The latest gun massacre occurred this morning in Pittsburgh. This one had a more political bent than most.Poplawski made his own choice in the end, just like the suspect in yesterday's killing. But if all people have on hand to make choices are ignorance and hatred, they will make bad choices if constantly fed lies and misinformation.
A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he recently had been upset about losing his job and that he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns. [...]
Friends identified the suspect as Richard Poplawski, 23, but police would not immediately confirm his name. The gunman was arrested after a four-hour standoff, police said. [...]
Edward Perkovic said Poplawski, his best friend, feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon."
It wouldn't be fair to blame right-wing propaganda for Poplawski slaying these police officers. Plenty of people have heard the far-right talking points and only a small handful have been driven to violence. As John Cole noted this morning, "Sure, crazy people do crazy things. But that doesn't make it responsible to encourage them, which is what a lot of really foolish people are doing right now for purely political reasons."
And sometimes those choices lead to tragedy. The Left blames the Right for hate radio and talk to revolution against the government. The Right blames the Left for the exact same thing. It's important to note that there's talk like that on both sides.
But the hate rhetoric serves no one in the end. People are dying because of it. This country was born out of violent revolution, and it has been used as an excuse ever since. I don't like guns. They are designed to kill things. You can own them in America. My friends argue "Look, if you outlaw guns, then people will still get them and take what they want. Millions of Americans own guns legally."
That's the problem. Millions of Americans own guns legally. And as the economy gets worse, these incidents will only rise. We're a country of people with itchy trigger fingers. If somebody wants to use a gun to kill a dozen people, then they can. You can kill them, but you know what? They have a gun too. They're just as likely to kill you as you are them.
We're a violent, angry people. Everything this country has ever really achieved has been through violence and killing, frankly.
But the time for the false moral equivalency arguments are over. Eight years of Bush and the Left talked about impeachment, winning electoral victories, and non-violent protests against the specific acts that Bush did while in office. Legal avenues of redressing grievances, even at the most heated.
But ten weeks of Obama and the Right is talking about a new world order, revolution, and the "illegitimate Muslim usurper." They are accusing him of fascism, of trying to destroy the country, of trying to take their guns away when he's just tried to clean up Bush's mess. They are advocating a very, very different path. And down that path are massacres like we had over the last two days.