Shortly after Barack Obama won the White House, I happened to have a talk with my brother in-law about our new President. He told me that many of his gun owning friends were “stocking up” on ammo and weapons because they feared Obama would infringe on their 2nd amendment rights. There was no direct evidence of this of course, but I didn’t protest too much, after all, he was family.
In the months since then, gun sales have soared spurred by lies from the right-wing to their hard base that Obama is threatening to take away their guns. Pushed by the usual suspects like Rush, Hannity, FOX News and others, this widespread (but completely unfounded) belief that the White House is going to do away with all guns was the reasoning behind a deadly shooting spree today. From the AP:
A gunman wearing a bulletproof vest and “lying in wait” opened fire on officers responding to a domestic disturbance call Saturday, killing three of them and turning a quiet Pittsburgh street into a battlefield, police said.
Police Chief Nate Harper said the motive for the shooting isn’t clear, but friends said the gunman recently had been upset about losing his job and feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns….
Poplawski had 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….
The entire event is eerily similar to the threats of violence we heard at McCain/Palin rallies during the Presidential Campaign. Left unchecked, lies tend to fester, especially when they are fueled by like-minded individuals in the media.
The GOP had better pull their heads out of the sand and take a look around before things get out of control. McCain had the integrity to state the facts about Obama near the end of the campaign and railed against the “Barack as terrorist” meme. The rest of the conservative movement would do well to take a cue from the Senator from Arizona and let cooler heads prevail.