It’s a Giant Fucking Mystery Wrapped Inside A Riddle Inside an Enigma

riddlemethis

Give me a break:

The shooter who killed three and injured several others at the site of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs remains something of an enigma, and while both sides of the political aisle have chimed in about the shooting it isn’t clear at all that he was particularly or specifically motivated by politics to commit his crimes:

If a Muslim man shot up a synagogue and told the cops “No more Jews,” would his motives be enigmatic?

If a black man shot a cop and said “fuck the police” while being arrested, would we have to wait to figure out his motivations?

But if a crazy loner gun nut shoots a bunch of people in front of a planned parenthood, carrying explosive devices with him, and states “No more baby parts,” which JUST SO FUCKING HAPPENS to be rhetoric tossed around by right to lifers the past few months, and it’s a GIANT FUCKING RIDDLE what his motivations might have been. It’s a real fucking whodunit. Lemme guess, you probably think Dr. Tiller’s killer just had a thing against lab coats.

May he have said a number of other things? Sure. Crazy people say all sorts of crazy shit. But you can’t deny where he was and what he said. It’s not a riddle. It’s the result of calculated rhetoric that is DESIGNED to encourage this kind of behavior.






78 replies
  1. 1
    JPL says:

    No kidding.

  2. 2
    redshirt says:

    White men are the greatest threat to any American and should be screened as such.

  3. 3
    Corner Stone says:

    Radio Rwanda for the American Right.

  4. 4
    Concerned says:

    I just love it when you talk like this, you know, honestly. Thanks, I needed that.

  5. 5
    PhoenixRising says:

    My ex stopped providing abortions because she was scared. How many more doctors, which they have to be under the current regime of TRAP laws, are going to train to take that risk?

    Terrorism is the use of violent means toward political or social ends. Like ending abortion in America, because no one will provide one.

  6. 6
    Hildebrand says:

    Of course, the media will buy the whole ‘who could possibly know what lurks in the hearts of men’ bit completely, utterly, because they will never want to admit that they have been complicit in the creation of these monsters. If they admit these guys are home grown terrorists, they may actually have to look in the mirror, and that will never happen.

  7. 7
    Baud says:

    Seems like a drug deal gone bad to me.

  8. 8
    Mr Stagger Lee says:

    One victim was Black and the other one was Pacific Islander, can we also suggest racially motivated too? A Cop Killer also which should be the cherry on the icing.

  9. 9
    bk says:

    Screw Jim Hoft. Sometimes Mataconis is the “Stupidest Guy on the Internet”.

  10. 10
    Sandia Blanca says:

    @Concerned: Seriously. John Cole speaks for me (and my id).

  11. 11
    Oatler. says:

    Treat North Carolina as a breeding ground for terrorists and deal with the region accordingly.

  12. 12
    piratedan7 says:

    while I am pissed off, saddened, horrified, I just don’t expect very much to change… why? Because the 4th estate don’t give a fuck. If a shooter came in and shot up a local TV station, all of these fuckers would have is a Sally Field moment like at the end of Absence of Malice. They are completely uncaring on how they’re being used as long as they get the paycheck.

    As for the soulless fucks and the cherrypicking theologians, all I can say is that I hope Cthulhu raptures them to the appropriate dimension.

  13. 13
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Oatler.: Please explicate.

  14. 14
    Corner Stone says:

    Decision time!

  15. 15
    skerry says:

    @piratedan7: The 4th estate didn’t care all too much when the reporter and cameraman were killed in Virginia in August. I don’t remember any Sally Field moments.

  16. 16
    RSA says:

    That’s a very stupid piece of opinion writing. Okay, I can see someone withholding judgment because his or her personal standards of evidence aren’t met, but arguing that “it isn’t clear at all that he was particularly or specifically motivated by politics”? That’s nonsense. No, it’s bullshit. It is clear. The reporting may turn out to be wrong, eventually, but that’s a different question than whether it’s clear right now, which it pretty much is.

  17. 17

    Someone (maybe Adam?) was saying when the news first broke that the state of Colorado might avoid charging him with terrorism because they think that doing so would make it harder to get a conviction. After all, he’s a white Christian, so most juries would be unwilling to convict him of terrorism even though he fits the legal criteria.

    But for the media to pretend it’s some kind of fucking mystery when the guy said why he did it is insane.

  18. 18
    dmsilev says:

    @bk: It ain’t stupidity. It’s willful blindness. Most people eventually learn that closing your eyes and screaming LALALALALAICANTHEARYOU won’t make unpleasant things go away. Most people.

  19. 19

    @RSA:

    Right-wingers want to pretend that their opposition to abortion is purely religious and politics are incidental. That’s why killing people at PP is claimed to not be “political.”

  20. 20
    Corner Stone says:

    I still say I’d take Baldwin or Kearse on my team as #2 or #3 WR, any day.

  21. 21
    Just Some Fuckhead says:

    Why are Conservatives so reluctant to call it what it is: Radical Christian Extremism. We can’t defeat it if they are afraid to call it what it is.

  22. 22
    RSA says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet):

    Right-wingers want to pretend that their opposition to abortion is purely religious and politics are incidental.

    Thanks. This has never occurred to me, and I’ve never recognized the tactic.

  23. 23
    Mike in NC says:

    Has anybody in the media offered a helpful “Both sides do it” yet?

    Funny how these attacks are always linked to older white guys with Jesus on the brain. What do they have to lose by making it impossible to get an abortion for any reason?

  24. 24
    dexwood says:

    John Cole speaks for me, once again, and others I’ve spent time with today.

  25. 25
    Libby says:

    My money is on an insanity plea leading to the next chorus of “it’s not guns, it’s the mental health system” from the customary choir.

  26. 26
    Patrick says:

    The shooter who killed three and injured several others at the site of a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs remains something of an enigma, and while both sides of the political aisle have chimed in about the shooting it isn’t clear at all that he was particularly or specifically motivated by politics to commit his crimes:

    Really? So of all the millions of places he could have gone to, he decided to go to Planned Parenthood. The same PP that the entire Republican party has deemed as bad as ISIS. And this guy wants us to believe this is not political. Oh please…

  27. 27
    pat says:

    They won’t call it what it is because they have spent years equating abortion with murder. You can’t win with these people. There are nuts who object to certain forms of birth control because they might prevent implantation of a fertilized egg.

    Egg-blastocyst-zygote-embryo-fetus-baby. Just leave out the middle steps. (my biology is a bit rusty, don’t attack me if I got the sequence wrong.)

  28. 28
    Brachiator says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead:

    Why are Conservatives so reluctant to call it what it is: Radical Christian Extremism. We can’t defeat it if they are afraid to call it what it is.

    Conservatives aren’t interested in seeing radical Christian extremism defeated. They would even deny that any conservative Christianity is extreme.

  29. 29
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): The Feds would have to charge him with domestic terrorism. Its a Federal statute. They could also charge him with violating the FACE Act – I think it stands for Free Access to Clinic Entrances. It has provisions for prosecution for violent acts. At the state level there usually aren’t terrorism statutes. Some states have terrorizing or making terroristic threats, but terrorism is usually a Federal concern.

    I think the issue for a domestic terrorism prosecution, despite my continued professional view that this, like Roof’s attack in SC, qualifies, will be getting a conviction. As I wrote yesterday (I think it was), I’m sure the Federal prosecutors are aware that the popular belief in the US is that terrorism is synonymous with Arabs and/or Muslims – except for eco-terrorists, those guys and gals are just dizzy, hippie, white folks… As such, despite what the statute says and no matter how good the evidence, trying to get a jury to ignore what they know because its common knowledge/belief will be very difficult. They also know that every time the Feds try to deal with these issues, involving white Christians, they get beat up terribly in the press.

    If you’re asking me to guesstimate, I’d say there will definitely be state level murder and attempted murder charges. There may also be Federal charges under the FACE Act, but I think a domestic terrorism charge is unlikely. I would like to be proven wrong however.

  30. 30
    gwangung says:

    @Mike in NC: Christian Science Monitor.

  31. 31
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Libby: I think the defense will try it, but it’ll be interesting to see how it plays out. Remember, the test is not is the person diagnosed with a mental illness, but rather are they capable of understanding the charges against them and contributing to their own defense.

  32. 32
    max says:

    Crazy people say all sorts of crazy shit.

    Who said he was crazy? He is assumed to be crazy. Doesn’t mean he IS crazy.

    Maybe he just doesn’t like abortion, thinks of abortionists as ‘baby killers’ and thinks that PP involves killing babes and selling their corpses because, I dunno, maybe they ran a bunch of bunk vids telling him that was the case.

    ‘Obviously he must be crazy because he acted on something we told him about harvesting fetal tissue for sale’ or some shit implies something obvious.

    max
    [‘A Dem calling him a crazy person is giving him a walk. Dylan whatshisname in SC wasn’t crazy, he was trying to kill black people because he thought there were doing massive evil.’]

  33. 33
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @max: I think the crazy bit is based on his mug shot coupled with a whispering campaign in the press that he was an isolated loner. Our news media is horrible.

  34. 34
    Poopyman says:

    This came across my Facebook feed. Sorry for the length. On second thought, no, I’m not. All of it needs to be here:

    “So I’m gonna share the most personal story I have, one most people have never heard me tell because it’s only been a year since it happened. But I can’t stay silent anymore. I care way too much about what’s going on in our country to keep it to myself anymore.
    I, like most women I know, have relied on Planned Parenthood for my life, health, and sanity. They are not only where I went to get an IUD (so that I don’t have to GET an abortion should a condom break one day), where I have gone multiple times to get my pink parts checked out (so I don’t die of fun stuff like cervical cancer), and where I’ve gone to get tested for STD’s multiple times (so I don’t pass that shit onto a nice boy I like). These reasons should be enough. But here’s one more reason.
    Planned Parenthood is where I went after I got violently raped by my (ex)boyfriend when I tried to break up with his wife-beating ass. (Btw, his method worked! I had to figure out a better exit strategy weeks later. Rape wins again!).
    So Why Planned Parenthood and not the cops you might ask? Actually, I went to both. The cops were no help. He walks a free man to this day. But the reason I went to Planned Parenthood is because I wanted to make sure my vagina wasn’t, like, broken or some shit. And because I needed them to run some tests to make sure he didn’t give me an STD in the process. Above everything, though, I went to them because I needed people who understood women in crisis. Who knew how to support us and talk to us in a way that’s not condescending or shaming.
    Planned Parenthood doesn’t just deal with vaginas, y’all, they deal with women’s heart and souls in those rooms. It’ s a sacred space and the government has no business being in there with us. Nor does anyone with a fucking gun. But now every women in this country who goes into those rooms, whether it be to get a simple pap smear or something much more intense, will be on edge (as if she needed any more shit to worry about) and afraid of getting fucking shot by another white christian terrorist. Btw, I am not nearly as afraid of ISIS as I am of angry white american men with guns.
    So why the hell should you care about any of this? Well, if you’re a woman, fucking DUH. But if you’re a man who loves the women in your life, then fucking duh too. Planned parenthood is what keeps men from getting STD’s from us women. And keeps men form having babies they don’t actually want (yet). And it keeps the women they love from dying of cancer and shit because PP provides cheap health care for people like me who have bull-donkey insurance (or none at all).
    I’ve never had to get an abortion myself, but only because my birth control has never failed me. But I will support PP and my right to have one should I ever decide to, til the day I die. And you should too. Because women will just go back to using coat hangers if you change the laws and shut these places down. Because we will not be forced to do what we know we can’t handle. Because kids deserve to be born into families that WANT them and can afford to provide for them. And because women are not fucking domesticated cows or cum dumpsters or baby factories. We are human beings with a right to make choices and mistakes, just like men.
    If you are a man who has stayed quiet on the sidelines and watched women fight this battle alone, fucking donate to PP and, for god’s sake, speak up already! We need you! Men listen to other men. It’s sad but true. Men don’t always trust our words or our perspective. But they’ll listen to YOU. And this is just as much your issue as it is ours if you give a shit about the women you love and if you aren’t interested in crabs or herpies or having it burn when you peepee cuz you got an STD from a lady friend.
    Since 1977, there have been 8 murders, 17 attempted murders, 42 bombings, 186 arsons, and thousands of incidents of criminal activity at our abortion clinics. And yet they have survived somehow. Why? Because we NEED them. I don’t care if you agree with abortion or not. That’s one service they do of many. Planned Parenthood is the only place ALL women have access to that gives a fuck about us and our health. You take this from us and we have nothing. Nowhere to go. Women are half the population. We’re your mothers, your daughters, your girlfriends, your spouses, your friends, your bosses, your coworkers, your fellow human beings. Give a shit about us and take a stand. We cannot protect our rights alone anymore. We’re fucking losing here. Help us.”
    *if you are poised to write a clever “counterpoint,” save your energy. we’re getting enough of that from clowns at the podium, and anyone who tries to justify a murderous rampage in the name of “savin’ babies!” has no place on my list of friends.

  35. 35
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @max: Dude’s crazy. That does not mean that he is legally insane or incompetent to stand trial.

  36. 36
    Gimlet says:

    For incitement by the edited video or Carly

    http://legal-dictionary.thefre.....ive+Speech

    In Planned Parenthood of the Columbia/Willamette Inc. v. American Coalition of Life Activists, 290 F.3d 1058 (9th Cir. 2002), a federal appeals court ruled that an anti-abortion web site was not protected by the First Amendment.

    The web site posted photos, names, addresses, and other information pertaining to Abortion providers, their family members, and others who were perceived as supporting abortion rights. Although neither the site nor the posters made explicit threats against the abortion providers, violence at clinics that provided abortions had followed poster distribution in the past.

    Planned Parenthood sued the group under the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act of 1994 (FACE), 18 U.S.C. § 248, and other laws. The trial judge instructed the jury that if the defendants’ statements were “true threats,” the First Amendment would not protect them. The jury awarded the plaintiff a multimillion-dollar verdict.

    The Ninth Circuit stated that a jury could conclude that the postings constituted a true threat under FACE, which removed any First Amendment protection for the defendants.

  37. 37
    Howard Beale IV says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): The terrorism charge would have to come form the Feds, not the state. Colorado would be able to charge him with capital murder and a slew of other charges.

  38. 38

    @Adam L Silverman:

    I’m guessing that Colorado is one of the states that has the death penalty for killing a cop, so I doubt he’s going to get anything less than life without parole. This is one of the few times when having cop-worshipping juries is going to work against conservatives.

  39. 39
    Litlebritdifrnt says:

    huckabee is claiming that he is a “transgender liberal” yeah cause transgender liberals are known to sport long grey beards. Idiot.

  40. 40
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Its also why you don’t see the Feds do anything to invoke the death penalty too often. The Federal death penalty has a proportionality component to it. One of the argument for how McVeigh did his attack was that he wanted a very high death toll so it would be almost impossible for anyone else to be sentenced to death under the Federal statute. The argument is that he was setting a very high floor/bar to clear of over 300 deaths before someone had committed a heinous enough crime to be executed by the Feds.

  41. 41
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Bringing explosives into the building shows that he wanted a huge body count, but he was as competent as Carly Fiorina.

  42. 42
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: I have no doubt he was looking for a big boom. Sometimes its better to be lucky than good when it comes to outcomes.

  43. 43
    Mike J says:

    @Adam L Silverman: My point was he was an aspiring McVeigh, even if he “only” killed three.

  44. 44
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Mike J: I got your point.

  45. 45
    SiubhanDuinne says:

    @Poopyman:

    Brava. Every word of this.

  46. 46
    sharl says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: I think it’s been said somewhere in these parts already, but the source of that suspiciously unsubstantiated (and irrelevant) assertion is the Dumbest Guy on the Internet (at least until the Rage Furby gets back into circulation). We’ve been there with Hoft before (just one example).

  47. 47
    Roger Moore says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    Remember, the test is not is the person diagnosed with a mental illness, but rather are they capable of understanding the charges against them and contributing to their own defense.

    Not quite. That’s a question of mental competency. The question of legal insanity is whether or not the defendant knew that what they were doing was wrong, and it’s quite a difficult standard to meet.

  48. 48
    John Revolta says:

    AP quotes a neighbor as saying this guy told him that he (the neighbor) ought to have a metal roof on his house so the government couldn’t spy on him. Apparently tin foil hats just don’t cut it anymore.

  49. 49
    Monala says:

    The NYT wrote an article describing dear as “a gentle itinerant loner who occasionally unleashed violence acts toward neighbors and women.” After dealing with some flack, they edited out the word “gentle.”

    Check out the comments on Gawker, and the repeated request for SJW to stop being so sensitive. http://gawker.com/new-york-tim.....1745124689

  50. 50
  51. 51

    @Roger Moore:

    IIRC, Andrea Yates was initially found guilty of first-degree murder because the argument was that she knew it was illegal to kill her children since she called 911 after she was done. A later court decided that the standard was too strict and simply knowing something was illegal didn’t automatically mean that the defendant thought it was wrong/immoral to do that thing. Yates understood that it was against the law to murder her children but thought she was doing the right thing morally, which is why she’s now spending the rest of her life in a locked mental ward instead of on death row.

    I doubt that any of the above will apply to this case, though I’m sure his lawyers will try.

  52. 52

    @Origuy:

    I think that’s what kids these days refer to as “grasping at straws.”

  53. 53
    sharl says:

    @Origuy: Yeah, I haven’t tracked it all down, but I think Cruz, Huckabee, et al. picked it up directly or indirectly from Hoft.

    They really are desperate to paint this terrorist murderer as something other than an angry white guy pissed off about PP. After all, the AWGPOAPP demographic is much sought after by their campaigns, as well as by Fox and other media outlets who will hire the otherwise unemployed among them after their campaigns sputter to a stop.

  54. 54
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): The basic standard is, as RM said, whether the person can recognize that the action was wrong.

  55. 55
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @efgoldman: Yes, every state does have variations on the specifics. However, guilty but insane is fundamentally different in concept than not guilty by reason of insanity in that it is a guilty verdict.

  56. 56

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I didn’t follow all of the ins and outs of the law, but the final decision by the judge(s) in the Yates case seemed to be that she knew that what she did was illegal, but was too crazy to understand that it was wrong.

  57. 57
    PaulW says:

    It is at moments like this I think back to the words of Junius written back more than 300 years ago, but relevant today more than ever:

    An honest man, like the true religion, appeals to the understanding, or modestly confides in the internal evidence of his conscience. The imposter employes force instead of argument, imposes silence where he cannot convince, and propagates his character by the sword.

    It is clear that the terrorist Dear was at that Planned Parenthood clinic to employ force, impose silence, and propagate his character (violent and hateful towards others) by the sword.

    All other excuses are lies, and attempts to distract from that fact.

  58. 58
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Which is exactly what RM and I said the standard is. Yes?

  59. 59
    Ruckus says:

    @PaulW:
    He wasn’t alone in his ideals, only he acted upon them at this time. How many more time bombs are out there who decide that the only way to impose their will upon others is to kill all the offenders to their delusions?

  60. 60
    opiejeanne says:

    @Corner Stone: I’ve got Baldwin on my Fantasy team. He had a bad ankle bothering him all week, nothing major, but then he goes out and has a game like today’s. That was an entertaining game that we had no idea who would win.

  61. 61

    @Omnes Omnibus:

    I’m really not sure what you think we’re arguing about? The Yates case is interesting to me because the first jury found her sane and the second one found her insane based on the same evidence. The Wikipedia article isn’t very good, because it’s not clear if the false testimony by the prosecution psychiatrist at the first trial was decisive in their initial “not insane” decision or if there were other factors.

  62. 62
    Honus says:

    @Adam L Silverman:I was taught in law school that insanity is a difficult defense to prove. It varies from state to state but the standard isn’t understanding the charges and contributing to your defense, it’s whether the accused understood the nature of his actions. If he was insane, but still understood he was using a weapon to kill a person, that is not a defense. If he was so insane that he did not think he was using a weapon to kill, but believed he was performing some other totally different act (i.e., the gun was a hose and he was watering the garden) then the insanity is a defense.

  63. 63
    Sister Rail Gun of Warm Humanitarianism says:

    @Litlebritdifrnt: Cruz is claiming that. Huckabee called the shooting domestic terrorism.

  64. 64
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Mnemosyne (tablet): Fine. You seemed to be harping on the illegal vs wrong thing. I mention this because you kept returning to it.

  65. 65
    Honus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: it’s hard to understand because “wrong” or “immoral” implies the capability of making that type of judgment. For a successful insanity defense the person must be so divorced from reality that the concept of morality doesn’t exist in relation to their actions. For Yates killing the children had to equate to feeding them or dressing them, or killing them as you would kill an insect or a rodent. “These kids are evil so they must die” doesn’t get you there.

    Proving the insanity defense is a lot harder than most people think it is. At least theoretically. Of course I realize you’re a judge so you understand this, I don’t mean to be condescending.

  66. 66

    I don’t expect any different from OTB. Their writers are like the David Brookses of bloggers.

  67. 67
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Honus: FTR I was an ALJ. I am not one anymore (insert impolite remarks about Scott Walker here).

    FWIW, my understanding is that an insanity plea is successful about 20% of the time and most of those are where the prosecutor accepts a plea deal based on the plea.

    Edited slightly

  68. 68
    Honus says:

    @Omnes Omnibus: ive done a lot of government construction cases; ALJ is a tough job. You actually have to do your homework.

    I’m mostly a transactional/civil litigator type, but I had a really good criminal law prof at W&L.

  69. 69
    Omnes Omnibus says:

    @Honus: Most of my criminal law knowledge comes from my clerkship. Coming up on 20 years ago.

  70. 70
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Honus: You and Roger Moore are correct. I rushed my response and blew it. There are, as Roger Moore indicated, really two different issues. One is competency, which is what I laid out, and the other is what the two of you identified, which is the M’Naughten Rule or McNaughton Defense depending on who’s doing the spelling. What’s interesting is that McNaughton was actually being charged with a political crime – he assassinated the Home Secretary because he believed he was conspiring against him. After an outcry Queen Victoria had tighter rules drawn up.

    There’s a basic run down here:
    https://www.law.cornell.edu/background/insane/insanity.html

    What is really interesting is that in many totalitarian regimes versions of the M’Naughten Rule were developed, usually without any recourse to the Anglo legal tradition or Common Law for dealing with those accused of political crimes. Because only the insane or those of diminished mental capacity would ever commit a crime against the regime…

  71. 71
    burnspbesq says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    We should all be worried about a jury in El Paso County, Colorado hanging (or worse, acquitting).

  72. 72
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @Honus: @Omnes Omnibus: And my understanding is all from my training as a criminologist. So whatever you all say on this goes!

  73. 73
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: I would expect that there would be a move for change of venue. Whether that’s successful or not is something we would have to wait and see.

  74. 74
    burnspbesq says:

    @Adam L Silverman:

    If I were this defendant, the last thing in the world I would want is to have venue moved from El Paso County. Half the population of Colorado Springs would rather give the guy a medal than throw him in jail.

    Interestingly, it appears (and I say “it appears” because all I’ve looked at so far is the text of the rule, and I haven’t had time to look at any case law) that the text of Colorado Rule 21 differs from Federal Rule 21, in a way that allows either party to request a change of venue.

  75. 75
    Adam L Silverman says:

    @burnspbesq: I figure the prosecution will ask for one. If the Feds decide to prosecute on the FACE Act violations, I would certainly expect them to try to move it if its allowed.

  76. 76
    Steve says:

    I don’t think the prosecution can change venue in a criminal case. I’m pretty sure it would be unconstitutional.

  77. 77
    Paul in KY says:

    @Just Some Fuckhead: Because those shitstains are ‘working’ for their side.

  78. 78
    Paul in KY says:

    @Adam L Silverman: Somehow, I think that was down his list though.

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