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Pittsburgh Cop Killer Feared Loss of Guns, New World Order

April 9, 2009

Max Blumenthal at The Daily Beast has an excellent article detailing the neo-Nazi and extremist views of Richard Poplawski, the man who shot and killed three Pittsburgh police officers and injured others. Early on, his friends were telling the newspaper and tv reporters that Poplawski was concerned that the Obama administration was on the verge of repealing the 2nd Amendment or, at the very least, planning to confiscate guns. This kind of extremism is easy enough to dismiss as isolated paranoia, hatched in the dark corners of a sick mind. But Poplawski’s concerns, detached from reality as they are, have been a staple of the far right movement for decades. Remember the militia movement and their ties to Timothy McVeigh and his bombing of the Federal building in Oklahoma City? It never really went away, and now that we have an African American President perceived by these groups to be liberal and who is often characterized by people like Glenn Beck and Michele Bachmann as a socialist bent on creating FEMA concentration camps and taking away your guns, you will be hearing more and more from the far-right fringe.

Blumenthal does a good job of explaining the connection between Poplawski, the fringe and the more mainstream Conservative media:

In the wake of Poplawski’s alleged murder spree, the killer’s friends and family members painted a portrait of a paranoid young man whose worldview was informed almost totally by the kind of conspiratorial themes entertained by Jones. Poplawski’s best friend, Edward Perkovic, who also spouted white-supremacist rhetoric, told the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review that his friend “grew angry recently over fears Obama would outlaw guns.” Poplawski’s mother remarked to police investigators that her son targeted cops “because he believed that as a result of economic collapse, the police were no longer able to protect society.”

But hysterical warnings of government gun grabs and a socialist takeover of the U.S. are no longer the sole proprietary interest of fringe players like Jones. In the Obama era, Jones’ conspiracy theories have graduated to prime-time on Fox News. And radicals like Poplawski are tuning in. Indeed, according to the Anti-Defamation League, the alleged killer posted a YouTube clip to Stormfront of top-rated Fox News host Glenn Beck contemplating the existence of FEMA-managed concentration camps. (“He backed out,” Poplawski wrote cryptically beside the video.) Three weeks later, Poplawski posted another YouTube clip to Stormfront, this time of a video blogger advocating “Tea Parties,” or grassroots conservative protests organized by Beck and Fox News contributor Newt Gingrich (see here and here) against President Barack Obama’s bailout plan.

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