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Thread: Pittsburgers and others who read this might consider calling or writing

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    Pittsburgers and others who read this might consider calling or writing

    A city grieves: The societal plague of gun violence hits home hard
    Monday, April 06, 2009
    Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
    A contagious rage has seemingly possessed America in recent days. The common denominators -- guns in the hands of angry and irrational people -- have been the same whether the scene is a nursing home or a community English class for immigrants.
    And, on Saturday morning, in a city that prides itself on its decency, friendliness and common sense, the madness came home. The deadly ambush of three Pittsburgh police officers in Stanton Heights was more than a tragedy for immediate families and colleagues.
    These brave men died for us. Nobody doubts that this was an assault on the community, and the community has reacted with the proper mix of anger and deep sorrow. In a city that hasn't seen a police fatality for almost 14 years, three officers were suddenly lost in a single incident for the first time in its history. It was horrible and senseless almost beyond belief.
    The person accused of the crimes, Richard Andrew Poplawski, appears to be another archetype loser who was all about rights but not responsibilities and whose mind had been poisoned by drinking deep of irrational anti-government conspiracies and gospels of hate.
    On Fairfield Street, no rights of gun ownership or free speech were vindicated. The police were just doing their thankless duty, answering a domestic disturbance call, for which they were caught in a coward's ambush and murdered. It was their rights to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that were lost.
    But there will be time enough to consider how lunatic it is that an AK-47 assault rifle can find its way into the hands of a seething fool, to weigh the culpability of politicians who resist sensible limits on guns and to take to task the radio talk show hosts who foment evil by banging drums of hatred.
    Today we mourn Pittsburgh's fallen heroes -- Officers Paul Sciullo III, Stephen J. Mayhle and Eric Kelly. God bless them and their colleagues (two of whom were also injured). God bless these United States, where we have come to this.
    First published on April 6, 2009 at 12:00 am

    Aside from the above editorial, there was a news story dealing with this shooting, bylined Jon Schmitz. Mr. Schmitz can be reached via e-mail at or at 421-263-1868. His article, near its ending on page A-4 referenced the AK-47 assault-style rifle. Comment on the editorial should be addressed to

    I would suggest polite comments be addressed to both Mr. Schmitz as well as to the paper in the form of Letters To Tjhe Editor, pointing out the problems with medias indiscriminate misuse of technical terminology, Assault Rifle is such a term. As to assault-style rifle, I hesitate to characterize that, as I prefer to remain within the bounds of polite conversation. I will however pose the following question. What in blazes might it be?

    Letters and other comments, in my view, should stress the following point. The incorrect, sloppy use of technical terminology, in some cases solely for the emotional impact thereby gained, can be very destructive to a news outlets credibility. Sunday morning, WDUQ FM, public radio in Pittsburgh, in their 10 AM newscast was guilty of the same misuse of technical terminology, a Ms. Jacobs was the news reader.

    Credibility is hard earned, easily lost and if it can be regained at all, the process is difficult to say the least. Media people, print as well as broadcast need to keep this point in mind, however unless they are called to task for their failures, they wont, or so it seems to me.

    The rest is up to those who troubled to read the foregoing. Thanks for your attention.

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