The Shooting of the President
President McKinley was
shot twice and severely wounded on the Pan-American grounds in Buffalo,
last Friday afternoon shortly after four o’clock. One of the wounds
was slight and the other, while serious, we are now told will not
prove fatal, and the President will recover. The bullets were fired
by an Anarchist who came with the crowd of others to shake hands
with the President at the public reception in the Temple of Music.
The details of the shooting are given on the third page of the T
Party feeling disappears in universal
indignation at the crime. The pistol shots fired into the body of
our National Chief Executive were directed at our American life
and our American institutions by the beastly instinct of murder
which unaccountably remains in some human beings. Such frightful
deeds threaten to compel changes in our laws and new restrictions
upon the intercourse of great officials with the people. Already
a sentiment is forming to abolish public handshaking and to restrain
the free and unguarded intercourse of a President with the people.
Either this must be done or strict laws against Anarchists and men
of their caliber must be enacted and enforced to the letter. We
are not the simple community we used to be, and it is evident some
changes must be made.
The news came like a thunderbolt out
of a clear sky. None but an Anarchist could have done the deed.
President McKinley has probably not an enemy in the world. Rivals
he has, and of opponents and critics his share—but personal enemies,
no. He is a singularly lovable man. We who oppose many of the policies
with which his name is identified, feel that President McKinley
has made serious mistakes; but no man questions his personal rectitude,
or doubts that he tries to do right. Perhaps to no public man in
our history as a nation have good intentions been so generally,
and so cheerfully, attributed.
No murder or attempt at murder can
be excused. Such deeds can, however, usually be explained by circumstances
which arouse passions common to mankind. But this particular creature
of blood had no motive which ordinary human beings could ever share.
There is no public excitement. The period is one of unexampled well
being and contentment. The scene, a panorama celebrating progress
in the useful and peaceful arts, should have soothed and disarmed
frenzy itself. If the perpetrator is an Anarchist, then we now know
that the Anarchists are willing slaves of mere envy and bloodthirstiness;
who deserve no pity, and can be the subjects of no argument. They
must be dealt with severely. It is shocking to know that the First
Citizen of a free country is no more exempt from the bullets of
the seditious than are the monarchs of lands where the commonalty
has no protection against the will of despotism.
At this writing the reports convince
us the President will recover. A nation’s hope goes out that he
may be spared to fill out the term for which he was elected; for
a week a nation has prayed, “God save the President of the United
States! God save our land from Anarchy!”