Friday, November 27, 2015

Protesters in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, 1993
Eleven people, including at least four policemen, were injured by a gunman inside a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs today.

A suspect has been taken into custody, and while we do not yet know his motivations, the incident is still a stark reminder of the very real threat we face from home-grown, domestic terrorists.  With so much attention focused on the statistically remote risk from refugees of overseas violence and terror, we forget about the very real danger in our own homes.

Politicians and the media are quick to exploit our fear of "others," even when there's no known threat, and while the United States is the only developed country to suffer from gun violence of epidemic proportions, we seem at a loss on how to deal with the very real threat we present to ourselves.

UPDATE:  It's now been reported that one police officer and two civilians have been killed in the attack.  We grieve with the survivors and the families and loved ones of the victims.

Four Planned Parenthood clinics have been the targets of attacks in the past four months, including a fire at a Washington state clinic and another in California that was fire bombed.  Those of us who were here in Atlanta in the 1990s recall Olympic bomber Eric Rudolph's previous bombings of clinics.

A shooting rampage occurred in this same Colorado town less than a month ago and left three people dead.

The "motives," if any, of the shooter are not yet known, despite the similarities to attacks on other Planned Parenthood clinics.  A statement by Planned Parenthood reads, in part, "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 the attack.  We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country." 

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