Skip links

Stop Blaming Pro-Lifers For The Colorado Springs Shooting

Screen Shot 2015-11-30 at 11.41.05 AM

Over the holiday weekend, Robert Lewis Dear, an unkempt 57-year-old man with an apparent history of trouble with the law over cruelty to animals and humans alike, opened fire on civilians and cops first outside and then from inside a Colorado Planned Parenthood clinic. He killed three people — including a police officer, a 36-year-old mother, and a 29-year-old father and Iraq War veteran — and wounded nine others before surrendering to police.

As is so often the case in these circumstances, Dear is described by neighbors as an odd loner, who avoided eye contact and spoke unintelligibly. In South Carolina, his previous residence, he had been arrested after hiding in the bushes and peeping into his neighbor’s house. He shot a neighbor’s dog with a pellet gun and threatened him with bodily harm. In Colorado, he lived off the grid in a trailer, on a five-acre plot of land he apparently purchased for $6,000 in 2014. This followed a series of cabins and trailers — without electricity or running water — that he stayed in after his divorce in 2000.

Dear has no history of affiliation with the Republican Party or pro-life groups or politicians. He was not affiliated with any party and reportedly had limited interactions about politics with those who knew him. But he proffered anti-Obama literature to a neighbor, had a history of anti-government comments, and The New York Times connects him with online postings seeking partners for BDSM sex and others on calling it the “End Times” due to AIDS and hurricanes.

More important for the media’s context for this story, according to anonymous law enforcement sources speaking with The New York Times, Dear “said ‘no more baby parts’ in a rambling interview with the authorities. The official said that Mr. Dear ‘said a lot of things’ during his interview, making it difficult for the authorities to pinpoint a specific motivation.”

For their part, Colorado authorities have been markedly hesitant to declare a clear motive for Dear’s attacks.

But this has not stopped Planned Parenthood and its allies in the media and politics from running with their depiction of Robert Lewis Dear as a stand-in for all Americans who oppose abortion on demand:

Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, went beyond an inference, saying the shooter “was motivated by opposition to safe and legal abortion.” [Attorney General Loretta] Lynch, who called the “unconscionable attack” a “crime against women receiving health care services,” pledged the full resources of her office for the investigation.

This remark from Cowart is only the beginning of what will be a significant public relations push from Planned Parenthood in the days ahead to depict this off-the-grid loner with a history of bizarre and violent behavior as your typical pro-lifer, motivated to murderous violence by political and rhetorical attacks on Planned Parenthood. “I hope people realize that bitter rhetoric can have unintended consequences,” Bernie Sanders tweeted.

Read more at…

Share with Friends:

Leave a comment