On January 29, anti-abortion fanatic Scott Roeder was found guilty of first degree murder for killing Dr. George Tiller as he attended worship services at a Lutheran Church last May. The jury took just 37 minutes to convict the shooter, rejecting Roeder’s ridiculous claim that he had to kill the doctor, who provided late term abortions, to save innocent life.
Roeder was a terrorist—not just trying to kill one doctor, but to intimidate and frighten thousands of women and the physicans they depend on for help when facing the difficult decision to terminate a pregnancy. Since 1977, there have been 5,800 acts of violence directed at women’s health clinics, and eight abortion providers killed since 1993. People like Roeder are the spearhead of a concerted campaign to substitute bullying and thuggery for the rule of law.
But the ones who actually pull the trigger are not the only ones who should be on trial. Those who equate abortion with “murder” are guilty in some sense, too, inciting others to violence and vigilantism with their overheated rhetoric.
America needs more tolerance, greater civility, and more mutual respect between citizens who call themselves “pro-life” and those who consider themselves “pro-choice” (who happen to constitute a majority of the electorate). What it doesn’t need are more self-defined holy warriors who appoint themselves God’s avenging angels, using political opponents and people of differing faiths for target practice.
What it doesn’t need is to let guys like Roeder off with “voluntary manslaughter,” a lesser offense suggesting that he honestly but mistakenly believed his cold-blooded plot, which he admitted spending years planning, was somehow necessary and justified.
There are too many nut-jobs out there already who mistakenly believe it’s “necessary” to bash gays, take multiple wives, collect arsenals of high-caliber weapons and generally run amok.
Thank goodness for the jury system, and the good sense of the twelve men and women in Witchita who said “no” to chaos and put Roeder behind bars. That’s where lawlessness belongs.
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