Here Comes The Rage Again
In the early 90s, we saw a boomlet of militia movements and anti-government groups, and that was with a good ole boy in the White House. With the current occupant and a more mature hate radio and sensationalized cable news media, it was inevitable that this kind of thing would happen again. Dave Neiwert has been following this for about as long as anybody, and he notes the latest shooting in Pittsburgh along this continuum.
We're gathering more information about Richard Polawski, the 23-year-old man who decided to kill three Pittsburgh police officers and wound three others because it appears he was afraid they -- at the behest of the Obama administration -- were going to take his guns away. (Dude, they definitely are now.)
"Poplawski feared "the Obama gun ban that's on the way" and "didn't like our rights being infringed upon," said Edward Perkovic, his best friend.
Perkovic, 22, said he got a call at work from him in which he said, "Eddie, I am going to die today. ... Tell your family I love them and I love you."
Perkovic said: "I heard gunshots and he hung up. ... He sounded like he was in pain, like he got shot."
Poplawski had once tried to join the Marines, but was kicked out of boot camp after throwing a food tray at a drill sergeant, Perkovic said."
Dennis Roddy at the Post-Gazette has more:
"Friends described a Richard Poplawski far different from the 22-year-old man accused of gunning down three police officers today -- a partier sometimes, a guy in search of an understanding of politics, even a walking comedian.
He was also convinced that the government wanted to take away his guns and his freedom."
The "best friend" quoted in reports has a MySpace page with all kinds of anti-Semitic reading material on it.
TBogg has an excellent juxtaposition of quotes. It was really awful for Obama to say that people grow bitter and cling to their guns, but three months into the new Administration, gun sales are up and these kind of rampages are happening seemingly every day. Hate talk from Coulter and Limbaugh and Glenn Beck has stoked a real fire, and it's up to them to put it out.
...I forgot to add in this op-ed by Charles Blow, who has listened to conservative movement media in the past several weeks and responded with alarm:
At first, it was entertaining — just harmless, hotheaded expostulation. Of course, there were the garbled facts, twisted logic and veiled hate speech. But what did I expect, fair and balanced? It was like walking through an ideological house of mirrors. The distortions can be mildly amusing at first, but if I stay too long it makes me sick.
But, it’s not all just harmless talk. For some, their disaffection has hardened into something more dark and dangerous. They’re talking about a revolution [...]
As the comedian Bill Maher pointed out, strong language can poison weak minds, as it did in the case of Timothy McVeigh. (We sometimes forget that not all dangerous men are trained by Al Qaeda.)
At the same time, the unrelenting meme being pushed by the right that Obama will mount an assault on the Second Amendment has helped fuel the panic buying of firearms. According to the F.B.I., there have been 1.2 million more requests for background checks of potential gun buyers from November to February than there were in the same four months last year. That’s 5.5 million requests altogether over that period; more than the number of people living in Bachmann’s Minnesota.