Despite your take on the shooting in Arizona, I think public discourse has seemed to reach all-time lows. Belling, Rush and the rest are now doing little more than scaring the shit out of simpleminded folks for ratings. I'll remind you of our own little incident back in March:
From the paper:
Anger over health care boils over
Man accused of threatening Obama, shooting at deputies
By KRISTIN WALDEN Daily News Staff
A drunken rage over health care reform allegedly sent a man on a shooting rampage at his town of Polk home.
Darin E. Haizel, 34, appeared in Washington County Circuit Court Friday on felony charges of attempted first-degree intentional homicide, three counts of first-degree reckless endangerment and one count of intentionally pointing a firearm at a law enforcement officer.
The charges stem a March 19 incident during which Haizel allegedly made threats against President Barack Obama, armed himself with several guns and shot at Washington County Sheriff’s deputies, according to a criminal complaint.
According to the complaint:
Haizel’s girlfriend, who lives with him and their two daughters at the Highway Z home, told deputies Haizel was drunk and had listened to a discussion of health care reform on the radio. The woman told officers Haizel is opposed to health care reform and the president. She said Haizel told her they needed to stockpile food because things were going to get ugly after the reform passed. Haizel allegedly said Obama messed with the Constitution, the country is becoming Communist and he was “going to Washington to kill that (expletive).”
The woman said Haizel continued to drink and yell at the radio. Haizel told her he didn’t want his children to see how bad the world was going to be or live in that kind of situation. Haizel then asked her to wake up the children and talked about having them baptized. At about 11:30 p.m., she said, he sang “I will see you in heaven.”
The woman left the home with the children and called Haizel’s parents, who she said have been able to calm him down in the past. His parents were unable to calm him, however, and Haizel armed himself with a shotgun and assault riffle.
Deputies arrived and reportedly heard a gunshot from inside the house. Five minutes later, deputies said they heard 19 shots in rapid fire, breaking glass and the sound of smoke detectors.
Haizel allegedly shot several more rounds through windows, the home’s siding and roof before climbing out a back window. He walked toward a deputy and shot at him, hitting a tree about 6 to 12 inches away.
That deputy and another deputy returned fired at Haizel, who fell onto a snowbank and eventually dropped his gun.
Deputies found 12 shell casings from a .45 caliber semiautomatic handgun and 19 shell casings from a 7.62 caliber rifle in the house. A total of nearly 6,500 rounds of ammunition were also found in the home.
In addition to the request for charges, the Sheriff’s Department notified the Secret Service of the threat against Obama.
According to Sheriff Dale Schmidt, District Attorney Todd Martens told him the deputies’ use of force was justified under state statutes.
The deputies who responded to the incident — Dirk Stolz and Jeremy Miller — were back at work on Friday.
During Friday’s court appearance, Haizel was in a wheelchair with a bandaged arm.
“We’re asking for a high cash bail, with conditions of absolute sobriety and no possession of firearms. (Haizel), if convicted, faces up to 120 years in prison,” said Martens. “He discharged 31 rounds out of the house surrounded by officers. This was a violent and extremely dangerous situation.”
Martens added that Haizel has a conviction for using a firearm while intoxicated.
Attorney Erin Larsen, however, asked for a “reasonable cash bail,” citing his life-long residency in the county and good court attendance for earlier operating while intoxicated charges.
“This was extremely dangerous behavior. Not only for the officers, but for the individual residents in adjacent homes. If these (allegations) are true, it could have resulted in the death of an officer,” said Judge David Resheske, who set a $100,000 cash bail.
Haizel will next appear in court on April 9.