Each week, the Observer-Reporter asks Facebook friends to respond to a question about an issue in the news. This week, we asked,
“Supporters of a Rostraver Township police officer who is under scrutiny for taking an assault-style rifle to a March For Our Lives event last month will stage a rally in his honor this weekend. What are your thoughts on Martin Palla’s decision to attend the March 23 demonstration with an AR-15 strapped to his torso?”
Renee Marie Bakewell: He was only there to intimidate. Unless he walks down the street everyday with a rifle strapped to him. That is not protecting or serving. But there’s bad apples in every barrel. He should be fired.
Susan J. Hartger: It may not be illegal, but I think it was extremely disrespectful and rude.
Jeff Cadman: Common sense should always be applied by civil servants and the public alike. Of course, Officer Palls has the right to carry a weapon of choice, but discretion should be the better part of valor.
Chip Conklin: And that rifle didn’t hurt a single person, did it?
Tim Stewart: It has been common in this country for “counter-demonstrators” to appear at demonstrations. Particularly when some are demonstrating against the constitutional rights of others. He had not only the right to be there, but I feel the responsibility to represent those whose rights the unenlightened would take from others. A good man. I would like to shake his hand.a
Mike Maleta: Why is this an issue? It was legal. And I love you that say “military-style weapon.” Remember when muskets were “military-style weapons?”
Bob Runkle: He was legal in what he did. He stood up for his beliefs. He happens to be a police officer. So it’s news. Report the good he does every day all day. Rostraver has the finest officers there is. We should feel lucky, not complain if you don’t have the same beliefs. I happen to applaud him and the department he works for. Thank you for your service, guys.
Margie Carr: I’m sorry, but everyone has a right to protest. It was not loaded and had no magazine in it. Was harmless as a toy gun. Also guns don’t kill, people do! He was there peacefully and was not yelling at the other protesters. People need to get over it.
Tom Sprowls: There was nothing illegal in what he did. I don’t get how this is a topic of controversy.
Eric McGrosky: My daughter, Libby, and I attended the Pittsburgh march, and there was an individual there with a military-type weapon. The odds were in our favor at 30,000 to 1, but he needed four of Pittsburgh’s Finest to protect him. Please remember that if you are not in a militia the Second Amendment does not protect you ...
Patty Moats-Coddington: He had every right to carry that weapon!!!
Cathy Renninger Heinlein: He should be ashamed of himself for having no respect for others’ lives.
Kerri Braum: Are the protesters of “March For Our Lives” the only ones with constitutional rights anymore?
Mark Griffith: The U.S. Constitution gives a person the right to display any weapon type openly! Also the Constitution gives him the right to have a peaceful demonstration in the public! I commend him for standing up for U.S. citizens’ Second Amendment rights! Good job, Officer Palla!
John Bascovsky: He is standing up for our Second amendment rights. He didn’t do anything wrong.
Cris McDonough: He is lucky he wasn’t mistaken for a “bad guy with a gun” by a “good guy with a gun” and shot to death.
Laura Taylor Lisovich: This house stands behind him! He/we have as much right to express our opinions as they do!
Cliff Mcafee Jr.: He didn’t break the law. Who cares? The gun did not hurt anyone.
Jason Dhans: He was well within his rights.
Diana Sethman Burger: Let it rest.
John Matty: A true patriot!