Getting targets off backs of law officers

If four civilians were shot needlessly and intentionally by U.S. police officers in one day, it is a safe bet existing condemnations of law enforcement personnel as a class would be intensified greatly. There would be demands that something be done immediately to stop the violence.

Four police officers were shot Sunday. Two of them died. The attacks occurred in Texas, Missouri and Florida.

Until and unless those responsible are apprehended, speculation about what motivated the attackers would not be wise. Never mind that when the tables are reversed, a blanket indictment of “racist cops” usually goes forth.

Such claims have been heard throughout the country in street demonstrations, on college campuses and yes, at the highest levels of government. They have reached a fever-pitch during the past year or so.

Were those responsible for shooting officers Sunday spurred on by the fact militant hatred of police officers — and that is the correct term — has become so widespread?

Or, even more unsettling, was there any sort of coordination of the attacks Sunday?

At one time, such speculation would have been unthinkable. In the current climate of hatred of those who wear badges, that no longer is true.

Truly bad cops should be fired and, if possible, prosecuted. There should be no argument about that.

But there also should be no question that if we Americans have pinned targets to the backs of all our law officers, they need to come off — now.