The N&R’s Doug Clark takes a cheap political shot in the wake of yesterday’s tragic double murder suicide:

Our legislature is so tightly controlled by the gun lobby that it granted a demand to make gun permits — formerly public records — confidential.

So a woman, possibly threatened with death by her husband or boyfriend, is not entitled to know if he has a permit to purchase a handgun.

It’s apparently none of her business.

So, did Menice Montell Smith have a permit to purchase the handgun he carried with him on his rampage yesterday?

Thanks to our gun-lobby-owned legislature, you don’t have a right to know.

In the words of Hillary Clinton following Benghazi —-what does ti matter now? I’m not going to embark on the typical permits for crowbars argument, despite the fact that police were first alerted that Smith was on his insane rampage by the victim who had the hell beat out by a crowbar. One of Smith’s murder victims “was beaten so badly police police could determine a cause of death” –so is it unreasonable to assume she was beaten to death with the same crowbar?

Yes Smith shot his second murder victim and eventually shot himself following a police chase. But this guy was a loaded weapon, period. Yesterday’s N&R cover story reported Smith “had a history of complicated relationships with women. In fact, the former girlfriend held by police for her own protection had taken out a restraining order against Smith:

But at a later hearing, Judge Susan Bray refused to extend it because “the plaintiff had failed to prove grounds,” court records show.

According to court records, Brown said Smith had threatened her in the presence of law enforcement officers. But Smith wasn’t arrested.

Bray said Tuesday she can’t recall the details of the case.

“Typically officers would arrest someone if a threat was made in their presence,” Bray said.

“And so I must not have believed that he threatened her in the presence of officers, or otherwise he would have been arrested. I’m assuming that’s why I did not issue the order.”

So I hope Clark is as outraged at Judge Bray for not extending the restraining order, as if Smith were prone to obey restraining order— probably about as prone as he would be to dutifully get a permit for his gun.

Smith was set on a tragic and violent course, and heaven help the women in his path. It defies explanation and, certainly, politics. I would say we should expect more from out local paper of record than to politicize such a tragic event. But we’ve just come to expect less for so long now.