Tucson Shooter Comes from Long Line of Legal Gun Owner/Murders

Some are calling the NRA’s silence on last weekend’s Tucson massacre restraint or respect for the dead. But the NRA’s silence after gun massacres is nothing new.

After Sulejman Talovic killed five in Salt Lake City’s Trolley Square mall and Vincent J. Dortch killed three at the Philadelphia Naval Shipyard within days of each other in February 2007, the NRA was also silent.

Like Seung-Hui Cho, the Virginia Tech killer, Stephen Phillip Kazmierczak, the Northern Illinois University killer, Latina Williams, the Louisiana Technical College killer and Jennifer Sanmarco, the Goleta postal facility killer, Talovic and Dortch were legal gun owners.

Williams might have been living in her car, paranoid and delusional and giving her possessions away in suicidal gestures but she walked right into a New Orleans pawn shop and bought a .357 revolver and a box of ammunition the day before the shootings.

Talovic may have been a Bossnian immigrant required to show a piece of second identification but bought the murder weapon at Sportsman’s Fastcash, a pawn shop chain in Utah, with just one say investigators.

And remember the Psycho Santa? Bruce Pardo bought at least five guns within five months from a single gun dealer before killing nine on Christmas Eve in Covina, CA.

Other legal gun owners were Jiverly Voong, who killed 13 in Binghamton NY and was a frequent customer of Gander Mountain, and Richard Poplawski, who murdered three Pittsburgh police officers and bought his arsenal over the Web, according to his mother.

And don’t forget Terry Ratzmann, the Milwaukee church service killer, Chai Vang the Wisconsin hunter killer and Bart Ross, who killed a Chicago Federal judge’s husband and mother — all of whom sailed through background checks.

No matter how Halloween III the rampages become — Michael McLendon kills his mother, grandmother, uncle, two cousins, the wife and daughter of a sheriff’s deputy and three more in Alabama in 2009; Terry Sedlacek shoots and kills a pastor through the Bible he is holding at an Illinois church service the same year — NRA spin doctors induce a national genuflection over the “rights” behind the carnage.

“When you begin taking away the rights of people that you don’t like, that’s the slippery slope,” said NRA lobbyist Marion P. Hammer when the Sun Sentinel reported that valid concealed weapon licenses were issued to 1,400 probable felons including a man who shot his girlfriend as she cooked breakfast, a pizza deliveryman wanted for fatally shooting a 15-year-old over a stolen order of chicken wings and six registered sex offenders.

Nor should you take away the right to amass an arsenal like McLendon, Sedlacek, Poplawski, Voong, Oakland cop shooter Lovelle Mixon and Cathage nursing home killer Robert Stewart all maintained according to publisher reports, says the NRA.

Still it’s hard to miss increasing attacks on local politicians even before Tucson like the shooting of the Kirkwood, MO mayor, public works director and two city council members in 2009 and last month’s Panama City school board shooting.

And a brochure posted on the Web in 2007 shows the NRA’s crosshairs side.

The 27-page draft called Freedom in Peril attacks former New Orleans major Ray Nagin, Sen. Hillary Clinton, Katie Couric, Rosie O’Donnell, George Soros, Michael Moore and York City Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg with inflammatory drawings.

Menacing African-Americans and Asians are depicted as “the illegal alien gangs” and homeowners are shown shooting at invading gangs from rooftops.

It is joked that politicians who stand up to the NRA are also known as Unelected. But thanks to the NRA arming “people that you don’t like,” even pro-NRA politicians aren’t safe anymore.

Martha Rosenberg is a columnist/cartoonist who writes about public health. Her latest book is Big Food, Big Pharma, Big Lies (2023). Her first book was Born with a Junk Food Deficiency: How Flaks, Quacks and Hacks Pimp the Public Health. She can be reached at: martharosenberg@sbcglobal.net. Read other articles by Martha.

2 comments on this article so far ...

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  1. Rehmat said on January 18th, 2011 at 8:04pm #


    Michael Collins Piper believes that ADL was behind Arizona tragedy!


  2. Sheila Velazquez said on January 19th, 2011 at 7:08am #

    Martha has, once again, spent a lot of time doing research and little more. She has not suggested any solutions to the problem of guns falling into the wrong hands.

    The NRA supports the very legal Second Amendment. Most of these killings are the result of lack of enforcement of various laws, the violators of which have engendered these violent acts, and our failed mental health system. Perhaps we should be paying more attention to the roots of the problem and less time hoping it will just go away.

    What exactly does Martha expect the NRA to say? They are not responsible for our general lack of concern until an event occurs. And then it is used to advance various political and media agendas. And nothing changes.

    As for her reference to the 2006 NRA-produced “Freedom in Peril,” this is not a graphic novel, as her link/source contends, but a 16-page fundraising brochure that went to NRA members. If it is over-the-top, that is because its intent was to stir members into sending money. It can be viewed in its entirety at http://tinyurl.com/4vs9fbu.

    Yes, the graphics are extreme, but there is a great deal of truth in the message. The quotes from Soros were especially disturbing. I zoomed in and read it all. Did you, Martha?

    One quote I did like was this one:

    “The dirty secret of this day and age is that political gain and media ratings all too often bloom upon fresh graves.

    Today, carnage comes with a catchy title, splashy graphics, regular promos, and a reactionary package of legislation.

    Reporters perch like vultures on the balconies of hotels for a hundred miles around. Cameras jockey for shocking angles, as news anchors race to drench their microphones in the tears of victims.

    Injury, shock, grief and despair shouldn’t be ‘brought to you by’ sponsors. That’s pornography.

    It trivializes the tragedy, it abuses vulnerable people, and maybe worst of all, it makes the unspeakable seem commonplace.”

    – NRA President Charlton Heston