Several Republican presidential candidates on Sunday condemned the attack on a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs but stopped short of agreeing with liberal critics who say that fiery antiabortion rhetoric contributed to the shooting.
“It’s obviously a tragedy. Nothing justifies this,” former Hewlett Packard CEO Carly Fiorina said on “Fox News Sunday.” “Any protesters should always be peaceful. Whether it’s Black Lives Matter or pro-life protesters.”
Calls to defund Planned Parenthood through congressional action have escalated in recent months amid a protracted national debate about the ethics of collecting fetal tissue for research.
That dialogue was cast in a grim light after reports that the suspected Colorado gunman is said to have used the phrase “no more baby parts’’ while discussing his motives for the attack, as reported by The Washington Post on Saturday. Liberal critics of antiabortion activism have linked escalating rhetoric on the right with Friday’s attack, including Vicki Cowart, president of Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains, and Dawn Laguens, executive vice president of Planned Parenthood Federation of America.
“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months,” Cowart said in a statement. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”
Perhaps I am foolish to even suggest that this discussion belongs on this blog. Wolve and I have been tap dancing around it since yesterday evening, I believe our discussion was/is respectful. I think its time that we discuss incendiary rhetoric in the context of setting off the nut cases.
Certainly incendiary speech isn’t limited to just the abortion debate. We have done this same dance around the use of speech leading to violence in the 2nd amendment debates also. Sarah Palin and Ted Nugent immediately leap into the foreground in my mind. Anti-civil rights talk also has been linked to violence in the past. We see that same tone being used to drum up feelings regarding those participating in BLM.
I certainly wouldn’t be on the side of closing down discussion. I would be on the side of reminding people that when fiery rhetoric is used to champion an issue, there is no telling who out there is listening. We always need to be mindful of the audience. Yes, unstable people can be stirred up to do others harm. The SS and the KK were full of people on what was seen in their minds as a glorious mission.
Let’s just not fuel the fire. You can peacefully think and state that abortion is wrong, even morally wrong, without setting off some lunatic who is going to pick up a personal crusade to go burn down every clinic in Colorado. It’s all in how you say it. In modern times with instant communication that goes around the world, its even more necessary to weigh our words and our tone. Stirring up a lunatic to become the avenger and kill innocent lives, like what just happened in Colorado Springs is just not worth the political cost.
I believe there is a link from Mr. Dear to the “videos” that were released for a political purpose of discrediting Planned Parenthood. How strong of a link, only Mr. Dear knows.
Further reading: How does Planned Parenthood use federal funds.