The Tucson massacre that left six dead and 14 injured, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords, brought into sharp public focus the local sheriff, Clarence Dupnik. He's been the sheriff of Pima County, which includes Tucson, Arizona's second-largest city, for 30 years. For the 20 years before that, he was a police officer. Dupnik has gained attention this week for linking the shooting to the vitriolic political climate in the U.S., and in particular, Arizona.
Speaking at a press conference shortly after the shooting, Sheriff Dupnik said: "The anger, the hatred, the bigotry that goes on in this country is getting to be outrageous. And unfortunately, Arizona, I think, has become the capital. We have become the mecca for prejudice and bigotry."
We are in a progressive moment, a moment when the ground is shifting beneath our feet, and anything is possible. What we considered unimaginable about what could be said and hoped for a year ago is now possible. At a time like this, it is absolutely critical that we be as clear as we possibly can be about what it is that we want because we might just get it.
So the stakes are high.