It's all over your TV screen this morning: in Ross Township of Monroe County PA, a local with a long and acrimonious history with the township government shot up a township board of supervisors meeting, killing three people and injuring two others. He was eventually tackled by a couple of citizens and injured by a round from his own gun.
There are a number of issues here, including the right to be a scary-looking loner with a yard full of junk vs. public health and safety concerns* but as a high-profile shooting, it plays right into the anti narrative and the spin starts right at the source: a reporter from the local paper was at the meeting and escaped unscathed. His description? The people inside my TV quoted him as saying, "There were more than ten shots...it was automatic, like a string of firecrackers." (Emphasis mine)
No description of the weapons from police yet other than "a rifle" and "a handgun." But full-auto fire seems unlikely, and wouldn't sound like a string of firecrackers.
Expect renewed calls for magazine capacity limits and bans of "assault weapons" in the wake of this crime, even if he used a hunting rifle and a revolver.
* I'd like to think this is straightforward -- and then I trip over the notion of an old dead tire with a pool of water in it, full of mosquito larvae that are themselves full of West Nile virus and don't stop at the property line once they take to the air. Or, as appears to have happened here, living without any sort of sewage system, not even an outhouse. Where do you draw the line? In June, the shooter told a reporter, “If I lose this property, I have nowhere else to go.” And nothing else to lose, apparently.
T. R. MCELROY'S STREAMLINED TELEGRAPH KEYS
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