Editor: PP was using the situation to make money while it was still ongoing. “Never let a crisis go to waste.”
“No more baby parts.”
As of this writing, that statement by Robert Lewis Dear is the only evidence that the “Planned Parenthood shooter” in Colorado Springs, Colo., was motivated by anti-abortion rhetoric.
Dear’s comment came amid a rambling interview that left law enforcement officials unsure what his motivations were.
That didn’t stop abortion-rights supporters, led by Planned Parenthood’s formidable PR operation, from placing the shooting at the feet of abortion opponents, including Republican presidential candidates and particularly the producers of the undercover videos about Planned Parenthood and the sale of fetal organs.
Pretty much the only things we know for sure are that three innocent people were killed and that Dear is, by most people’s standards, not right in the head.
Dear is a recluse fond of living off the grid — literally, as in without electricity — who apparently scared pretty much anyone he came in contact with. It is unlikely but not impossible that he was partly inspired by anti-abortion or anti-Obama rhetoric or by the undercover videos released by the Center for Medical Progress.
But let’s assume Dear was inspired by those videos. My sincere question is, “So what?”
I understand that many abortion-rights activists don’t want abortion rights to be up for debate, hence the effort to cast any opponents of unlimited abortion as not just wrong, but as anti-woman, anti-health and in some sense in league with someone like Dear: an alleged domestic terrorist.
But that’s not only ridiculous on the merits, it’s not how the First Amendment works.
I agree entirely that leaders of the pro-life movement and other social conservatives should condemn violence and do what they can, within reason, to discourage anyone from killing in their cause’s name.
That still leaves the problem of those outside reason. The guy who shot John Lennon was said to be inspired by “The Catcher in the Rye.” The Aurora, Colo., shooter who slaughtered a dozen people at a showing of “The Dark Knight Rises” was not only obsessed with a particular Batman film series, he told police he was the Caped Crusader’s nemesis, The Joker. The Tucson, Ariz., shooter, a deeply mentally ill man, was obsessed with the lunatic conspiracy film “Zeitgeist.” The deranged Newtown, Conn., shooter loved video games.