Two police officers were shot and seriously injured early Thursday near the Ferguson, Mo., police headquarters, an incident that occurred amid ongoing protests in the city…

“This is really an ambush,” Jon Belmar, chief of St. Louis County police, said during a news conference Thursday morning…

“The responsibility of last night’s shooting lies with whoever did that shooting,” Belmar said. “I want to be very clear about that. But it is a very difficult environment to work in.”

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I get tired writing this, but if Sarah Palin had used the word “target” within twenty five words of “Ferguson”, she would be blamed for this by all the usual suspects in the MSM. But since it is now Holder, rather than NYC Mayor DeBlasio, clearly there is no blame to be attached for the actions of stray nutjobs.

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The left is having spasms that people on the right are suggesting that these shootings just might be the result of a viciously false narrative peddled by the radical left, the President, and their fellow travelers in the media.

In every other shooting, the left goes looking for the toxic politics that animated the shooting, and tries to connect it with a politician’s words; here, they’re aghast that anyone would be so gauche to do that.

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Local and national civil rights leaders are condemning the shootings of two police officers in Ferguson, Missouri.

John Gaskin III, a St. Louis community activist, says the “disgraceful and cowardly” attack was conducted by outside agitators who are intent on hijacking attention from protests that he says have produced meaningful reforms.

Gaskin says activists “cannot afford these kinds of incidents happening, because that gets us absolutely nowhere.”

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Via the Daily Caller:

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Via HuffPo:

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New #Ferguson violence comes just one week after AG Holder vowed to dismantle the city’s PD. Is this what he meant?

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Milwaukee County Sheriff David Clarke (D) said that “we haven’t seen these types of assault on the institution of policing since the turbulent ’60s” on Thursday’s “Your World with Neil Cavuto” on the Fox News Channel.

“This war on our nation’s finest, the american police officer, continues, but it continues to be fueled by some very important people. I think it’s empty rhetoric for what Eric Holder offered today and the president through a tweet of all things, when they have now an obligation to stand up and remind people in these urban ghettos and these american ghettos, that they have a responsibility to comply with law enforcement officers’ commands” he stated…

Clarke added that while the report did not contribute to the shooting, “it continues to fuel this cop hatred this, anti-police sentiment that’s going on in America. That used to be underground. We haven’t seen these types of assault on the institution of policing since the turbulent ’60s, the riots of the ’60s that hit a lot of urban centers in America, and now it’s come to the surface because they feel empowered by some of the cop-hating rhetoric that we’re hearing since the days of Ferguson, Missouri.”

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Two police officers were shot in Ferguson last night, by a would-be assassin. They were not shot by Barack Obama. They were not shot by Eric Holder. And they were not shot by “the media” or by the Democratic party. The shooter wasn’t forced to pull the trigger by “the protests,” and nor was his crime commissioned by our latent “political culture.” Al Sharpton was nowhere to be seen. Rather, a man who was in possession of his own agency made a terrible, disastrous decision. Observers who have today attempted to indict the entire post-Ferguson activist movement for his crime should know better than to imply otherwise…

Because our culture is so tightly interconnected, it will always be possible to claim wistfully that “society is to blame.” Because there are six degrees of separation between all of us and the president, we can always involve him somehow. But unless we want to see politicians who use martial language being castigated for enabling the actions of lunatics, we should resist assigning blame to the innocent. Unless we hope watch in frustration as quotidian anti-government sentiment is deemed to be responsible for all the ills under the sun, we should decline to attack abstractions rather than individuals. Unless we intend to establish a nation whose rebels are rendered easy targets for the madding crowd on the horizon, we should insist that people, not words, are accountable for the world’s problems. In a republic, it is up to the listeners – not the broadcasters – to sift through the radio noise and to pursue the best course. In a free nation, men can not be presumed to be automatons.

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Charlie suggests that the Right’s condemnation in this instance is akin to the Left’s condemnation of Sarah Palin for the 2011 shooting of Gabrielle Giffords. But of course the latter was bunk; there was not a shred of evidence to suggest that Sarah Palin ever crossed Jared Loughner’s mind. The Left’s Butterfly Effect–approach to political violence — Sarah Palin flaps her gums here, and domestic terrorism rains down halfway across the country — is not the case here, where specific anti-cop rhetoric has been perpetrated by persons of influence in local communities, in the media, and in government — and there is no question that it has been taken up by many of the protesters recently on streets from Los Angeles to New York City. Asserting the importance of not blaming the actions of lunatics on the martial language of politicians need not preclude our ability to differentiate between actual and made-up atmospheres of excitement.

If I understand him correctly, Charlie — even if he would concede the above — erects a wall here between rhetoric and action. “Violent” language is not violence. That is true, but it elides the mysterious way in which words work on us. “We shall fight on the beaches…” bucked up wilting spirits. It is not that rhetoric “justifies” any shooting; it is that it creates an atmosphere that makes such events more likely…

That is, as is this last point, a distinction between rule of law (the importance of which Charlie rightly insists) and moral responsibility. We can — and should — maintain that the shooter is fully legally responsible for his actions. But to insist that he was a completely autonomous moral actor suggests that he was acting in some sort of moral vacuum — which no one does. In this sense, then, we may be obliged to expand our sense of “guilt” beyond the individual who pulled the trigger.

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