Friends, if you’re interested in the latest mass-murder in Colorado probably fueled by someone deranged by religion and misogyny–because this is only the latest, not the last, I am sure–follow the Colorado Springs Gazette, the live blog at the Denver Post, or the Twitter accounts of DP reporter Jordan Steffen or the Gazette. As you have probably already heard, a white man with an AK-47 named Robert Lewis Dear killed one police officer and two citizens in or near the Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado, where he also wounded nine others in the course of holding the clinic and the entire neighborhood hostage for six hours yesterday.
Walking around with an AK-47 in Colorado Springs–or pretty much any town in Colorado outside of Denver!–is nice’n’legal. Don’t be alarmed, citizens! It’s just another peace-loving white man exercising his Second Amendment rights to make Colorado look and feel like war-torn Raqqa, Syria.
Let’s remember what Paul Harvey wrote for this blog just three weeks ago, on the first gun-fueled murderous rampage in Colorado Springs this month: “We will all have another chance to pay obeisance to the God that we are all compelled, willingly or not, to worship.”
16 thoughts on “Merely the latest, surely not the last: Mass-murder at Planned Parenthood”
Meanwhile, the Archbishop of Canterbury, the one in the White House, I mean, has issued yet another empty “this must stop” incantation, just like the last time. And the last time before that last time. It will actually probably take a John Brown moment, some equally-deranged private citizen marching through Kansas to break the gun power, to begin moving the ball in the other direction. Regrettably enough, to be sure, but when you consider that we live in a failed state (not a reference specific or limited to either Colorado or Syria), that’s what we’re historically left with.
It’s a depressing but undeniable fact that violence–or the threat of violence–has been a powerful force for change in the U.S., both for good and ill. I spent late yesterday afternoon watching Suffragette, the movie about the women’s suffrage movement in Britain in its “militant” turn.
Sadly, the militants (and Alice Paul in the U.S.) were right: the only thing that got widespread attention for their cause was violence and bodily sacrifice. How many women’s bodies must be INvoluntarily menaced or sacrificed for the right to abortion care?
Yet again it seems his violence/anger has long been directed against women. Anyone see a pattern here?
No, no: surely just a lone wolf with mental illness. Move along folks; nothing to see here.
And every single frakking one of his beefs with the cops, prior to this shooting, were for domestic violence or exposure — those, of course, weren’t serious enough to mind.
And can I tell you how sad I am that since abortion’s so charged an act — female healthcare, in a place that provides abortion — that the names of othe other victims probably will remain samizdat, to prevent *other* zealots from harassing their mourning families?
And that the press has not said word one, about this necessary censorship?
All those killed and injured, and only the cops have enough societal protection to be mentioned by name.
Bitter hilarity at a vigil this morning in CSprings at the UU Church:
The UU minister’s response to this outburst was spot-on: “It’s important to remember the people who face harm’s way every day because of the obscene access we have to assault weapons in this community. If we do not recognize something must be done, then we have fallen short in honoring the lives of those who have been lost.”
I’d like to point out the essentially political nature of the murders in this case: 1) committed with an AK-47 2) at a Planned Parenthood clinic. But it’s now bad manners (or something) to point this out???
Finally, one last question: what part of VIGIL AT A UNITARIAN UNIVERSALIST CHURCH do you not understand? If I went to a vigil at Focus on the Family HQ (which they’ll never hold for the victims in these murders, BTW), I wouldn’t expect the assembled worthies there to speak up FOR abortion rights. So STFU if you don’t like it that Vicki Cowart showed up to assert her support for abortion care in your community.
And this is the stupidest headline on the face of the fucking earth:
“Planned Parenthood shootings increasingly seem politically motivated”
(You see, even the original hed was more relevant)
OH — when the other zealots tried to shoot clinic patients and doctors dead, they were doing it for aesthetic reasons?
The bulletproof vests carried in the clinic, to protect workers, clashed with their winter ensembles?
The screaming, hate-filled faux-Christians harassed patients because the architecture made their eyes water?
Even when they have a chance to dig deeper, to communicate how polarized this has become, where hunting women is now acceptable, they choose the illusion of impartiality, to hold on to the few subscribers they have left.
I know! It’s interesting how even Suthers has been saying for the last day, “it was at PP; connect the dots, dopes.”
Your other comment about the lack of information about the non-police officer victims is fascinating. I hadn’t put it all together, but I’ve been wondering now for 36 hours why the so-called “civilian” dead weren’t named in the press–today’s stories say they won’t be until after their autopsies are complete (!) – but I think we KNOW already how they died. I’ve been thinking that perhaps their identities would somehow be explosive, but your explanation makes much more sense: law enforcement doesn’t want to further traumatize or endanger their families.
Of course, they could just come out foursquare and provide guards and protection against harassment, if that’s what they fear.
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Either that, or the worst possible outcome, that fits in with the RW worldview: Friendly fire by police/FBI, as per Waco.
They have to perform the autopsies, and examine the bullets, to match them against the perp’s gun. When they breached PP, there was so much gunfire that “collateral damage” might have occurred.
Oh, as for city-provided protection? Lest we forget, we’re discussing the municipality that thought it prudent to let streetlights die out, in the name of fiscal responsibility. That, and it took campus safety, state po-po, as well as Colorado Springs cops, to respond.
The last thing their council will provide funds for is added security for a attractive terrorist nuisance. Betcha the local insurance agents will price coverage out of the range for the clinic to reopen in an area of public commerce, making it even more vulnerable to attack.
If Obama were serious about really making a statement, he’d set up a governmental liability risk pool for any women’s health clinic, regardless of their providing abortions, the same as they would a nuclear power plant. Make an attack an automatic Federal hate crime, and look how fucking quiet the room would get.
No, Mr. President, this ain’t normal. But due to your and Congress’ inaction, it’s becoming that. Put up, or shut up..
A 29-year old Iraq war vet and father of two, and a mother of two (36) who accompanied a friend to the clinic are the “civilian” victims of this homicide.
I ran this morning with my friend in law enforcement, and she said she had no idea why CSprings police were going to withhold this information until after the autopsies were completed tomorrow. I guess other news agencies found out so everyone had to run with it, but still: there’s no HIPAA violation if you’re a murder victim. You’re dead; that’s public information.
But apparently *why* they were at PP matters, in the eyes of the reporter and/or the family members who provided the information. As it turns out, neither was at the clinic to have an abortion (though either or both may have been accompanying women who came to the clinic for that purpose, or some other purpose), and — perhaps the strangest but most telling detail — both had children (and so were proven not to be anti-child, I suppose?). Apparently that all adds up to their being at least potentially innocent victims (and leaves open the possibility that a woman who was at the clinic to get an abortion, or a staff member who regularly performed or assisted in such procedures, would somehow be less than innocent, or innocent to a lesser degree). The police officer was, of course, always eligible to be an innocent victim, because he had a “legitimate,” job-related reason to be on the scene (but I did see at least one interview with a fellow-member of the church at which he was a lay leader that emphasized that he was not pro-abortion, just doing his job in responding to the call).
So the way the story is being told now that the names are public suggests that there was, indeed, some reason for withholding the names, at least until the families involved could absorb the news. Of course, one could argue that decency would call for a similar pause after the death of pretty much any non-public figure, and we don’t do that. And I suspect the story would have been even more complicated to tell, for both reporters and family members, if one of people killed had been a patient at the clinic for an abortion (though I’m not sure the purpose of a visit wouldn’t still be protected, or that PP couldn’t choose to protect it, unless the gunman had done something like checking charts for planned procedures, in which case that would probably come out at trial).
My understanding is that the police officer killed was on the force at the UC campus in town ten miles away. Not clear whether he was dispatched by whatever command structure he had or what the local protocols are for responding to these kinds of extra-jurisdictional calls. There was a very moving interview tonight on CNN with Nancy Kerrigan, the figure skater, who apparently has known him for years from the skating community of which he was once a member. The national leader of Planned Parenthood in another interview had devastatingly good responses to an anchor-interviewer who was leaning overboard to be “fair and balanced,” and challenging her to “name names” of which politicians were adding to the rhetorical climate of incitement to terror. She made it clear that she thought it was basically the entire Republican lineup. Then they showed a clip of Carly Fiorina going on and on, and tried to bait her with this, but she swatted it away with a couple of biting observations.
They had an article about this in the paper this morning–turns out, campus police radios are on the same frequency as CSprings city police, and both forces regularly respond to calls on and off campus alike. I’m sure it goes back to what you said a few weeks ago in a post about campus “police,” which is that if they’re “sworn officers” (that is, armed and dangerous), they operate like members of a muni police force: http://www.denverpost.com/news/ci_29180193/slain-officers-response-to-planned-parenthood-shootings-not-unusual
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