ILL TIMED PRESS RELEASE
WOULD BE FUNNY IF NOT SO SAD
I'm sorry folks, but this ridiculous press release from the Governor's office requires one more angry blast for the week.
I'll try to be a little funny about it. It's such a PR gaffe that it would be hilarious, if the circumstances on the streets of Milwaukee weren't so tragic.
Quick summary of the week's events in the State's largest city. We've got a 13-year-old with a semi automatic busted for car jacking. We've got a friend of the carjacking victim who's packing... and begins shooting at that person. This all preceded the South Side shootout Tuesday night.
You've got two teens, gang members, gunned down in the street. You've got a 15 year old packing a semi-automatic hand gun and his buddy, a 24 year old gang banger who gave the kid the gun, and was himself packing some sort of assault weapon similar to an uzi. This thing looks straight out of the movies. They're believed to have shot those other teens, and a couple of cops.
So less than 48 hours after that, Governor Jim Doyle's office issues a press release with this banner headline:
"Governor Doyle Receives Award for Efforts to Reduce Gun Violence in Wisconsin"
The headline alone is laughable, considering the recent events... but it gets even better!
"Governor Doyle was honored for his ongoing efforts to protect Wisconsin families and children from gun violence. Governor Doyle has worked tirelessly to enact stricter policies to keep handguns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and Wisconsin's youth."
Let me borrow a line from Dr. Phil here... HOW'S THAT WORKING FOR YOU?
I don't hold the Governor, or the County Executive, or the Common Council President (pictured left in a photo from the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel) or the Mayor or the Sheriff or the Chief of Police personally responsible in any way for these crimes. Let me be clear on that. I'm not calling them out on the crime issue. This is not their fault.
But if you're going to take credit, you've got to take criticism. Either way, you ought to have the good sense not throw out a press release about how you're part of the solution to the gun problem in a week like we've had.
I particularly enjoy the line about the Governor working, "to keep handguns out of the hands of dangerous criminals and Wisconsin's youth." This statement was mailed to the media on the same day Chief of Police Nan Hegerty was displaying various weapons detailed above.
This is what makes politics so sickening. The press release does not state that the Governor actually kept guns off the streets or took guns off the streets. He's honored for his "effort." Effort only counts in grade school, and politics I guess. The rest of the world expects actual results.
Nice press release. Nice effort.