Tag Archives: Annapolis shooting

Did they arrest the wrong guy? Oh, probably not

The man accused of five counts of capital murder and an assortment of other felonies today pleaded not guilty to all the charges.

Let’s see: The Annapolis Capital Gazette became a killing ground when a gunman opened fire in the newsroom. Four of the victims were journalists, the fifth was a sales assistant.

The shooter was captured by Maryland police within about an hour of the tragic incident. He refused to cooperate with law enforcement.

I get that the U.S. Constitution gives everyone the right to a legal defense. I get that citizenship protects criminal defendants from kangaroo courts, or from prejudgments.

However, I feel compelled to ask: Did the cops nab the wrong guy immediately after the shooting? I doubt it. Strongly!

As The Hill reported: Emily Morse, a spokeswoman for the prosecution, told Reuters that Ramos was identified through facial recognition technology. However, she disputed previous news reports that said Ramos had damaged his fingers to avoid identification through fingerprinting.

This guy’s defense will be an interesting spectacle to watch.

Newspaper pushes back against POTUS

The Annapolis (Md.) Capital Gazette has laid it on the line.

In a letter made public this weekend, the newspaper said it won’t forget that Donald J. Trump has continually labeled the media “the enemy of the American people.”

“We won’t forget being called an enemy of the people,” the staff wrote. “No, we won’t forget that. Because exposing evil, shining light on wrongs and fighting injustice is what we do.”

A gunman armed with a shotgun walked into the Capital Gazette newsroom this past week and killed five employees. Four of them were journalists; the fifth was a sales assistant.

The suspect isn’t cooperating with the police who arrested him. Thus, we don’t yet know with absolute certainty what motivated him to open fire on the Capital Gazette. Yes, he lost a defamation lawsuit he had filed against the newspaper.

But the Capital Gazette has leveled a thinly veiled response to Trump’s continual verbal assault on the media.

Yes, the president issued appropriate remarks condemning the attack against the newspaper, saying that journalists “like all Americans” deserve the right to do their jobs without being “violently attacked.”

But according to The Hill: CNN’s John Berman called the president out on air for using the phrase “violently attacked,” saying that he “clearly has no problem at all verbally attacking journalists.”

It is long past time to tone down the anti-media rhetoric. Are you up to the challenge, Mr. President?

We are in serious trouble

I am going to steer far from any discussion about what motivated the mass murderer this week in Annapolis, Md.

Also, I will not discuss the issue of guns, gun control or gun rights.

Instead, I merely want to lament briefly the terrible state of our union in the context of the murder of five newspaper employees. A gunman with a shotgun sauntered into the Capital-Gazette office and opened fire.

He killed four journalists and a sales assistant and “gravely injured” two others.

I damn near have run out of expressions of outrage over this latest act of insane senselessness. Children get slaughtered in our public schools; nightclub patrons are murdered; a crowd of country music festival attendees runs for cover as a gunman opens fire on them with a “bump stock” rifle that has effectively become a machine gun; shopping mall customers have fallen; so have movie theater customers.

What the hell is going on in my country?

The president who vows to “put America first” seems tone deaf to how the world is viewing this nation of ours. Other Americans are not. I happen to one who is terribly concerned about what the world thinks of us, how it perceives Americans. I want the world to think well of Americans and of our country.

Donald J. Trump tells us the world “respects” us again. Does it? Can it possibly “respect” a nation where citizens open fire on their fellow citizens?

Yes, this is all happening as the nation grapples with immigration policy and its treatment of those who seek to come here in search of a better life.

I have to wonder: How much better can life here be when gunmen open fire without warning on people who go to work never expecting that they would die?

Yes, we are in trouble.

Are you softening toward the media, Mr. POTUS?

Donald J. Trump said this in reaction to the Annapolis Capital-Gazette massacre of five newspaper employees: “Journalists, like all Americans should be free from the fear of being violently attacked while doing their job.”

Indeed, Mr. President. Thank you for those words. This former journalist appreciates your (possible) newfound respect for the work that journalists do in service to their communities and to the country.

But they come so soon after yet another full-on assault by the president himself on the media. He continues to call the media the nation’s top “enemy,” and calls them the “enemy of the American people.”

Which is it, Mr. President? Are the media the enemy? Or are they just like all Americans who are doing the work they are trained to do?

I’ll hold out hope that it’s the latter and that the president finally might dial back the vicious rhetoric he spews against the media.

You’re even less funny now, Gov. Abbott

Texas Gov. Greg Abbott went to a gun range a year ago, shot a few rounds into a target and then bragged about the tight grouping of bullet holes he put into the piece of paper.

As Time reported: “I’m gonna carry this around in case I see any reporters,” according to the Texas Tribune. 

That’s a serious knee-slapper, ain’t it?

I didn’t laugh at the time. I am seriously not laughing now in the wake of what happened Thursday in the newsroom of the Annapolis (Md.) Capital-Gazette, where five people were slaughtered by a gunman.

Do you know what I’d like to hear now from Gov. Abbott? A statement of remorse over his tasteless quip. That would help quell at least some of the hatred that’s being fomented against members of the media by politicians in high places.

Here’s how Time reported it.

What do you think, Gov. Abbott?

Sharing a cherished memory of a life in journalism

I want to re-share a memory I posted on High Plains Blogger four years ago.

It involves my abrupt departure from a craft I enjoyed pursuing for nearly four decades. It also involves a memento I packed around for a good portion of that time.

I found it this morning just as I posted an item about the shooting in Annapolis, Md. It seems oddly poetic at this time of national grief.



We know others just like them

I should be reluctant to place the murders of five people in an Annapolis, Md., newspaper office into a special category of grief.

I mean, we’ve all been to movie theaters, or to nightclubs, or shopped at malls, or attended music concerts or attended public schools (or have members of our family in those schools at this moment). Shooters have opened fire in those venues, sending the nation into spasms of grief and agony.

However, the deaths of these five Capital-Gazette employees hits many of us harder than many millions of other Americans. We worked in newsrooms. I worked in newsrooms.

And I know people who all but match the descriptions of those who died Thursday at the hands of a madman.

Mentor, quirky, dedicated to the community, a fresh face. Those of who us have toiled — or who are toiling — at this craft feel this loss in a uniquely common manner. We all know journalists, dedicated craftsmen and women, just like them. We also have known young sales assistants just like the young woman who fell to the gunman’s unhinged wrath.

Yeah, this tragedy hurts … a lot!