by David Safier
This is one of those times I wish I could say I'm being overly fearful. You know us liberals, always worried about the violent convergence of extreme right wing politics and the gun culture. But some of the back story behind the killing of three Pittsburgh police officers by 23 year old Richard Poplawski really scares me.
Yesterday, before I had heard of this latest horrific incident of random violence, I wrote This troubles me, referencing a column by Charles Blow where he mentions the increase in legal gun purchases since Obama's election and my concern this could be a forerunner of an increase of rage-related gun violence, not to mention acts of planned terrorism. "We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda," Blow wrote.
And the right wing blow hards, both in the media and the halls of Congress, are doing everything they can to stoke the fires of rage and fear, which means unstable people who are prone to violence are being given a provided with a target.
You never know what triggers one of these killing sprees. Someone already has to be right at the edge. But in this case, part of the trigger might have been Poplawski's fears that guns would be banned, according to AP:
Further on in the article, Poplawski's best friend, Edward Perkovic, said this:
Note Perkovic' phrasing: "the Obama gun ban that's on the way." It's Obama's gun ban, and it's not a some vague possibility. It's "on the way."
Elsewhere, Perkovic had this to say about his friend:
Who is Edward Perkovic? Here's what the Troll Report says it found on Perkovic's MySpace page (I haven't checked to confirm this):
One crazy guys kills some policemen. He's afraid Obama wants to rip his gun out of his hands. His best friend's reading list is a rogue's gallery of anti-semitic and racist literature. This doesn't add up to clear cause and effect. But it scares the hell out of me.
I still hope I'm being overly fearful and this is an isolated incident where it was the shooter's sickness and despair, not far right wing fear-and-violence mongering, that was to blame. But I fear we're going to see more politically inspired violence in the days ahead.