Sunday, April 05, 2009

The Police Shooting Tragedy

There are not appropriate words for me to express how horrible I feel about this tragedy and how it is going to impact the families and co-workers of these three police officers. The event reminds me that police are taken for granted. Everyday, every call, they are putting their lives on the line for us.

What is especially horrific is the warped thinking of the crazed murderer. Unfortunately his thinking was not so far off from what we heard during the recent Presidential election. Here is a quote from his best friend

"He was really into politics and really into the First and Second amendment. One thing he feared was he feared the gun ban because he thought that was going to take away peoples' right to defend themselves."

These comments certainly sound familiar to some of the public interest/anti-Obama ads that ran during the election.

Then this quote from the Post-Gazette:

"Another friend, Aaron Vire, 23, said Mr. Poplawski strongly opposed Democratic presidential nominee Barack Obama's candidacy.

He'd had "very spirited debates" with Mr. Vire, who is black and an Obama supporter.

He wasn't a racist. He was a cool person. He thought he was losing some of his rights," said Mr. Vire. He said he knew Mr. Poplawski owned an AK-47 assault-type rifle, a .357 Magnum revolver, a .380-caliber handgun and a .45-caliber handgun."

Mr. Vire has an unusual definition of the word "cool" apparently. This suggests that Poplawski believed that Obama was going to eliminate the right to bear arms. Many out and out fictional rumors were started and perpetuated during the election campaign. It was as if these public interest groups didn't care about the harm and damage that their spin could cause, especially to people on the fringe.

" Richard Andrew Poplawski was a young man convinced the nation was secretly controlled by a cabal that would eradicate freedom of speech, take away his guns and use the military to enslave the citizenry."

Now Mr. Vire might not believe that his friend is a racist, but there is absolutely no question that he is an anti-Semite.

" A discharged Marine, he adhered to a number of right-wing conspiracy theories and expressed fears of a "Zionist nation" revoking his right to own guns."

"Mr. Poplawski's view of guns and personal freedom took a turn toward the fringes of American politics. With Mr. Perkovic, he appeared to share a belief that the government was controlled from unseen forces, that troops were being shipped home from the Mideast to police the citizenry here, and that Jews secretly ran the country."

"We recently discovered that 30 states had declared sovereignty," said Mr. Perkovic, who lives in Lawrenceville. "One of his concerns was why were these major events in America not being reported to the public."

Where did these thoughts come from and why would this drive him to open fire on police officers and aim for their heads? The other scary thing is that apparently his best friend Mr. Perkovic shares these thoughts and Mr. Perkovic lives among us in the Pittsburgh community.

Although the Second Amendment of the Constitution clearly gives Americans the right to bear arms, why do people believe that it provides the right to bear any type of weapon: assault weapons and concealable hand guns. What possible good can be provided to society by allowing these types of arms in peoples' homes? If Pittsburgh had more stringent laws regarding weapons, like New York and other cities, perhaps the families of Officers Kelly, Mayhle and Sciullo would not be grieving today and be facing a lifetime of having a cold, empty feeling regarding the senseless passing of their loved one.

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