We don’t need to wonder about this one. Eight hours ago four Pittsburgh police served a warrant on a kid in a neighborhood that I could walk to. The man, 23-year-old Richard Poplawski, opened fire with an AK-47 from an upstairs window, wounding all four. Local, State and transit police responded quickly, nonetheless, some of the wounded officers remained in the line of fire and could not be reached for hours. Four officers died from their wounds; Poplawski gave himself up at 11 AM.
Mr. Perkovic and other former classmates said they were surprised by this morning’s events. Mr. Perkovic said Mr. Poplawski was opposed to “Zionist propaganda” and was fearful that his right to own weapons would be taken away.
Another friend, Aaron Vire, 23, said he’d helped Mr. Poplawski and Mr. Perkovic with a radio show they’d broadcast on the Internet, discussing “girls and life.”
Mr. Poplawski had supported Republican candidate John McCain in the presidential election and had “very spirited debates” about Democratic candidate Barack Obama, Mr. Vire said.
Mr. Poplawski was opposed to Mr. Obama’s election, which he thought would result in the loss of his rights, Mr. Vire said.
“He wasn’t a racist but thought some of his amendments were overlooked,” Mr. Vire said.
Mr. Poplawski told him he bought his guns “because he felt the quality of life was being diminished,” Mr. Vire said.
“He said he’ll be ready if there’s ever an invasion of the United States and that he had stockpiled foods and guns for that eventuality.”
How is that “orderly revolution” going, Michelle? How about that laundry soap rebellion, Erick? This is what Glenn Beck’s citizen army looks like. People like Michelle Malkin fantasize about citizens rising up against the (Democratic) state. They stoke their followers’ paranoia with bullshit that, mostly, they know is bullshit, for ratings and a shot at political traction. Did they expect the American revolution?
In response to John’s famous Peak Wingnut post I pointed out that political irrelevance will hardly stifle rightwing victimology but feed it like CO2, manure and sunlight. I tend to call the relevant phenomenon ‘toxic victim syndrome’, or TVS. The feeling that one is a powerless victim has a corrosive psychological effect. It exempts self-appointed victims from normal moral standards. It justifies (in one’s own mind) an endless list of behaviors that an ordinary person would never consider.
Later I highlighted a psychological study demonstrating that people tend to believe insane conspiracy theories more when they have less power over their own life (say, political power). My conclusion stands.
[A]bout peak wingnut theory. Republicans (and Republican bloggers) will spend at least the next two years with about as much political control as a bug in a jar. You can make your own conclusions.
It looks like I am the second person to cover the story on this blog. Oh well. Call my post nearly-on-site reporting.
I still do not know whether any of the police killed today are people I know [Edit: no]. I hope not, but at the same time that feels somehow selfish. Every one of them was somebody’s friend and family.
Speaking of Dave Niewert, his post has more context.
The Missouri Information Analysis Center must feel ashamed right now for writing a report smearing the upstanding citizens of the modern militia movement.