John Hanlin, the sheriff of the county where at least 10 people were massacred today, just gave a presser during which he said that he would never say the name of the shooter. I’m not an ignorant blockhead, so I will: the shooter’s name is Chris Harper Mercer. While Hanlin might have his reasons for not mentioning the name, reporters have a pretty good reason to go ahead and mention it themselves: it’s called journalism. (And Hanlin tried to shame reporters into avoiding his name, too, saying that they’d be “glorifying” a killer.)
Hanlin has a great idea here: let’s pretend not to know who the shooter is, commit to never knowing his motives, and pray like hell that it never comes to light that his act could have been prevented. And so long as we follow Hanlin’s lead and stick our heads up our own assholes, surely we will — blessedly — discover nothing.
But Hanlin has especially good reasons to hope that we never get to the bottom of what happened here. Because Hanlin, apparently an ignorant teabagger with impeccable teabagger credentials, penned this letter to Vice President Biden in 2013:
No wonder this asshole won’t take questions from the press, especially as to the shooter — and when, how, and to what end the shooter got his hands on a gun. Baggers can’t go there, because the answers could be devastating.
by Brendan Beery