My last blog entry described irrational and incorrect beliefs about President Obama abound among the Right. I suggested at the end that not only is it a just-plain bad idea to believe things that are verifiably untrue, it can also be deadly. Television station KDKA reports on a massacre in Pittsburgh which was fueled, apparently, by one such incorrect belief:

A man opened fire on officers during a domestic disturbance call Saturday morning, killing three of them, a police official said.

Friends said 23 year-old Richard Poplawski feared the Obama administration was poised to ban guns.

Three officers were killed.

Poplawski’s fear, of course — even if it were true — is not a valid reason to gun down three police officers. And at the moment, the possibility of mental illness causing this (i.e. Poplawski’s fear is actually the product of a paranoid delusion) cannot be ruled out.

Despite this, the fact is that there is no pending gun ban. Not only are there no pending plans of this sort, it would be very difficult to pull it off, given the Supreme Court’s decision last June in District of Columbia v. Heller, which interprets the right to own guns rather broadly. In order to put through a gun ban, Obama would have to get this decision reversed first — and given the Court’s makeup as well as the sluggishness of the federal court system, it would take years for this to happen. Obama could appoint “liberal” justices and “stack the Court,” however, it would take two or three replacements to accomplish this, and that isn’t going to happen any time soon.

People on the Right believe a lot of things about Obama, most of them untrue, or distorted (Obama has expressed sympathy for gun controls, but hasn’t made any moves in the direction of changing gun laws, much less the total ban that Poplawski thought was coming). It’s time for them to grow the hell up and stop mouthing off inaccuracies or untruths. One never knows who might hear these lies and act on them. Stop it already. We’ve reached the point where this raging immaturity simply can no longer be accepted. Grow up and face the truth.

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