Did Clarence Dupnik miss the red flags on Loughner?

Any cop can tell you whodunnit but it takes a supercop to tell you What It All Means about our political culture. A nagging question: Should supercop maybe have figured out that Loughner was a menace before he gunned down six people outside a Safeway? Remember, this is a guy who was so palpably disturbed that more than one of his classmates told their professor that they feared for their lives. He had five separate run-ins with the campus police at his community college, and as Moe Lane helpfully notes, at some point Dupnik himself learned that Loughner had made death threats — and they weren’t threats to Gabby Giffords. When he learned of those threats (perhaps only after the shootings?) and whether they fell under his jurisdiction are the subjects of inquiry going forward, provided any reporter can tear himself away from worrying about tea partiers to look into this.

In that vein, we’re getting lots of e-mails about this post, but I’m unfamiliar with the site and can’t vouch for its credibility. Under those circumstances I’d normally pass on it, but since America’s new standard of journalism requires no supporting evidence whatsoever before tossing an assertion into the news stream, here you go. Maybe it’s true, maybe it isn’t. The important thing is, does it serve your political agenda?

Jared Loughner has been making death threats by phone to many people in Pima County including staff of Pima Community College, radio personalities and local bloggers. When Pima County Sheriff’s Office was informed, his deputies assured the victims that he was being well managed by the mental health system. It was also suggested that further pressing of charges would be unnecessary and probably cause more problems than it solved as Jared Loughner has a family member that works for Pima County. Amy Loughner is a Natural Resource specialist for the Pima County Parks and Recreation. My sympathies and my heart goes out to her and the rest of Mr. Loughner’s family. This tragedy must be tearing them up inside wondering if they had done the right things in trying to manage Jared’s obvious mental instability.

Every victim of his threats previously must also be wondering if this tragedy could have been prevented if they had been more aggressive in pursuing charges against Mr. Loughner. Perhaps with a felony conviction he would never have been able to lawfully by the Glock 9mm Model 19 that he used to strike down the lives of six people and decimate 14 more.

I don’t know how the author claims to know all that, but then I don’t know how the left claims to know that Loughner was under the evil spell of Palin’s midterms crosshairs map either. For what it’s worth, a top mental health official in Tucson says his department had no knowledge of Loughner before Saturday:

“To the best of our knowledge, he was never and is currently not enrolled in our system,” said Neal Cash, president of the Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, the organization that provides mental health services to Tucson and Pima County for the state.

The majority of the people they serve are on Medicare, Cash said, but anyone diagnosed with a serious mental illness would be in their system and eligible for services. Despite severe cutbacks in the state mental health budget as a result of the foreclosure crisis and recession – Cash estimates around $50 million has been cut in the last two fiscal years – he said that no one diagnosed seriously mentally ill has been turned down for services.

Arizona has what is considered one of the most progressive mental health laws in the country. Any person, including any of the students in Loughner’s classes who exchanged worried emails about his strange actions or any of his teachers who sought to have him removed or who wanted him to receive treatment, could have petitioned the court to have him evaluated for mental illness.

I can understand classmates not wanting to risk Loughner’s wrath by reporting him, but if — if — Dupnik knew he was disturbed, why didn’t he? Worth thinking about — but first, let’s get back to blaming Sarah Palin. Click the image to watch.