head upon the walls.

    Again, you are out of bounds and trying to make a liberal elitist slight against people who did nothing except live where someone snapped.

    Now, want to talk about supposedly sane people poisoning Tylenol, driving their cars into crowds in protest of how their religion is perceived? What tangent can we go on where your ox is gored.

    YOU ONLY VISITED CRANDON. You really know nothing more than what is on the brouchures and what passes for liberal prejudice for places not paved over with building scraping the sky.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  56. Christoph – You seem to heve a problem differentiating between the positions of the consumers of news and the makers or providers of the news. You claim a “right” to know certain things. I would like to know your definition of that right. Is it a Constitutionally defined right or some other legally enumerated right light certain government sunshine regulations? If it is enumerated somewhere, could you point to it please? If it is instead some kind of fuzzy emotional right, really more along the lines of a “need”, could you explain that?

    You keep flip flopping between terms like right, interest, need, etc. Which one really is it?

    With respect to the provider of the news, which I’ll for simplicity reasons define as the local authorities, assisted by the state. They have an interest and a public duty to complete their investigation into the shootings as expeditiously as possible and to inform the citizens of facts which they deem relevant for their consumption. If the people involved in the investigation are hampered by reporters sticking microphones in their faces or asking questions at every turn, the process is impeded. The people involved are also probably not accustomed to dealing with reporters from larger cities or television, an ideal situation for the reporters to pry useful information out of the unsuspecting locals. Controlling access and information in a situation such as this is the best way to ensure the timely completion of and investigation. If reporters don’t like the information released, they can always ask for more.

    You are hung up on the I want the information I want and I want it now aspect of our culture. What’s the rush?

    daleyrocks (906622)

  57. 52, the Duke situation was Liberal PC on display with the 88 professors who decided to persecute any Lacrosse team member who happened to signup to their class, with a Democrat DA who lied and withheld exculpatory evidence in order to create the situation he rode to reelection, to a liberally biased press looking to give a black eye to the rich elite, and none of them cared for the truth.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  58. You are hung up on the I want the information I want and I want it now aspect of our culture. What’s the rush?

    That’s what the news does.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  59. PCD – You’re seriously barking up the wrong tree.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  60. PCD – I’m not denigrating. I enjoy spending time in the area and it’s not spent in Crandon.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  61. 59,60, Daley, again, Where do you live? Let’s roll out the prejudices against your area. Are you the typical Chicago hunter who comes up to Forest County for the deer hunting and SHOOTS AT EVERY THING THAT MOVES?? Do you get dissed at the bars because you ask for gurleyman drinks? Are you so big that you can’t apologize for your insensitive and wrong remarks?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  62. You’re really, really pissing me off, daleyrocks.

    “You keep flip flopping between terms like right, interest, need, etc. Which one really is it?”

    Stating more than one reason for something doesn’t mean you’re flip flopping among them. Up yours if you can’t talk in an intellectually honest manner.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  63. 59,60, Is your family part of the community like mine is in Forest County? Did your family help restore a locomotive and help create an attraction for your community? Did your family build a hotel and run it to give shelter to workers coming to your area?

    What is so worth while about the people where you live that you can make fun of the people in Crandon?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  64. PCD – Climb down off your cross, we need the wood.

    I don’t hunt, but I’m willing to give it a try. I like your projection though. Do you need to wipe off your monitor. I explained myself. Deal.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  65. Christoph – Why don’t you deal with the points raised which have to deal with your blatant intellectual dishonesty?

    “Stating more than one reason for something doesn’t mean you’re flip flopping among them. Up yours if you can’t talk in an intellectually honest manner.”

    In your case, yes they do, you’ve back tracked all over the place on this thread. Try making an argument and sticking to it, eh hoser.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  66. Fuck you, daleyrocks. This is an example of where the internet is a good thing, because in person you’d be on the ground in pain.

    That’s all I got to say to you. Have fun carrying on.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  67. 64, I’ll get off my soapbox just as soon as you apologize for being a prejudiced boor who talks about people you really don’t know. The people in the Forest County area are the salt of the earth, not manure. They are patriots who serve and are more of a community than you belong to.

    Next time you post from the gutter, don’t project your shortcomings on people who aren’t paying attention to you, but are hurting and on their knees asking God why this happened.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  68. Doug Lee of Vanderbilt University’s First Amendment Center said Van Hollen’s request “reflects a trend in government to treat the media as the enemy.”

    Heh. Who treated whom as an enemy first?

    Yeah, I know, it’s the bad, pushy, ghoulish, agenda=driven reporters that give the other 2% a bad reputation.

    Kevin R.C. 'Hognose' O'Brien (88bf29)

  69. PCD – I am defending the handling of this story against idiots like Christoph who obviously know nothing about the area or people, which he reinforces with each post he makes. If you’ve got a problem with that fine.

    The MSNBC story he linked and your own posts reinforce my comments about hunting and firearms. The bar conversations I’ve had up there are not independently verifiable and I’m sorry about that. So where exactly was what I said wrong.

    If you’ve got a chip on your shoulder about having relatives from Wisconsin, that’s an issue you have to deal with. Some people do feel that things change dramatically north of the Cheese Curtain. If you look at some of the odd ducks the state turns out for politicians, like Russ Feingold and David Obey, an argument might be made for that position.

    I am on your side on this one I think.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  70. Geez Christoph – I guess I don’t have a right to know what right to know information you really thought you had a right to know? You really do sound like one of those excitable progressives – I refuse to engage in any dialogue with you.

    Flipper

    daleyrocks (906622)

  71. I grew up near that area and to me Daleyrocks sounds like a tourist. I can tell you the people from the area around Crandon have no liking for and absolutely no respect for tourists. He knows just enough about the area to sound off, but not enough to understand it.
    The people of that area are very independent and will solve their own problems without any help from Chicago or California.

    Mark_0454 (748816)

  72. 71, Mark0454, I agree with you. I bet the bum never got off of WI 32 or US 8 when he travels up to the casino. He wouldn’t know what or where Schaeffer’s is. He wouldn’t know who Butch V. is, or his contribution to the US. He probably doesn’t know the contributions and curses of the Connor family either.

    PCD (5813e4)

  73. PCD #72,

    Overall, I sympathize with communities and local governments that resent intrusive media. But if the Crandon community were more receptive to the media maybe we would all learn about the people and places you mention in your comment, and I suspect we would all benefit as a result.

    I still think it’s a two-sided coin.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  74. Stop picking on daleyrocks, cheeseheads. I don’t need signs to know when I’ve crossed from Illinois to Wisconsin on I-94. The road surface is ten years’ behind on maintenance, and the surrounding landscape is depleted soil and eradicated and non-replanted forests which looks to have been sold to a billboard company. I like to listen to Cub-Brewer games on WTMJ 620, however, because of Bob Eucker.

    nk (6e4f93)

  75. I love Bob Uecker quotes even more than Yogi quotes (but it’s close).

    DRJ (67ced6)

  76. I’m not picking on Wisconsin. I was objecting to what that gasbag Christoph was saying and it’s implications for people who live in “flyover country.” For a Canuck, he’s got an awful lot of opinions on the U.S. and its laws and the way its laws should be (his preferred debating position as opposed to the way the law is written). The fun part is, he doesn’t stick to his opinions when you push back. But he doesn’t like being questioned, he resorts to insults and threats as he showed on this thread.

    He’s just another big talking internet asshole trying to dominate conversations. No substance.

    If I wanted to insult Wisconsin, I’d start talking about fish boils, their women folk, brats, cheese curds, ice fishing and stuff like that.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  77. Is the press the enemy?

    I don’t know if the AG thinks that, but I think he stepped on his dick in a major way when he issued his gag order. He might have meant that all info to the press should come from a designated spokeshole; too bad he didn’t say that.

    As an FFL, I have to ask why we are giving badges to 20-yr olds? They aren’t old enough to buy the sidearm they will be carrying – in fact, under Federal law, they would only be allowed to possess and/or use a handgun under “adult” supervision.

    As to the AR-15: If the authorities stated it was an AR-15, I would assume it is the civilian, semi-automatic version of the rifle issued to military members (M-16, selective-fire: both full and semi-auto).

    So they sent this kid to some advanced, tactical training? Big deal. Cop Explorer Scouts take this training all the time. Hell, I’m 66, and I do some of this activity just to see what the kids are doing. And, I would think that this relates more to his p/t position as a Deputy Sheriff, since there, he would be expected to cover a more varied enforcement experience.

    Is the press the enemy?

    More and more of the civilian community (meaning you and me) think they are. Just listening to them and their condescending attitude towards the great, unwashed masses, creates a whole lot of resentment.

    As an example, during the Rodney King Riots here in L.A., one of our local news-vans rolled up to a scene where gunfire was being reported. As the news bimbette did her set-up, the van started to be hit by in-coming. She and her crew bailed, and (last I heard) she still is NOT working in journalism.

    Is the Press, the Enemy?

    A lot of people think so!

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  78. Another Drew – The press certainly acts like it’s the enemy a lot of the time – Not 100%, but a lot.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  79. Addendum…
    I meant to mention this, but forgot.

    WI is one of the few states that forbids concealed carry, for anyone but LE.

    VT is just as liberal as WI, and probably has just as many strange types roaming the north-woods, but we haven’t heard of this type of situation there? Of course, in VT, you don’t need the Man’s permission to protect yourself.
    The chances of everyone at that gathering being unarmed? Only in WI, and IA, NE…well, you get the idea.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  80. And the press will get its story one way or the other if they think they can sell it. It could have been a “what went wrong” story, now it can be a “what are they hiding?” story, there will be several follow up stories about other cops who blow non-criminals away over then next few weeks, and then, if the story is a real attention getter, we will get spinoff stories building up the patriotic, hardworking folk of Crandon, with a few followups a few days later baring everything crummy about the town that reporters can find out.

    EdWood (a8723f)

  81. EdWood,

    I think the scenario you paint would happen whether or not the locals are receptive to the media. Maybe not all media would treat it that way but some would because conflict makes for a better story.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  82. 73 DRJ, it isn’t that the people in the Crandon area are anti-media, they are not media centered as the Chicago tourist and the Cannuck know-it-all are.

    NK, it is Bob Uecker. If you were such a fan, you’d have researched it or looked at his MLB trading card for the right spelling.

    Daleyrocks, just screw you! Trout boils rock, just because your people aren’t Norweigian and can’t cook worth crap means you know jack about cooking, fishing, women, OR BRATWURST!

    Before you think I’m media phobic, I’m very not. When I lived in SoCal in the early 90s, I was a often caller to KFI and KIEV, and I even worked for a show on KKLA.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  83. 79, Drew, in what state would you expect 1 14 year old girl, and 4 18 to 20 year old carrying a firearm at a pizza party/sleepover? Even in a small, close knit community like Crandon, would you expect guests who are kids to know where the guns and ammo are and have the time to put them together to defend themselves against an armed intruder who burst through an open door? It’s not going to happen.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  84. #83,

    Dude, take yer meds… Daley is on the side of the Community in WI on this. He’s been generally supportive of them, and from what I read, barely negative at all.

    You, however, seem to really enjoy just being a dick.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  85. Eh, that was supposed to mostly refer to #82, not 83…

    But since the author is the same, it makes little difference.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  86. 84, Scott, Your last line could really apply to people like alphie more than myself.

    Just get your shots in today. I’m going to a funeral in WI tomorrow and don’t give a rat’s what you think of me. I give a rat’s rear anatomy about anuses spouting a stereotype being people they don’t know, but it makes an easy post to make you sound knowledgable and in the loop on a tragic story.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  87. Heck, PCD, for the longest time I was spelling it Euchre. This is an improvement. And you know very well that all Bob Uecker trading cards were tracked down and destroyed by vigilante groups of Little League parents a long time ago. 😉

    nk (6e4f93)

  88. 87, nk, Miller Lite fans still have not only his cards, but his ML commercials. No, I’m not in the Uecker seats in the “Front Row”.

    Oh, catch a rerun of Major League. Both the Indians and Uecker are making comebacks.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  89. 87, nk, Miller Lite fans still have not only his cards, but his ML commercials. No, I’m not in the Uecker seats in the “Front Row”.

    So, were ya at Folsom Street’s lil fair?

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  90. 89, No, I was in Anaheim during the 92 riots. I opened my house to any Koreans burned out by the rioters.

    I don’t go near Folsom St.

    I may be at one of my cousin’s fish boils in Door County, though.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  91. “Just because there isn’t a Liberal Metropolitan City up there, doesn’t mean they are in the “Liberal Sterotype”, drunk, retarded, and stupid… Think for once and get your heads out of the Democrat political blogs for a change.”

    -PCD

    daleyrocks, you liberal, you.
    I guess PCD’s Partisan-Profiling software needs maintenance.

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  92. “If I wanted to insult Wisconsin, I’d start talking about fish boils, their women folk, brats, cheese curds, ice fishing and stuff like that.”

    -daleyrocks

    In your face, Wisconsin!
    Someone let me know when DRJ writes a post about a real state!

    Leviticus (68eff1)

  93. 91,92, Lev, May you be facing the Golan Heights in Israel when Hezbollah and the Syrian Army decide it is time to wipe out Israel. I want to see you appease them on your way down.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  94. Question: What’s the difference between a woman from Wisconsin and a rhinoceros?

    Answer: Thirty pounds and a sweater.

    I’ll be here all day PCD if you keep wanting to being an asshole.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  95. be – oops

    daleyrocks (906622)

  96. Re: #93

    WHAT?

    How was THAT an on-point response???

    Seriously, I’m not Levi’s biggest fan, but dude, you’re just looney.

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  97. 94, projecting? And you are supposedly a Conservative.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  98. PCD,

    Are you related to Christoph? I see a family resemblance.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  99. 98, Nope, try again.

    Oh, while all y’all are dumping on Wisconsin residents, why aren’t any of you doing any investigation of Van Hollen? In some quarters he’s been called a RINO even before his election.

    I am taking notes on who’s take on issues is paper thin and who are just xerox copies of the left’s talking points and agenda.

    Mainly, all I’ve seen is people grinding their axes at the expense of the people of Crandon and of Forest County.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  100. PCD,

    I’m a proud Texan so I respect someone who is proud of their state but I don’t see the anti-Wisconsin and anti-Crandon sentiment that you apparently see. This could have happened in any small community in any state. To me, this story represents the conflict between small town values and big city fast-paced media.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  101. 100, DRJ, read daleyrocks’ posts closer. It is there and I did ask him to apologize, but not only did not, but intensified.

    PCD (b47ba5)

  102. Man, Wisconsin’s lame. I hate Wisconsin. Especially whatever part of Wisconsin PCD’s from. That part’s the worst.

    Leviticus (43095b)

  103. PCD – Do you have any Native American blood in your family, NTTAWWT, I know the winters get boring up there? It might help explain your rush to anger. Just asking.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  104. 102, coming from an America Hater such as yourself, Lev, that’s a high compliment.

    Don’t you have a criminal to try to free, Lev?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  105. PCD,

    It looks like your objection was to Daleyrocks #18:

    That’s the land of beer and ammo combination stores up there, where people sit around in the bars and compare the number of DUI’s they’ve gotten.

    A comment like that about my community probably would sting but since I know it’s not representative, I think I would get over it. I’m sure the same is true for you and Crandon.

    As for the media presence in Crandon, I can certainly understand if the citizens of Crandon need space and time to grieve, or if they believe the media is too intrusive, or if they are just private people by nature. However, if it happened in my community, I would also want to know more about what happened and why. I might not want to wait for the government investigations or trust it to find all the answers.

    It’s a very hard question.

    DRJ (67ced6)

  106. 103, daley, you an Indian hater, too? My 3 step kids each belong to a different tribe. No, I don’t have Indian blood, nor Jewish blood, nor Arab blood, nor Liberal blood. What else is on your prejudice board, daley?

    PCD (b47ba5)

  107. Man, Wisconsin’s lame. I hate Wisconsin. Especially whatever part of Wisconsin PCD’s from. That part’s the worst.

    Comment by Leviticus — 10/16/2007 @ 11:39 am

    Mark your calenders, folks…

    I agree with Levi 100%

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  108. PCD, I dunno about Daley, but I’m developing a pretty intense prejudice towards WI…

    I hope you don’t work for the Tourism Beuro or something…

    “If you don’t love Wisconson, you’re a fucking idiot! WORSHIP US!!!!”

    Scott Jacobs (425810)

  109. Wisconsin is great. The liquor stores opened before the McDonalds, and there is a casino name the “Ho-Chunk”.

    JD (a481bb)

  110. I’m having a tough time believing PCD’s bluster. Checking on his claims of the educational attainment of Crandon residents, the 2000 census shows great results through high school, but his bragging about college and graduate school just doesn’t hold water. It shows Crandon college grauates at a percentage of the population at around half the Wisconsin and national averages. Soory, I didn’t find a more recent survey.

    http://www.epodunk.com/cgi-bin/educLevel.php?locIndex=23900

    daleyrocks (906622)

  111. daleyrocks, what is it in you that feels it necessary to insult the citizens of Crandon at this time?

    And now you pull out the fact that many work (agriculture? I’m not sure what the main industry is) at a younger age as opposed to pursuing higher education, also admirable.

    That’s all fine and dandy. But six of their residents were just slaughtered by an off duty policeman with his service weapons and another was seriously injured. Perhaps analyzing that situation and its solutions or providing some sympathy to Crandon’s residents might be a better use of your time than getting into a pissing match with PCD in an attempt to smear the residents of Crandon.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  112. Christoph – Today you are Mr. Sensitive when yesterday you were a total dickhead with regard to people pestering the community? Are you bipolar?

    You’re like the weather in a lot of places, wait around a little while and it will change.

    Why don’t you make another one of your intelligent comments and threaten to beat me up again?

    You sir, are a complete clown.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  113. Chritoph – Larry Johnson is better at threats and he’s probably a better looking guy even with that stupid Prince Valiant haircut. At least what he has makes sense even though it’s not worth paying attention to because he’s a stark raving moonbat. What you say doesn’t make sense from comment to comment and you’ve got stark raving moonbat tendencies.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  114. I never said anything negative about the community and, once again, you are a liar. I said government officials should respond to requests by the media and not shut down information to the public. I said there can be improvements in laws and policies like providing background psychological tests to law enforcement officers especially those trained in a SWAT roll and issued AR-15s. I also said the media have the right to do their jobs, even if it is distasteful at times.

    This is a far cry from implying the citizens of Crandon are ignorant rubes. I would indeed take pleasure in kicking your ass.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  115. OK, I don’t know who is responsible for the tone here, but it ends now. Others don’t want to read you people threatening each other. Well, maybe they do, but I don’t. So, stop it now.

    Patterico (bad89b)

  116. Agreed.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  117. And I apologize too.

    Christoph (92b8f7)

  118. PCD #83…
    an anecdotal response…
    There was a case here in CA (up north as I remember) where a nutcase broke into a home occupied by a mid-teenage girl, and her younger brother. The father, who was at work, kept a handgun (which his daughter was trained to use) in the house, locked up as the state demands. Perhaps because of that, or not, she was unable to access the handgun to defend herself and her brother.
    Two more deaths credited to “reasonable” gun-control.

    Another Drew (8018ee)

  119. My apologies. Sorry Patterico and everyone else.

    daleyrocks (906622)

  120. I’m not reading through 119 comments, so I don’t know whether anyone’s said this yet, but nobody has an obligation to speak to the press, ever. And I wish more people would realise this, and exercise their right to be silent.

    The press have no constitutional role whatsoever. They are not a “fourth estate”, as they grandiosely call themselves – we don’t have the first three estates in the USA either. A job at a newspaper (or a blog) gives someone no more rights than you or I have, and compelling answers from someone who declines to speak to us is not one of them. Nor is harassing someone who has asked us nicely to leave them alone. Even if they are a public official.

    Milhouse (f10fb3)

  121. All this talk about Wisconsin made daleyrocks and Christoph want to kick someone’s ass. I don’t blame them. Just saying the word “Wisconsin” makes me want to kick my own ass.

    Leviticus (3c2c59)


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