Antiabortion activist to clinic volunteers: It’s your fault if someone shoots you
I didn’t think I had a blog post for today, but then I saw that headline in Salon. It sort of took my breath away, for a minute. I mean, they’re saying it’s my own fault if someone shoots ME at the clinic this Saturday morning.
“Mark Gietzen, chairman of the Kansas Coalition for Life, accused the South Wind Women’s Center of trying to provoke a gun violence incident by allowing volunteers to escort women into the clinic (a common practice among clinics frequently targeted for harassment by anti-choice activists).”
So not only will it be our own fault when it happens, but really, we’re actually inviting it. Asking for it.
You can go read the whole article here. It says about what you might expect.
Gietzen apparently thinks that it’ll be an angry husband or boyfriend who does the shooting – although why they would shoot an escort is kind of baffling to me. Not to Gietzen. He says:
“The way this [clinic escort] acts, I’m afraid that someone’s going to shoot him,” Gietzen continued, referring to the escort. “He’s asking for it. I don’t want for that to happen … It’s not good for the cause.”
You know. I thought I had a lot to say about this ~ I’ve got plenty of feelings about it. But I reread that and words fail me.
Ok. I’ll say this. I don’t really think anyone is going to shoot me today on the sidewalk. I think most of the antis go home to pleasant lives and they don’t want to give that up to go to prison. I don’t think most of them actually hate us enough to take that kind of risk.
Andrew would say, “I don’t wish you any harm at all – we luv you! I pray for you!” While I might not want his “luv,” i do appreciate that he’s not planning to kill me.
So I don’t think some client’s husband is going to shoot me, and I don’t think the protesters are going to do it. But I think there are people with relatively barren lives, little emotional support or sense of belonging, and bleak futures who are vulnerable to the impact of this kind of talk.
I think there are people already living on the edge who could get inspired with this kind of talk. Like Gietzen says:
“Even a well-meaning dog will bite at some point in time if you keep antagonizing it,”
I can imagine someone feeling encouraged by that. Thinking “Yeah, that’s right! It’s not MY fault! They’re asking for it!” Seeing it as support for the vague ideas they’ve been having lately, that feeling that they need to do something different, that the world is no good and life isn’t worth living. Maybe if they do something like this, people will pay attention…
Or maybe I’ve just read too many cheap novels, let my imagination run wild one time too many.
It frightens me to hear someone say I’m asking to get killed. It makes me scared and sad and angry.
Then I push that away ~ I don’t think it’s likely to happen – small probability – , and I’m sure as hell not going to stop escorting, so there’s no point in worrying about it.
But ~ let me be real clear about this ~ if I get murdered on the sidewalk, it will not be my fault. And if I get shot out there, I expect to become a big frigging martyr. Oubli and KyBorn and all of youall ~ you know how to do it. Facebook posts and memes, petitions and letters to the governor.
Really, if I get shot, see if you can’t at least get a buffer zone out of it.