Sunday, April 05, 2009

seeking words

It seems pretentious to even try and comment on the news from Stanton Heights. How small is Pittsburgh? I am almost sure Paul Sciullo was born when his family and mine lived literally right next to each other in Bloomfield long ago. I also once lived blocks away from the scene and without knowledge of what had happened earlier drove within a half dozen blocks later on Saturday morning.

It is a simple reminder that being a police officer is not just another occupation. While it’s not the only dangerous occupation out there, few jobs require facing these situations each and every day. From the news accounts this was an unfortunately routine call to a domestic dispute, one that I bet happens dozens of times a day if not more just within the city. That any routine incident can end like this is something the police live with every hour. I can’t help but recall what happened to my very good friend from high school, and former Pittsburgh Police Officer, John Wilbur. His even more routine traffic stop 13 years ago ended only after he was dragged down Fifth Avenue at high speed, hand caught in the door jamb of a fleeing suspect’s car while his foot was all but gnawed off by the pavement. Many know the story. The circumstances today are even more frightful. That any window could have a fully automatic AK47 sticking out of it puts every cop out there in an indefensible position. Without diminishing their own dedication, a squad of infantry typically goes into combat with layers of personal protective equipment, pre-arranged backup and mutual support at the ready. Beat cops spend their days infinitely more vulnerable. Consider that with only three deaths on Saturday, in a total force of 800 the Pittsburgh Bureau of Police had a much higher proportion of its personnel killed in action than the US military suffered last year despite prosecuting two wars against armed and dangerous adversaries.

9 Comments:

Anonymous Anonymous said...

I don't think that was a select fire AK. Most likely semi auto.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 11:37:00 AM  
Blogger Infinonymous said...

I believe it is important for you, and others, to comment because some questions need to be asked -- and answered.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 12:37:00 PM  
Blogger Michael Caton said...

Just dropping a quick line from Oakland, California, for obvious reasons. Be there for Pittsburgh and the families of the officers and hang in there.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 1:45:00 PM  
Anonymous DBR96A said...

This made the national news. It's the third shooting spree in the Pittsburgh area this decade. Difference is, cops were killed this time. Sad.

I'm no fan of Barack Obama, but this shooting heavily reinforces his comments about "bitter people who cling to guns and religion." Essentially, what Obama described was the Yinzer mentality taken to an extreme, and this gunman has the foundation of a quintessential Yinzer: a man of Polish descent who loves the Penguins and hates black people.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 8:31:00 PM  
Anonymous Pope John Paul II said...

Whoa whoa whoa! DBR96A, what are you talking about? What does his "Polish descent" have to do with anything? What a racist thing to say. If you were standing next to me I'd cap you with a loaded pierogi!

Seriously, think before you type.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 9:36:00 PM  
Blogger Matthew said...

It's ironic that this dude did all of this because he thought Obama was going to take his guns from him when his actions may well have increased the public outcry to take his guns anyway. Self-fulfilling prophecy.

It's sad that an idiot like this can actually kill people.

Sunday, April 05, 2009 9:44:00 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

DBR96A showed stupidity and bigotry all in one comment by taking shots at White European gun owners, (Polish people)and Penguin fans. DBR96A demonstrates the level of ignornance and state of denial that so many blacks and self hating whites embrace. But there are facts that cannot be denied and these are the facts that DBR96A ignorantly or deliberately fails to point out. Important facts clearly showing that most murderers and violent criminals in this country are by far black males and the vast majority of guns they commit their crimes with are obtained illegally. I suggest to DBR96A to move to Africa or to another non-white country if you find offense in white people or Polish People that enjoy Penguin hockey and own guns.. DBR96A can have all the HIV, FAMINE AND CRIME that those wonderful dark people that DBR96A finds no fault with incorporate into their more rightous and pure culture..

Tuesday, April 07, 2009 8:44:00 PM  
Blogger Infinonymous said...

Bigotry stinks.

The gun issues are more complicated. Not all gun owners or advocates are gun nuts, but pretending that dead police officers are not among the costs of unregistered assault weapons and other gun-nut causes is neither logical nor moral.

Wednesday, April 08, 2009 7:30:00 PM  
Anonymous Mike said...

I knew someone that was just about to become a police officer but decided no to. He was a bouncer at a bar and was sick of all the problems you have to deal with. Being a cop is not for everyone.

Thursday, September 27, 2012 10:34:00 AM  

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