Today, I am compelled to break from my usual language/grammar/pop culture banter.
Yet another non-sense shooting occurred on April 4, 2009, around 7 a.m. This one was in my hometown. This one involved Pittsburgh Police officers and a 22-year-old "man." This one occurred in Stanton Heights, an otherwise quiet neighborhood just blocks away from a peaceful duplex in Highland Park, where my sister and I used to live in the 1980s.
According to local news, Richard "Pop" Poplawski shot and killed three city police officers and wounded two others. Dozens of other Pittsburgh Police officers, many of whom live in the neighborhood, showed up at the scene.
Poplawski was shot and wounded multiple times and is currently in a local hospital. According to reports, Poplawski had been drinking. When nightmares like this happen early in the morning (especially on weekends), the fact that alcohol was involved never surprises me.
Heaven forbid Pittsburgh should turn into another Oakland, California, where some individuals actually recently marched in support of a parolee who shot and killed four police officers. And heaven forbid that Pittsburgh could see the likes of the Binghamton, New York, massacre, which especially touched my heart as I am a volunteer ESL tutor. I could go on. And on ....
I think this is not about gun control or Constitutional rights.
I think this is about the mental health of America, the mindset of people living in this great country. Where is your breaking point? Just how far?
What kind of test is this?
Are these experiences the makings of the American Novel of the 21st century -- where Evil triumphs over Good?
Whatever happened to the Good Guys?
What are you thinking, and what would you write if this were your story?
UPDATE, 4/20/09: Allegheny County District Attorney, Stephen A. Zappala Jr., announced that prosecutors will seek the death penalty against Richard Poplowski.