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rips31
04-14-2009, 8:03 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/opinion/14herbert.html?th&emc=th

The American Way
By BOB HERBERT
Published: April 13, 2009

Pittsburgh

Late in the afternoon on Good Friday, in a cold, steady rain, a gray-haired 60-year-old woman sat shivering and praying on a stone step outside of 1016 Fairfield St., which is where the terrible shooting had occurred. She read from a prayer book and from time to time would take a drag on a soggy Newport cigarette. A candle flickered beside her as she prayed.

Police officers in a squad car a half-block away were keeping a close eye on the woman and the house with the boarded-up windows behind her.

Reluctant to talk at first, the woman eventually whispered, “I’m the grandmother of the kid that killed those cops.” She said her name was Catherine Scott and that she was praying for her grandson, Richard Poplawski, who is 22 and being held in the Allegheny County Jail, and for the three officers he is accused of gunning down: Stephen Mayhle, who was 29; Paul Sciullo II, 37; and Eric Kelly, 41.

The officers were killed a week and a half ago as they responded to a disturbance at the house. Police said they were met there by Poplawski, who was wearing a bulletproof vest and was armed with a variety of weapons, including an AK-47 assault rifle.

“My grandson did a terrible thing,” said Ms. Scott. “There is no mercy for what he did.”

Mercy or not, there is no end to the trauma and heartbreak caused by these horrifying, blood-drenched eruptions of gun violence, which are as common to the American scene as changes in the weather.

On the same day that the three Pittsburgh cops were murdered, a 34-year-old man in Graham, Wash., James Harrison, shot his five children to death and then killed himself. The children were identified by police as Maxine, 16, Samantha, 14, Jamie, 11, Heather, 8, and James, 7.

Just a day earlier, a man in Binghamton, N.Y., invaded a civic association and shot 17 people, 13 of them fatally, and then killed himself. On April 7, three days after the shootings in Pittsburgh and Graham, Wash., a man with a handgun in Priceville, Ala., murdered his wife, their 16-year-old daughter, his sister, and his sister’s 11-year-old son, before killing himself.

More? There’s always more. Four police officers in Oakland, Calif. — Dan Sakai, 35, Mark Dunakin, 40, John Hege, 41, and Ervin Romans, 43 — were shot to death last month by a 27-year-old parolee who was then shot to death by the police.

This is the American way. Since Sept. 11, 2001, when the country’s attention understandably turned to terrorism, nearly 120,000 Americans have been killed in nonterror homicides, most of them committed with guns. Think about it — 120,000 dead. That’s nearly 25 times the number of Americans killed in Iraq and Afghanistan.

For the most part, we pay no attention to this relentless carnage. The idea of doing something meaningful about the insane number of guns in circulation is a nonstarter. So what if eight kids are shot to death every day in America. So what if someone is killed by a gun every 17 minutes.

The goal of the National Rifle Association and a host of so-called conservative lawmakers is to get ever more guns into the hands of ever more people. Texas is one of a number of states considering bills to allow concealed guns on college campuses.

Supporters argue, among other things, that it will enable students and professors to defend themselves against mass murderers, like the deranged gunman who killed 32 people at Virginia Tech two years ago.

They’d like guns to be as ubiquitous as laptops or cellphones. One Texas lawmaker referred to unarmed people on campuses as “sitting ducks.”

The police department in Pittsburgh has been convulsed with grief over the loss of the three officers. Hardened detectives walked around with stunned looks on their faces and tears in their eyes.

“They all had families,” said Detective Antonio Ciummo, a father of four. “It’s hard to describe the kind of pain their families are going through. And the rest of our families. They’re upset. They’re sad. They’re scared. They know it could happen to anyone.”

The front page of The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review carried a large photo of Officer Mayhle’s sad and frightened 6-year-old daughter, Jennifer. She was clutching a rose and a teddy bear in a police officer’s uniform. There was also a photo of Officer Kelly’s widow, Marena, her eyes looking skyward, as if searching.

Murderous gunfire claims many more victims than those who are actually felled by the bullets. But all the expressions of horror at the violence and pity for the dead and those who loved them ring hollow in a society that is neither mature nor civilized enough to do anything about it.

A version of this article appeared in print on April 14, 2009, on page A23 of the New York edition.

:puke:

RomanDad
04-14-2009, 8:19 AM
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/14/opinion/14herbert.html?th&emc=th



:puke:

Whats wrong with this article?

Everything written is factual.

The numbers dont look incorrect.

The emotion presented about those murdered is certainly true, and certainly valid.

And the only argument as to what to do about the problem is the one I support (More guns in more law abiding peoples hands)... And there is zero attempt to refute the argument.

As supporters of the second amendment, we cant ignore facts or discount the horror of gun related violence. All we can do is present the CORRECT SOLUTIONS to that problem, which is FEWER guns in the hands of bad people and MORE guns in the hands of good people.

RRangel
04-14-2009, 8:52 AM
It is a one sided article where the NRA and those who believe in freedom are painted in negative light because they revel in freedom. God forbid that independent Americans do not want to be victims at the moment when their government is most useless.

It would appear that Bob Herbert cannot handle his freedom. Not to lessen these incidents, but any level headed person knows they are a small fraction of crime.

Bob should take a look at the ideology behind a majority of this nations high crimes rates in the most populated urban cities. Perhaps then he will write an article excoriating a certain political culture of failure. Something tells me that is highly unlikely.

yellowfin
04-14-2009, 9:05 AM
The problem is that crime and lawful gun ownership for good reasons are held equal. Such reasoning applied elsewhere states that consensual sex and rape are the same, a beer with dinner is indistinguishable from alcoholism, an Aerosmith CD sounds exactly like Barbara Streisand, and anyone who plays baseball at any age will end up playing for the Chicago Cubs.

Casey
04-14-2009, 10:03 AM
The constant hand wringing over life lost to gun violence is disingenuous at best. And the statistics are never quantified.

Annually over 565,000 people die of cancer and the treatment of cancer, 18,000 due to drunk driving, 19,000 from alcohol abuse, 45,000 in car accidents, 20,000 from the flu and on and on.

They all have families too but I don't see anyone getting riled up about those numbers.

TatankaGap
04-14-2009, 10:23 AM
The constant hand wringing over life lost to gun violence is disingenuous at best. And the statistics are never quantified.

Annually over 565,000 people die of cancer and the treatment of cancer, 18,000 due to drunk driving, 19,000 from alcohol abuse, 45,000 in car accidents, 20,000 from the flu and on and on.

They all have families too but I don't see anyone getting riled up about those numbers.

Excellent points - there are huge numbers of deaths due to things in American society - there are also vaccinations, smoking, second hand smoke, contaminated drinking water, ~

This article is part of a concerted effort to bolster public support for Holder, Pelosi, Feinstein & 'Bama's gun grabbing plans -

I wouldn't be surprised if operatives pushed the gunners to do the mass shootings in order to spur a change in public opinion - that's serious paranoia, I know, but it makes sense and it wouldn't be the worst done to Americans to justify some political ends ~
:eek:

nicki
04-14-2009, 12:58 PM
Whats wrong with this article?

Everything written is factual.

The numbers dont look incorrect.

The emotion presented about those murdered is certainly true, and certainly valid.



I agree that the numbers don't look incorrect, and that is where the problem is.

8 kids per day killed with guns. Well what is the definition of a kid?
Most people visualize a kid under 12.

Few people visual a hardened gang banger.

The AK47, last I heard in was a SKS and I think it even had a fixed mag.

There was even news stories that the SWAT TEAMS may have not followed protocol although they didn't go into details

Sure we have alot of people killed, but my quesiton is who is getting killed and why.

NY Times cries about the Drug War in Mexico. How many of those people who got killed in the US got killed because of our domestic Drug War.

Oh, and as far as people who get killed. How many of those people who did get killed are "trully innocent victims".

We need honest debate, and most of the facts may be correct. The problem is not the facts they used, the real problem is the facts they didn't use.

Lying through ommission is still lying. They are running this hit peice not for news, but to sway public opinion.

If they made a attempt to put in all the relevant facts, the story would have a very different flavor

Nicki