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If you’re a television pundit, it’s not a bad idea to associate yourself with the details of the shooting of two members of a US law enforcement family in Waukesha, Wisconsin, on 19 December 2018.
You don’t want to be accused of trying to use the tragedy to score points against one of your fellow authors or politicians. In this case, and as noted by the media in the days after the shootings, Republican Waukesha congressman Glenn Grothman was that target.
Grothman had said on Fox News Channel, citing David Kennedy, president of Kennedy University in Pennsylvania: “In the village of Waukesha, the first order of business for police departments is they check whether your are taking Christmas cheer, and is it ISIS [Isis] or domestic terrorism.”
His gripe, besides being audacious, was the issue of law enforcement officers riding in a Christmas parade, for a reason unrelated to, or not directly related to, Christmas cheer.
As the incident began unfolding with Rep Tim Murphy (R-Pennsylvania) and his wife Cynthia Murphy, who were in a minivan, the shooter was shooting at a truck that was pursuing them.
Play Video 2:38 Two killed and four wounded in shooting rampage at Wisconsin high school – video report
As soon as the gunman shot out the windows of the truck, the other driver saw the vehicle that was trailing them had begun to disintegrate, and managed to avoid being struck.
That drove the shooter back on his road-rage-fueled mission of damage and terror, eventually targeting two members of law enforcement.
Federal and local agencies continue to piece together the details of the shooting.
So far, no one has suggested that Grothman was a primary motive for the attack. In a statement, he said on Sunday that all he was trying to say was that police should check persons of interest against a “risk assessment tool” before sending officers to investigate alleged criminal activity.
This is not the first time he’s been in the news this year for saying something controversial or controversial on Fox News. A few months ago, he was discussing a potential closing of the federal government when a Trump-hating individual, David Duke, became the trending topic on Twitter. Grothman was said to have said on the television channel that Duke was “very patriotic” and had a “very tough upbringing”.