Saturday, November 28, 2015

What do you mean by "target"?

Image via CNN.
Well, that didn't take long. From BuzzFeed:
Zigmond Post, who told BuzzFeed News he was a neighbor of Dear’s in Hartsel, said the man once gave him anti-Obama pamphlets.
Post said he once went to Dear’s home to retrieve two dogs that had gotten loose. “We were there for a minute and the guy was already handing us anti-Obama pamphlets,” he said. According to Post, Dear said “Obama was ruining the country and needed to be impeached.”
But this certainly has no direct bearing on the question of whether Robert Dear was "targeting Planned Parenthood" when he shot his way (legally open-carrying an AK-47) into a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs and killed three people and wounded many more once he got inside. Surely there are lots of Obama haters who couldn't care less about Planned Parenthood. Or used to be, anyway, before a few months ago, right? Along the lines of that guy who called them
an organization of citizens, sincerely motivated and deeply concerned about the increase in illegitimate births and abortions involving girls well below the age of consent, sometime ago established a nationwide network of clinics to offer help to these girls and, hopefully, alleviate this situation. Now, again, let me say, I do not fault their intent.
Oh wait, no, that was 1983, when Obama was still just a gleam in Bill Ayres's eye. But Jim Hoft, stupidest man on the Internet, was pretty sure the Friday shootings had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood; the cops told him, presumably telepathically through the chip in his wisdom tooth.

Much more relevant, I think, would be the fact that it was, in fact, a Planned Parenthood center that Dear was attacking. If he wasn't targeting Planned Parenthood— if he meant to go after the grocery store, say, or the nail salon, he was doing a remarkably poor job.

I guess the question arose during the standoff yesterday afternoon, when the situation was still extremely unclear, and the president and CEO of Planned Parenthood Rocky Mountains, Vicki Cowart, had to issue a statement and didn't want to make any unwarranted allegations:
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.
But then that wasn't cautious enough for Rep. Adam Kinzinger (R-IL), doing Republican Talking Head duty on CNN, who took offense:
Yeah, when I heard that statement, I thought that was very premature. We may find out that this person was targeting Planned Parenthood. If we find out that he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director for saying that.
What exactly did he mean by that?

What was premature about "we don't yet know" (she should have said "we may in fact know, it's too early to say we don't know"?) or "We share concerns... that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism"? It's too soon to think it's possible that extremism fuels domestic terrorism because only maybe three of the ten worst domestic Christian white-guy terror incidents in the last 20 years have taken place at abortion clinics (the bombing of the Planned Parenthood center in Brookline, 1994, the killings of Dr. John Britton and his bodyguard James Barrett in Pensacola in 1994, of Dr. Barnett Slepian in Amherst, NY in 1998—Dr. George Tiller of Wichita, murdered in 2009, was an abortion provider too, but he was killed during Sunday service at the Reformation Lutheran Church, where he was an usher, so maybe they shot him because he was a Christian)?

Who did he want Cowart to apologize to, exactly, in the event that the shooter had not targeted Planned Parenthood? What did she say, prematurely, to hurt whose feelings? I think he wants her to apologize personally to him, because he's an extremist. She should forget about the shooting victims—including officer Garrett Swasey, 44, married with two kids, a champion figure skater back in the day and a volunteer pastor at the evangelical Hope Chapel in Colorado Springs—and think about Rep. Kinzinger, who's all upset because she's acting like extremists are somehow bad people.
If somebody is targeting Planned Parenthood, it's not indicative of what folks who are opposed to some of the practices Planned Parenthood commits, how we feel. We saw these barbaric videos and that was something that many of us have a legitimate concern about. That doesn't mean we're going to take guns, and walk into Planned Parenthood clinics.
It's not a legitimate concern, for one thing, the videos being in fact nothing but another hoax from the James O'Keeffe School of Big Mendacity, and nobody has accused Rep. Kinzinger of being in any way likely to go shoot up a clinic (if he did CNN would probably stop calling him), as far as I know.

Though you might think it's an example of "creating a poisonous environment" when somebody says, as Kinzinger did on July 23,
I mean it’s Nazi Germany…you think of the doctors in the concentration camps experimenting on their victims it’s kind of reminiscent of that. To see a cold-hearted, I’d use a word I can’t utter on the radio, you know negotiating callously the parts of a child is just, I mean you’d never imagine anything like this happening in America….You can’t justify this.
Maybe he thought Cowart was personally talking to him and got palpitations. Anyway you can bet that Robert Dear is just as conservative as Adam Kinzinger, however much more dangerous and/or crazier, and the other shoe will be dropping soon and the shooter's connections with the Army of God or some other anti-choice militia turning up before you know it.


And here it is, a little ahead of schedule, from NBC News via LittleGreenFootballs:
Robert Lewis Dear, a North Carolina native who was living in a trailer in Colorado, made statements to police Friday at the scene of the Colorado Springs clinic and in interviews that law enforcement sources described as rantings.
In one statement, made after the suspect was taken in for questioning, Dear said “no more baby parts” in reference to Planned Parenthood, according to two law enforcement sources with knowledge of the case.
Hey Benghazi committee, turns out sometimes murderous rampages really are caused by fraudulent amateur videos after all.

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