Bob Owens

The saddest truth in politics is that people get the leaders they deserve

AZ cop draws Secret Service scrutiny for tee shirt target

Written By: Bob - Jan• 27•12

The primary job of the Secret Service, as I understand it, is to protect the President and First Family from threats to their physical health. I’m not sure when it became their job to police political speech.

Sgt. Pat Shearer also is being probed by Peoria Police Department after posting the photo of seven young men, four with guns, holding up a gunshot-marked T-shirt featuring an image of the US president above the word “hope,” on Facebook.

The picture was posted Jan. 20, the week before the president’s visit to Arizona, The Arizona Republic reported.

The Secret Service confirmed it was looking into the photo Thursday, with a spokesman telling KNXV-TV that although the individuals involved have a right to free speech, the agency also has a right to question them.

However Shearer — who has worked for the police department in the Phoenix suburb for at least 14 years — believes the incident is being blown out of proportion.

“I don’t think that the shooting of that T-shirt is that big of a deal,” he told the station. “It was more of a political statement … It’s not like they were going to go out and shoot the president.”

I agree with Shearer. Plinking a target or logo of a despised politician is an American tradition as old as burning the photo or an effigy of that same politician. Should we have the Secret Service investigate those individuals for a possible flamethrower attack?

It seems every few months we hear the story of Secret Service agents paying a visit to someone with neither the means or opportunity to carry out anything resembling a threat, and the investigating agents seem embarrassed to harassing citizens that are obviously not threats. Perhaps they should spent their time focusing on real threats instead of harassing citizens peacefully venting their disgust of a horrible President.

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4 Comments

  1. Veeshir says:

    I have to admit, I’m on the side of the secret service.
    They have to take all threats seriously because you never know when one is going to be real.

    They appear to have handled it well, they just checked to make sure it wasn’t real and were about their business.

  2. Thor says:

    Whoa Nellie!

    The Secret Service confirmed it was looking into the photo Thursday, with a spokesman telling KNXV-TV that although the individuals involved have a right to free speech, the agency also has a right to question them.

    Agencies do not have rights!! This is a pet peeve of mine that a large portion of the population does not have a fundamental understanding of what a right is.

    Yes the USSS should be following up and asking the questions and removing the issue from their threat tracking. No big deal, that is their job and the scope of their work. For the most part, the agents can easily differentiate the the real threats before they begin an investigation but they do have to investigate. Until someone changes the policies and procedures, the guys have to go out and conduct an interview and check the box. When they start to look at these seemingly innocuous events like this one, it just means that they don’t have anything more credible to be chasing.

  3. Fred Mitchell says:

    Some of the comments you make are valid, but police using the President’s Silhouette picture for target practice is not one of them, especially if the President happens to be African American with numerous threats being made against him daily. Your comments does a lot for race relations in America….we know where you stand and your position is very clear.

    • Bob says:

      Liberals spent most of the 2000s fantasizing about assassinating George W. Bush, to the point they even created a movie about it. No progressive protest was complete without at least one death threat levied at Dubya, and they were all largely ignored. Plinking at a picture of anyone is Constitutionally-protected freedom of expression.

      As for race, yes, I am white and conservative, so I must be a racist.