Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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April 4, 2009

HE FEARED THE 'OBAMA GUN BAN'.... The latest gun massacre occurred this morning in Pittsburgh. This one had a more political bent than most.

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."

Exactly. As David Neiwert, who documents these kinds of right-wing activities, recently reported, there was a lengthy segment on Fox News two weeks ago in which Glenn Beck and the NRA's Wayne LaPierre insisted that Americans' 2nd Amendment rights are "under attack" from the Obama administration. What's more, as Neiwert noted this morning, the conservative Pittsburgh Tribune-Review ran a story just three days ago about "speculation that President Obama might pull the trigger on tighter regulations for gun ownership." The article quoted a gun-store salesman raising the specter of a "confiscation of firearms" from the government.

Everyone would benefit if the right could just lower the temperature a bit.

Steve Benen 5:05 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (63)

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I agree we need to tone it down some. Not sure how that is going to happen. The wingnuts have such a huge platform to shout their crap from. i do not believe that censoring is the answer. Hopefully, the public outrage will sooner or later silence them. Keep after them.

Posted by: Rick on April 4, 2009 at 5:09 PM | PERMALINK

I call bullshit. Crazy people need encouragement too.

It's time to raise the temperature on those who are encouraging the far right to violence, whether it's implicitly or overtly done.

Posted by: Max Power on April 4, 2009 at 5:15 PM | PERMALINK

The "right" will never lower the temp on their histrionics, no matter who dies. It's all they've got. Their fellowman and country are nothing compared to "winning", to being king.

Posted by: Donna on April 4, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK
Everyone would benefit if the right could just lower the temperature a bit.

But they can't. They have no other options really. They have proven that they are abject failures at governing. Their policy ideas are toxically unpopular. All that leaves them is fear. And since they've gone to the "terrorism" well far too many times, they are left with their oldest standby - the enemy within.

Lowering the temperature is the exact opposite of what they want to do. I guarantee you, right now there are bottom feeder conservatives crawling out from under their rocks to try to make this guy the next Randy Weaver. It's inconvenient for them that he wasn't killed by the police, but they'll work with what they've got.

Posted by: Singularity on April 4, 2009 at 5:21 PM | PERMALINK

I'm with Max.

Let's ask the people in Binghamton, or all too many other places, if now is the time to "lower the temperature" on gun control discussion; or when the right time to "raise the temperature" might be.

Posted by: Robert Earle on April 4, 2009 at 5:22 PM | PERMALINK

To state the obvious: even if the wingnut's paranoid fantasy had come true, Congress had just passed gun legislation, however draconian, and even if said policemen were in fact dispatched to that man's very house to take away all of his guns, he still would not have been justified in killing them.

Posted by: kth on April 4, 2009 at 5:23 PM | PERMALINK

The gunman, 23-year-old Richard Poplawski, was arrested after a four-hour standoff. video from the scene.

Posted by: Alishia on April 4, 2009 at 5:35 PM | PERMALINK

Fucking wingnuts and their goddamned guns, what gives? Before you freak out at me, I own three guns so I am not anti-gun in any way. I just cannot figure out these wackos.

Are they all single losers with small dicks who cannot get laid or something?

The same people who are 'small in the saddle' think driving a big-ass Dodge pickup truck will somehow equalize their lack of manhood.

And where do they get this notion that Obama is coming for their guns?

Did he ever say it in public? Did he ever write papers about it? Was that on his 100 days agenda, and somehow we all missed that part?

No, they listen to talk radio and lunatics like Beck who make this shit up to fuel the raving nutjob fantasies these losers have about taking on the govt in armed insurrections.

Well, here's your starting point, wingnuts. Go ahead and start firing at the local cops, that's the way to freedom!

Fuck these people, they are dangerous and need to be dealt with accordingly. This will happen again and I fear for the safety of the First Family.

Posted by: Down on April 4, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

The Trib in Pittsburgh is a very far right wing rag that is incendiary all the time.
Here's the screaming headline--that provokes the tightly wound, potentially unstable person:
"Gun Sales Boom On Fear Of Obama Bans"
Also, a very far right wing radio station "Quinn and Rose" is similarly incendiary in its rhetoric.
Their verbal insanity has appeared on "Media Matters for America" for exposure and analysis.

As frightening as Fox News, they both target a fringe audience.

Posted by: Prefer the Post Gazette on April 4, 2009 at 5:40 PM | PERMALINK

You're being way too generous with respect to the right wing hate talkers, and the GOP politicans who echo their rhetoric. I think it's fair to blame, at least in part, the right wing propaganda machine for these types of events. The hate machine is working overtime to convince the GOP base that Obama is a socialist who wants to take their freedom, their money, and their guns. And the GOP members of Congress are repeating the talking points, calling for revolution, and promoting modern-day tea parties. When you portray the president as a duplicitous, dangerous man out to destroy the country, can you really say that violence is an unexpected or unintended consequence? I don't think so.

Posted by: frontstreet on April 4, 2009 at 5:41 PM | PERMALINK

Social conservatives are all about maximizing abusiveness, or the sense or idea of abusiveness, in all things.

They won't tone it down, they'll see this as justification.

One way or another they'll characterize this guy as being propped up as justification to rationalize taking their 'rights' away.

That it's the opposite will be irrelevant to them, it's something they can run with, like the Branch Davidians.

Posted by: alan on April 4, 2009 at 5:44 PM | PERMALINK

30,000 dead, 60,000 injured from gunshots in 2004 in the U.S.

In U.K. about 50 people die each year from gunshot wounds.

Do we have a problem?

How about if we said that in our country 100 747's crash each year (with 300 passengers). Would that be a problem?

Our attitude towards guns reflects a sick society.

Posted by: Cycledoc on April 4, 2009 at 5:47 PM | PERMALINK

Three cops died, that Glen Beck's ratings might live.

Posted by: asdh on April 4, 2009 at 5:56 PM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't be fair to blame right-wing propaganda for Poplawski slaying these police officers.

Thats a bunch of bullshit. I don't give a damn how many people didn't act on stuff they heard from conservative media. If even one person does then you can and should blame them because they are making the environment of this country dangerous plain and simple. They don't give a shit about the people they are putting in harms way because all they care about is political gamesmanship. I tell you what, go ask the family members of those officers that died today whether or not they blamed the media outlets that kept telling Poplawski that President Obama was coming for his guns. This is damn near a cop out to keep from calling a spade a spade. If anything we should be screaming from the hills blaming the wingnuts because this is surely the result of their fearmongering and people need to be held to account for that

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla on April 4, 2009 at 6:00 PM | PERMALINK

What Beck and company are doing is tantamount to yelling 'Fire' in a crowded theater. Maybe only the nitwits stampede in the absence of smoke and flames, but the shouters are still liable.

Freedom of speech is one thing; pushing outright lies which spur unstable people to violence is quite another. I'd love to see Beck and LaPierre doing the frog-march together, with great big smelly socks in their stupid lying mouths.

Posted by: mcmama on April 4, 2009 at 6:20 PM | PERMALINK

My family lives in Georgia. My brother bought his daughter and his wife handguns as Christmas presents. He didn't say why, but the reason is obvious. The guy's a repug.

Posted by: pol on April 4, 2009 at 6:21 PM | PERMALINK

No one is worried that the Government will modify/take away the 2nd Amendment....look at the pending legislation to give D.C. voting rights. Attached to that Bill, is stipulation that 2nd Amendment rights will be recognized in order to pass the Voting right. Oh no...no one is paranoid about the Obama Admin. taking away ANYONE's right(Wink,wink)

Posted by: Rainboskies on April 4, 2009 at 6:22 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't that Scaife's flagship paper?

And methinks you could look up some Glenn Reynolds quotes.

Posted by: anonymous on April 4, 2009 at 6:33 PM | PERMALINK

If you yell fire in a crowded theater, the wingers won't stampede, they'll open up. They are like people in a Mel Brooks movie, only not funny.

Posted by: Michael7843853 on April 4, 2009 at 6:42 PM | PERMALINK

It wouldn't be fair to blame right-wing propaganda for Poplawski slaying these police officers.

The bloody hell it wouldn't.

Where in blue blazes did this cop-killer get the idea from---a munchkin in a Steelers uniform? No; he got it from the Glenn Becks, and the Rush Limbaughs, and the fuckwit-Savages, and the G. Gordon Lillies of the United States of America. They lie---and cops die.

Poplawski dies in a jail cell, if he's extremely lucky. But what about those who were instrumental in building a bonfire under this guy's whacked-out fears?

It is time to push these freaks back down their rabbit-holes, and seal them in with quick-setting concrete. Otherwise, we're risking a shooting war---and right quickly, too....

Posted by: S. Waybright on April 4, 2009 at 6:52 PM | PERMALINK

Since there's no way in hell the right will ever back down from their rhetoric, we should shine the light right back in their faces. Investigate every last detail of this loser's life and his sympathy with Republican talking points. Someone should interview Rush and Glen Beck, quote this guy's words right back at them, and ask if they agree--then spring the gotcha.

Quite frankly, I hope this event and others like it (they're coming as certainly as night follows day) begin to turn people away from their ideas, like McVeigh did (temporarily) to the militia movement in the mid-90s.

Posted by: Joe C on April 4, 2009 at 6:53 PM | PERMALINK

David Berkewitz heard a non-existant dog. These people are hearing lots of real dog whistles. The Pittsburgh police weren't the intended target, but Paplawski and people like him are the intended audience.

Posted by: Danp on April 4, 2009 at 6:58 PM | PERMALINK

You people are batshit insane. Three weeks ago, a nutcase murdered FOUR police officers in Oakland, CA. He was a black parolee in one of the most liberal districts in California, where, yes, guns are BANNED.

Can I expect you nutcases to call for the impeachment of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, one of the most liberal reps in the Congress and fierce supporter of Obama?? Where were your calls for responsibility then?

Funny, I didn't hear a PEEP---not one PEEP, from the leftwing blogs when that happened. But now, the shooting in Pittsburgh is a "conservative issue".

I dont hear a word about the families of the cops in Oakland or the cops in Pittsburgh. Just more hate for people who had nothing to do with this. One of your favorite "memes" is how the right is filled with rage. I see plenty of rage in these comments. You're all a bunch of hypocrites and morons.


Posted by: Samuel on April 4, 2009 at 7:18 PM | PERMALINK

Danp - er, no, Berkowitz was just a lying asshole. No dogs actually involved - he was just angling for an insanity deal.

But this "we shouldn't blame those spewing the rhetoric because people believed it and reacted to it" nonsense is just like a murder defendant saying, "but your honor, think of all the people I didn't kill."

Sure, 99.9% of the people out there wouldn't kill cops on Glenn Beck's paranoid say-so, but that doesn't mean he's off the hook for the .1% that do. Incitement to violence is a recognized limitation to the first amendment for a damned good reason. And pretending that it's impossible to determine what constitutes "incitement" is bullshit.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 4, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

The right wing morning radio talk show in Pittsburgh I spoke of earlier
had this incendiary rhetoric back in November--to stir up the right wing masses against Obama:

"You know, I was thinking about this. You know, if you were a slave in the
old South, what did you get as a slave? You got free room and board, you got
free money, and you got rewarded for having children because that was just,
you know, tomorrow's slave. So, you got a free house, you got free money,
and you got rewarded for having children. Can I ask a question? How's that
different from welfare? You get a free house, you get free food, and you get
rewarded for having children. Oh, wait a minute, hold on a second. There is
a difference: The slave had to work for it."

Posted by: Prefer the Post Gazette on April 4, 2009 at 7:26 PM | PERMALINK

Can I expect you nutcases to call for the impeachment of Congresswoman Barbara Lee, one of the most liberal reps in the Congress and fierce supporter of Obama?

Why, what did she say to incite the shooter?

Or, do you not have the slightest fucking idea what you're talking about?

Posted by: DH Walker on April 4, 2009 at 7:28 PM | PERMALINK

Well clearly the liberal urban policies of Oakland contributed to that luantic for shooting cops. Idiot.

Or how about the Vietnamese immigrant who killed in NY the othere day? He was an immigrant who spoke no English and told coworkers "America sucks"

By your dumb "logic" Michelle Bachmann and Glen Beck are geniuses. You know, keep all the imigant ferners out of teh country cuz, they like, you know kill people.

What kind of alternate universe do you people live in anyway....

Posted by: Samuel on April 4, 2009 at 7:34 PM | PERMALINK

Samuel - thanks for proving my point, that you have absolutely zero understanding of any aspect of this issue, whatsoever.

Do you even know what "incitement" is? It's only the central, defining concept in this discussion. Go find yourself a dictionary if you think that might help. Good luck.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 4, 2009 at 7:41 PM | PERMALINK

Well clearly the liberal urban policies of Oakland contributed to that luantic for shooting cops. Idiot

Oh look, a dittohead who repeats what he has been programmed to say. That's so cute. Let me ask you, is it easier than thinking for yourselves to just repeat what your hero Rush says?

Posted by: Down on April 4, 2009 at 7:46 PM | PERMALINK

What progressives should remember is that heavily armed nutcases are more likely to go after the defenseless rather than the armed. If the nutcases come, and they might, are you able to protect yourself? I live in rural Oklahoma, the closest law enforcement is 20 miles away. Calling 911 isn't an option. Self defense is a logical response. Meth labs have been raided a few hundred yards from my home. I keep a loaded Glock in a touch pad gun safe under my bed. I'm comfortable with guns. Point is, don't fear guns, prepare for the crazies, whomever they may be. Also, I'm a registared Democrat, white, Protestant male who happily voted for Obama.

Posted by: kev on April 4, 2009 at 7:58 PM | PERMALINK

Down - that gives him too much credit. The things Rush says are moronic and absolutely counter to a large amount of verifiable reality, but at least you can sort of make out what he's trying to say half the time. Can you even figure out what the hell Samuel's point might even be? His posts don't even make enough sense to be wrong, much less right.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 4, 2009 at 8:02 PM | PERMALINK

I keep a loaded Glock in a touch pad gun safe under my bed.

Well, let's hope you're awake in bed when they come, I guess.

Posted by: Danp on April 4, 2009 at 8:19 PM | PERMALINK

Yeah, man, you all have a point. Let's shut Beck, Rush and the rest of the right the hell up. Let's yank their licenses and get them off the air. Olberman and Mahr should be given those air hours.

Posted by: Wolverine on April 4, 2009 at 8:22 PM | PERMALINK

I advise all liberals to arm themselves. I've been a gun owner since I was a teenager and I've also been an active liberal/progressive.
The gun laws in this country are not changing, the opinion of Rush and his ilk, not withstanding. IMHO the gun issue is the nutjobs biggest strawman. Were people's guns confiscated during the administrations of JFK, LBJ, Carter or Clinton? No. and they won't be confiscated during the administration of Obama.
Liberals need to protect themselves. I advise a shotgun for your home protection. Handgun are useless for such a purpose..

Posted by: JP on April 4, 2009 at 8:32 PM | PERMALINK

I have long been the resident gun nut in these parts. I am glad to have company coming out of the woodwork, I just wish the circumstances were not so tragic.

Posted by: Blue Girl on April 4, 2009 at 8:37 PM | PERMALINK

Damn - must have hovered my mouse over 'post' or something, cuz, I wasn't finished with my thought...

I wanted to agree with JP that a shotgun is the best home protection. You don't even have to be a good shot - and my police buddies tell me that frequently when a person hears the tell-tale sound of the pump action, they start pleading "don't shoot" and freeze. I have heard more than once about perps laying down on the floor and putting their hands behind their head. Sometimes they have even pissed their pants. (Hee!)

NEVER rely on a handgun or rifle - the projectile can easily penetrate a couple of walls and kill someone in the house next door. It has happened. The saddest, most tragic ambulance calls I ever went out on was early in my career and it haunts me still.

A homeowner heard a burglar in the middle of the night and stepped into the hall with his deer rifle. He saw the burglar in the hall and yelled stop - the burglar didn't - the homeowner fired, and killed the burglar. But he did not see his seven-year-old child who had come out of his bedroom and was behind the burglar. The bullet passed through the burglar and hit the seven-year-old child between the eyes, killing him instantly.

If you don't hunt, you don't need a rifle. Get a shotgun.

Posted by: Blue Girl on April 4, 2009 at 8:53 PM | PERMALINK

Steve: "It wouldn't be fair to blame right-wing propaganda for Poplawski slaying these police officers.">/i>

Whoever said that life was fair, Steve?

If we actually had sensible gun laws, we wouldn't have to regularly endure such wanton carnage. America has become a shooting gallery, and the GOP is its carnival barker.

So it's only right that we hold Republicans and their National Rifle Association allies responsible for the continued violence, because they are the primary and foremost obstacles to meaningfull and effective reform of our firearms laws.

Posted by: Donald from Hawaii on April 4, 2009 at 8:58 PM | PERMALINK

Samuel: ""One of your favorite 'memes' is how the right is filled with rage."

Well, pardon us for stating the painfully obvious.

Samuel: "I see plenty of rage in these comments."

What you sow, you reap.

Samuel: "You're all a bunch of hypocrites and morons. Idiots ..."

And I thought we were the ones who are supposed to be so angry. Did you lose the security key to your trailer park? Have a nice day, you loser.

Posted by: Out & About in the Castro on April 4, 2009 at 9:17 PM | PERMALINK

Hmmmm....A wife beater who's willing to shoot law enforcement officers at close range?

Maybe he was right to be worried that BHO would want to take his guns away.


Posted by: jimmy on April 4, 2009 at 9:21 PM | PERMALINK

They don't want the temperature lower. They want someone to take a shot at the President. They're trying to get him killed.

Posted by: Jay on April 4, 2009 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

Samuel is the poster child for the idiots on the rightwing. No ability for rational thought, no ability to argue from a foundation of fact whatsoever. Just a talent for spewing tripe and claiming non-existent connections between, for example, a tragedy in Oakland and an ideologically inspired tragedy in Pittsburgh.

They do anything to wash their hands of responsibility while trying to blame Democrats/liberals/socialists/Marxists/ACORN for every problem in the world.

The rightwing is rife with simpletons who fancy themselves the great defenders of America. They don't even attempt to profess a love of democracy anymore, given that the last two elections have kicked their overlords out of power. All they really do is chant about their second amendment rights, tax cuts, and stopping abortions.

Posted by: castanea on April 4, 2009 at 9:46 PM | PERMALINK

And let us not ignore those right-wing websites that shall not be named on which posters are saying things like 'well maybe the cops will think twice next time before entering someone's house' yes, I'm serious. Same places where you see things like how there's going to be a shortage of corn since god will punish Iowa. I'm seriously starting to think this whole country needs a timeout. Let's shut off the Internet for a week, along with talk radio, cable tv and spend a week helping our neighbors. Plant a garden, take a walk in the woods, hug your children, do something. Then we can take a collective deep breath and get back to it like grownups. This is all like trying to have a rational discussion with a toddler having a temper tantrum. We'd like it to work, but it's just not. If only it would work.

Posted by: Northzax on April 4, 2009 at 10:57 PM | PERMALINK

Wow,both the right and left are a hateful bunch of people. different sides of the same crappy coin.

Posted by: peace on April 4, 2009 at 11:09 PM | PERMALINK

bill jones, you racist pig. We have a black president. Deal with it.

Now let's address the stupidity of your assertion that guns will keep us free. Bullshit. The side with the Air Force always wins. Period. Full stop.

And if you were really in Iraq, you damn well know that to be the case, because what do we do every time a battle looks like it might possibly be lost? Call in Air Support! Duh!

Personally, I hope some of you morons do try to take up arms! Y'all would be charcoal briquettes by lunch, and it would be the best thing to happen to the American gene pool in a long, lonn time. Maybe since Barack Obama Sr. and Stanley Ann Dunham conceived Barack Obama!

Posted by: Blue Girl on April 4, 2009 at 11:10 PM | PERMALINK

When you people speak of "wingnuts", the far right, conservatives, etcetera it's clear you have no idea who you are talking about. Using your take on this you could also blame Alex Jone's and The Obama Deception for this...perhaps you are. And he's far from being right-wing.

Richard Poplawski was one of you. Just like the protestors that got out of control at G20. It's easy to blame a certain part of culture. Especially when you're believing everything you're being spoon fed from the MSM.

But look in the mirror and realize you're a part of culture too. This isn't uniquely right-wing. To think it is, is simplistic thought on your end. This is the product of extreme liberalism of this nation dissolving from within. Pick up a history book because it's all been seen and recorded before.

Posted by: Subt on April 4, 2009 at 11:29 PM | PERMALINK

Anyone know (or care) what the hell Subt is talking about? Protesters at the G20? Is his post performance art or what? If what one writes is a reflection of what one thinks, some folks are in a heap of trouble.

Posted by: jrw on April 5, 2009 at 12:11 AM | PERMALINK

This is the product of extreme liberalism of this nation dissolving from within.

So, the problem is that we're too liberal in allowing right-wing nutjobs to do what they do? And what's leading to right-wing violence is that the rest of us aren't right-wing enough, ourselves? But even though we're not right-wing enough (thus causing these problems), we're "just like" violent right-wingers? And protesting the IMF is "just like" murdering cops as the result of blatant propaganda, which all of the "MSM" is doing, in a fully equivalent way. And seeing the differences between different things is "simplistic".

Did I miss anything? And where did you pick up the "history books" you mention? Klan rally?

Posted by: DH Walker on April 5, 2009 at 12:29 AM | PERMALINK

Headlines you are likely to never read.

"This morning a man who believes a woman has the right to choose to have an abortion blew up the national right to life building...."

"A group of progressives who believe that gay people have the right to marry are in custody this evening after they launched a vicious assault on a straight couple because they were making out in public...."

"A liberal who believes in common sense gun control is on the loose this evening after having shot a man who just bought an AK 47 assault weapon as he was walking out of a gun show..."

"A tragic story today as police are looking for the liberal and progressive suspects who viciously assaulted the executives of a health insurance company because they were upset about reports that universal health care would not happen this year...."

All you right wing bastards can keep coming to this site with your false equivalence but nobody is buying your bullshit. The best you can come up with liberal comedians making jokes about hurting someone when some of your elected leaders in Congress and else where are seriously talking about an armed uprising. Give me a frikking break and go back under whichever hole you came from. None of us are talking about taking you cowards' guns. What we ARE saying is quit trying to scare the other ignorant, cowardly and insane bastards on your side who just might end up taking it to heart and acting out just like Poplowski did. If you really give a damn about innocent people and cops in this country you will stop trying to defend the bullshit and start saying the same damn thing.

Posted by: sgwhiteinfla on April 5, 2009 at 12:36 AM | PERMALINK

"Everyone would benefit if the right could just lower the temperature a bit."

You're calmly and reasonably advising Michael Savage and Glenn Beck to be calm and reasonable and sensible? I like you, Steve, but I think it's time you had yourself checked for Serious Sensible Centrist Disease. For example, if I said I rather think that everyone would benefit if the right were exposed as shameless, lying hate-mongers and corporate whores, would you feel tempted to say "now let's not counter right-wing extremism with extremism of our own"? If so, it may already be too late, and one day soon you will awake from uneasy dreams and find yourself transformed into David Broder.

Posted by: Jeffrey Kramer on April 5, 2009 at 12:50 AM | PERMALINK

What sgwhiteinfla said.

Posted by: Blue Girl on April 5, 2009 at 1:08 AM | PERMALINK

I do not condone what Poplawski did, but you're a fool if you believe his fears were ill-founded.

We have idiots in Illinois who seek to force gun owners to buy $1 million insurance policies. Other idiots in multiple states seek to pass bills requiring registration of ammunition, including a requirement to destroy unregistered ammunition (aka Ammunition Accountability Act). The 24th Amendment banned poll taxes because a right that one cannot afford to exercise is no right at all; the same should be true for excessively expensive gun regulations.

The Attorney General, Eric Holder, is on record proposing to restore the Clinton-era "assault weapon" ban. The President supported the D.C. hangun ban that was overturned by the Heller decision. Their record does not inspire confidence.

Government is in the hands of liberal Democrats. If they truly wish to "lower the temperature", they need to spike all of these ill-considered efforts as soon as possible, and state unambiguously that they will not seek to infringe citizens' 2nd Amendment rights.

Posted by: mwl on April 5, 2009 at 1:29 AM | PERMALINK

Assault weapons should be banned. The guy in Oakland and the Poplawski both had AK 47s. What the hell does anyone outside certain jobs in the military or on a SWAT team need with a weapon that is made expressly for killing people?

Posted by: on April 5, 2009 at 1:59 AM | PERMALINK

Oh - and Poplawski was busted out of the Marines during basic training for throwing a food tray at a drill sergeant. This was a guy with anger issues that should never have been allowed to possess a gun. Certainly not an assault weapon.

Posted by: on April 5, 2009 at 2:02 AM | PERMALINK

I am turning the comments off on this thread overnight. They will be turned back on in the morning. You guys have no idea what I have unpublished on this thread.

Apologies for any frustration or inconvenience, but even moderators have to sleep sometimes. This does not seem to apply to freepers, however.

Posted by: Moderator on April 5, 2009 at 2:08 AM | PERMALINK

I do not condone what Poplawski did, but you're a fool if you believe his fears were ill-founded.

Bullshit. We all hear this same paranoid bullshit every single time a democrat gets elected president. Carter never took your guns, Clinton never took your guns, and Obama isn't going to take your guns. Your catalog of half-truths and speculations doesn't prove anything.

One of the unfortunate aspects of posting on discussion boards is that there's no way to enforce wagering. Otherwise, I could have made an absolute fortune betting against all the ridiculous predictions of conservatives over the years. Minimum wage increases will destroy the economy. Saddam has WMD. Clinton will surrender US sovereignty to the UN. Democrats will take our guns so they can usher in a totalitarian state.

Losing some money, time after time after time, might make you guys a little more honest, and a little less shameless, in how completely wrong you are about all the things you're wrong about.

Posted by: DH Walker on April 5, 2009 at 9:24 AM | PERMALINK

"We have idiots in Illinois who seek to force gun owners to buy $1 million insurance policies."

Actually, it's one legislator.

Do you even know anything about how insurance works, or do you even live in Illinois ? I wonder, because this seems to be one of the latest Freeper stories going around.

If you are a kid or an adult that plays hockey, like myself, then you are required to register as a member of USA Hockey and are automatically enrolled in the USA Hockey insurance program in order to cover such costs. It spreads the risk around and greatly reduces the cost to each member ($30 a year). It includes things like $1 million in liability and up to $2 million in catastrophic accident coverage. And that includes checking leagues where you can *really* get injured if you're not careful. The NRA, or some similar organization, could implement the same type of program, and it wouldn't cost very much at all to each member.

It seems like folks like you want all the rights without any of the responsibilities. The bottom line is that it's *your* firearm. In most states, dog owners are liable for the actions of their dogs, so why shouldn't gun owners be liable for any crimes committed with *their* guns ? If you don't want to liable, then lock those M-F guns up in a safe.

"Government is in the hands of liberal Democrats. If they truly wish to "lower the temperature", they need to spike all of these ill-considered efforts as soon as possible, and state unambiguously that they will not seek to infringe citizens' 2nd Amendment rights."

Bullshit. The government should be able to discuss ways to reduce gun violence without you assholes getting your panties in a wad because you can't think in any terms other than black or white. This country has been pandering to the least-informed for far too long. If you can't tell the difference between owning a gun or two for home protection and hunting vs. the gun trade effectively selling and distributing guns to criminals without any oversight, then that's your problem, not ours.

Posted by: OhNoNotAgain on April 5, 2009 at 10:20 AM | PERMALINK

Posted by: DH Walker

Bullshit. We all hear this same paranoid bullshit every single time a democrat gets elected president. Carter never took your guns, Clinton never took your guns, and Obama isn't going to take your guns. Your catalog of half-truths and speculations doesn't prove anything.


As one example, the Ammunition Accountability Act that mwl gave as an example, was introduced in a number of states in 2007 and 2008. It did not pass in any of them, but that did not stop some rightwing nuts from sending out an email last December, long after most state legislative sessions were over.


This email includes a link to the website of the organization promoting the state bills at:


As far as I can tell, this website hasn't been updated for about a year. It has no listing for any states where the legislation has been introduced in 2009 (there probably aren't any) and no mention of any attempt to get this passed by the U.S. Congress.

I followed the links from this website to the bill introduced in my home state of Washington. That bill was refered to the Committe on Justice in 2008 and was never reported out last year, it would need to be re-introduced from scratch and it is too late to do that in 2009. Furthermore, this bill had no mention of either destroying privately held stocks of non-coded ammunition or of any new taxes on ammunition sales.

In other words, this one example that mwl gave is completely 100% bogus as a reason for gun-owner paranoia. I have no reason to suspect that any of his other complaints have any more basis in fact.

Posted by: tanstaafl on April 5, 2009 at 10:27 AM | PERMALINK

We've been this route before, in the year or so leading up to Timothy McVeigh's Oklahoma City bombing.

Posted by: T-Rex on April 5, 2009 at 2:41 PM | PERMALINK

mwl - it's simply not correct to say that President Obama supported the DC gun ban. His comments directly after the Supreme Court ruling striking down the ban were:

"I don't know what my aide said but I've been very consistent, I teach constitutional law," Obama said. "What I said was that I believe Second Amendment as being an individual right and have said that consistently. I also think that individual right is constrained by the rights of the community to maintain issues with public safety. I don't think those two principles are contradictory and in fact what I've been saying consistently is what the Supreme Court essentially said today."

Tanstaafl - just another example of fact-checking issues in mwl's post. Just ignore him/her.

Posted by: carolatl on April 5, 2009 at 5:37 PM | PERMALINK

Naturally mwl had no facts behind his fears. We all knew or at least suspected that.

Nevertheless, it is worth rebutting his points at least once because he didn't invent these points on his own. They are all being passed around by gun rights groups and militia types in viral emails and internet forums and filterin their way into the rest of the right-wing consciousness. Most of us will hear someone we know spout these points to us sooner or later, so it is worth knowing not only that they are bogus, but WHY they are bogus.

As OhNoNotAgain was able to tell us, the liability insurace plan is so far only being championed by a single lawmaker in Illinois and even if it eventually passes and spreads, will almost certainly not represent an intolerable burden. Indeed, the practical effect will probably be to serve as a recruiting tool and small profit center for the NRA and other gun rights organizations to offer group liability coverage to their members.

It took me only a few minutes to find out that the other law he mentioned does not do half of the things the viral email he got his list from claims and that the effort to get it passed is pretty much dead in the water anyway.

Finally, carolatl pointed out that Obama's publicly stated views are already as clear, and as unthreatening to gun rights, as they can be. So the idea that they need to do more to reassure people is laughable, the ones who need 'reassuring' aren't listening.

So if mwl comes back with the same debunked talking points or others of equal (nonexistent) validity, we can ignore him. But in the meantime, everyone still reading this thread doesn't have to do their own research if they want a response when their own right-wing friend, relative or acquaintance starts spewing these particular talking points.

Posted by: tanstaafl on April 5, 2009 at 5:59 PM | PERMALINK

Look, this is NOT a right to bear arms issue. Nobody in government is talking about or planning on taking away the rights to bear arms or use them in a legal manner.

The problem is that certain TV and radio personalities are using FCC licensed radio waves to speak directly towards lies about gun ownership, overthrowing the government, or hinting around about killing the President. I would strongly suggest that if exposing a tit on national TV during the Superbowl is a big deal, then we ought to be looking into what the proper fine is for these other misuses of the airwaves. And that if the problem cannot be corrected by a fine then they can have their FCC licensed pulled.

Posted by: Glen on April 5, 2009 at 7:00 PM | PERMALINK

He was afraid Obama was going to take away his gun rights so he shot some police officers? Well, guess what happens now, gun boy.

Posted by: Quaker in a Basement on April 5, 2009 at 9:30 PM | PERMALINK

Here in Albuquerque, ammunition has been flying off the shelves, and it's no longer possible to find the cheap (i.e., 2 cents a round) .22 ammo.

This is a real annoyance for us sport shooters - that is, those who have no interest in killing human beings, just in making well-placed, precision holes in paper.

Judging by the several mass shootings of the last few months, we'll be lucky if it stays merely "an annoyance" ...

Posted by: Zandru on April 6, 2009 at 8:53 AM | PERMALINK



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