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.