Saturday, April 4, 2009

Questions Amid The Inexplicable

Richard Poplawski, a 22-year-old gun nut in Pittsburgh's customarily sedate Stanton Heights neighborhood, ambushed police officers responding to a domestic disturbance call (the relevant "domestic relationship" was mother-son) today, killing three officers and wounding another. Mr. Poplawski (who called himself "richie delicious" when composing a racist, hate-ridden MySpace page) was a loser's loser -- expelled from high school, a washout with the Marines, unemployed, fearful of "Zionists," President Obama and an invasion of the United States.

An investigation will be required to establish what occurred, how and why, but several questions are raised by information already available:

(1) Will authorities strive to charge, convict and bankrupt Mrs. Poplawski?

Mrs. Poplawski raised a loser, then allowed him to live at her house as an adult; engage in abusive conduct that precipitated repeated calls to police; aggravate her neighbors to the point of violence more than once; and supplement his hateful delusions with a substantial collection of high-powered weapons, ammunition, a bulletproof vest and survivalist supplies. Apparently unaware that this record had already disqualified her from "mother of the year" competition, Mrs. Poplawski displayed her maternal instinct as she left the house during the siege, reportedly (New York Times) shouting at police: "What are you doing with my son?"

(The answer, unfortunately, was not 'killing him.' Pittsburgh police, properly called to account for severe and systemic misconduct in the not-too-distant past, responded with laudable restraint when the cowardly Mr. Poplawski surrendered. Police officers drove Mr. Poplawski to the hospital, apparently unharmed after being arrested; he had sustained at least one gunshot wound while hiding in the house. The police are to be congratulated for handling Mr. Poplawski while in custody. The unfortunate point is that they were unable to kill him while he was firing.)

After observing "richie delicious" engage in whatever conduct triggered a call to police, ambush police officers with an assault rife, prevent assistance for the downed officers before three of them died, and hold the neighborhood hostage for hours, Mrs. Poplawski wanted to know what officers were doing to her son?

Her conduct and her comment indicate that her role in this episode should be explored carefully. She is reported to have made the call that lured police to an ambush. I have seen no evidence that she attempted to warn or help her son's victims. (She helped herself, by leaving the house before her son surrendered.) Why did she make the original call? If she was in a basement loaded with weapons, why did she do nothing to help police during an hours-long siege, with wounded officers stranded by her son's gunfire?

I hope the district attorney is able to identify suitable criminal charges for Mrs. Poplawski. I also hope survivors of the slain police officers advance civil claims against Mrs. Poplawski that enable those survivors to take her house and bankrupt her. I doubt she possesses the introspection that would cause her to recognize what a low-quality person she is, or her culpability; that task is left to the rest of us.

(2) Will gun nuts ever approach sanity?

I believe the Constitution entitles a United States citizen, under most circumstances, to possess a firearm for self-defense in the home. Some people amplify that position by demanding that they be permitted to carry a concealed .357 Magnum on schoolgrounds, or to tote an openly displayed anti-tank weapon down the middle of the street, or to maintain an arsenal of armor-piercing bullets in their basements. Those folks are properly labeled "gun nuts." For them, a nut with a record of anti-social behavior (including, reportedly, participation at a white supremacist website) has every right to assemble an arsenal of high-powered weapons and ample ammunition in his mother's basement. The problem, from the gun nuts' perspective, wasn't a weapon capable of overwhelming police officers and killing anyone within a 300-yard range. Instead, they fix all blame on the finger that pulled the trigger. A "one ambush" rule, similar to and just as silly as the "one-bite rule" for dogs. The NRA reportedly has offered financial assistance and counseling to victims. I hope the victims decline the funds and instead encourage the NRA to consider its role in these murders.

(3) Who disabled the "richie delicious" MySpace page?

I doubt Mr. Poplawski found an opportunity to disable his MySpace page today. Yet the page -- which I visited early this afternoon -- has been deleted. If the motivation for deletion was to conceal information, it has failed. Here is the "deep survey" that constituted most of the content (other than photographs, which others have preserved) offered by "richie delicious at his MySpace page [note: hate-filled, racist, profane rantings ahead]:

1. Where did your last kiss take place? in my driveway. actually the last few have taken place there, come to think of it. lol. goodbye kisses. "have a nice ride"
2. Who knows a secret or two about you?I spread my 'secrets' out. Everybody knows something, but nobody knows everything.but probably rye knows the most shit about me, by virtue of living at my house sometimes. or eddie p cause were on that IM tip every day
3. Three words to explain why you last threw up?Lake Wellington Water. Middle of January. On A Whim. Run Jump Splash. Before I Left.......Ill be back....
4. Have you ever burned yourself?I have two self-inflicted cigarette burns on the back of each of my hands. I remmeber sitting alone. Darkness, anger and pain enveloped me. I rationalized the idea by making it a stand against cigarettes themselves: 'a burn on the skin is far less harmful than a lifetime of smoke inhalation' cant keep smoking squares, i figured, ill end up paying for it in the long run, whether it be through means of disease or by getting my ass beat by a non-smoker with better endurance. Plus I needed a momento to seal the moment in my life. something to give form to said ideals, as well as other nameless vows. I put that newport out completely on the back of my left hand.months later, I did the second one to match. but it lacked the passion. you can see it in the shape and severity of the scar.i regret and am generally embarrassed by those acts of self-mutilation. that was the first and last time i would ever do some shit like that. never. that type of shit is for the birds. and i am no longer a regular smoker ;P
5. What's crazy to you?crazy to me is going through the motions. crazy to me is letting each day slip past you. crazy is being insignificant. crazy is being obscure, pointless. some could call me crazy, my answer would be that at least I insist to exist
6. Favorite cuss word:you fuckin nigger. cocksuckin cunt-of-a-whore. christ!
7. Who is probably talking a load of crap about you right now?lol, if anybody is up at odd hours of the night talking shit about me...theyre NUTS! but even if it were early afternoon, id still say its unlikely anybody is talking 'loads' of crap. i consciously make the effort to keep other peoples names out of my least i try. i hope those around me notice that and do the same for me.if anybody really is talking shit, its because theyre a HATER and must be JEALOUS about SOMETHING. but i doubt it. highly. i keep a good circle of friends. stand-up gentlemen.
8. Who is your hero?traditionally my hero has been Mario Lemieux for his feats on and off the ice. he will solidify his place if he completes the task of saving the Penguins, one more wise, i look up to my grandfather, poppy. even though by all accounts he was a jagoff in his day. i still am tryin to accumulate enough "i punched that motherfucker so hard" stories to match my old man.also, cuckie dearest, my grandmother, for the exact opposite reaons.
9. Would you ever want to be a model?absolutely. although its highly unlikely, its not out of the realm of possibility. some days i feel like im built out of brick, and boyishly handsome as fuck. but i guess everybody has those confident days, right? on the flip side, ill feel like skinny ass rich with 25 pimples the next day, so hey. i guess it would be a matter of pursuing the modeling industry, which i doubt ill ever do. it would be interesting to see howd theyd feel about the eagle tat, tho.
10. Who is the most experimental person you know?WAAAAAT. no.
11. Do you tell white lies?sure, who do i look like? Jesus? (stigmata effect aside, heh)
12. When is your next party?hopefully next wednesday or thursday when the Pens announce a new arena and future in Pittsburgh
13. Who do you want to be with right now?an extraordinarily wealthy woman who just cant live without me. but ill settle for Miss Pennsylvania, if shes reading this ;) hahaha
15. How do you handle a break up?out of sheer honesty, i didnt fare so well having my heart broken for the first time. it seems as though any other breakup is pale in comparison. so from then on, its cake.
16. Your motivation for tomorrow?Um, chest and triceps?
17. Last person to hurt you?rye made me scrape my arm bad as hell wrestling with me in my basement. as far as emotions go, im a rock these days.
18. Last person to make you laugh?myself. i steady stay laughing at things in my mind. i wake up out of a sleep laughing sometimes! i mean not uncontrollably like a psycho(how nuts would that make me), but more like "heh...crosby" matt had me laughing on the phone today, so did eddie p.
19. Last thing you ate?8 egg-whites raw. rocky aint got shit on me.
20. Do u ever go a few days without changing your underwear?ew no thats like the nastiest thing anybody could do. what would make you do that? are you like getting out of the shower and pickin ur gutchies up off the bathroom floor and slidin them back on?! or i guess ur not showering, i dont know. ick.
21. Have you ever accidentally eaten an insect?im sure we all have. not to my knowledge, or in recent memory.
22. Do daddy long legs freak you out?indeed. screw spiders.
23. Have you ever cleaned up someone else's vomit?not that i can remmeber. couldnt imagine a situation where id have to. unless somebody puked in my house or car and ran away. but id rather pay cleaners.
24. Have you ever dropped food on the floor and eaten it?depends on the food, and the floor surface. id really rather not. but have i? sure.
25. Do you kiss your pets on the mouth?i dont have pets. i wouldnt kiss my mothers bird or hamster at all. when i did have a cat, he didnt seem too interested in kissing me much. :( lolwhen i was babysittin somebodys german shepherd, i let her lick my toes. but thats as far as that shit went, i assure you.
27. What serial killer do you find most disturbing?anybody that fucks with little kids. thats ill. or grubs on thier victims, or chills with them/ mutilates them/ has sex with them after theyre dead. c'mon now.
28. Do you ever talk to the TV? "HEEEE SHOOTS AND SCORRRRES" if the pens are on, im highly vocal. i also tend to be fairly critical of newscasters analysis on certain things.
29. Would you ever work in a retirement home?im not an RN, an LPN, a CNA, a janitor, an administrator, director or executive of any kind. so no. my mom is a nursing supervisor at a nursing home tho.
30. Do you believe plants have feelings?no, thats ridiculous
31. Do you laugh at people with "bowl" haircuts?i dont see anybody with that 'do anymore. last person i can think of to rock a bowl cut: Joey D. hahahahaha.
32. Do you have nervous twitches?nope
33. Are you ever purposely irritating?why would you be?
34. If you could fly, where would you go first?hm. depends on how fast i could go. if were looking at a top speed of like 40 mph or less, id stay fairly local.
36. Love or lust?at this point, lust. love eventually....down the road....and over the hillside.....and around the corner
37. One best friend or 10 aquaintances?thats tough. cause what good is an acquaintance, really? have to take one good friend over any number of acqs
38. Favorite food?chicken fingers! extra cheese pizza! General tso's chicken with white rice! Lasagna! Ravioli! Calamari! Mahi-Mahi! Mozzeralla sticks! um...bananas! peaches! strawberries! a grilled reuben! Pancakes and Frech Toast! ham, bacon, and sausage! Eggs! Potatoes! Yes!
39. Do you believe that your first love never dies?shyttttt, shes lucky i didnt kill that brod myself. hahahalol seriously though, for me personally, once the clouded delusion of love passed and i got a rational look at things, i realized my first love was absolutely the most unintelligent, most immature, wrong ass brod for me to ever try to care for. period. the end.
40 What upcoming event are you waiting and ready for?come on summer! sandcastle season passes! hahah, gettin a tan! rubbing oil all over me and strutting around! hoorah!
41. Current smell?::sniff sniff:: ::sniff sniff:: i dont smell anything
42. Do you get your nails done?sexist ass survey question. pfft
43. Most favorite people?grandparents, friends, Pittsburgh Penguins, Penguin fans (especially female Penguin fans)
44.Last thing ordered at McDonalds?hAH. i bought a quarter pounder in west virginia on my way home from FLA in late february.
45. Are you an emotional person?in some ways. no elaboration here. it could take awhile. this survey is wearing out its welcome. if youre still reading, im highly surprised.
46. Do you like your name?nothin wrong with it. i like how my first and middle name flow together. Richard Andrew. heh.
47. What color underwear are you wearing?not have any, im wearing the (infamous) polar bear pajamas
48. Do you have plans this weekend?nope. counting on things to just happen.
49. Do you work?i work hard for the money, so hard for the money. i work hard for the money and im gonna work hard for uuuuuu ;)
50. Do you dance naked in your room at night?you most definitely better believe it. i will bust a naked groove a 100 yard wide. OH!
51. Why did your last relationship end?not quite sure, dont care to speculate too much. maybe a lil parental interference? a lil yearning for freedom? eh
52. What are you listening to right now?listening to myself typing up a storm
53. Biggest fear?see the one that talks about what i view as "crazy" right now i fear this survey will never end.
55. How long have you been a part of myspace?since feb 05
56. Favorite place to be?Stanton Heights, Pgh, PA. Wellington, Palm Beach, FL. Ocean City, MD. Daytona Beach, FL.
my bed. mellon arena. bowling alley.
57. Do you have a crush?several
58. Do you hate anybody?yeah, i hate ed Rendell this week. i hate Tampa Fans.
59. Does anyone hate you?interesting question. reminds me of the shit talking question. same spiel.
60. How many people do you trust fully?nobody. take "fully" out of this question and the number jumps to about 6, family aside.
the end? man it just ends abruptly like that? no closure question? lol.


Bram Reichbaum said...

Maybe this goes with out saying, but I know a lot of strong gun rights advocates (with whom I disagree) whom I would not call "gun nuts". They may have a different and I think callous position, but they don't harbor paranoid delusions, and their ideologies are not twisted with so much hate.

That perpetrator was a gun nut's bastard gun nut -- but we shouldn't lump him in with normal conservative and libertarian activists.

Infinonymous said...

I believe the Constitution (although not necessarily the Second Amendment, but that's another discussion) entitles a citizen to possess a gun for self-defense in the home. As with free speech, that element of liberty is subject to reasonable restrictions (gun control), a point expressed in the Heller decision. Those who reflexively and rabidly oppose any restrictions on weapons -- fans of unregistered machine guns, concealed carry on schoolgrounds, armor-piercing bullets -- are gun nuts. These extremists make our society less safe and promote an environment in which Mr. Poplawski's right-wing delusions become murderous.