|Robert Lewis Dear Jr.|
But, the Post story begins: “The gunman suspected of storming a Planned Parenthood clinic … .” Really? Was Dear only “suspected” of shooting up the clinic? With so many witnesses and TV cameras, are we really incapable of saying definitively that Dear was the shooter?
We live in a country—thanks be to God—in which people accused of a crime are considered innocent until proven guilty. Dear, of course, is not yet guilty in a legal sense; legally, he is a suspect. But certain facts are beyond dispute. Assuming that Dear was not employing alien technology that distorts reality, it is as certain that he stormed the Planned Parenthood clinic as it is that Kansas City won the World Series.
In saying that Dear is only “suspected” of attacking Planned Parenthood, The Washington Post is doing what the press often does to avoid seeming to assume legal culpability. Such behavior is understandable, but it is disingenuous. Dear may be a suspect, but his actions are not merely suspected.
Mayor of Colorado Springs John Suthers offered a more forthright way of speaking of Mr. Dear. He is quoted in The New York Times as saying that ”[t]he perpetrator is in custody.”