Predictably, our local branches of the mainstream media immediately seized on the fact that the gunman was an anarchistic nutcase who frequented neo-Nazi websites to conclude that this sort of thing is bound to happen in a society that permits Republicans to wander the streets.
Now, reasonable minds can differ on whether private citizens should be able to own assault rifles. In truth, this incident powerfully aids the case that they should not. But the media gatekeepers, perhaps taking a cue from our president, have decided that a crime is nothing if not an opportunity.
And so we get coverage like today's lead editorial in the consistently liberal Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Read it in full, and take note of where the logic goes off the tracks:
A contagious rage has seemingly possessed America in recent days. The common denominators -- guns in the hands of angry and irrational people -- have been the same whether the scene is a nursing home or a community English class for immigrants.Did you spot it? For those not well conditioned to detecting red herrings, here it is: ". . . . the radio talk show hosts who foment evil by banging drums of hatred . . . ."
And, on Saturday morning, in a city that prides itself on its decency, friendliness and common sense, the madness came home. The deadly ambush of three Pittsburgh police officers in Stanton Heights was more than a tragedy for immediate families and colleagues.
These brave men died for us. Nobody doubts that this was an assault on the community, and the community has reacted with the proper mix of anger and deep sorrow. In a city that hasn't seen a police fatality for almost 14 years, three officers were suddenly lost in a single incident for the first time in its history. It was horrible and senseless almost beyond belief.
The person accused of the crimes, Richard Andrew Poplawski, appears to be another archetype loser who was all about rights but not responsibilities and whose mind had been poisoned by drinking deep of irrational anti-government conspiracies and gospels of hate.
On Fairfield Street, no rights of gun ownership or free speech were vindicated. The police were just doing their thankless duty, answering a domestic disturbance call, for which they were caught in a coward's ambush and murdered. It was their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that were lost.
But there will be time enough to consider how lunatic it is that an AK-47 assault rifle can find its way into the hands of a seething fool, to weigh the culpability of politicians who resist sensible limits on guns and to take to task the radio talk show hosts who foment evil by banging drums of hatred.
Today we mourn Pittsburgh's fallen heroes -- Officers Paul Sciullo III, Stephen J. Mayhle and Eric Kelly. God bless them and their colleagues (two of whom were also injured). God bless these United States, where we have come to this.
Ah, yes. The talk show hosts. Those evil conservative muckrakers, who have had the temerity to criticize President Hopen Change. If only they didn't have the freedom to spout their divisive criticisms of His Holiness, we would never have nutcases committing acts of violence.
You see: Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, Glenn Beck, Mark Levin, et al., are essentially complicit in this crime. If they had never taken to the airwaves and disagreed with The Great and Merciful Leader, the local nutjob never would have committed a violent act.
Of course, if what's good for the goose were good for the gander, the guy would be able to mount a credible Rush-Listener Defense, much akin the Black-Rage Defense commended by my risible former law professor, Regina Austin. But I digress.
So. Here's is your take-away lesson, oh children of the Mighty Progressive Ozymandias: If a man commits a violent crime with a gun, the actual guilty parties are: (1) Guns, and (2) Anyone Who Expresses Disagreement With Barack Obama, Praised Be His Name.
Quod Erat Demonstradum.