Update: Ft. Worth police have arrested a suspect, and so far, reports seem to suggest both that he is very likely the person responsible and that he suffers from terrible mental health issues. I’m relieved both that he is in custody and that, for now, this does seem to be a random incident rather than political violence. Here are a few more of my thoughts on this. I really, really hope that what I wrote below, before all of the facts were at hand, can be retired to history.
Texas State Senator Wendy Davis was not in her office this afternoon when it was firebombed, but two staff members were. They were not hurt, fortunately, and managed to put out the fire.
The police have no suspects and are not, at this point, speculating on what may have prompted the attack.
Last night, I got an auto-dial phone call recorded by Wendy Davis, inviting me to join a conference call update on women’s reproductive health issues in Texas conducted by Annie’s List, the Texas political action committee that raises money for pro-choice women candidates.
Here’s a photo of her speaking at the Planned Parenthood bus rally a few days back:
The police are right not to speculate, and I don’t want to jump to any conclusions, but I’ve been active in reproductive rights long enough to know which side in this battle is most likely to resort to violence.
Hint: it isn’t the women’s reproductive rights advocates.
Here’s the most likely way this will unfold:
- Anti-woman, anti-choice activists will swear up, down, and sideways that pro-abortion feminist radicals staged this to make them look bad and gain publicity. Probably the senator herself, who wasn’t even there, but who callously put her staff members at risk, they’ll claim self-righteously.
- The police will identify a suspect and take him into custody. It will most likely be a him.
- Security staffers for various Texas abortion clinics will be able to provide photos of the suspect harassing clients at their clinics. He may even have a record of complaints filed against him. Quite possibly, people from other states will recognize him as well.
- The suspect won’t deny his actions, and will perhaps even make a somewhat public statement about why he was justified.
- He’ll get a fairly decent attorney, even though he’ll have a marginal job that doesn’t pay much.
- The same anti-choice, anti-woman organizations and spokespeople who first tried to assure us that this was an event staged by feminists will now assure us that the suspect is a lone wolf, was never a member of their groups or part of their actions, that they don’t know him, and that they would never advocate violence.
- In addition to being a lone wolf, they’ll say, he’s also mentally ill.
- They will deny ever advocating violence again, and insist that nothing they said or did could possibly have triggered someone to think they wanted to actually hurt anyone else. They will insist that their rhetoric is completely unrelated to the suspect’s action.
I hope I’m wrong, but this is the way all of these stories play out.
By the way, this happens too often for anyone to fall for the lone wolf line any longer.
And here’s a list of some of those “lone” wolves:
- Michael F. Griffin, who murdered Dr. David Gunn
- Reverend Paul J. Hill, who murdered Dr. John Britton and clinic volunteer James Barrett.
- John Salvi, who murdered clinic receptionists Shannon Lowney and Lee Ann Nichols.
- Eric Robert Rudolph, the Olympic Park Bomber, who murdered police officer/clinic security guard Robert Sanderson.
- James Kopp, who murdered Dr. Barnett Slepian.
- Scott Roeder, who murdered Dr. George Tiller in Dr. Tiller’s church.
And those are just the assassinations that have happened in the United States. You can read more here – attempted killings, bombings, fires, people driving trucks into the front doors of clinics, doors being glued shut, acid attacks … the list of violence is long, and the point of view of the perpetrators is very one-sided.
I just pray that the police catch this dangerous terrorist before he strikes again. Make no mistake about it. This is terrorism. No doubt home-grown. And this has to stop.