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Editorial: Bits and pieces from the news

OK, show of hands: Who of Chris Collins’ constituents is relieved that the congressman will be packing heat at his rallies in an effort to help protect you?

It’s a crazy time in America, and it’s easy to understand the unease and even fear. Given the country’s raw political division, that is especially true for public officials.

But the Lone Ranger is a fantasy. More productive than carrying a gun to rallies would be for Collins – and others – to follow through on his promise to tone down the political rhetoric. Americans can be – and are sometimes bound to be – political adversaries, but we don’t have to be enemies. That approach has caused trouble in the past.

It’s not that anyone should want to encourage disrespect of police officers, who perform duties that are necessary, difficult and usually thankless. They deserve our gratitude.

Nevertheless, flipping the bird to a cop doesn’t seem like much of a crime. Yet, a Niagara Falls woman was arrested last week for doing that very thing to a city police officer.

“Several parties, including children, were in the area at the time of the incident and appeared to be annoyed and alarmed by [the woman’s] actions,” the officer wrote, resulting in a charge of disorderly conduct.

Better idea: Talk to her, ask her to move along and make allies of the onlookers.

Here’s a question: Did Matthew J. Jaskula just start using cocaine, or was he already in its grip when he was a city jailer – one now convicted of brutally beating a handcuffed inmate? Jaskula, now awaiting sentencing, tested positive for cocaine last week.

Buffalo jail officials need to know and they also need to be sure that the city’s jailers aren’t abusing drugs. The price is too high.

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