Itchy Fingers

by digby

Following up on tristero's post this morning about Dave Neiwert's new book, The Eliminationists: How Hate Talk Radicalized the American Right it's especially interesting to note that today's gun rampage in Pittsburgh may be related to recent paranoid rightwing rants about Obama's alleged "gun grabbing" proclivities.

Neiwert writes:

Some of the early reports out of Pittsburgh indicate the man who shot three cops today was fearful that the Obama administration was going to "take away his guns."


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.

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.

The black helocopter crowd went underground during the Bush years, blithely unconcerned with the Cheney police state, (which proves just what a bunch of gullible tools they really are.) They only get aroused when someone tells them a liberal is in office and so it's time to stock up on weaponry to repel the jack-booted thugs.

Yesterday, I asked what the hell was going on with all these killing rampages. Eric Boehlert pointed out that the press had completely fallen down on the job by failing to note that there had been 30 people killed in gun rampages in just the last six days (three more today) by treating each incident as if it were a a one day story. (That seems to be changing a little bit with yesterday and today's killings.)

But I can guarantee you that no matter what, nobody will be allowed to intelligently or coherently discuss whether or not the availablility of all these guns might be a factor. The right has successfully made that a taboo subject akin to atheism or communism. Indeed,for these people, it's the only part of the Bill of Rights which is not subject to the old saw, "the constitution isn't a suicide pact," (which is kind of ironic since so many of these rampages seem to be just that.) Why, even though we are arming the drug cartels that are turning the the border into a shooting gallery, Lou Dobbs has an aneurysm at even the suggestion that easily available guns in the US might be contributing to the problem.

If Neiwert is correct, this is probably only the beginning of some unpleasantness. The radio gasbags are getting more and more incoherent and wild and the population most subject to their violent rants are armed to the teeth. I think we can all see where this might be headed.