Pittsburgh Shootings

Ken AshfordGun ControlLeave a Comment

I’m afraid we are going to see a lot more of this

A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said. Friends said he feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns. 

Three officers were killed, said a police official at the scene who spoke on condition of anonymity because he was not authorized to speak to the media. Police spokeswoman Diane Richard would only say that at least five officers were wounded, but wouldn’t give any other details.


One friend, Edward Perkovic, said the gunman feared “the Obama gun ban that’s on the way” and “didn’t like our rights being infringed upon.”

Another longtime friend, Aaron Vire, said he feared that President Obama was going to take away his rights, though he said he “wasn’t violently against Obama.” 

Perkovic, a 22-year-old who said he was the gunman’s best friend, 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.” 

Vire, 23, said the gunman once had an Internet talk show but that it wasn’t successful. Vire said his friend had an AK-47 rifle and several powerful handguns, including a .357 Magnum.

Dave Neiwart writes:

He feared an Obama gun grab? Gee, I wonder where he could have heard that.

Indeed, a story replete with NRA-style fearmongering about the looming "grab" — which has been fueling a run on guns at local shops – ran just three days ago in the Pittsburgh Tribune.

We've been reporting for awhile on the surge in gun sales, and how the paranoia around guns is making the more unstable elements of the right particularly edgy. Inevitably, that edginess is going to break out into actual violence — as it appears to have done today.

Ironically, this is exactly the kind of incident that law-enforcement intelligence-gathering is supposed to help prevent — intelligence like the Missouri State Patrol report so hysterically attacked by these same paranoid right-wingers. I tried to explain at the time that these kinds of extremists are in fact a very real danger to people in law enforcement, but all anyone on the right wanted to talk about was Ron Paul bumper stickers. Well, there you go.

Digby adds:

This is one of the wierd fault lines in American politics — the police who have to face the armed citizenry and the macho right wing zealots whose only answer for anything is for everyone to carry more guns. It's incidents like today's that bring home the fallacy of that argument in living color — the cops are all armed and three of them got mowed down today by a gun nut.

Yup.  The shooters expected the last Democratic president to ban all guns. Needless to say, he didn't ban all guns. Democratic politicians never ban all guns. No Democratic politician ever will ban all the guns. 

And yet this fact is dismissed by literally every pro-gun zealot in America.

Pro-gunners are like children convinced that the boogeyman is under the bed — except they're not like children because it doesn't matter how many times Dad shines a flashlight under the bed to show there's nothing there, and it doesn't matter how much time passes, because they never grow up and realize their fears were infantile and unfounded and easily proved wrong by simple empirical evidence. What's more, they declare their belief in the boogeyman to be defiantly politically incorrect, and a necessary check on tyranny.