A fresh recurrence of wild gun play on the part of officers of the peace comes nearer home with the assault on a Harvard student by a policeman of three weeks standing. The complications of violated traffic signals and the search for a stolen car happily caused no more damage than the puncturing of a hat. But a change of a few degrees in the course of the bullet would have meant death.
The general public indifference to these increasingly common and increasingly fatal incidents is hardly understandable. Any doubt as to the guilt of a convicted man finds ready response in an aroused populace, but the murder of innocents in the prosecution of Prohibition or more reasonable laws is merely a news note. The safety of the people is not put before the attempt to capture people of dubious guilt when guns are put in the hands of excited men in open streets. The necessity of weapons for defense is not questioned; they were produced for that purpose in a fracas in Harvard Square not long ago. But the shooting last night as it now appears was an unwarranted outrage that demands immediate public satisfaction.