The New, Ugly Surge in Violence and Threats Against Abortion Providers
November 28, 2015 6:00 AM   Subscribe

The deadly shooting at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic is part of a disturbing trend.
Three people were shot dead and nine injured Friday at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood clinic, the first time since 2009 that anyone has been killed in an incident linked to activity at an abortion clinic. The attack comes amid an exponential increase in threats and violence against abortion providers since the release of a series of viral—and widely debunked—videos.

Colorado Springs: a playground for pro-life, pro-gun Evangelical Christians: Anti-abortion rhetoric is not hard to find in the city where the ‘fortress-like’ Planned Parenthood centre is the subject of regular protests
The building has been likened to a fortress by anti-abortion campaigners and Friday’s attacks revealed that it is equipped with “safe rooms” for staff to shelter in the event of such an event. It also has an extensive security camera system.
While the attack remained ongoing, anti-abortion supporters took to Twitter to celebrate. And as the standoff continued on the ground, CNN brought on Congressman Adam Kinzinger, who previously compared Planned Parenthood to a Nazi concentration camp, to share his opinion on the attack.

Meanwhile, Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains released a statement on the "developing situation," saying in part:
"We don't yet know the full circumstances and motives behind this criminal action, and we don't yet know if Planned Parenthood was in fact the target of this attack. We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country. We will never back away from providing care in a safe, supportive environment that millions of people rely on and trust."
Some quick facts about the shooter (identified as Robert Lewis Dear, 57, from North Carolina), the shooting (Dear reportedly brought “devices” such as propane tanks to the scene), and the officer who died in the attack (Garrett Swasey, 44, also a volunteer pastor and former figure skating champion).
posted by the turtle's teeth (373 comments total) 73 users marked this as a favorite
 
Very well done post. I had thought about doing one, but this is much better. I really appreciate the Colorado Springs context.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:13 AM on November 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


So realistically, what is the likely hood of Mr Dear working out the details of his obsession all by himself in a private intellectual vacuum? Why can't something like the RICCO statute be used to work back up the chain and prosecute the upper levels of the clergy that are opportunistically using the rhetoric of hate to create a haze of craziness? Same with the Islamic clergy, which it sound like may begin to be addressed in Europe.
posted by sammyo at 6:14 AM on November 28, 2015 [44 favorites]


I'm not sure that there's any need to blame "the clergy" rather than the GOP.
posted by hydropsyche at 6:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [29 favorites]


Why can't something like the RICCO statute be used to work back up the chain and prosecute the upper levels of the clergy that are opportunistically using the rhetoric of hate to create a haze of craziness?

I assume because there is strong support for anti-abortion protest (though carefully not direct support for the violence) by elected politicians and presidential candidates, with the ability to put barriers in the way of this kind of prosecution. I agree that this would be an appropriate course of action, though; it is clear that there are networks of supporters now (just like in the earlier wave of violence some twenty years ago) that enable and encourage the perpetrators.
posted by Dip Flash at 6:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


...

The heart of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains is broken tonight as we try to make sense of the horrific tragedy that struck our beloved health center in Colorado Springs. Our thoughts are with the all those who were impacted and particularly the families of the two civilians and law-enforcement officer whose lives were lost. We are grateful to report that all our staff are safe and accounted for and are hoping for the best possible outcomes for the others wounded in this attack.

The information regarding the gunman's motive remains unknown as does whether Planned Parenthood was targeted deliberately. We maintain strong security measures and always work closely with law enforcement agencies to ensure our very strong safety record.

While our Colorado Springs health center will remain closed while we rebuild, our 28 other regional health centers will remain open, providing compassionate, high-quality health care. No matter what.

posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:19 AM on November 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


I eagerly await calls for moderate Christians to denounce Christian extremist terrorism and come up with plans to counter the threat of radicalization that plagues their co-religionists.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:20 AM on November 28, 2015 [324 favorites]




Dr. Willie Parker (previously), on Facebook.

We're settling in after an attack on yet another Planned Parenthood facility in particular, but on women in general. Our responses can and will run the gamut, silence being one of them, but as noted below I don't recommend it. I am happy that no Planned Parenthood staff were harmed, but I'm dismayed that anyone is still dying due to a refusal of ideologically driven extremists refusing to accept the agency of women. What are we going to do? Here are a few thoughts for an over-simplified scheme of what people should do based on which category they find themselves in:

1. People who provide abortion care have to speak up so that their friends and loved ones who care about them will have a vested interest in speaking out against this kind of terroristic action that is tacitly approved when we do nothing. As long as those who love us, our neighbors, and our religious communities don't know about what we do, they have no stake in acting politically on this issue's or otherwise. Our silence is killing us.

2. We who understand the need for abortion availability can no longer sympathetically stand with Planned Parenthood or any other facility that finds itself in the crosshairs of abortion extremism, we must act on behalf of women and reproductive rights. We must make sure that every political engagement we consider is filtered through our concern about impact on reproductive rights. We must, if we have to, vote primarily in the context of this issue alone. 's We cannot allow major political candidates to accept endorsement from abortion terrorists without penalty. The stark contrast between abortion extremism and democratic political change can only be made when in every way we engage the political system. That is in addition to our individual responsibilities to normalize abortion in every venue, not in an obnoxious way, but at the lunch counter, on the bus stop, at the kids play date, at Bible study, at temple, in every venue where it is reasonable to speak, and even in some places where it feels unreasonable to speak up.

3. The bigger task is for those who oppose abortion, or who have at least stated that they "have problems with it". I challenge you to mount a "Not in My Name" campaign. When abortion extremists "kill in the name of life", those who oppose abortion and yet who do not speak out against these extreme actions opposing the same, offer taciturn approval. After all, the extremists feel that they are doing what you want to happen and thereby they justify their means because you never expressed disapproval of them. Those who offer the flaming rhetoric quickly disavow that it was their intentions for this type of thing to happen, and yet Ted Cruz was able to accept the endorsement of Flip Benham who openly endorses assasination of abortion providers as justifiable homicide without a wrinkle. If you oppose abortion because you think that it is wrong because it ends life, then there is no justifying what happened in Colorado Springs yesterday by people who agree with you. Dr. Martin Luther King said that you have a moral obligation to be not cooperative with evil. What are you going to do?


Flip Benham, who Dr. Parker references there, has personally accosted me. Verbally, but it was scary nonetheless.

Please, please consider his words.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:22 AM on November 28, 2015 [90 favorites]


Time for a national register of evangelical Christians I guess.
posted by MattWPBS at 6:24 AM on November 28, 2015 [178 favorites]


Why do news reports keep contrasting the police with "civilians"? Police are not military.
posted by indubitable at 6:24 AM on November 28, 2015 [43 favorites]


Also, for those following along, here's the official Twitter hashtag.

I watched this unfold yesterday, live, for about 4 of the 5 hours when the shooter was active. It was so sickening how SO many people on Twitter were talking about how it was CLEARLY not an attack on PP, but merely a bank robber gone awry. I have worked at a PP. There's a reason why this PP had not only a safe room, but enough bulletproof vests for everyone in there.
posted by Stewriffic at 6:25 AM on November 28, 2015 [23 favorites]




I eagerly await calls for moderate Christians to denounce Christian extremist terrorism and come up with plans to counter the threat of radicalization that plagues their co-religionists.

Nothing says “shooter was white” like “shooter is in custody and uninjured.”
posted by tzikeh at 6:26 AM on November 28, 2015 [210 favorites]


"Somehow this has become routine." And the 11 other times Obama has had to make a speech after mass shootings.

*sighs*
posted by Fizz at 6:28 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


A pro-life terrorist? FUCK YEAH 'MURICA!

Also, obligatory.
posted by JohnFromGR at 6:30 AM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Civilian refers to people not in the military or police.
posted by girlmightlive at 6:35 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


White guy kills a cop and gets taken alive. Oh, whiteness in America, is there anything you can't do?
posted by rmd1023 at 6:35 AM on November 28, 2015 [70 favorites]


I see the point of the "white guy doesn't get hurt after murdering three people" comparison, but I think that it's important to remember that some press reports are saying he may have been wearing a bulletproof vest taken from the saferoom there, and also, taking the guy alive is WHAT WE WANT. We want that for all people.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 6:38 AM on November 28, 2015 [43 favorites]


So realistically, what is the likely hood of Mr Dear working out the details of his obsession all by himself in a private intellectual vacuum?

Who among us does anything in a private intellectual vacuum?
posted by Greg Nog at 6:38 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


donald trump
posted by pyramid termite at 6:39 AM on November 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


.
posted by lester at 6:40 AM on November 28, 2015


We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.

Yes. A thousand times yes.

I live just outside Paris. I go there at least twice a week, often more. I've only shared this with close friends until now, and feel so uncomfortable sharing it publicly (because I grew up in the States and know only all too well what it's met with), but will, nonetheless. There's a lot of "I" because I can only speak to my own experiences. But I wish it were shared. The positive realization that came from it, that is.

The past two weeks in Paris have shaken me to my core. Not just negatively, but positively. As some MeFites may recall, in 1998, my French teacher's son shot and killed her husband (a Spanish teacher), her, and kids at our high school. Since 1998, there have been more and more mass shootings. And there have long been abortion provider shootings... unfortunately I also have close knowledge of what goes into them, since my family were members of this sort of extremist evangelical church. There were a few in Eugene-Springfield. Still are. As a kid I was dragged in front of abortion clinics to hold signs such as "you could have killed me". Lovely. (That's biting sarcasm, in case that's not clear. I'm pro-choice.)

As a result, I know, intimately, the vicious circle of violence - guns - vengeance - more people should have guns - we need to teach children how to fear in schools so they hide - we should consider training teachers to kill - death, death, more death, more fear, just fucking death everyfuckingwhere. There are a lot of us who don't want this for the States, who know there's another way, who would like to see life rather than death everywhere. Because if you have a gun to defend yourself, that means you are preparing to kill. That is now part of your soul. Look – my father put a BB gun in my hands when I was six years old. I got a rifle when I was 12. I was a dead-eye. Never killed anything; didn't even have the heart to shoot slugs. (The gooey animals, not "slug" as a type of bullet.) I have friends who wanted to become policemen in high school (two of them did), and who excitedly put automatic weapons in my hands and told me to prove I was an American and shoot a target. I know what it is to have that in your soul. I know it's possible to choose it for protective reasons and train so that you think before shooting. And yet it is still on your soul. One of our neighbors was a policeman. One of our other neighbors was an abusive asshole. One day asshole took his wife and kids hostage and started shooting. Our neighbor policeman, and reinforcements who came, did their best to talk him out of it. Asshole neighbor put the gun to his wife's head. Our neighbor policeman shot him dead before the wife was hurt. He never recovered from killing a man he knew without doubt was an asshole, one we all knew was an asshole, one we all knew would have shot his wife and probably his kids. The guy saved that family's life. And still wishes he didn't have to kill him.

With the 13 November attacks in Paris, they experienced what we've become accustomed to in the States. Mass shootings of innocents. But their reaction... their reaction is of a different sort. The best summary is this video of father and son. It's not just him. It's the vast majority of people here. I know, because I see and hear it every day. There is a desire for a sort of revenge, but it is not personal, it is not "I am going to kill Daesh," it's "life goes on, there's so much to live for, thank goodness we have a government, trained military, and police forces who are willing to sacrifice themselves to protect us." Not said in those words, naturally, but that is the profound sense we all share, with very few exceptions. I'm only saying there are exceptions because I imagine there are; I have yet to meet any.

We're all living. There is no poison of violence. A risk of one, yes. But that godawful, soul-crushing poison of "guns! guns! they should have had guns at the Bataclan! more lives would have been saved!!!1one!1!!" is emphatically absent.

There are no words to describe what a balm to the soul it is. I only wish we knew that balm so profoundly in the States. My idealist side likes to believe it's powerful enough to be part of a force to stop the cycle we're in. Change it to a cycle that's humane and celebrates life. What's the point of living if you have to have an instrument of death in your pocket every day? If your children have to learn they could die in preschool? (Let's not say "we're not teaching them that, we're just teaching them to hide", we've all been kids, we know they're not stupid, they're able to figure out what the hiding lessons are for in time. Especially those of us who grew up learning to hide under our desks as part of nuclear bomb drills. By third or fourth grade we knew what death was and knew it was because we could die. But for us it was "the Soviets." For kids nowadays, it's people they probably know with guns people around them are always talking about.)
posted by fraula at 6:41 AM on November 28, 2015 [262 favorites]


roomthreeseventeen: taking the guy alive is WHAT WE WANT. We want that for all people.

No one's saying otherwise -- just pointing out that whiteness is what will currently ensure that that happens. Anything else, it's poor odds.
posted by tzikeh at 6:41 AM on November 28, 2015 [27 favorites]


and yet Ted Cruz was able to accept the endorsement of Flip Benham who openly endorses assasination of abortion providers as justifiable homicide without a wrinkle.

This is the Christianization of terrorism.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:44 AM on November 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


Yes - I in no way meant to say the guy shouldn't have been taken alive - alive to be put on trial and imprisoned after being found guilty.
posted by rmd1023 at 6:44 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


[A few comments deleted. Please drop the "there's no proof this had anything to do with Planned Parenthood" line; additionally, generally, everyone, this isn't a great place for sarcastic jokes.]
posted by taz (staff) at 6:45 AM on November 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


look at all the media presentations of people, because they have a "righteous" cause, can go ahead with guns blazing and defeat "the bad guys"

and then look at our various institutions and opinion makers who seem to have an endless supply of "bad guys" who are ruining the world

it's a short trip from those two influences to mass shootings
posted by pyramid termite at 6:47 AM on November 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


I'm actually really curious about how people who sympathize with Christian extremist terrorism are going to spin the murder of a cop who was also an anti-choice evangelical pastor. It sounds like they're going to pretend this had nothing to do with them, and it's just a coincidence that this guy attacked a Planned Parenthood, which seems unconvincing.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:51 AM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


It was so sickening how SO many people on Twitter were talking about how it was CLEARLY not an attack on PP, but merely a bank robber gone awry.

That "information" was broadcast by right-wing bloggers during the attack. They first went all in for some 4chan fake bullshit, then switched to "the shooter has been identified as (not Dear), most likely a robbery that went wrong". Of course, learning that all other details were wrong doesn't seem to keep people from sticking to "probably not PP" line.
posted by effbot at 6:53 AM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


God, sometimes I hate this fucking city so much. This is the second shooting spree relatively near me, albeit not in my freaking neighborhood, like the first. I keep thinking about moving, but thanks to the super-evangelical GOP spreading throughout the country, we've become more of a microcosm than an anomaly.

I can't wait to here about how these evil women with their selfish reproductive systems caused this poor guy to snap and kill a police officer. And I will hear it, if I'm stupid enough to leave the downtown area. If nothing else, some dimwit will paint an abbreviated version of the sentiment across the back windows of his truck.

Given that 911 refused to dispatched officers to the scene of the first shooting last month (before it happened) because it's perfectly legal to carry a rifle down a residential street, I don't think the powers that be here will be willing to make any changes to make us safer. After all, God works in mysterious ways and whatnot and holy shit I hate these fuckers.
posted by bibliowench at 6:55 AM on November 28, 2015 [47 favorites]


"Somehow this has become routine." And the 11 other times Obama has had to make a speech after mass shootings.

Statement from Obama:
The last thing Americans should have to do, over the holidays or any day, is comfort the families of people killed by gun violence — people who woke up in the morning and bid their loved ones goodbye with no idea it would be for the last time.

And yet, two days after Thanksgiving, that's what we are forced to do again.

We don't yet know what this particular gunman's so-called motive was for shooting twelve people, or for terrorizing an entire community, when he opened fire with an assault weapon and took hostages at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado. What we do know is that he killed a cop in the line of duty, along with two of the citizens that police officer was trying to protect. We know that law enforcement saved lives, as so many of them do every day, all across America. And we know that more Americans and their families had fear forced upon them.

This is not normal. We can't let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we 're going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.

May God bless Officer Garrett Swasey and the Americans he tried to save — and may He grant the rest of us the courage to do the same thing.
posted by zombieflanders at 7:07 AM on November 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


It was so sickening how SO many people on Twitter were talking about how it was CLEARLY not an attack on PP, but merely a bank robber gone awry.

This is standard operating procedure, at this point. Even if this guy left a manifesto explaining exactly his reasoning, you can expect the anti-choice crowd / evangelicals to be pushing the "we can never know his motives" angle, much like how a white supremacist murdering black churchgoers just can't be explained by any means.

The worst part is, they'll get away with it. Trump has proven beyond a shadow of a doubt that the media in this country is either unwilling or unable to push back against people who double down on blatant lies.
posted by tocts at 7:08 AM on November 28, 2015 [36 favorites]


Everyone who has called abortion murder and providers murderers has had a hand in creating a culture where this kind of thing is acceptable and to be expected. I consider them to be accessories.
posted by rtha at 7:12 AM on November 28, 2015 [107 favorites]


Speaking of "righteous causes," if you can spare the money, now would be a good time to donate hard to Planned Parenthood.

And if you have a relative or acquaintance who just posted some apologia for this attack to their Facebook wall, or who said some nasty things about women and reproductive rights over the Thanksgiving dinner table, note that you can make a donation to Planned Parenthood in their honour (yeah, yeah, I guess that would be "honor" for USians).
posted by mandolin conspiracy at 7:15 AM on November 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


I'm not sure that there's any need to blame "the clergy" rather than the GOP.

I'm not sure there's really any difference these days. When every GOP candidate has to prove their Christian bona fides and so many of the Christian clergy preaching politics from the pulpit they're almost completely interchangeable. They both share responsibility for this and all of the other terrorist attacks against women's healthcare providers like Planned Parenthood.
posted by tommasz at 7:16 AM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


We don't yet know what this particular gunman's so-called motive was for shooting twelve people, or for terrorizing an entire community, when he opened fire with an assault weapon and took hostages at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado.
I appreciate that this is true in some academic sense, but is there any real doubt about why Planned Parenthood was targeted by this man? I appreciate that the President has to walk a fine line in his public statements, but it doesn't help when this act of terror isn't identified as such.
posted by wintermind at 7:16 AM on November 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them.

FTFO.
posted by tzikeh at 7:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


.

And yes, it's probably always worth donating.
posted by col_pogo at 7:51 AM on November 28, 2015


Terrorists are a vanishingly tiny minority of pro-life people or Christians. I wish people would not do the collective guilt for terrorism thing, it's no more appropriate here than it is in a thread about Islamic Extremism.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:59 AM on November 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


it's no more appropriate here than it is in a thread about Islamic Extremism.

I disagree. If you are giving money to politicians who want to defund Planned Parenthood, or who demonize abortion care providers, that's economic terrorism, isn't it?
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:02 AM on November 28, 2015 [31 favorites]


Terrorists are a vanishingly tiny minority of pro-life people or Christians. I wish people would not do the collective guilt for terrorism thing, it's no more appropriate here than it is in a thread about Islamic Extremism.

uhh... Islamic terrorism?
posted by ennui.bz at 8:09 AM on November 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Terrorists are a vanishingly tiny minority of pro-life people or Christians. I wish people would not do the collective guilt for terrorism thing

Agreed, and I also think it's worth looking at how individual and particular representatives of specific Christian sects have given their blessing to violence and murder, and sanctioned them as tools in a holy war.
posted by MonkeyToes at 8:10 AM on November 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


i retain my rights to critique the people who make receiving an abortion unsafe in my state and in my country. it's a straight line from assholes like huckabee to the guy in colorado. we rightly don't blame all muslim people for terrorism done in the name of that religion, and i won't blame all christians for this terrorism, but i will sure as shit blame everyone who radicalized this guy which includes all the others who have gunned down, bombed, protested, voted against, and agitated against planned parenthood and abortion clinics in the streets or at the pulpit or the behind news desk or on the campaign trail or in their duty as lawmakers.
posted by nadawi at 8:15 AM on November 28, 2015 [106 favorites]


i also see no reason to combine anti-choice and christian as if they are inseparable groups. there are plenty of anti-choice people who aren't christians and plenty of pro-choice people who are christians.
posted by nadawi at 8:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [25 favorites]


If you are one of these folks, you are complicit.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:20 AM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I disagree. If you are giving money to politicians who want to defund Planned Parenthood, or who demonize abortion care providers, that's economic terrorism, isn't it?

If you fund people who incite violence that is definitely supporting extremism. Just giving money to people who want to defund is more likely to be simple peaceful political action.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:22 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Civilian refers to people not in the military or police.

No. Or at least, 'no, not for 99% of the history of the word.'

This language was co-opted after 9-11. This is journalism buying into and supporting the militarization of local police forces.
posted by j_curiouser at 8:22 AM on November 28, 2015 [67 favorites]


Just giving money to people who want to defund is more likely to be simple peaceful political action.

I'll agree to disagree with that.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:23 AM on November 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


Civilian refers to people not in the military or police.

This is incorrect but has grown into common usage with the militarization of the police forces in the United States. Like militarization, this usage should be resisted.
posted by LastOfHisKind at 8:24 AM on November 28, 2015 [45 favorites]


agitating to remove women (and other people with a uterus)'s rights to autonomy and remove access to affordable medical care is not peaceful political action.
posted by nadawi at 8:25 AM on November 28, 2015 [77 favorites]


Yes it is, all kinds of peaceful political action has bad results and calls for reductions in freedom. That a policy is bad does not mean people advocating for it are terrorists. A lot of more moderate Muslims believe some really awful ideas about women's freedom too, but I don't believe that makes them terrorists or violent.
posted by Drinky Die at 8:28 AM on November 28, 2015 [15 favorites]


This language was co-opted after 9-11. This is journalism buying into and supporting the militarization of

I don't have the knowledge or skills to craft an FPP on this topic but I recognize this as an increasing problem in media headlines. And there must be research out there that ties this increasing use of the language of violence creating an environment of heightened violence.

Some completely irrelevant uses that I've recently seen:

Fighting domestic violence
Battling maternal mortality
Combating disease
Surge against poverty

Like WTF has happened to English language media?
posted by infini at 8:29 AM on November 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Yeah, I don't have a whole lot of problem with calling these people terrorists. See, they want me to die for not living as they think I should, and they're willing to see me dead for seeking legal medical treatment. That's terrorism, buddy.
posted by palomar at 8:31 AM on November 28, 2015 [87 favorites]


Like WTF has happened to English language media?

Nah - War on Drugs, War on Poverty; c.f. George Carlin circa 1973. American English in particular has always been full of violence-oriented words being used as if they're positive forces.
posted by tzikeh at 8:35 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Exactly. People who think I do not have autonomy over my own body are not 'peaceful political protesters', no matter how they try to drape it in religious blather.
posted by winna at 8:38 AM on November 28, 2015 [62 favorites]


No staff were killed. I think this means he has killed his wife or girlfriend. If the third death they're counting is her pregnancy, this is going to the Supremes. Because if killing a fetus by gunshot counts as murder, aborting one must also be murder. This exact scenario is the forced-birth movement's dream.

Now is the time for the moderate Christian community to speak up against the insanity of the violent, extremist Christian sects.
posted by five fresh fish at 8:41 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Nearly all of the GOP candidates have used inflammatory and dehumanizing rhetoric regarding Planned Parenthood, including (but not limited to): barbarians, murders, terrorists, ISIS, Nazis, and tyrants. All of them were open to, if not enthusiastic about shutting down the government to get their way. One of them actually suggesting military force to shut down PP, and another (who is currently second in polls) was endorsed by a top anti-choice activist known for his viciousness. There may be "peaceful" opposition to PP and abortion, but in the current political climate it's been almost completely drowned out.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:42 AM on November 28, 2015 [46 favorites]


People poured out. Among them was Ms. Schilter, the woman at the grocery store. Her boyfriend, Jackson Ricker, 18, placed his arms around her waist and his chin on her shoulder and noted that Ms. Schilter had witnessed a different shooting a few weeks earlier when a heavily armed man shot and killed a bicyclist and two women in the downtown. “The first time she cried,” said Mr. Ricker, looking at his dry-eyed girlfriend. “She’s a veteran now.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 8:42 AM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Let us know when Muslim politicians like Reps. Keith Ellison and Andre Carson call Cecile Richards a new Hitler or something. Of course, considering that they both have 100% ratings from NARAL, I wouldn't hold my breath.
posted by zombieflanders at 8:48 AM on November 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


plenty of atheists in the manosphere are anti-choice. just because some people use (imo, an often incorrect reading of) their religion to justify their hateful views doesn't mean that their religion is important when determining if they're encouraging or engaging in terrorism with regard to access to comprehensive healthcare.
posted by nadawi at 8:50 AM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


[Drinky Die, you're doing that thing again, and we'd all prefer it if you stopped. Thanks.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 8:52 AM on November 28, 2015 [44 favorites]


You spend all summer saying that Planned Parenthood sells baby parts and this is what you get.
posted by shakespeherian at 8:55 AM on November 28, 2015 [90 favorites]


There is actually a common thread in the spread of terrorism from Al Qaeda, Daesh, etc. and the rise in domestic abortion-related terrorism, and that common thread is the politicization of religious principles. It's true that politics and religion have been intertwined for so long that it's sometimes hard to tell where one ends and another begins, but I do think we can come to a consensus here that neither the killing of non-believers by Muslim fundamentalists nor the violence against abortion providers by Christian fundamentalists are central to either faith, or in any way justified by a mainstream interpretation of either faith's religious texts.

Instead, these are the outcomes of politicians using religious fervor to further their political goals, which is why so many here are connecting things like the nakedly political use of the deceptively-edited Planned Parenthood video to incidents like this. No, Carly Fiorina didn't order anyone to commit this act of terror, but she did find it useful to marshal the emotional appeal of it for political gain. The same goes for Huckabee, Cruz, and anyone else who knowingly used it to motivate their base, and I for one have no problem extending that same principle to any Islamic political leaders who do the same. That doesn't mean anyone who responds to these emotional appeals is an accessory, but it does mean that those who make them and propagate them are knowingly tapping into an energy that can cause these kinds of events.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:13 AM on November 28, 2015 [56 favorites]


dear obama grow some fucking balls

We don't yet know what this particular gunman's so-called motive was for shooting twelve people, or for terrorizing an entire community, when he opened fire with an assault weapon and took hostages at a Planned Parenthood center in Colorado.

Yeah, we know his motive. And just call him a terrorist, a murderer, a thug. Not a "gunman".
posted by qcubed at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


It would be the height of hypocrisy for someone who is prolife to do what this man did, or to support what this man did.

If life has value in the womb, it has value period.


I condemn his actions, and I am prolife and a Christian.
posted by St. Alia of the Bunnies at 9:15 AM on November 28, 2015 [61 favorites]


Why do news reports keep contrasting the police with "civilians"? Police are not military.

Armed men wearing uniforms and boots who work for the government and (at a minimum) push civilians around are not civilians. You can quibble about definitions and invoke terms like "peace officer" but that's my world-view.
posted by Rash at 9:16 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]




Aside from donating to Planned Parenthood, you can support the scarce medical schools that train doctors on how to provide abortions.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 9:25 AM on November 28, 2015 [14 favorites]




The suspect accused of killing a police officer and two civilians at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs on Friday was a long way from home, according to law enforcement sources. The sources tell the Denver Post that the suspect, who surrendered after an hours-long standoff, has been identified as North Carolina man Robert Lewis Dear, 57.
[emphasis mine]
posted by Postroad at 9:26 AM on November 28, 2015


I really wish all y'all US Americans would stop using the term pro life. It really muddles the issues.
If you're against abortion rights, go ahead and say so, instead of implying that those who are pro-abortion rights are anti life or pro death.
posted by Too-Ticky at 9:32 AM on November 28, 2015 [74 favorites]


I strongly support Planned Parenthood and its work and hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences.
-bernie sanders
posted by nadawi at 9:32 AM on November 28, 2015 [51 favorites]


[Folks, the is-this-or-is-this-not endemic to Christianity discussion needs to end - it's not going anywhere pleasant and veers into the offensive more often than not.]
posted by restless_nomad (staff) at 9:36 AM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


The suspect accused of killing a police officer and two civilians at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs on Friday was a long way from home, according to law enforcement sources. The sources tell the Denver Post that the suspect, who surrendered after an hours-long standoff, has been identified as North Carolina man Robert Lewis Dear, 57. [emphasis mine]

Some news outlets are reporting that he was living in Hartsel, which is about a 90-minute drive from Colorado Springs.
posted by mochapickle at 9:39 AM on November 28, 2015


Some news outlets are reporting that he was living in Hartsel, which is about a two-hour drive from Colorado Springs.

I have to imagine there must be a slight amount of cognitive dissonance experienced when you have to drive that far to find someone to attack. Like, "Wait, are we winning already? Do I really have to do this?" But I guess the reality is that terrorism works and the previous attacks are a big part of the cause of that long drive.
posted by Drinky Die at 9:44 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I really wish all y'all US Americans would stop using the term pro life. It really muddles the issues.

If you're against abortion rights, go ahead and say so, instead of implying that those who are pro-abortion rights are anti life or pro death.


FFS. It's not a "US American" term:
The description "pro-life" was adopted by the right-to-life (anti-abortion) movement in the United States following the Supreme Court 1973 decision Roe v. Wade,[1] which held that a woman may terminate her pregnancy prior to the viability of the fetus outside of the womb and may also terminate her pregnancy "subsequent to viability ... for the preservation of the life or health of the mother."[8] The term "pro-life" was adopted instead of "anti-abortion" to highlight their proponents' belief that abortion is the taking of a human life, rather than an issue concerning the restriction of women's reproductive rights.
It really muddles the issues.

That's the point.
posted by Room 641-A at 9:45 AM on November 28, 2015 [17 favorites]


There's not much to Hartsel. There's a small village with dirt roads, houses kind of cobbled together, a gas station, a pretty sleepy bar. It's not unusual for people who live up that way to come down to the Springs for big grocery runs and supplies since we're the closest city.
posted by mochapickle at 9:49 AM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


It's frustrating that we don't know more. If this guy is not an anti-choice extremist, his choice of shootout spot is weird, to say the least. I assume that's why everyone's being so cagey; no proof this wasn't about some other issue, so nobody's saying it. It kind of implies the guy is either not talking or the cops are not willing to say yet, but I guess we'll find out one way or another.

(I'm going to be very surprised if he's not an antichoicer, but we have such an abundance of murderous armed assholes running around in this country, anything's possible).
posted by emjaybee at 9:51 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I was reading Judge Posner's (really great) 7th Circuit opinion striking down Wisconsin's admitting privileges requirement earlier this week and, for a moment, I thought maybe everything isn't hopeless bullshit.

Then this happens. It's hard to describe the mix of emotions I'm feeling. That the GOP candidates who stoked this fire have yet to issue any comment on this act of terrorism is just beyond the pale. That I have family members, coworkers, neighbors who support those candidates pains me to my core.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:57 AM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


What's the point of living if you have to have an instrument of death in your pocket every day?

Amen.

I grew up among people who said they believed abortion was some sort of state-sanctioned baby holocaust.

One of the main things that made me doubt that point of view was the realization that I was not willing, and nobody I knew was willing, to use violence to prevent these supposed baby murders.

It's not like these people are pacifists committed to nonviolence. They would applaud killing a school shooter to save children's lives. They clearly don't believe their own rhetoric that abortion is the same sort of thing.

I don't know how long that cognitive dissonance can persist. It seems like people eventually have to either admit abortion isn't murder or use violence to stop it. But I'm terrified of pushing that logic.
posted by straight at 10:04 AM on November 28, 2015 [21 favorites]


Room 641-A: It's not a "US American" term
Well, I've never heard it used by anyone who wasn't a US American. If your point is that not all US Americans use it, then of course that's true (and a good thing). But I don't think anyone else uses it.
I may be wrong though. It's been known to happen.
posted by Too-Ticky at 10:08 AM on November 28, 2015


So realistically, what is the likely hood of Mr Dear working out the details of his obsession all by himself in a private intellectual vacuum? Why can't something like the RICCO statute be used to work back up the chain and prosecute the upper levels of the clergy that are opportunistically using the rhetoric of hate to create a haze of craziness? Same with the Islamic clergy, which it sound like may begin to be addressed in Europe.

RICO is extremely hard to use to prosecute...meaning it's very fucking expensive. You pretty much have to have the power mapped out in an organization, and have people ready to accept that it is the way of the organization. And have that done before any crimes are committed.

Also, please don't call those motherfuckers who use Islam as a backdrop to their horrible actions, Islamic clergy. Their insistence that they are leaders of a non-ecclesiastical religion is at least defamatory to the religion.
posted by hal_c_on at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


this thread is filled with americans using anti-abortion and anti-choice. i'm not really sure what your point is...
posted by nadawi at 10:10 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


> God, sometimes I hate this fucking city so much.

I've spoken with locals that are troubled, shocked, and angry about this. Yes, every Saturday I walk past the protesters at that PP, but there are plenty of good people here.

Thank you to mochapickle and others who have reached out to make sure I was safe. It was only chance that I wasn't there Friday. I'm thankful for you good caring people.
posted by Monochrome at 10:11 AM on November 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


If your point is that not all US Americans use it, then of course that's true

No, my point is that the term is meant to be deliberately confusing so I think if you're going to complain about it muddying the water you should understand the context.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Our local paper explains the North Carolina thing a bit more. Apparently he enjoyed the isolation of a primitive cabin in the woods for a while.
posted by witchen at 10:13 AM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Here's what we know about Richard L. Dear right now.

Clearly a troublemaker, but nothing specific yet to pinpoint him specifically as an anti-abortion activist. But sometimes people like this are just looking for an excuse to do something violent.
posted by briank at 10:14 AM on November 28, 2015


I don't know how long that cognitive dissonance can persist.

I keep thinking we are at Peak Cognitive Dissonance and then things happen like a conversation I had with a conservative who was anti- all government programs. I knew he had gone to public school and mentioned that. He said "Well, I really didn't need anything I was taught past 5th grade." I mentioned his kids, who had college degrees. "Well, but they didn't really need that." Don't we as a country need people who can read and write? "Parenting is more important."

It's like walking through a funhouse; you keep bumping into distorting mirrors and losing your bearings.
posted by emjaybee at 10:16 AM on November 28, 2015 [28 favorites]


Donations are being doubled right now, please donate.
posted by aydeejones at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


Monochrome and I are taking turns warning each other about mass shootings nearby. (He kindly checked on me after the shootings several blocks from my house a few weeks ago.)

It's a weird time to be living here.
posted by mochapickle at 10:17 AM on November 28, 2015 [16 favorites]


I was thinking yesterday about this lunacy and this is the idea I came up with:

They are threatened at their core that anyone who isn't like them might have the ability to choose a control of their lives that these terror-filled terrorists can't take away from them. Under their declaration of piety is the pitiful whine of "but you aren't listening to me". Clinic Shooters and their allies, ISIS, pick-up artists, GamerGaters, the violent monks in Sri Lanka and hateful ones in Myanmar... All of them fearing that the right to disagree with them makes them irrelevant and they use the one thing that always makes the news to feel people are paying attention to them: violence.

And since the policy will always be "if it bleeds, it leads", I'm not sure what we can do.
posted by mephron at 10:18 AM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


Greg Nog: "So realistically, what is the likely hood of Mr Dear working out the details of his obsession all by himself in a private intellectual vacuum?

Who among us does anything in a private intellectual vacuum?
"

True - The Republican Party is a public intellectual vacuum.
posted by symbioid at 10:20 AM on November 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


If you are giving money to politicians who want to defund Planned Parenthood, or who demonize abortion care providers, that's economic terrorism, isn't it?

If Obama had a pair of balls, he'd enforce Title III of the Patriot Act against Christian terrorists and the people funding them and their mission, however indirectly, and launch drone strikes on their operations. Because that's how America deals with terrorism, or at least the non-white kind.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 10:35 AM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


Exactly; how can you be a loner when you're not even the first assbag randomly murdering people in town this year?
posted by emjaybee at 10:36 AM on November 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


If Obama had a pair of balls

NB please stop equating masculine genitalia with courage or forthrightness.
posted by shakespeherian at 10:38 AM on November 28, 2015 [115 favorites]


Looks like my blind guess is getting more and more wrong. Which is a great relief.
posted by five fresh fish at 10:39 AM on November 28, 2015


Shades of Eric Rudolph, sadly.

I dread hearing sympathy for this man from right wing coworkers, but I know that will happen, just like it did for Rudolph.
posted by rock swoon has no past at 10:40 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


People who talk of state sanctioned murder and genocide to describe abortion need to own this. You can't say that then condemn as crazy someone who carries this logic to it's obvious conclusion. Shootings like this are a natural consequence of mainstream GOP rhetoric.
posted by [expletive deleted] at 10:45 AM on November 28, 2015 [25 favorites]




Pro-life, pro-choice, both bullshit terms. Speak clearly with anti-abortion and pro-abortion.
posted by save alive nothing that breatheth at 10:56 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think pro-choice is a fine term. I get to choose what to do with my body, be it using an IUD, or saying no to a man who won't use a condom, or getting an abortion. My body, my choice.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 10:57 AM on November 28, 2015 [91 favorites]


Considering that many people who are against abortion are also opposed to at least some forms of birth control, I think using pro-choice for the other side is quite fitting.
posted by LindsayIrene at 11:02 AM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


Speak clearly with anti-abortion and pro-abortion

But I already am speaking clearly when I call myself pro-choice, because that's what I am.
posted by palomar at 11:02 AM on November 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


It was probably a troll, but few people are pro-abortion, while many are pro-right to have one. Probably most people that are pro-choice also support sex education and other things that reduce abortion rates overall.
posted by snofoam at 11:02 AM on November 28, 2015 [16 favorites]




The violence is scary, but I am actually more scared by how nothing seems to change afterward. It feels like many many people are comfortable tolerating it and prefer not to change anything. The lives that are lost are expendable to them. That deeply unsettles me.
posted by prefpara at 11:07 AM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


There's not much to Hartsel.

Besides one hell of a nasty speed trap. Not that it's germane to the discussion, but if anyone is driving from the Springs to the mountains, slow down at Hartsel.
posted by bibliowench at 11:08 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Officer Killed During Shooting at Colorado Planned Parenthood Was Pro-Life Pastor

I'm not sure why this matters, if it's true, which I'm not sure I believe a Christian website to be. When it came down to it, this man put his life on the line, and lost his life, for the people in this clinic.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:09 AM on November 28, 2015 [20 favorites]


Pro-life, pro-choice, both bullshit terms. Speak clearly with anti-abortion and pro-abortion.

Oh FFS, enough with the false equivalence, "both sides are equally bad/liars/etc" crap. One can be pro-life and anti-abortion (for themselves) and still be pro-choice, because the point is that it's about personal autonomy. Anti-choice is a good descriptor for those that don't believe in that autonomy, and demonstrates the opposition to pro-choice extremely well.
posted by zombieflanders at 11:21 AM on November 28, 2015 [65 favorites]


if it's true

Here is a New York Times link with the same information. It's a good read.

Garrett Swasey, Officer Killed in Colorado, Is Recalled for Courage and Faith

Based on what I have read about him so far, this guy seems like he was a great example of the sort of person who should be in policing. I wish there were more like him.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:25 AM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


People who talk of state sanctioned murder and genocide to describe abortion need to own this. You can't say that then condemn as crazy someone who carries this logic to it's obvious conclusion.

My big fear is that it's not cognitive dissonance, that the reason anti-abortion folks don't turn to violence is not that deep down they know abortion isn't the same thing as murder, but rather that they're cowards who want someone else to shoot the abortionists and deal with the consequences.
posted by straight at 11:27 AM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]




People who talk of state sanctioned murder and genocide to describe abortion need to own this. You can't say that then condemn as crazy someone who carries this logic to it's obvious conclusion.

My big fear is that it's not cognitive dissonance, that the reason anti-abortion folks don't turn to violence is not that deep down they know abortion isn't the same thing as murder, but rather that they're cowards who want someone else to shoot the abortionists and deal with the consequences.


People generally turn to violence when they perceive it as the only possible option, even when they see serious ongoing abuses occurring. Most of the pro-life movement perceives the movement as having a chance of success through non-violent means. Considering the vast political power of the Republican party, they are right to see that as a realistic scenario.
posted by Drinky Die at 11:35 AM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Most of the pro-life movement perceives the movement as having a chance of success through non-violent means.

The point being that political and economic terrorism are just as bad and should be admonished similarly.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:37 AM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Pro-life, pro-choice, both bullshit terms. Speak clearly with anti-abortion and pro-abortion.

Well, no. I support anyone's uncoerced choice to refuse an abortion for whatever reason is meaningful to them. The same cannot be said for people who think that abortion should be illegal.
posted by gaspode at 11:44 AM on November 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


I'm not pro-abortion, since in an ideal world as I see it, no one would need an abortion.
I'm pro-abortion rights.
posted by Too-Ticky at 11:48 AM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


I'm not pro-abortion, since in an ideal world as I see it, no one would need an abortion.

There are always going to be people who need access to abortion care. Saying that in a perfect world nobody would need one implies a weird judgment about abortions being for people who are uneducated and irresponsible. You can be educated, responsible, and still need an abortion.
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:55 AM on November 28, 2015 [57 favorites]


People generally turn to violence when they perceive it as the only possible option

Or when they are:

a. continually incited to do so,
b. already consider their target as inferiors/bad people, and
c. have ready access to guns.

Those things have a lot to do with it also.

Men who attack clinics have plenty of other options, including the option to do nothing; after all, as men, abortion has zero impact on their day-to-day lives.

They just don't find those options as satisfying as violence. But violence is hard to justify in our society, so you need an excuse. Everyone loves babies! So you wave your semantic wand, turn the fetuses into babies, the workers and patients into baby-killers, and now you're not a murderer, you're a hero.

No babies will actually be saved, of course. Especially if they manage to get born. Because then any needs they have--food, shelter, schooling, medicine--becomes an outrageous claim on Our Hero's hard-earned tax money. It's not his baby, lady! You're the one who should have abstained from ever having sex, or getting raped, or getting sick, forever rather than risk ever needing his help.

All hail Fetus Saving Man, for he is here to use your reproductive needs into an excuse to grind all you bitches into the dirt a little more so he can put himself back in the spotlight where he belongs.
posted by emjaybee at 11:58 AM on November 28, 2015 [134 favorites]


Press conference going on right now. Mayor Suthers, Gov. Hickenlooper, the federal attorney, the sheriff's office.

The reports have lots of questions (are they considering this an act of domestic terrorism, was there a known threat, where exactly it started, information on the shooter) but the standard answer is that investigations are underway. There's a court hearing on Monday.
posted by mochapickle at 12:04 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Terrorists are a vanishingly tiny minority of pro-life people or Christians. I wish people would not do the collective guilt for terrorism thing, it's no more appropriate here than it is in a thread about Islamic Extremism.

Yes, obviously that's true of Christians and Muslims both. However, that should not be the go-to shield phrase for the people that are encouraging this bullshit. I see (in general) Muslims using it in good faith to combat knee-jerk racism and religious bigotry. I see (again, in general) Christians using it to deflect attention from their own culpability in this.

Pro-life, pro-choice, both bullshit terms. Speak clearly with anti-abortion and pro-abortion.

It's generally good policy to define yourself not by what you're against, but by what you're for. Don't just be a complainer, what's your vision? That said, "pro-life" is a nasty intentional obfuscation and "pro-abortion" is that same side's intentional mischaracterization of the pro-choice position.
posted by ctmf at 12:16 PM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


They're not pro-life; they're pro-birth. As a group (with individual exceptions), they are generally against contraceptives and for the death penalty, and have nothing harsh to say about the police who keep killing unarmed young black men.

They're not in favor of measures that protect or nurture life; they're in favor of measures that force more women to give birth.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:29 PM on November 28, 2015 [70 favorites]


Some of the talk here seems to assume the woman who was killed/everyone in the clinic was there for an abortion, which isn't true. They are all women seeking reproductive medical services, some of which are taking care of women who are pregnant so their children can grow up to be healthy.

Our language about PP needs to include all of the services they provide, because it isn't just a place that abortions happen and has never been.
posted by AlexiaSky at 12:32 PM on November 28, 2015 [94 favorites]


The idea that there is a religious component to this attack that can be traced back to Biblical principles as described in the Bible and as interpreted by Christian institutional practice over the millennia is more or less wrong. The doctrine among American Protestants that abortion is murder is only slightly older than I am — as always, Slacktivist is an excellent source for documentation of this forgotten shift in Protestant practice. As Slacktivist argues (and I believe, even though I was a little too young to live through it myself), American Fundamentalist Protestants picked up opposition to abortion rights as an organizing principle only after it was no longer generally acceptable to publicly embrace white supremacy as an organizing principle. In between the end of public endorsement of white supremacy and the refocusing on opposition to abortion, American Fundamentalist Protestants tried a bunch of other organizing principles (most notably opposition to divorce), but for various reasons none of these worked as well as a concept to rally around as opposition to abortion rights was.

One thing that Slacktivist doesn't really get into, that I would like to add to this conversation, is the gradual shift that's happened from "quickening" to "conception" as the metric for understanding the start of life. As I understand it, classically in the Christian world the start of life in legal terms has been understood to coincide with the first tangible motions made by the fetus in the womb, rather than with conception (which in its details was unknown before modern medical technology). Quoting Blackstone, stolen from Wikipedia:
Life... begins in contemplation of law as soon as an infant is able to stir in the mother's womb. For if a woman is quick with child, and by a potion, or otherwise, killeth it in her womb; or if any one beat her, whereby the child dieth in her body, and she is delivered of a dead child; this, though not murder, was by the ancient law homicide or manslaughter. But at present it is not looked upon in quite so atrocious a light, though it remains a very heinous misdemeanor.
As Blackstone has it, before quickening, life from conception is not a subject for "contemplation of law" — before quickening the fetus is not detectable as a separate thing, specifically detectable as a separate thing by a person (read: a man) who isn't actually the person baking up the fetus inside her, and so the law can't speak to what happens to that fetus. Today, of course, we have medical technology that allows us to detect fetuses before quickening, and so armed with modern technology, American Protestants have devised a modernist, technological version of life that starts at conception rather than at quickening.

Why do I refer to this as "modernist" and "technological"? Is it just because it is a doctrine that depends upon modern technology for its formulation? I mean, one could instead argue that the doctrine that life starts at conception rather than quickening is not modernist in its essence, but is instead just an application of modern technology to fine-tune an ancient doctrine (this argument goes something like "we thought quickening was the important thing, we know better now though, and so we've come to understand that conception is the thing that matters"). The reason why I reject this idea is that the new doctrine, that presents a zygote containing instructions for making a baby as itself being a baby, treats humans as a form of information rather than a type of material.

Essentially, what I am saying is that by treating a fertilized human ovum as "living" and "human" in ways that a sperm cell or an egg cell by itself is not, one is saying that a given thing is human and living if it has all of the genetic information required to build a human, should that information be placed in the right context (which is to say, implanted in a human uterus). The actual many-months-long work of knitting together materials in accordance with that genetic information is ignored in this model — once you have the instructions in place for making a human, you have a human, regardless of whether or not those instructions are carried out. This is a very Star Trek idea of what it means to be a person. A person, in this model, is a pattern, in this case a genetic pattern, just like Picard, Riker, Kirk, and all of the other Star Trek characters who regularly travel via teleporters (that break them down into a pattern and then re-assemble them with different materials elsewhere) are best understood as specific patterns of material, rather than as material in and of themselves.

I hold that the "life starts at conception" model of life, that presents life as a set of instructions rather than a specific, embodied, material entity, is in fact of itself anti-woman, anti-worker, and anti-human. I say this because it neglects the role of work in the making of a human, specifically the grueling, health-wrecking, dangerous work done by women's bodies in realizing a baby through following the fertilized zygote's instructions for babymaking. Because the (fundamentally Platonist) "life from conception" model presents instructions as perfect and complete in and of themselves — as already alive — the only contributions the mother makes are understood as negative. By doing the wrong thing, or eating the wrong thing, or aborting the process of baby-making, a woman might screw up her baby, but all of her positive work done in turning a set of instructions into a real baby is ignored. This is because the baby is already real, in this model, even when it's just a set of instructions and not much else. No woman required, at least not once she's provided the half-set of instructions found in her egg.

It is a fantasy of rulers everywhere that their commands make themselves present in the world automatically — the ruler says it, and it is done — rather than only being made real in the world through the labor of real people. The old-fashioned critical theory term for this concept is "logocentrism." The idea that the instructions for making a person contained within a zygote actually already is a person is patriarchal logocentrism at its finest; the word of the man, in the form of a man's sperm sown into a woman's body, is what defines a person, even though the act of sowing is a short and pleasant process, while the act of actual baby-making is long, grueling, painful, and dangerous.

This is a very long way of saying that I think that the doctrine that life begins at conception is itself deeply anti-human, and so we should not be surprised at all when that doctrine breeds murderers who are angered by the idea that actual women do most of the work of actually making babies, and so must have decision-making power over that process. Power up to and including the decision to not follow instructions and abort the program contained within zygotes and fetuses before that program results in an actual complete material human.

I'm not a Christian — I've said before that I've got a cordial dislike for Christian institutions and Christian metaphysics, although I think Christian ethics can be very, very good. I hope that my Christian comrades can organize to fix this regressive, anti-human flaw in their conceptualization of what it means to be a person, a flaw that comes more from the viciously patriarchal nature of so many their institutions rather than from the (often surprisingly anti-misogynist) nature of their ethical teachings.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:48 PM on November 28, 2015 [234 favorites]


Thank you, AlexiaSky. I forget that many people refuse to acknowledge Planned Parenthood's, well, parenthood services. I got my prenatal care for my first pregnancy at Planned Parenthood. At any given time, many of the pregnant women--most, I'd expect--at any Planned Parenthood office are there for some form of prenatal care or birthing classes.
posted by ErisLordFreedom at 12:49 PM on November 28, 2015 [10 favorites]


(and on lack of preview: AlexiaSky points out that most of the people at the PP attacked by this terrorist weren't present for abortion services. I think maybe the right-wing understanding of PP as an sinister abortion mill can also be at least in part traced back to their idea that instructions, in the form of a fertilized zygote, are themselves a baby. All the aspects of baby-making other than fertilization are alien to them, and so all of the work involved in women's reproductive health is likewise alien to them. The unstated argument in their heads goes something like "because zygotes are babies, the only reason you'd go to PP is if you want to kill a baby.")
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 12:51 PM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


They're not pro-life; they're pro-birth.

Well, see, that's the problem with that side and the "don't be anti-something, be pro-something" theory. What ARE they 'pro'? It's so internally inconsistent no matter what they choose. Truth is, they don't know what they're for, they're just against abortion, period, mental off-switch.

I wonder where they are on age of consent law?
posted by ctmf at 1:01 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


WaPo: Alleged gunman was adrift and alienated
posted by mochapickle at 1:03 PM on November 28, 2015




> What ARE they 'pro'?

Patriarchy.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 1:07 PM on November 28, 2015 [37 favorites]


As far as terminology, I tend to feel that "Forced Pregnancy" is the label to use for those who oppose abortion, rather than pro-life, anti-choice, etc.

"Do you think abortion is bad?" isn't really the question, is it? The question is "Do you think people should be forced to remain pregnant against their will?", to which I humbly submit that if your answer is "yes" you should fuck off forever.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 1:07 PM on November 28, 2015 [75 favorites]


I wonder where they are on age of consent law?

I believe that in general pro-life people are in favor of age of consent laws.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:39 PM on November 28, 2015


Is there any resource with a timeline of what happened? I'm having trouble understanding how it went from initial reports of 4 wounded to 3 dead.
posted by srboisvert at 1:41 PM on November 28, 2015


Planned Parenthood shooting timeline
posted by Drinky Die at 1:45 PM on November 28, 2015


Regarding "forced pregnancy," the ready-made response there is, "I sure as hell didn't force her to get pregnant. But she has to live with the consequences of what she done." And after a bit more brainstorming an equally horrific countermeme is unveiled and put into widespread use. A battle of simple mean soundbites is tantamount to playing on the opposing team's field. Their stock-in-trade. Anyway, does anyone ever get swayed by these things? At best maybe people pat themselves on the back and steel their own resolve. I don't think out-pithy-sloganing the conservative movement is ever going to work as long as the media remains firmly in its thrall.

Because the (fundamentally Platonist) "life from conception" model presents instructions as perfect and complete in and of themselves — as already alive — the only contributions the mother makes are understood as negative. By doing the wrong thing, or eating the wrong thing, or aborting the process of baby-making, a woman might screw up her baby, but all of her positive work done in turning a set of instructions into a real baby is ignored.

That's so thought-provoking, You Can't Tip A Buick. I don't know if it's a common interpretation or original to you, but thank you for it.
posted by xigxag at 2:10 PM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


They're not pro-life; they're pro-birth. As a group (with individual exceptions), they are generally against contraceptives and for the death penalty, and have nothing harsh to say about the police who keep killing unarmed young black men.

This is a really important point that cannot be shouted loud enough or often enough (and it doesn't even mention the fact that these people also tend to be strongly in favor of aggressive military action and strongly against government programs that would help poor and/or homeless people survive and lead better, longer lives). The people who like to call themselves "pro-life" are in fact more ANTI-life than almost any other group of people in the country.

Of course, they'd bristle at being called "anti-life" no matter how true it is, so I think it's reasonable to meet them in the middle and just call them anti-abortionists, which I think everyone can agree on.
posted by IAmUnaware at 2:33 PM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


Local news: Colorado Springs Police Chief Pete Carey says the identities of the two civilians who were killed would not be released until their autopsies were completed. He expected that to be Monday.
posted by mochapickle at 2:49 PM on November 28, 2015


I won't link to an active fundraiser, but I just donated to Officer Swasey's family. Despite his political/religious beliefs, he died serving and protecting a Planned Parenthood office. That is exactly the type of person who should be a police officer. During this particular period in US history, it's so much more heartbreaking to learn of a good cop only upon his death.
posted by Ruki at 2:49 PM on November 28, 2015 [19 favorites]




I think that the GOP has made it painfully clear that there is no cost to lying.
posted by qcubed at 2:55 PM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


To avoid any hair splitting about pro- anti- whatever, I usually just restate my standard line:
any time, for any reason, at no cost
I believe that's fairly unambiguous.
posted by klanawa at 3:07 PM on November 28, 2015 [19 favorites]


This dude has a lot of new info right now.
posted by Stewriffic at 3:11 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Namely (in reverse chronological order, via twitter)

Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives, Colorado Bureau of Investigation, Federal Bureau of Investigation involved

Agencies involved: Colorado Springs Police, El Paso County Sheriff's Office, University of Solorado at Colorado Springs

8 law enforcement officers injured. Five with gunshot wounds. All are in good condition, expected to recover.

300 people were sheltered in place between King Soopers and nearby businesses, according to press release

24 people were evacuated from Planned Parenthood. They were unharmed

Four non-law enforcement taken to hospital are all in good condition.

Three additional Colorado Springs police officers injured, not from gun shots wounds, according to press release.

Update on shooting Friday: Four officers with Colorado Springs Police, one with El Paso County Sheriff's Office injured with gunshot wounds
posted by Stewriffic at 3:12 PM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


After being arrested suspect said to officers: "no more baby parts."

Carly Lied, People Died.
posted by zombieflanders at 3:27 PM on November 28, 2015 [60 favorites]


Dear certainly seems anti-life.
posted by Smedleyman at 3:33 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Nancy Kerrigan Recalls Skating With Mass. Native Killed In Planned Parenthood Shooting

“He’s still in my heart like a little brother. A true friend (and a) very loyal, caring person and a good listener,” she says. “My heart goes out and breaks for them all.”

“He was passionate about everything. Everything done with a great big smile, and he had fun in life,” Kerrigan said.

posted by Drinky Die at 3:40 PM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]


First the right wingers on Twitter said we were wrong to suspect this was an attack on PP, instead they suggested it was a robbery gone bad. Now they are blaming possible mental illness in the shooter. They refuse to even consider how their actions and policies created this event.
posted by humanfont at 4:27 PM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


Mental illness is a given, but if the reporting about what the suspect said proves true, then it was mental illness exacerbated by the lies and hysteria drummed up by the right wing. From Carly fiorina and her absurdly violent fiction spouted in national tv, to Ted Cruz accepting endorsements and money from people who say that all abortionists, women who have had abortions, and of course the homosexuals, should be sentenced to death, they all bear culpability. Every right wing radio host who goes off on the Planned Parenthood fictions, every host who talks about how liberal social policies are destroying the (white male) way of life, is partially responsible.

Every human who intentionally poisons the well, every single one, bears the karmic burden of these people's deaths.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 4:51 PM on November 28, 2015 [13 favorites]


It's amazing how quickly the new narrative gets picked up across different platforms, entirely superseding the previous story in a matter of hours. It would be a fascinating thing to study if it weren't for the contempt it shows for those who died.
posted by howfar at 4:51 PM on November 28, 2015 [4 favorites]




Mental illness is not a given. Some people are just assholes.
posted by indubitable at 5:23 PM on November 28, 2015 [33 favorites]


Mental illness is not a given

It's a distraction, certainly. Mentally ill people ought not be absolved of planning terrorist acts, so whether he was or wasn't, doesn't matter, no matter how frequently it is bound to come up.
posted by mittens at 5:34 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Violent misogyny is not a mental illness.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 5:39 PM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Violent misogyny is not a mental illness.

I wish we would classify it as such, and consider it aberrant, and spend millions in research on treating and preventing it. I wish it was seen as dysfunctional and dangerous. I wish we would work toward a Cure for Violent Misogyny like we work toward a cure for cancer.
posted by jaguar at 5:45 PM on November 28, 2015 [38 favorites]


The additional problem with talking about this as a mental illness issue is that it means those people who do suffer from mental illness wind up being implicitly associated with acts of mass murder and violence. As far as I'm concerned, pointing to mental illness at a time like this is as misleading as placing the blame squarely on religion - as with religion, even if it may somehow be a factor, there are undeniably larger and more significant factors in the social and political spheres that actively encourage and abet this kind of terrorism.

Mental illness is a distraction from the question that needs to be asked about why there is still a platform for political and social leaders to encourage and celebrate acts of domestic terrorism.
posted by teponaztli at 5:48 PM on November 28, 2015 [14 favorites]


Look, whether we like it or not, mental illness is going to be the narrative frame, so if we can put aside quibbles about that, and focus more instead on how the right wing is specifically targeting their message at a certain subset of human who is unbalanced enough to act on what they say, then we are no longer allowing them to draw the line in the narrative.

Most people believe that only a disturbed or insane person could commit this sort of terrorism. Fighting that conception cannot get in the way of fighting the larger battle of how unhinged the right wing rhetoric has become, and how it is impacting some unstable people who are their direct audience.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 6:11 PM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


part of pushing back against the mentally ill framing is that mentally ill people are far more likely to be victims of violence, not perpetrators, so if we give in to "well he's mentally ill..." we're giving cover to people who would discriminate mentally ill people using stories like this to justify it.
posted by nadawi at 6:14 PM on November 28, 2015 [34 favorites]


Questions for Carly?
posted by dirigibleman at 6:15 PM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


I eagerly await calls for moderate Christians to denounce Christian extremist terrorism and come up with plans to counter the threat of radicalization that plagues their co-religionists.

If that whole quantum universe theory entertainingly portrayed by Worf is true then this did happen in another quantum universe. Once again I ask myself, far to frequently, why can't I be the version of me in THAT quantum universe?
posted by juiceCake at 6:16 PM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


Leave It To Fox News To Blame President Obama For Planned Parenthood Shootings (VIDEO)

It's asinine how these people fall all over themselves to find some way to blame their ideological enemies for this act of terrorism.
posted by Drinky Die at 6:26 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Mental illness is a broad category representing a range of symptoms. Until we know specifically what mental illness/es he has and how they influenced his behavior; we should be careful in blaming this incdent on mental illness.
posted by humanfont at 6:28 PM on November 28, 2015 [2 favorites]


I'm so fucking sick of the pro-life movement having that tacit "...or we'll kill you" on the end of their sentences.
posted by Pope Guilty at 6:33 PM on November 28, 2015 [8 favorites]


I want to disagree with jaguar for a moment, and I hope this isn't a derail, but it's something that I think about every time we have one of these killings, where mental illness is mentioned.

How we classify a person like this determines where we think we can look for a solution. If Dear is mentally ill, then we must look to psychiatry, to the research that has already been done on violence, that remains to be done. But what evidence is there that we should put faith in psychiatry to give us the answers we need here? Psychiatry has had its entire history to study the problem of violence; it has existed through violent antisemitism, anti-black violence, violent misogyny, every permutation of evil that the modern world has come up with. Where are the answers? Or I should say, where are the practical answers, since there will be no long-term hospital admissions for the ill who may become violent, and there is no pill to remove the violence. What does psychiatry have to offer us?

Can we look to education? Because certainly anyone who makes a remark about the urban myth about baby body parts for sale is stupid. Ignorant, in a way that beggars belief. In a willful way, a way that looks at the possibility of reasonable explanation ("the video was doctored for propaganda purposes!") and sets that aside in favor of the irrational. But how does education help? What's it to do? The man has already been through school. Are we to send him back? Kindergarten? Media studies 101, to tell propaganda from truth? Some ethics class where he will believe that human life is precious and should not be ended at the point of a gun? Biology class so he'll learn what exactly happens during development, and see what kind of bloody goo he was prepared to defend the rights of by shooting adults? The information is already there, though, it's free for the taking, we are already educated, and it hasn't helped.

Can we look to religion? I won't belabor the point, but no, of course not. There is a deep schism in the Christian church right now, between politically motivated conservatism and a rapidly shrinking doctrine of generosity and empathy, leaving less and less in the middle. We'll get no answers there. I fully disagree with You Can't Tip a Buick's characterization of Christian thinking way up there in what was an extremely compelling but, I think, ultimately incorrect comment. We are not dealing with a doctrinal issue per se, because nobody cares about doctrinal issues until they're told to care about them. Christianity gets on these kicks about heresy, mass-murders tons of its own followers, and then promptly forgets about the heresy. There is no compelling doctrine, except the doctrine of the present moment: What are you being told to do?

I am growing too wordy here, but my point is, we need to be careful how we characterize these shooters. Unless there is some compelling reason to focus on mental health, ignorance, religion, etc., we shouldn't shove killers quite so easily into those boxes. We shouldn't individualize them like that, if that makes any sense. They are results of a system of dehumanizing propaganda, of cynical electoral policies, of a society hell-bent on destroying women (and people of color, and poor people, and the disabled), and even though that sounds like a much harder problem to deal with than, say, adding violent misogyny to the next DSM, it's the only sphere where we will have any results. We don't need to premedicate killers to prevent them from killing, we need to rout out the policies, the speeches, the profiteering of hate, to call on our representatives to make this more than a simple one-time police matter, but to demand that they, if they want to be elected, not use hate as their platform. Hate-as-advertising, hate-as-policy, these are the problems, and I worry that the more we focus on mental health, the more we are giving hate a pass.
posted by mittens at 6:36 PM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]




Premeditated murder is never a rational act. As someone who relies on the wonders of modern medicine to live as a functional human being, I think it's incredibly important to also think how the prevailing views toward mental illness in the US allow this kind of situation. I know plenty of hardline right-wingers, and I know plenty of gun owners, and the center of that Venn Diagram is substantial, but none of them have shot up a place. Yes, there is a culture of hate being propagated, but the powers that be that are spreading this hate on an institutional level are largely not the ones doing the dirty work. I think this is the most cynical I have ever been, but I absolutely think it is not a coincidence that the same people who downplay the need for treatment of the mentally ill trot out the "but crazy" excuse when people take the doctrine of hate to the conclusion.
posted by Ruki at 7:03 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Premeditated murder is never a rational act.

Not sure I'd agree with this statement. Granted, any exception I could dream up would be a matter of extremes, but to people who honestly believe anti-abortion rhetoric, the situation is already extreme. That's why the rhetoric is such an important issue.
posted by scaryblackdeath at 7:07 PM on November 28, 2015 [3 favorites]


Irrationality does not equate to mental illness.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:08 PM on November 28, 2015 [23 favorites]


They are results of a system of dehumanizing propaganda, of cynical electoral policies, of a society hell-bent on destroying women (and people of color, and poor people, and the disabled), and even though that sounds like a much harder problem to deal with than, say, adding violent misogyny to the next DSM, it's the only sphere where we will have any results. We don't need to premedicate killers to prevent them from killing, we need to rout out the policies, the speeches, the profiteering of hate, to call on our representatives to make this more than a simple one-time police matter, but to demand that they, if they want to be elected, not use hate as their platform. Hate-as-advertising, hate-as-policy, these are the problems, and I worry that the more we focus on mental health, the more we are giving hate a pass.

I agree, and I think my point is more about the ethics of mental healthcare. The DSM is supposed to catalog patterns of behaviors, thoughts, and emotions that are antithetical to living a fulfilling life and keeping those around you safe and secure and which are considered "outside the norm" for society/culture. Any reasonable definition of "mental illness" should include someone who believes that killing random people is a logical action. But such hatred is so deeply embedded in our society that it's not at all outside the norm. Our society is so sick that we don't see that hatred as a sickness, as something that urgently needs to be eradicated. I'm not talking about pills for murderers; I'm talking about razing our current systems to the ground and starting from scratch, and putting systems in place that prioritize empathy and compassion and kindness from before individuals are born until they die, because basically our entire society is mentally ill, because we seem to find it normal for people to kill other people on a regular basis. Ethical mental healthcare providers should be pointing this out.

That said, as others have pointed out, this train of thought is probably far afield, and tends to have collateral damage and (as you and other point out) ends up letting people off the hook rather than putting society on the hook, which was my larger intent.
posted by jaguar at 7:09 PM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


Omigod can we please stop with the handwavy 'Well I think mental illness is this!' bullshit this is a huge trigger for some people.
posted by shakespeherian at 7:12 PM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


Republicans Hate What They Hate Much More Than They Love What They Love
In this case, Republicans hate abortion and hate Planned Parenthood. They hate gun control, and the shooting has already led to another call for new gun laws by President Obama. These hatreds are much more important to the right than love of the police, even when the dead police officer was also a Christian minister. In this case, blue lives don't matter, and this wasn't part of the war on Christianity. The killer wasn't a member of any group conservatives hate, and his main target was a group conservatives absolutely hate.

So hate wins. Therefore, the right is never going to denounce this incident with any enthusiasm.
posted by tonycpsu at 7:20 PM on November 28, 2015 [32 favorites]


I wish we would work toward a Cure for Violent Misogyny like we work toward a cure for cancer.

Fuck that. You seen how slow that shit is going? I want them to work towards it like a cure for erectile dysfunction.
posted by Talez at 7:20 PM on November 28, 2015 [44 favorites]


it's always interesting to me that when, say, a 17-year-old kills another in a drug crime and is tried as an adult, nobody ever says, well, mental illness is a given.

But the moment a white dude engages in premeditated terroristic political violence, well, it's a given.
posted by maxsparber at 7:35 PM on November 28, 2015 [67 favorites]


Ok, you guys, you're totally misinterpreting what I said. Perhaps I wasn't correct enough, but all I was trying to do was say "yes, this terrorist, because of his lifestyle, his actions, and his rambling at the police, will be narratively framed as a mentally ill person, and that if we can avoid fighting amongst ourselves about how to define mental illness, and instead focus our outward conversations about how the well is being poisoned by right wing media and politicians who are doing it solely for gains to themselves, we might accomplish more.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 8:08 PM on November 28, 2015 [1 favorite]


Mental illness has become such an annoying term to me. Because it falls in such a large catagory of things and out of those things two or three psychiatrists may have entirely different opinions. It covers everything from adjustment disorders to outright psychosis and everything in between.

I'd rather a focused on traits or atleast a subset of disorders ( even though many people diagnosed with any particular disorder will never harm anyone) atleast it is a smaller group of people.
'
The traits of isolation plus yada yada indicates man may have suffered from blank type of mental illness' is much clearer to an uneducated public, and allows for more accurate discussion.

The time for sensational headlines is over. On the Internet there is no need to compress for space. You can use as many words as nessicary.

I really think that there needs to be criminalization of pushing outright lies on very verified topics for public health and safety. Like what medical procedures entail or how the female body operates. I think when discussing minority views it should have to be stated as such. Such as within climate change stating that 'the scientific literature is 9x% in agreement that things are happening but this guy says whatever.'

It is okay to have dissenting views. It is okay that a particular person's beliefs are that life starts at conception. It isn't okay to make things up about fetus viability, hand out and depict false medical information and litterally shut down medical services.
posted by AlexiaSky at 8:17 PM on November 28, 2015 [5 favorites]


Leave It To Fox News To Blame President Obama For Planned Parenthood Shootings (VIDEO)

This is so far from reality I can't even... The police had SWAT teams, high powered rifles, a military-style armored rescue vehicle, snipers on rooftops, tactical communications, etc... They used all that stuff. Nobody was sitting around saying "well we could use the SWAT team, but then the President might say mean stuff about us on TV." It's hard to imagine what more military equipment they could want here, since about the only gear left is the kind of stuff you'd use to blow up the building, and there were hostages inside.
posted by zachlipton at 8:22 PM on November 28, 2015 [7 favorites]


And to clarify what I said, I think it's bullshit when the mental illness defense only gets used for a certain subset of people. There is a stigma that is only destigmatized when it's politically convenient, and that's fucked the fuck up. I resent that. I resent that it's only an issue when it's used to handwave away the other stuff, like the incitement to hatred. In no way do I condone what he did. But, the complete institutional disregard for the mentally ill in the US remains an issue. I sincerely apologize if I came across the wrong way.
posted by Ruki at 8:24 PM on November 28, 2015 [6 favorites]


What I'm afraid of is that this Dear scumbag is a harbinger. I know I shouldn't be afraid of this since mass shootings have been commonplace and I'm probably ascribing more significance to this particular mass murder than I should.

I think he's a harbinger for something even more awful. There's a bunch of very angry, frightened people out there. Trump has brought a lot of this to the surface recently - they don't care if you know they're racist and that they absolutely hate everyone who isn't like them (ultimately, I believe they hate everyone who isn't them, but that's another story). Each election cycle for the last coupled decades seems to bring out even worse human beings. And they're armed - heavily armed.

I don't think all of them are a threat, but I think there's a subset of them that are angry, frightened, armed, misinformed and are just waiting for some sort of call to arms. For the next iteration of The Trump (somebody even more awful than he who doesn't just tactically approve of violence but actively encourages it) to tell them to open fire at minorities, liberals, gays, women, anyone who isn't a real American.

And I think FOX news pundit and Republicans will be just appalled at this American Kristelnacht but of course they understand why these poor murderers feel this way. While I don't think this is going to end well for anyone (including - perhaps especially - the people who are encouraging it in the name of ratings, money and votes), I think its going to be an ever darker time in the next decade for anyone who isn't an armed white man.

I'm really afraid of this and I'm so afraid of it that I'm tempted to read what I just wrote and think that its truth and not just fear-based supposition. Sometimes I do think its truth and then I have to remind myself that acting out of fear is the same thing that creates this same problem that I'm afraid of.

I've said this before, but I think we need to try and put aside our own fear and try to develop a plan to redirect the anger and fear of people like Dear. We can't successfully fight their fear and anger with fear and anger - which isn't to say don't be angry, just to say that when we get angry at them, we scare them more, which just perpetuates the cycle.

Basically, tl;dr, a pox on the people who stir this anger up for their own benefit.
posted by Joey Michaels at 8:56 PM on November 28, 2015 [9 favorites]


when we get angry at them, we scare them more, which just perpetuates the cycle

France gets attacked by Muslim terrorists and its leadership unequivocally declares war on those responsible. America gets attacked by Christian terrorists and its leadership basically shrugs its collective shoulders and says it is just another attack and that we can't do anything about this, because there is apparently an unspoken addendum to the Second Amendment that gives Christians the right to gun down the unfaithful, and that we can't offend the sensibilities of God-fearing, white, American gun owners or we'll be the ones who are really to blame.

It's really hard not to see the larger response so far as one more instance in a long series of victim blaming, on some level. The long-standing pattern of backing down and not even calling out the parties responsible for this — and more importantly not doing anything in any official capacity — seems to be the exact reason why, yet again, more families will not see their loved ones ever again.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 9:29 PM on November 28, 2015 [22 favorites]


And I think FOX news pundit and Republicans will be just appalled at this American Kristelnacht but of course they understand why these poor murderers feel this way. While I don't think this is going to end well for anyone (including - perhaps especially - the people who are encouraging it in the name of ratings, money and votes), I think its going to be an ever darker time in the next decade for anyone who isn't an armed white man.

This is what I'm afraid of too, especially since the shooting here last week. I'm afraid that the basically apathetic response on the part of the state will encourage these men.

It's really shocking to me, not because my previous thoughts were all "oh, we live in a just society!" but because I really thought there was a line that wouldn't be crossed. And I have to admit, some of that was "the line that won't be crossed is one that keeps me safe".

I feel like all of this needs a lot more theorization, but part of it is that it's a move from a society which tacitly kills marginalized people to a society which tacitly kills and openly kills for no other reason than identity. Society has moved such that it doesn't really need even a fig leaf of a phony justification.

The failure of the police to help the victims of the shooting here really shook me, and the fact that the city seems to be accepting that failure as just one of those things. I feel like if there's another shooting at the 4th precinct, the police will just abandon everyone to their fate.

It seems like a modernity/post-modernity issue. Under a "modern" [read "1917 - 1989) political regime, you need a party and a formally espoused ideology. Under a "post-modern" regime you don't; you just have this diffuse racism/misogyny/nationalism that pervades people and translates into a freelance willingness to kill. You don't need a freikorps, because every little right wing white man is his own freikorps. And of course, the very lack of party and ideology provides deniability - Fox News et al of course aren't Nazis, where's their Nazi party ideology?
posted by Frowner at 10:34 PM on November 28, 2015 [18 favorites]


The failure of the police to help the victims of the shooting here really shook me, and the fact that the city seems to be accepting that failure as just one of those things. I feel like if there's another shooting at the 4th precinct, the police will just abandon everyone to their fate.

One officer lost his life and five others were injured in the incident. But yeah, it wasn't enough. They did everything they could and it wasn't enough. One shooter with a long gun can take on an entire police force and still kill civilians. There isn't really any comfort here for anyone. The NRA types should (but won't) learn a bunch of other people with guns doesn't fix the issue of mass shooters. People who rely on police protection are again reminded there are situations were there is nothing they can do to protect them.

There is too much terrorism in the world and there are times where I have a lot of trouble coping with it. I mean, any is too much. But seeing it all happen on the news just makes it too constant and too close to handle.
posted by Drinky Die at 10:55 PM on November 28, 2015


It's always "mental illness" or a "lone wolf." Never "A completely unfettered access to guns for as many people as possible, even terrorists, backed by a society that glamorizes violence , has fucked-up ideas about gender, race, and class, and reduces everything down to 'good guys' and 'bad guys.'"

If we keep talking about mental illness and describe the terrorist as a gentle loner, will can keep this up until it is again too soon to politicize the tragedy, because more people will have died to gun violence.
posted by fifteen schnitzengruben is my limit at 11:31 PM on November 28, 2015 [11 favorites]


Leave It To Fox News To Blame President Obama For Planned Parenthood Shootings (VIDEO)

This is so far from reality I can't even...


Sorry for 101ing, but why and how is it still legal for news outlets to just lie in the US? It's shocking that presenting bilge like that as fact (if that's what happened) isn't illegal, because in lots of places, it is illegal to just make shit up and call it news.
posted by cotton dress sock at 11:52 PM on November 28, 2015 [12 favorites]


(I was about to repeat the rumor that Fox News sued for their right to lie on 1st Amendment grounds and won -- but I checked it on Snopes first, and so much for that.)
posted by rifflesby at 12:01 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


The failure of the police to help the victims of the shooting here really shook me, and the fact that the city seems to be accepting that failure as just one of those things.

You have to account for the fact that this was a Planned Parenthood office that had to be built like a fortress. It has bullet-proof glass! They had to use one of these to get people out!
posted by rhizome at 12:20 AM on November 29, 2015


Frowner is talking about the shootings in Minneapolis.
posted by Malla at 12:35 AM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


(I was about to repeat the rumor that Fox News sued for their right to lie on 1st Amendment grounds and won -- but I checked it on Snopes first, and so much for that.)

It has an undeniable element of truthiness.

Frowner is talking about the shootings in Minneapolis.

Oh, oops. Too much of this to keep it all straight.
posted by Drinky Die at 1:12 AM on November 29, 2015


Irrationality does not equate to mental illness.

In my experience in developing and running Really Big Computer Systems AND as a Certified Personal Trainer the one thing I've learned is that people do irrational things for illogical reasons MOST of the time, and so, not only do I concur, I would suggest that irrationality might be the resting-energy-state of humanity itself.

Two take-aways for me:

1) There is no pro-life.
As far as terminology, I tend to feel that "Forced Pregnancy" is the label to use for those who oppose abortion, rather than pro-life, anti-choice, etc.

"Do you think abortion is bad?" isn't really the question, is it? The question is "Do you think people should be forced to remain pregnant against their will?", to which I humbly submit that if your answer is "yes" you should fuck off forever.
posted by mrjohnmuller at 4:07 PM on November 28
Right ON! From now on, I'm correcting everyone who uses the term pro-life, that they've misspoken the term 'forced-pregnancy', and we'll see how the conversation develops then...

2) If anyone "saw disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood" ( which don't exist in reality ) , they should seek professional help for their delusional hallucinations before they hurt themselves or others...
posted by mikelieman at 2:19 AM on November 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


The best terms describe the outcome. Pro-choice. Forced birth. Forced pregnancy isn't quite accurate and provides weasel room described previously.
posted by five fresh fish at 5:25 AM on November 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


I was in high school when the SCOTUS cowardly shrugged and basically said "states rights" about abortion. Since then, anti-choice folks have pushed, harrassed, lied, stalked, threatened, injured and killed. And now it's happened again, and is going to keep on happening.

This isn't about a difference of opinion over what individuals choose to do with their own bodies. If it were, we'd be having a moderate and reasonable discussion about what different people will personally do or not do with their own bodies. No, this is about an ideological movement pushing to prevent other people from having full sovereignty over their own bodies. Even without the decades of violence and intimidation behind it, that belief system by itself is extreme enough. It is inhuman and inhumane.

So any mealy-mouthed talk about "reasonable" anti-choice folks can just fuck right off. The belief system by itself is unreasonable. There is no "moderate" stance about it. Compounded with the violence it inflicts, it becomes apparent there's no discussion to be had. Stop the capitulation. Enough is fucking enough already.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:35 AM on November 29, 2015 [29 favorites]


cotton dress sock: "Sorry for 101ing, but why and how is it still legal for news outlets to just lie in the US? It's shocking that presenting bilge like that as fact (if that's what happened) isn't illegal, because in lots of places, it is illegal to just make shit up and call it news."

I'm not sure what you think could be done. They're an independent news organization that broadcasts on private cable systems. The first amendment doesn't really allow the government to say much if anything about what press says.
posted by octothorpe at 6:03 AM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


mittens: Can we look to education? Because certainly anyone who makes a remark about the urban myth about baby body parts for sale is stupid. Ignorant, in a way that beggars belief. In a willful way, a way that looks at the possibility of reasonable explanation ("the video was doctored for propaganda purposes!") and sets that aside in favor of the irrational.
mikelieman: If anyone "saw disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood" ( which don't exist in reality ) , they should seek professional help for their delusional hallucinations before they hurt themselves or others...
Cf. The Authoritarians, Robert Altemeyer, 2006
posted by ob1quixote at 6:05 AM on November 29, 2015 [9 favorites]


Tagging on to the above, here is Glen Greenwald's review of John Dean's Conservatives Without Conscience.

I always appreciate your contributions, ob1quixote.
posted by Room 641-A at 6:21 AM on November 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


Carly Fiorina's twitter feed is a hot mess. Apparently she will finally be talking to the press today, Sunday 11/29...on Fox News Sunday. I don't think I can bear to watch that.
posted by sidereal at 7:03 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I'm not sure what you think could be done. They're an independent news organization that broadcasts on private cable systems.

Yeah, exactly. It's legal for them to spread misinformation for exactly the same reason that it's legal for anyone else, including people on Metafilter, to spread misinformation. Because any law against it would be struck down by the courts faster than you could say "violation of fundamental rights". Thankfully this umbrella also includes spreading scientific misinformation vis a vis AlexiaSky's comment. The reasoning is pretty simple; the government telling you what you can and cannot say (except in very limited circumstances) never ends well.

On the other hand it occurs to me that if you could prove that certain News Organizations Wot Shall Remain Nameless But Have The Initials F. O. X. were knowingly spreading falsehoods that resulted in serious harm to you that would make for an interesting lawsuit. Planned Parenthood could sue Fiorina, for example, for pushing the "baby parts" narrative. I very much doubt they'd win but, hey, you can't win if you don't play.
posted by Justinian at 7:08 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Re: News media being able to lie, Wikipedia's Fairness Doctrine article shows a comprehensive timeline of when it was, and was not, illegal to just make shit up.
posted by sidereal at 7:16 AM on November 29, 2015 [13 favorites]


Carly Fiorina's twitter feed is a hot mess.

I just went there and there's a tweet that says "Want to see Carly live?" And for a moment I thought it meant live (verb) instead of live (adjective, long i). Which was really quite a question.
posted by mochapickle at 7:19 AM on November 29, 2015 [23 favorites]


Republicans Hate What They Hate Much More Than They Love What They Love

See also: Republicans booing an active duty service member stationed in Afghanistan. Because he was gay.
posted by dirigibleman at 8:22 AM on November 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Keep in mind with the Fairness Doctrine that it only applied to those entities which held broadcast licenses from the government and not everyone. Kind of like how you can be required to possess a driver's license if you want to drive on the road but not if you are walking down the sidewalk. (Even if the cops tend to hassle you anyway.)
posted by Justinian at 8:38 AM on November 29, 2015


I'm not sure what you think could be done.

Expand the scope of libel and defamation laws a little? Just enough to make room for truth in reporting? Because ironically, speech as free as it is appears to lead to a worsening of the atmosphere for democracy. Some kind of verification standard limited to news media would be good, in that it would define what sources might be plausibly considered authoritative, even if everyone else gets to tell lies. But yeah, I know...

Because any law against it would be struck down by the courts faster than you could say "violation of fundamental rights".
posted by cotton dress sock at 8:39 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


MSNBC and CNN both still seem to be going with the "we don't know for sure what this guy's motive was" narrative. Because, hey, it's a mystery. I assume FOX isn't going with that narrative and is instead pushing something to do with Obama being a sekrit muslim who wants people to die.
posted by Justinian at 8:39 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


friend of multiple pedophiles, mike huckabee tweeted The Colorado Springs tragedy is domestic terrorism, especially for those us in the pro-life movement. and then he immediately turned his attention back to his opinions that "Islamic Jihadism is nothing less than savagery & uncivilized behavior." heck of a guy.
posted by nadawi at 8:41 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]




To don't even understand what Huckabee is trying to say. Is his point that the real victims are the people whose rhetoric encouraged this guy, because now they look bad? Because that's an asshole move, even for him.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 8:48 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


that's my impression, yes. it's a viewpoint that anti-choice mefites have put forward in the past as well.
posted by nadawi at 8:54 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think that's exactly what Fuckabee is saying. It's no more assholish than anything else he's said lately.
posted by palomar at 8:54 AM on November 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


...okay my phone autocorrected that but I'm just leaving it because yes
posted by palomar at 8:55 AM on November 29, 2015 [37 favorites]


Trump, Fiorina, and Huckabee went on the morning shows today and basically said "it's sad that some folks died, but people are really upset about the 100% true and accurate videos that show PP harvesting fetuses for soylent green, which is the real concern for society (and therefore PP got what it deserved)" - thus confirming that they are, in fact, garbage people.
posted by melissasaurus at 9:05 AM on November 29, 2015 [33 favorites]


Huckabee's point is that he's down very, very far in the polls.
posted by tonycpsu at 9:06 AM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


Trump seems relatively silent on this opportunity to be a horrendous human being.
posted by Artw at 9:10 AM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


Presumably because there's not much political gain for him here. He's relatively vulnerable in this area, given his cynical affectionation of an anti-choice position, and, along with his relatively tricky week, he might as well keep quiet. Anti-choice, unlike racism, is not a central plank of his platform, so why bother defending it? He may even reason that his competition will be harmed by this story, and be glad of it. I can't imagine he gives a damn about the victims.
posted by howfar at 9:41 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


i would bet that trump has paid for abortions in the past and while his skeletons all seem well paid off right now, he might know that rattling the anti-choice cage too much might make someone want to talk...
posted by nadawi at 9:52 AM on November 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


I can't imagine him ever being concerned about the truth of any aspect of his life or in fact of anything at all. None of his supporters would care either.
posted by poffin boffin at 9:59 AM on November 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


It'll be interesting contrasting the response to horrific shootings once they settle on a candidate and have to pivot and look moderate and same for regular folks outside the base.
posted by Artw at 9:59 AM on November 29, 2015


I think they're looking at this the way Romney looked at the 47 percent.
posted by mochapickle at 10:02 AM on November 29, 2015




From melissasaurus' ThinkProgress link:
Fox News Sunday host Chris Wallace asked Sunday whether language by Fiorina, who Wallace called "one of the toughest critics... of Planned Parenthood's alleged harvesting of body parts," could have incited violence against the organization. Fiorina brushed off the idea and reiterated claims that Planned Parenthood sells baby parts.

"First, it is not alleged," she said. "Planned Parenthood acknowledged several weeks ago they would no longer take compensation for body parts, which sounds like an admission they were doing so."
AAAAAAAAUGH!
posted by tonycpsu at 10:17 AM on November 29, 2015 [11 favorites]




Bradford Richardson: Fiorina: Spin after clinic attack ‘typical left-wing tactics’
“This is so typical of the left, to immediately begin demonizing the messenger because they don’t agree with the message,” Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday.”

“What I would say to anyone who would try to link this terrible tragedy to anyone who opposes abortion or the sale of body parts, is this is typical, left-wing tactics,” she added.

Fiorina said demonstrators should be courteous regardless of what they are protesting.
“Any protesters should always be peaceful, whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters,” she said. “Protesters should always be peaceful and respectful.”
Of course! How could we have forgotten all about the feminist who shot up a "crisis pregnancy center" and told the police "No more abstinence-only education"? And what about the New Black Panthers who shot at #BlueLivesMatters protesters supporting a cop defending himself from an 11 year-old thug on PCP with "eyes of a devil"? Or the heavily-armed Muslims picketing, stalking, and doxxing innocent Christian churchgoers ? Or the peaceful white protester that got roughed up by rabid Sanders supporters shouting "Black Lives Matter" at a campaign speech? Or the immigrants who spat on white Three Percenters at a pro-immigration rally?

Obviously, this is a problem where both sides are equally at fault.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:33 AM on November 29, 2015 [49 favorites]


None of his supporters would care either.

Well no, but he doesn't need to win his supporters over, and if he did he could just rely on his current tactic of appealing to their racism. He does, however, (if he is actually serious about being president) need more than about a quarter of self-identified Republicans to support him. I don't really see what he has to gain by wading into this.
posted by howfar at 10:43 AM on November 29, 2015


 I don't really see what he has to gain by wading into this.

Sweet, sweet air time?
posted by Joey Michaels at 11:01 AM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


Storify: What Really Happens Outside Clinics (via @ClinicEscort)
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:03 AM on November 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


A friend and colleague, who is a talented clinician and an outspoken advocate for reproductive rights, used to work at Planned Parenthood on the regional level. She loved her work, still talks about how much she loved it, even though it meant wearing a bulletproof vest to visit some of the offices (she was a friend of Dr. Tiller), even though she knew there were threats.

Protesters soon figured out the make and model of her car and they would follow her. She would twist and turn through the city to shake them. They got more and more aggressive and would wait for her outside her house. Eventually she left the job because it frightened her (and believe me, this woman does not frighten easy). She had a young child and she was worried one day they would go too far and her kid would be without a mother.
posted by mochapickle at 11:16 AM on November 29, 2015 [30 favorites]


Maybe the anti-choice people prefer headlines like this: Up to 240,000 Women Have Tried to Give Themselves Abortions in Texas ​
posted by roomthreeseventeen at 11:32 AM on November 29, 2015 [11 favorites]


Now they are blaming possible mental illness in the shooter.

So they're going to be in favor of more funding for mental health care... right? Right?
posted by euphorb at 11:46 AM on November 29, 2015 [5 favorites]


well shit after reading mochapickle's story I've realized that it's time for me to sign up to be a clinic escort.
posted by You Can't Tip a Buick at 11:49 AM on November 29, 2015 [20 favorites]


I don't know if "Christianist" is the right word, but this article is insightful:

Christianist Republicans Systematically Incited Colorado Clinic Assault
posted by sneebler at 1:06 PM on November 29, 2015 [8 favorites]


Calling them out for the blood on their hands doesn't work. That's a thing to be proud of. Willing to go all the way for what they believe in. Unfortunate, but saving more lives in the long run. The guts to do what it takes. They sleep at night just fine, and have legions who look up to them for it.

We've passed the line some time ago where shame was a thing. Trump's a racist, Fox News blatantly lies... well no shit. They're not even denying it. Now you're the boring rube to mention it.

It's just really disappointing and depressing, world-mates. It's like that moment you're slamming the car door, and you realize the keys are inside, but there's nothing you can do about it now.
posted by ctmf at 1:42 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


They've released the names of the other two who have died:

Ke'Arre Stewart, a military veteran and father of 2.
Jennifer Markovsky, a stay-at-home mom and mother of 2, who had come to the clinic to support a friend.
Officer Garrett Swasey also had 2 children.

That's six living, breathing, wanted and loved children left without a parent.
posted by mochapickle at 2:52 PM on November 29, 2015 [34 favorites]


More info on Jennifer Markovsky - she's originally from Hawaii; her friend was shot in the hand

More info on Ke'Arre Stewart - he's originally from Texas
posted by melissasaurus at 3:04 PM on November 29, 2015 [3 favorites]


.
posted by mochapickle at 3:05 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


.
posted by tonycpsu at 3:12 PM on November 29, 2015


Calling them out for the blood on their hands doesn't work. That's a thing to be proud of. Willing to go all the way for what they believe in. Unfortunate, but saving more lives in the long run. The guts to do what it takes. They sleep at night just fine, and have legions who look up to them for it.

We've passed the line some time ago where shame was a thing. Trump's a racist, Fox News blatantly lies... well no shit. They're not even denying it. Now you're the boring rube to mention it.


I'm not particularly interested in convincing murderers they have murdered, or giving Eureka Moments to Fox News viewers. But these people should be hearing, loud and clear, exactly how many people aren't buying their crusade, and they need to keep hearing it, over and over. Not that this is the one and only way - we need direct action to prevent them from being able to actively harm, too - but they shouldn't be just allowed to bellow their dangerous horseshit without constant, ceaseless reminders from everyone else that not everyone's going to take it.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 3:19 PM on November 29, 2015 [16 favorites]


Wow, as if this couldn't get worse, conservatives are painting the shooter as a trans woman, on the absolute flimsiest of evidence [tw: intense transmisogyny].
posted by desjardins at 4:20 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


I'm from Pensacola. I remember this. Get ready for this to get worse. My first ob was shot to death.

Extremists are exremists. Doesn't matter what verity.
posted by syncope at 4:40 PM on November 29, 2015


Yeah, I've seen the weird "killer was trans" thing, which is both gross and bizarre.

I fully expect that the two people in the clinic that died, and anyone in there who was wounded, to be painted as baby-killing (or baby-killing-enabling) monsters and their families to be harassed.

But I would like to be wrong. After hearing of Sandy Hook families being subjected to harassment, though, I'm pessimistic.
posted by emjaybee at 5:03 PM on November 29, 2015


Wow, as if this couldn't get worse, conservatives are painting the shooter as a trans woman, on the absolute flimsiest of evidence [tw: intense transmisogyny].

Looks like Ted Cruz just boarded that train:
When a reporter asked him at an Iowa campaign stop Sunday evening about suspect Robert Lewis Dear saying he was motivated by “no more baby parts,” Cruz countered that he’s also been reported to be a “transgendered [sic] leftist activist.”

Cruz explained, “We know that he was a man registered to vote as a woman.” This discrepancy on Dear’s voter registration was first reported by The Gateway Pundit, a self-described “right-of-center news website,” under the claim that he “identifies as [a] woman.” Conservatives have since run with the claim that Dear is transgender.

There is actually no evidence to suggest that he is transgender, nor a “leftist,” nor any kind of activist. In fact, all of the available information suggests he was none of those things.
posted by zombieflanders at 5:23 PM on November 29, 2015 [12 favorites]


it'll be interesting to see if this terrorist had any contact with (the cruz affiliated) operation rescue...
posted by nadawi at 5:28 PM on November 29, 2015 [6 favorites]


Not that this crackpot theory makes any sense to begin with, but it makes even less sense when you consider that some PP locations provide services to trans people (though not Colorado Springs).
posted by desjardins at 5:33 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


i would bet that trump has paid for abortions in the past and while his skeletons all seem well paid off right now, he might know that rattling the anti-choice cage too much might make someone want to talk...

The depressing truth seems, from my perspective at least, to be that even if he did pay for even several since he didn't HAVE one it would completely blow over just like his super awful comments so far everyone thought would sink him. That entire base of people would just turn to shitting on the evil harpies who had the abortions. Maybe he could even spin some yarn about blackmail/entrapment of some sort and that he had to pay them off because bla bla bla.

I doubt it would even have to go that far though. Trump paying for an abortion is not Trump having one. No one would give a shit after a couple days. They'd either move on or switch to talking shit on whoever the women involved were. But probably just move on.
posted by emptythought at 5:35 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


I know I'm late, here. But I have a couple of things to say, or type, as it were.

I didn't marry my fiance. She got pregnant, it wasn't the right time for her. She told me this and I helped her.

Second. Guns, weapons, are evil. I know some people need them. Not everyone. For some it's a question of freedom. Fine. Keep your freedom locked tight in a safe and leave it there, until you can take it out and give it a try for 30 minutes at the range. Asshole.

And about the abortion thing? The worst period ever. No woman wants that.
posted by adept256 at 6:57 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


So There’s Just Been a Mass Shooting
Considering race is the most obvious example. If the shooter is black, there will be barely-even dog-whistle characterizations of thuggish criminality, coupled with an attempt to tie his actions to black activism – to call upon leaders in the “black community” to answer and apologize for “their” “responsibility.” A similar pattern of racist targeting and a logic of collective guilt will be brought to bear if the shooter is suspected to be Muslim, where the vocabulary of terrorism is ready-to-hand, and especially if the target can be tied to our never-ending Global War on Terror. Meanwhile, if the shooter is white, there will be an immediate push to individualize his actions and to paint him as pathological, mentally ill. There’s a double lie in this latter, pathologizing move: it cynically stigmatizes the mentally ill as a group, and simultaneously disowns the normalization and influence of cultural pathologies which are shared by “normal” people and cultivated by cynical politicians and media figures.

The agenda underlying all these moves is two-fold.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 7:00 PM on November 29, 2015 [27 favorites]


A 40 year timeline of anti-choice violence
posted by mostly vowels at 7:08 PM on November 29, 2015 [10 favorites]


I started DVRing Al Jazeera's Fault Lines, because it looks like they're covering a lot of great issues. I haven't watched any of the full episodes yet, but I just started watching the episode Access Restricted: Abortion in Texas ("Fault Lines travels to Texas to investigate why some women are taking abortion into their own hands"). It's from May 2014, so it's not totally up-to-the-minute, but I thought I'd share in case anyone else was interested. The full episode is available at that link, and it's also available "On Demand" through Xfinity/Comcast, at least where I am.
posted by jaguar at 8:39 PM on November 29, 2015 [2 favorites]


"No more baby parts" seems like a strange thing to say when, put bluntly, you've failed to kill the doctor. Also strange who he did kill: two people who weren't there to have an abortion. I wonder if they were accidental? From what I've heard, the cop was shot through the walls — an accident.(?)
posted by five fresh fish at 11:25 PM on November 29, 2015 [1 favorite]


"No more baby parts" seems like a strange thing to say.

I was thinking about this last evening. They're really tight-lipped on the details.

I think the guy has been flat out raving about how the people on the TV have been talking to him. He may have mentioned every Republican candidate by name.
posted by mikelieman at 11:42 PM on November 29, 2015 [4 favorites]


What is wrong with Ted Cruz?
posted by humanfont at 4:30 AM on November 30, 2015


What is wrong with Ted Cruz?

There are pretty much no limits to the mental gymnastics possible when one can't change their cognitive framing to address objective facts.
posted by mikelieman at 5:14 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


When I was growing up, my family was quite poor, and the planned parenthood clinic was where my mom took us when we needed to see a doctor. And as the oldest child, I also accompanied her many times when she went for prenatal care when when was pregnant with my brothers.

I have also gone to Planned Parenthood for emergency contraception with a very worried friend after a broken condom incident. This was before it was widely available over the counter, and she was not American and had no idea where she could go.

Now I don't live in the US, but if I need a doctor when I am visiting, I will often call the local planned parenthood. Certainly if it is for an STI checkup or something. I don't know if I am maybe taking up resources other people need (It has never seemed that way, and I hope not), or if the fact that I pay full price for everything in cash (and donate as well, when I can) is a net positive. But they are the only medical provider I trust in the US. Granted, I have not had a lot of experience with other providers, but there you go.

When people make threats against them, or actually carry out attacks... I almost can't understand. These people who always took care of me, who took care of my mom and my little brothers, you want to hurt them?
posted by Nothing at 5:19 AM on November 30, 2015 [24 favorites]


I think the guy has been flat out raving about how the people on the TV have been talking to him.

My money's on talk radio. I'm not sure he could get TV up there, off the grid.
posted by mochapickle at 5:21 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


What is wrong with Ted Cruz?

He's a hateful man driven by pure populist zeal, and no depth is too low for him to stoop.

This is why I have no interest in holding hands with anti-choicers and trying to convince them to believe in science or have basic empathy. You can't. I've watched for decades as a more conciliatory approach has been tried by moderates, to no avail. I'm not interested in a dialogue with these extremists; if they won't be convinced, then their will has to be broken.
posted by Aya Hirano on the Astral Plane at 5:22 AM on November 30, 2015 [15 favorites]


Link roundup: In the wake of the Planned Parenthood shooting.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:48 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


If anyone "saw disturbing videos of Planned Parenthood" ( which don't exist in reality ) , they should seek professional help for their delusional hallucinations before they hurt themselves or others...

I feel like the people trying to debunk these videos don't quite get what some people find disturbing about them. It only partly has to do with any sort of scandal about selling fetal tissue. A big part of it is simply the reminder that some of the fetuses being aborted have distinct organ tissues ("baby parts") at all that gets some people worked up into the "they're killing babies in there" panic. (Which, again, almost nobody reacts to as if they really believed they're killing babies in there.)
posted by straight at 8:49 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]




In comparison to the rational thinking of the Irish ruling, Anti-abortion head of Homeland Security committee: Colorado shooting was not ‘domestic terrorism’.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:48 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Well there's a person who's real fucking good at their job.
posted by Artw at 10:00 AM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


Can any legal types weigh in on the difference between pursuing a terrorism case vs., say, a hate crime case? Is there a legal reason why it's preferable/pragmatic to label an act in a particular way?
posted by MonkeyToes at 10:04 AM on November 30, 2015


If it's terrorism then politically role might be compelled to do something about it, if it's "mental health" or a "lone wolf" it goes on a pile with the hundreds of others.
posted by Artw at 10:30 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


I think the guy has been flat out raving about how the people on the TV have been talking to him.

My money's on talk radio. I'm not sure he could get TV up there, off the grid.


The plot thickens:
10:35 a.m.

A judge has sealed court documents for a man accused of killing three people, including a police officer, at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs.

Acting at the request of prosecutors, Judge Stephen J. Sletta issued the order sealing the arrest warrant for 57-year-old Robert Lewis Dear and the search warrant for his home. The order was made available Monday after being issued Friday, the day of the attack.

Such documents detail evidence gathered by investigators that justify arresting suspects and searching property.

Prosecutors said making them public would jeopardize the ongoing investigation.

The judge agreed to keep the records sealed until the termination of the case or a further order of the court.
posted by zombieflanders at 10:31 AM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]


So, you know what we were saying about Colarado being a hotbed of evangelical gun nut lunacy not being an issue here? I really hope it's not an issue.
posted by Artw at 10:33 AM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


Terrorism is something brown people do--when the perpetrators get dealt with, they are shot and killed, by and large, and their civil rights get further restricted. When white people do horrific acts, it's a lone wolf/mental health problem, so the perpetrators need to be taken in for medical concerns before promptly being forgotten.
posted by qcubed at 11:25 AM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


Colorado Springs hospital where several of the victims are recovering is on lockdown.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:34 AM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


A judge has sealed court documents

I apologize if this is a really stupid question but....what does this mean? I mean, I know what sealing court documents means, but what is the implication? Why would they be sealed here? It seems like an uncommon move, is it or is it normal for this sort of thing?
posted by everybody had matching towels at 11:53 AM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


Well, either it's a sensible move while an investigation is ongoing, which would imply this guy has mates out there and they think they can get him, or they want to bury this shit for all time because it makes some right wing fucks look bad.
posted by Artw at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2015 [10 favorites]


Is there going to be a livestream for the hearing, do we know?
posted by Stewriffic at 12:06 PM on November 30, 2015


Uggh, and then we have our new mayor, in an interview yesterday, looking absolutely wrecked with exhaustion and insisting that Colorado Springs is no different than any community, that this could have happened anywhere. (The reporter pushed, saying something to the effect of, Uh, it happens here a lot. And then the mayor changed the subject and said something canned about the bravery of the first responders, etc.)
posted by mochapickle at 12:07 PM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


While the attack remained ongoing, anti-abortion supporters took to Twitter to celebrate.

Maybe now the media will stop referring to them as "pro-life" at last.
posted by Gelatin at 12:13 PM on November 30, 2015 [1 favorite]


...And now they've locked down the other hospital, citing a "suspicious person." The hospitals are about a five-minute drive from each other.
posted by mochapickle at 12:24 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]






So the speculation about the attorney, Dan King, being at the jail is to lay the groundwork for a death penalty case.
posted by Stewriffic at 12:50 PM on November 30, 2015




Irin Carmon: Abortion opponents defend their movement after Colorado shooting

We don't think that Planned Parenthood deserved it:
The National Right to Life Committee said it “unequivocally condemns unlawful activities and acts of violence regardless of motivation,” and Americans United for Life said, “We categorically condemn this violence.”
But they totally deserved it:
After all these years and millions of babies that have gone to their death, violence is to be anticipated,” said Judie Brown, president of American Life League, in a phone interview with MSNBC. “Because it’s acceptable to violently kill a baby, so why isn’t it acceptable to violently kill other people?”
Violence is always wrong:
We never approve of violence against anybody, whether it’s the unborn babies or the clients of Planned Parenthood or anybody else,” Ann Scheidler, vice president of the Pro-Life Action League, told MSNBC.
But they totally deserved it:
“it’s not the fault of the pro-life movement that someone found out that Planned Parenthood is doing these things. It’s the fault of Planned Parenthood for selling the baby parts.”
Now is not the time to get political:
Rev. Pat Mahoney, the director of the Washington-based Christian Defense Coalition who described himself as a former national spokesperson for Operation Rescue, also reacted angrily to the suggestion that anti-abortion rhetoric had fueled the Colorado violence.

Evidence linking Dear to the movement is still scant, Mahoney said. “Let’s not take the death of innocent people to promote a political agenda,” he said.
But they totally deserved it:
Planned Parenthood is doing exactly what they accuse the pro-life community of doing. They accuse us all the time of using inflammatory rhetoric and hateful language to promote our agenda.”
We're a peaceful movement:
The Christian Defense Coalition’s Mahoney said, “Our movement utterly condemns violence.”
But we'll hire bombers because they totally said they're cool now:
Asked about the fact that Operation Rescue’s Cheryl Sullenger was convicted of conspiring to bomb an abortion clinic, Mahoney said, “Cheryl Sullenger did time in prison for her actions. She now works peacefully to end the violence of abortion.”
We're not the bad guys here:
Scheidler’s Pro-Life Action League is among the organizations that publishes the names, faces, and addresses of abortion providers.
But they totally deserved it:
Asked if such disclosures could make providers feel unsafe, she replied, “We don’t pose any threat, we in the mainstream pro-life movement…. If they feel threatened, they can always get out of that business, I suppose. It’s not something that would make us back off on our mission.”
[...]
“Planned Parenthood is a villain,” she said. “They undermine the integrity of families and the morality of young teen girls and kill babies on a regular basis, day after day. We’re not going to say, ‘Oh, poor Planned Parenthood, we should never say anything negative about what they call ‘services.’ Because they are a blight on our culture.”
And last but not least, they totally deserved it:
Donald Spitz, who runs the Army of God website and is based in Virginia, said of his fellow anti-abortion activists’ condemnations of violence, “They say that all the time. I think they’re hypocritical.”

While many groups insist violence against abortion providers is counterproductive to their cause, Spitz suggested such rhetoric is disingenuous. Referring to Scott Roeder, who murdered abortion provider George Tiller and who Spitz calls a friend, Spitz said, “How could that be counterproductive when he stopped them from providing abortions? They’ve lost their mind. They’re into political correctness way too far.”

As for Spitz’s own reaction, “I think Planned Parenthood is an evil organization, so I didn’t lose any sleep when I heard about it,” Spitz said. “They sell baby parts, and they reap what they sow, and now they’re complaining about it.”

He added, “There are no innocent people in Planned Parenthood. They’re in there for a reason.”
posted by zombieflanders at 2:35 PM on November 30, 2015 [53 favorites]


Fuck these terrorist assholes and the bullshit politicians who provide cover for them.
posted by Artw at 2:40 PM on November 30, 2015 [24 favorites]




It's not just the politicians. You probably have relatives who contribute to the background noise of lies and misogyny and victim-blaming that gives rise to these attacks. I know I do.
posted by Pope Guilty at 4:05 PM on November 30, 2015 [5 favorites]




It's not just politicians, but they make decisions on our behalf and choose not to do anything about domestic terrorists until after they murder, so their inaction makes them complicit. If our leaders went after white, Christian terrorists with as much manpower and materiel as we use against non-white, non-Christian terrorists, we would have a lot fewer of these "unexplainable" incidents.
posted by a lungful of dragon at 4:44 PM on November 30, 2015 [6 favorites]


I had an exchange with an old friend over the weekend where his attitude is that this guy can't be a "real" Christian.
posted by rhizome at 5:44 PM on November 30, 2015 [2 favorites]


The Rude Pundit: Notes on an Act of Domestic Terrorism:

But they will continue to say, over and over, that babies are being mutilated so cruel butchers can profit off their organs. They will dare to accuse the doctors and nurses of savagery. They will promote false videos as reality. The anti-choice movement's leaders, religious and political, will continue to wink to each other as they repeatedly tell their followers that they must do something to stop Planned Parenthood.


The leaders of the conservative movement constantly drop "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest"-like nuggets and then feign shock when somebody follows through. Behind closed doors, I imagine some of them - like Cruz and Fiorina - rub their hands together with glee when shit like this goes down, pumped up with their own power.
posted by Joey Michaels at 6:01 PM on November 30, 2015 [11 favorites]


The leaders of the conservative movement constantly drop "Who will rid me of this meddlesome priest"-like nuggets and then feign shock when somebody follows through

Yes, this: did you catch the link provided above by the man of twists and turns? It introduced me to the idea of stochastic terrorism: "the use of mass communications to incite random actors to carry out violent or terrorist acts that are statistically predictable but individually unpredictable. In short, remote-control murder by lone wolf.”

That's terrifying. And happening.
posted by MonkeyToes at 6:29 PM on November 30, 2015 [32 favorites]




"The Cruz campaign did not immediately respond to a request for the senator's source of information on the political affiliations of criminals."

Snarf, like that matters. His remarks probably "were not intended to be factual."
posted by ctmf at 7:51 PM on November 30, 2015 [3 favorites]


I literally don't know how to feel about the fact that it is now considered not just acceptable but politically prudent to not merely stretch the true but to instead simply fabricate lies outright when speaking in public, as a candidate for political office. Of course, the "News" industry has been transparently a for-profit entertainment medium for literally as long as I can remember, so I admittedly have little notion of what it was like in that alleged halcyon age when non-comedians would take politicians to task, ever, for insisting that lies are truth.

I swear, the main beef that a lot of the Republican party seems to have with the actions of the actual literal World War II Nazis nowadays would be that they are "losers" because they ultimately lost power (with, presumably, a close second being that they have "socialist" in their official title, and third being their far superior "evil empire" fashion sense compared to their own)
posted by DoctorFedora at 7:57 PM on November 30, 2015 [7 favorites]


"a lot of the Republican party seems to have with the actions of the actual literal World War II Nazis nowadays would be that they are "losers" because they ultimately lost power"

And for our sins we got Wernher Von Braun.
posted by clavdivs at 8:40 PM on November 30, 2015


it is now considered not just acceptable but politically prudent to not merely stretch the true but to instead simply fabricate lies outright when speaking in public, as a candidate for political office.

Of course to a certain degree this kind of cynicism is evergreen, but I think we have a special case here. The Republicans are absofuckinglutely wrong-footed on Friday's events. They literally cannot say anything substantial about it because they have implicated themselves so completely. They can only buy time right now, PR strategies take time and this is an issue that affects the entire party.

Here comes Rubio, taking it a bit easier than Cruz.
posted by rhizome at 9:01 PM on November 30, 2015


They sure have been opening their big yaps about it enough.

The Wikipedia page has been interesting watching - basically various right wing types working as hard as they can to expunge any mention of any conservative response as amh kind of coverage of it at all makes them look unbearably repugnant. No mentions of Carly Fiorina or Ted Cruz on that page.
posted by Artw at 9:13 PM on November 30, 2015 [4 favorites]


They sure have been opening their big yaps about it enough.

Yeah, but it's all vague or gibberish. Something solid will start to emerge soon, but it is going to have to sit in context with the momentum the GOP already has.
posted by rhizome at 9:29 PM on November 30, 2015


It's not gibberish, it's a dogwhistle. Because as every right-thinking conservative knows, "criminal" means "people who aren't white," and we know who Those People vote for. And since you can't just come out and say you want to suppress the vote of Those People (at least not as a presidential candidate), you call them criminals and it's okay. After all, it's only good and proper that criminals never ever have any civil rights ever again. And if you have to rewrite laws to criminalize Those People, well that's just dandy.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:21 AM on December 1, 2015 [7 favorites]


I have to agree. As a white Democrat, at no point did I think that was directed at white Democrats.
posted by Room 641-A at 7:12 AM on December 1, 2015


MonkeyToes: Can any legal types weigh in on the difference between pursuing a terrorism case vs., say, a hate crime case? Is there a legal reason why it's preferable/pragmatic to label an act in a particular way?

According to Harvard lecturer and former Assistant Secretary for Intergovernmental Affairs in the Department of Homeland Security Juliette Kayyem on PRI's The World yesterday: it was "clearly an act of domestic terrorism" but for practical purposes, due to the greater complexity of proving motive under the law concerning terrorism, it may make more sense to simply charge him with murder.
posted by XMLicious at 8:55 AM on December 1, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not only is it racist dog whistling for their own side, it plants the incideous seed that says Democrats are not only the "others", but they are innately dangerous to the white republican "thousand points of white light" prophecies.

These are people who WANT to bring around the end of times. They glorify in the idea that a compassionate God will raise them above the chaos, so they can sneer and feel superior to the rest of us down here with the hellfire and the whatnot. Because that's what Christianity has come to mean for these people; that they will be saved because they are deserving. And it bleeds into their entire world view. All good things are because one deserves them, and subsequently, all bad things must therefore also be deserved.

That's why they have no compassion, no sympathy, no ability to see beyond their own moral boundaries, it reshapes their concept of good and evil.

That's how these so-call Christians, these jihadist supporters with a crucifix, can calmly defend 6 children losing parents. Those victims deserved it. They were somewhere the terrorists didn't want them to be, and so they got what they deserved. Leftists are dangerous, Democrats are dangerous, people who are different are dangerous, people who are undeserving are dangerous. And dangerous people get what they deserve

Ted Cruz is the smug face of the "saved", rallying the base to turn their wrath on larger targets.

This was dog whistle writ large.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 9:06 AM on December 1, 2015 [15 favorites]


it plants the incideous seed that says Democrats are not only the "others", but they are innately dangerous to the white republican "thousand points of white light" prophecies.

...leading to the conclusion that extremism in the defense of the End Times is no vice.
posted by MonkeyToes at 9:34 AM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Most Colorado Republicans are silent after Planned Parenthood shooting — but not all
On Monday, the Senate GOP wrote on its Facebook page that Democrats and “left-leaning media” would rush to blame Republicans for the attack but did not mention the Planned Parenthood clinic by name.

“By all accounts, the Black Friday gunman was a disturbed loner who represents no one but himself. But don’t expect Democrats or left-leaning media types to let a finger-pointing opportunity go to waste,” the post said.

Sen. Laura Woods, R-Arvada, who played a prominent role in the Nov. 9 hearing, posted a Guy Fawkes picture on her Facebook page two days after the attack that stated: “THE MIND OF A SLAVE ASKS IS IT LEGAL? THE MIND OF A FREE MAN ASKS IS IT RIGHT? ”
GOP lawmaker: Planned Parenthood is the ‘real culprit’ in the shooting
ProgressNow held a press conference with the pro-choice group NARAL at 11 a.m. today at the State Capitol to discuss the shooting and the Republican rhetoric around it.

“This is exactly the type of rhetoric I am speaking out against today,” Runyon-Harris told The Independent. “For one of our sitting elected lawmakers to utter the phrase ‘Violence is never the answer but…’ is unconscionable and inexcusable. Shame on Representative JoAnn Windholz.”
posted by audi alteram partem at 11:07 AM on December 1, 2015 [3 favorites]




Sen. Laura Woods, R-Arvada, who played a prominent role in the Nov. 9 hearing, posted a Guy Fawkes picture on her Facebook page two days after the attack that stated: “THE MIND OF A SLAVE ASKS IS IT LEGAL? THE MIND OF A FREE MAN ASKS IS IT RIGHT? ”

A MAN CHOOSES. A SLAVE OBEYS.

I'm pretty sure a lot of these folks could play Bioshock and think "hey, that sounds like a great place to live before those union types screwed it up."
posted by Justinian at 1:18 PM on December 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


Hopefully this helps quiet the "he was probably trans!" claims, though I'm doubtful.

Surprise! The Planned Parenthood Shooter Is Not Transgender
Ryan Parsell, El Paso County’s chief deputy clerk and recorder, told the Colorado Springs Gazette that his office was responsible for the mistake, calling it a data entry error. When he received a driver’s license with the same error, Dear went to a different Department of Motor Vehicles office to request a corrected license, which he received.
posted by HermitDog at 1:31 PM on December 1, 2015 [14 favorites]


oh good because if there is one thing demonstrably effective in stopping the spread of politicizable lies it is a thorough debunking
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:11 PM on December 1, 2015 [10 favorites]


That was the plot line of a 'King of the Hill' episode.
posted by box at 5:28 PM on December 1, 2015


“THE MIND OF A SLAVE ASKS IS IT LEGAL? THE MIND OF A FREE MAN ASKS IS IT RIGHT? ”

THE MIND OF A REPUBLICAN ASKS IS IT SOMETHING I CAN GET AWAY WITH? IS IT SOMETHING THAT WILL GET ME ELECTED OR MAKE MONEY FROM IT? AND ABOVE ALL, WHO CAN I BLAME FOR IT?
posted by pyramid termite at 5:49 PM on December 1, 2015 [2 favorites]


Richard Fausset: For Robert Dear, Religion and Rage Before Planned Parenthood Attack
[I]n court documents and interviews with people who knew Mr. Dear well, a picture emerges of an angry and occasionally violent man who seemed deeply disturbed and deeply contradictory: He was a man of religious conviction who sinned openly, a man who craved both extreme solitude and near-constant female company, a man who successfully wooed women but, some of them say, also abused them. He frequented marijuana websites, then argued with other posters, often through heated religious screeds.

“Turn to JESUS or burn in hell,” he wrote on one site on Oct. 7, 2005. “WAKE UP SINNERS U CANT SAVE YOURSELF U WILL DIE AN WORMS SHALL EAT YOUR FLESH, NOW YOUR SOUL IS GOING SOMEWHERE.”

A number of people who knew Mr. Dear said he was a staunch abortion opponent. Ms. Micheau, 60, said in a brief interview Tuesday that late in her marriage to Mr. Dear, he told her that he had put glue in the locks of a Planned Parenthood location in Charleston.

“He was very proud of himself that he’d gone over and jammed up their locks with glue so that they couldn’t get in,” she said.

But another ex-wife, Pamela Ross, said that he did not obsess on the subject of abortion. After his arrest, Mr. Dear said “no more baby parts” to investigators, a law enforcement official said.

One person who spoke with him extensively about his religious views said Mr. Dear, who is 57, had praised people who attacked abortion providers, saying they were doing “God’s work.” In 2009, said the person, who spoke on the condition of anonymity out of concerns for the privacy of the family, Mr. Dear described as “heroes” members of the Army of God, a loosely organized group of anti-abortion extremists that has claimed responsibility for a number of killings and bombings.
posted by zombieflanders at 6:05 AM on December 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Extremist fundamentalist terrorism--first, the experience of the modern world as an existential threat. Then the retreat. Then the rage. Then the effort to project their religious worldviews into secular spaces. Then acting out in dominion over the nearby vulnerable. Then the shocking act.

Again. And again. And again.

And somehow we are still puzzled by this, and reminded not to draw conclusions....

Jesus wept: in some alternate universe, the fundamentalist extremists are committing radical acts of feeding the hungry, clothing the naked, and welcoming the stranger.
posted by MonkeyToes at 7:13 AM on December 2, 2015 [9 favorites]


The Toll of Violent Anti-Abortion Speech
Given that Mr. Dear is said to have told the police “no more baby parts,” could the attack be related to the deceptively edited incendiary videos from the anti-abortion group Center for Medical Progress, which purport to show that Planned Parenthood sells fetal tissue for profit? Another Republican presidential contender, Carly Fiorina, called it “typical left-wing tactics” to connect them.

Who is she kidding? Since the videos appeared over the summer, there have been four arsons at or near Planned Parenthood clinics. Abortion providers say threats and harassment have increased as well. But then, disclaiming any connection with violence has a long history in the anti-abortion movement. Black Lives Matter activists are accused by some of promoting the murder of police officers, and every Muslim on earth is seemingly expected to condemn jihadi terrorism on practically a daily basis. Meanwhile, I’m not aware of any prominent abortion opponents who have publicly accepted responsibility for fomenting violence by using language that equates abortion with the Holocaust or murder on an industrial scale — atrocities that would seem to call for resistance by any means necessary.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:47 AM on December 2, 2015 [12 favorites]


ooh: Where's the Partisan Polarization on Abortion? - "Polarization is concentrated among upper-income and well-educated whites.", that is, those most likely to get and sustain media platforms for their views.

This is like the "well-off and Western educated expat" talking heads on cable news about issues in some non-American county.
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:57 AM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Another Republican presidential contender, Carly Fiorina, called it “typical left-wing tactics” to connect them.
Oh, those left-wingers and their crazy tactics. Today it's logical inference, what will it be tomorrow?
posted by Nerd of the North at 10:11 AM on December 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


"Polarization is concentrated among upper-income and well-educated whites.", that is, those most likely to get and sustain media platforms for their views.

And the ones least likely to need the services of a Plamned Parenthood.
posted by Room 641-A at 10:14 AM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Another mass shooting, this time in San Bernadino
The shooting broke out at the Inland Regional Center, which serves more than 31,000 people with developmental disabilities in San Bernardino County and neighboring Riverside County
posted by zombieflanders at 12:08 PM on December 2, 2015


This is absolutely insane!!! I am not shocked or surprised that ANOTHER mass shooting has happened. I am an odd mix of depressed, furious and hopeless.I am placing the blame on the shoulders of the right wing clusterfuck party that has fomented this psychotic climate that we have found ourselves in.
posted by futz at 12:48 PM on December 2, 2015


These are grim days.
posted by humanfont at 1:00 PM on December 2, 2015


One really, really sad thing is that it wasnt even clear to me whether that belonged in this thread or in the Paris thread. That's how shitty the last couple of weeks have been.
posted by Justinian at 1:04 PM on December 2, 2015 [6 favorites]




Black Friday saw most federal gun background checks ever in a single day

I see paperwork as a good thing, myself. I just wrote Senator Schumer that it's time for requiring licensing, registration, and insurance, so that law enforcement has the tools to get guns out of the hands of IRRESPONSIBLE Gun Owners who can't or won't obtain liability insurance or post a bond to cover the potential risk.
posted by mikelieman at 1:28 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


In more directly relevant news, there may have been a shooting outside a women's clinic in Houston. Ugh.
posted by zombieflanders at 1:50 PM on December 2, 2015


Maybe we should just have a monthly "Mass Shooting in America" thread. At least it would save the mods some time and help organize things.

And it's not like this looks to be changing any time soon.
posted by bgal81 at 1:56 PM on December 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Competing shootings. Tremendous.
posted by everybody had matching towels at 1:56 PM on December 2, 2015


I haven't seen anything pop up re: Houston. Is it possible it's a wire crossed re: the Jordan Baker video?
posted by mochapickle at 2:01 PM on December 2, 2015


Here's the report from the local ABC affiliate -- very sparse details right now.
posted by melissasaurus at 2:02 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Maybe we should just have a monthly "Mass Shooting in America" thread

Semi-weekly or daily would be more accurate.
posted by zombieflanders at 2:15 PM on December 2, 2015


Closing in on 300 mass shootings this year.
posted by humanfont at 2:20 PM on December 2, 2015


Re: the Houston shooting, how terrible is it that my first hope was that it was "only" a robbery or carjacking gone wrong? I want to throw up.
posted by rtha at 2:20 PM on December 2, 2015


Closing in on 300 mass shootings this year.

The Washington Post says: There have been 334 days and 351 mass shootings so far this year (as of Nov 30)
posted by peeedro at 2:23 PM on December 2, 2015 [6 favorites]


Now 352, of course - or is it 353?
posted by RedOrGreen at 2:28 PM on December 2, 2015


I was just about to link to that WashPo article-- which lead me to the "gunsarecool" subreddit, which isn't at all what I would have thought. The calendar linked on WashPo is absolutely chilling.
posted by MysticMCJ at 2:33 PM on December 2, 2015


"Gunmen", plural, is worrying if true.
posted by Artw at 2:57 PM on December 2, 2015




The primary suspects are currently a group of 3 individuals who fled the scene in a black SUV and then got into a major gun battle with SWAT. One suspect is dead, one is seriously injured and one is in custody. Police scanner traffic suggests that they are sweeping the area for pipe bombs and checking on reports of other suspects.
posted by humanfont at 4:09 PM on December 2, 2015


Police are saying one dead, one caught and one or two loose/unaccounted for.
posted by futz at 4:15 PM on December 2, 2015


Foreign threats will not destroy America.

America will destroy America.
posted by DoctorFedora at 4:21 PM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]


Looks like no one is in custody. Police news conference at any moment. I'll shut up about this now.
posted by futz at 4:52 PM on December 2, 2015


Are you talking about San Bernardino, futz? Because I see at least 14 people dead being reported multiple places.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:57 PM on December 2, 2015


Ugh, now I see you mean one _shooter_ dead.
posted by thefoxgod at 4:58 PM on December 2, 2015


America waits breathlessly for the white guy or "terrorist"* announcement.

* they are all terrorists.
posted by Artw at 5:04 PM on December 2, 2015


Police press conference starting now.
posted by I-baLL at 5:29 PM on December 2, 2015


I actually don't agree that all mass shooters are terrorists, which is not in any way to diminish the fucked-up racial politics that dictate who does and doesn't get labeled a terrorist in the US.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 5:31 PM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Third person from SUV is in custody but they don't know or aren't saying that they're involved.
posted by rhizome at 5:42 PM on December 2, 2015


It's not confirmed that the 3rd person was from the SUV but it's a definite possibility. The 2 suspects from the SUV who are now deceased were identified only as one male and one female, both armed with assault rifles, hand guns, and there's a possibility of explosives.
posted by I-baLL at 5:45 PM on December 2, 2015


I'm watching ABC national news about the San Bernadino killings (and I just had to go back and add that to indicate which mass shooting on the news I'm talking about, which is not right). A reporter is saying that he's sure these are terrorists, though he's continually saying they could be either domestic or international terrorists. I'm not really following why overseas terrorists would be going after a regional center.
posted by jaguar at 5:57 PM on December 2, 2015


There was some sort of party there. Apparently held by a third party as there's nothing listed on their calendar for today. However, with the recent French shootings, the venues seemed to be pretty random as well. Right now it could be anybody from local gangs to Daesh so I'm just waiting for updates.
posted by I-baLL at 6:00 PM on December 2, 2015


Oh, I should point out that the police chief said that the suv chase started after the cops saw the suv leave a house which they were watching. Since they were watching it in the first place means that some lead from the IRC shooting probably panned out so hopefully we'll have more information soon and hopefully the death toll won't go up any higher. 14 dead, 17 injured.
posted by I-baLL at 6:02 PM on December 2, 2015


A half-hour ago, the thinking seemed to be that the party was specifically targeted, and it might be some sort of workplace dispute thing. (The party was for the local health department.) Now they seem to be gesturing towards terrorism as at least a possibility. I assume we'll know a lot more tomorrow, so it seems pointless to speculate.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:09 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


I don't think it was a workplace incident but if it was it would have to been planned way in advance. Unless they already had pipe bombs and tactical-type gear in their pantry.
posted by futz at 6:15 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Unless they already had pipe bombs and tactical-type gear in their pantry.

Which would support either case, really.
posted by Artw at 6:31 PM on December 2, 2015


Police identified one of the deceased as Syed Farook of San Bernadino.
posted by Justinian at 6:41 PM on December 2, 2015


Shitty racist violence ahoy then. Sigh.
posted by Artw at 6:46 PM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Fucking hell. I have no tools for beating back the tide of American fascism that this one name will inspire.
posted by maxsparber at 6:52 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is a Syed Farook who works for the San Bernadino department of health. So maybe workplace violence, rather than terrorism, but it won't make any difference what his motive was, because racism.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:07 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


There is a Syed Farook who works for the San Bernadino department of health.

Yeah, the local not-rabid news is focusing on that, and emphasizing the idea that it's likely a "workplace dispute." It's a huge difference from the ABC national news, which was totally dismissive of that theory and used the word "terrorist" more times than I could count.
posted by jaguar at 7:20 PM on December 2, 2015


(I'd be interested to see the ABC coverage of the Planned Parenthood shooting and whether it was labeled as terrorism so quickly.)
posted by jaguar at 7:21 PM on December 2, 2015


CNN wouldn't use the T word which surprised me.
posted by futz at 7:21 PM on December 2, 2015


Yeah, news reports indicate that he appears to be an employee of the SB DoH (whose party this was). According to this and a few other places at least. On the other hand, it also appears he was a Muslim, so even if this was a workplace thing there will be people who will focus on his religion instead... will depend some on who the other shooters are.
posted by thefoxgod at 7:23 PM on December 2, 2015


Jesus fuck.
posted by rtha at 7:24 PM on December 2, 2015


It's not clear to me that there is a third shooter, and I'd put money on the second one being his girlfriend or wife.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:24 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


Jesus. How do you get two (possibly) other people to violently participate in your job beef?
posted by futz at 7:26 PM on December 2, 2015


Jesus. How do you get two (possibly) other people to violently participate in your job beef?

It's honestly not that hard to imagine. Have you never met a couple where both parties seemed kind of off, or a whole family that was kind of weird in an undefinable way, or a group of friends that just gave you a strange vibe? It's not at all hard for me to imagine that a person who could see their way clear to murdering a bunch of coworkers might just have people in their personal life that are similarly wired.
posted by palomar at 7:33 PM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


Does someone want to make a post, rather than hijack the Planned Parenthood post?
posted by andoatnp at 7:35 PM on December 2, 2015 [4 favorites]


Not hard to imagine, no. But pretty rare.
posted by futz at 7:36 PM on December 2, 2015


We're also hijacking the Paris post, which has its own problems. I suggested a new post, but the mods said no.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 7:38 PM on December 2, 2015 [1 favorite]


The speculation phase where everyone wants their hated enemy of choice to be the perpetrator of these crimes but pretends that isn't what is happening is the worst part of the media coverage to me.
posted by Drinky Die at 7:48 PM on December 2, 2015 [3 favorites]


What we are seeing in this thread will reflect how we see the media too. The planned parenthood story will just become background noise to the latest mass shooting, and there will be no introspective about the zeitgeist that makes it different.
posted by SecretAgentSockpuppet at 7:52 PM on December 2, 2015 [5 favorites]


don't know if it's staying, but new thread.
posted by twist my arm at 9:12 PM on December 2, 2015


How do you get two (possibly) other people to violently participate in your job beef?

Two people can actually prompt each other to heights of violence that one person would not achieve on their own, as with the Columbine shooting. It's common enough that there's even a name for it: folie a deux.
posted by maxsparber at 10:32 PM on December 2, 2015 [2 favorites]




For Abortion Providers, a Constant Barrage of Personalized Harassment - "Shootings like the one at a Colorado clinic are rare. Stalking, hate mail, and intimidating protests are the daily reality."
posted by the man of twists and turns at 9:57 AM on December 3, 2015 [4 favorites]




No Planned Parenthood defunding included in Republicans’ spending draft: Pelosi

Don't get too excited: Senate Expected To Pass Bill To Defund Planned Parenthood, Repeal Health Law

It will be vetoed, in the event it passes both the House and Senate, but the GOP will get their talking point - "and we would have done it too, if it weren't for those meddling kids! Obama!"
posted by melissasaurus at 10:57 AM on December 3, 2015 [1 favorite]


Update: it passed 54-46 (well, the vote to set aside the Dem's amendment that would restore funding in the bill passed).

Via CSPAN, they just voted on another amendment to restore the funding, proposed by Republican Senator Susan Collins, but that failed as well, 48-52.
posted by melissasaurus at 11:59 AM on December 3, 2015


“Fifteen Things for When the World is Shitty and Terrifying,” Katherine Fritz, I Am Begging My Mother Not To Read This Blog, 28 November 2015
posted by ob1quixote at 1:21 PM on December 3, 2015 [2 favorites]


Too little, too late, but it will interesting to see the response:

"It’s not because of social issues that we will lose. It’s positions we take regarding social issues that can disconnect us from America at large. How many of you believe there should be an exception for a woman that has been a victim of rape, has become pregnant? I don’t believe you can be pro-life and win an election if you’re gonna tell a woman who’s been raped she has to carry the child of the rapist, you’re losing most Americans.” [...] “Not the speech you thought you were gonna hear, right? Not the speech I thought I was gonna give.” -- Lindsey Graham
posted by Room 641-A at 3:47 AM on December 4, 2015 [4 favorites]


The thing about attacking Planned Parenthood is that, while it plays really well with key parts of the Republican base and with large swathes of the American public, it is a massive, massive turnoff for many young to youngish women, including many who consider themselves pro-life. I have had women tell me that they were enraged by Republican attacks on PP because they believe abortion is morally wrong, and Planned Parenthood is the reason that they've never had to have one. I can often get a young woman to promise to vote on the strength of her desire to protect Planned Parenthood and what it stands for. The Republicans aren't stupid, and they're clearly attacking PP for a reason, but I think it's a very double-edged sword that can work to the Democrats' advantage.

But that doesn't take away from the threat of violence, which I truly believe is exacerbated by some of the Republican rhetoric.
posted by ArbitraryAndCapricious at 6:23 AM on December 4, 2015 [1 favorite]


Planned Parenthood: Myth vs. Fact [The Onion]
posted by melissasaurus at 11:10 AM on December 4, 2015 [3 favorites]


FBI on the California shooting [via NYTimes]:
There is no evidence that the Islamic State directed Ms. Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, to stage the attacks, law enforcement officials said. But the Facebook post has led investigators to believe that the couple took inspiration from the group, they said.

The exact same thing could be said about the PP attack:
There is no evidence that the Islamic State Operation Rescue directed Ms. Malik and her husband, Syed Rizwan Farook, Mr. Dear to stage the attacks, law enforcement officials said. But the Facebook post Mr. Dear's statements and internet posts have led investigators to believe that the couple man took inspiration from the group, they said.

But nope, just a lone wolf with a mental illness, not inspired by extremist rhetoric. No reason to investigate clinic violence as domestic terrorism or Operation Rescue as a terrorist organization.
posted by melissasaurus at 1:05 PM on December 4, 2015 [20 favorites]






Make way for, "He's not a real Christian."
posted by rhizome at 2:46 PM on December 9, 2015 [1 favorite]


Extremist "Pro-life" rhetoric has radicalized yet another Christian terrorist.
posted by mikelieman at 2:51 PM on December 9, 2015 [6 favorites]


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