Monday, April 22, 2013

I meant it, but ...

This is almost too easy of a target.

I note with some degree of alarm the tendency of public figures to say something really, really stupid, and cause an uproar.

And then, they don't apologize. They come up with some way of saying "sorry I offended you." That's not the same as saying, "Boy, was I stupid. Next time, have someone stop me before I speak again."

Which brings us to Arkansas state legislator Nate Bell.

Here's a man who uses Twitter and Facebook frequently - more than most news organizations as far as I can tell. On Friday, as events unfolded in Boston, Bell put out this message:

"I wonder how many Boston liberals spent the night cowering in their homes wishing they had an AR-15 with a hi-capacity magazine?"

Yes, everyone in Boston was thinking that more weapons in the region on that particular day would be a good idea. Sigh. But that's not the bad part.

When an outcry came out from a variety of sources, Mr. Bell responded this way later on Friday:

"I would like to apologize to the people of Boston, Massachusetts for the poor timing of my tweet earlier this morning. As a staunch and unwavering supporter of the individual right to self defense, I expressed my point of view without thinking of its effect on those still in time of crisis. In hindsight, given the ongoing tragedy that is still unfolding, I regret the poor choice of timing. Please know that my thoughts and prayers were with the people of Boston overnight and will continue as they recover from this tragedy."

The thought struck me that the people of Boston may have tried to put those thoughts from Bell back in the mail and sent to Arkansas if they weren't busy at the time.

There are other examples of this sort of behavior on both sides of any issue, political or otherwise. But picking on Mr. Bell at this particular time makes me feel a little better, so I'll let this stand alone.

In the meantime, take a look at the comments under his "apology" on his Facebook page. They run the spectrum.

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