Several millennia ago, when I was a news anchor, I delighted in giving the daily “Thugs and Losers Report” as part of the newscast on one of the stations I was on. In Madison, a city of a quarter-million in a metro of half a million, there are plenty of thugs and losers making the police blotter every day. Every cop in the area loved that little daily feature, because I called these vermin exactly what they are: thugs and losers, not “suspects” or some other politically-correct term.
There’s a distinction to be made between the two: a thug, in my lexicon, is a person who uses violence or the threat of it to get what they want. A loser is a hapless idiot, the kind who hangs around the PDQ or Stop-n-Go (d/b/a “Stop ‘n Rob”) for 8 or 9 minutes, “casing” the joint; then dives over the counter, grabs a few bucks out of the till, and runs out the door….and is promptly collared by a cop who just pulled in to get a cup of coffee or bottle of Mountain Dew.
My reason for doing this was not to be flippant about a serious problem, but to call attention to the fact that our community has plenty of these losers, thugs, gangstas, whatever they want to be called. Mayor Soglin, a few days ago, minced no words about the loser(s) who opened fire into a crowd of people in the 600 block of University Ave over the weekend, hitting four bystanders. He called them thugs, and called them out. He said they were going to LOSE, and they’d best change their behavior or get out of town. He said he was going to put a phalanx of cops downtown at bar time and rid the city of these scum. Well, he said it a little more mayorly than that, but he did call them thugs.
During the years my kids were in college here, it was the University Ave bars they frequented on weekend nights: Wando’s, The Church Key, Brothers….and had the wild-west incident happened a year or two ago, my kids would likely have been in the line of fire.
Sort of brings this thuggery home.
So, go get ‘em, your Honor. Rid the streets of this trash.
And you cops: be safe out there.