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Aug 15 2012

The Family Research Council Shooting

Whenever there’s a shooting or a bombing at an abortion clinic, I’m always appalled at how the right wing spin machine typically handles it. I’m always appalled at how often they equivocate, blame the victims, use it as an opportunity to promote their agenda. I’m always appalled at how difficult they find it to just say, without equivocation, “This is not acceptable. We do not shoot people just because we disagree with them.”

So I’m going to say this about the shooting at the Family Research Council:

This is not acceptable. We do not shoot people just because we disagree with them.

I disagree with the Family Research Council about pretty much everything. And right now, that is entirely irrelevant. We do not shoot people just because we disagree with them. This is not acceptable. Full stop.

24 comments

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  1. 1
    Mara

    Hear hear! I don’t care what reasoning the shooter came up with, I do NOT accept this as a method of disagreement.

    It is not acceptable. Ever.

  2. 2
    Jurjen S.

    Assuming that the shooter did in fact intend to shoot staff members of the FRC solely because he disagrees with the FRC’s points of view, then yes, it is entirely unacceptable. Details are still more than a little vague, though, so let’s not jump to conclusions.

    Still, no casualties apart from one wounded security guard; the FRC got off very lightly compared to, say, the Ladies Center in Pensacola, FL.

  3. 3
    Papa

    We always shoot people with whom we disagree. This is the nature of war.
    Violence is always an imperfect solution, but if leaders sanction/promote/command violent solutions, they send a subliminal message that such solutions are acceptable.

  4. 4
    David F

    Um, you did sort of use this to promote your agenda in the first paragraph. You pretty much said all you needed to say in the last paragraph.

    Just sayin…

  5. 5
    Greta Christina

    Um, you did sort of use this to promote your agenda in the first paragraph. You pretty much said all you needed to say in the last paragraph.

    Just sayin…

    David F @ #4: I was not trying to promote an agenda. I was trying to put my commentary in context, to explain why I would be making such an obvious statement. Apologies if that wasn’t clear.

    We always shoot people with whom we disagree. This is the nature of war.

    Papa @ #3: There is a common grammatical construction, in which one seemingly expresses what is true in order to express what we think should be true, or to prescribe/ proscribe behavior in others. Like parents: “Do not throw food at your brother at the dinner table. We do not do that in this household.” That is clearly my intent. Please don’t deliberately misunderstand it. Thanks.

  6. 6
    timberwoof

    “Following this morning’s shooting of a security guard at the Christian lobbying group Family Research Council, 23 LGBT groups have issued a joint statement:”

    Read more: http://www.towleroad.com/2012/08/23-lgbt-groups-issue-statement-on-family-research-council-shooting.html#ixzz23fMj1MOj

  7. 7
    Azkyroth Drinked the Grammar Too :)
    Um, you did sort of use this to promote your agenda in the first paragraph. You pretty much said all you needed to say in the last paragraph.

    Just sayin…

    David F @ #4: I was not trying to promote an agenda. I was trying to put my commentary in context, to explain why I would be making such an obvious statement. Apologies if that wasn’t clear.

    It was perfectly clear. This is a common double-standard.

  8. 8
    Anne C. Hanna

    Fuck this shooter guy. He sure as hell doesn’t represent me, either. I’m just glad he didn’t manage to kill anybody, and hopefully the security guard will recover. Jesus.

  9. 9
    WMDKitty -- Survivor

    Agreed — this is NOT acceptable behavior.

  10. 10
    RW Ahrens

    Yep, totally unacceptable. No other words needed.

  11. 11
    Papa

    Greta @#5 I would agree with a statement that said it is unacceptable to shoot people with whom we disagree. My comment used your chosen grammatical structure to make a point that shooting people with whom we disagree is precisely what we do in war, and, by extension, this is also unacceptable civilized behavior.

  12. 12
    fastthumbs

    Unacceptable.

    However, if a LGBT/atheist chip in fund for the wounded security guard was started (and well publicized) maybe that will make the Family Research Council truly explode?

  13. 13
    larrycenter

    xian terrorist Scott Roeder murderer of life saving Doctor Tiller needs comparison to this shooter

  14. 14
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    I disagree with the Family Research Council about pretty much everything. And right now, that is entirely irrelevant. We do not shoot people just because we disagree with them. This is not acceptable. Full stop.

    So obviously true and spot on right that it shouldn’t need to be said.

    But sadly, it does need saying.

    Which in itself says something about our nature and culture. :-(

  15. 15
    StevoR : Free West Papua, free Tibet, let the Chagossians return!

    @3. Papa says:

    We always shoot people with whom we disagree. This is the nature of war.

    This isn’t war.

    War is a very different situation and context completely where violence is expected and where your enemy are shooting back at you.

  16. 16
    Amanda Marcotte

    Nope, Papa. This isn’t “war”. This is terrorism, if in fact that was his motivation. Terrorism is what he’ll be charged with and terrorism what he should be charged with. There is no need to silence homophobes with threats. We can win this debate with words, and in fact, I’d say we already are.

  17. 17
    Wil Sinda

    Obviously.

  18. 18
    F [i'm not here, i'm gone]

    Hrm. I don’t know what Papa’s intent is, but now were going to excuse war by saying “it’s different”. OK.

    None of it is acceptable.

  19. 19
    El Suscriptor Justiciero

    This is not acceptable. We do not shoot people just because we disagree with them.

    So fully agreed. The FRC might be a sad bunch of homophobic and fundamentalist hate-mongers and enemies of all that is ethical and true, but this is just not the way. Ever.

    Bullshit should be fought with truth, not bullets. Hate should be opposed with reason. Human rights should be protected from within the law, not by violating them ourselves; that would make us just as bad as them. Violence is always a bad solution, and most of the time it just makes things worse. While it’s our duty to defend our families from these faith-based assholes and those like them, nothing good can come from this kind of random evil.

    As a humanist and antiprohibitionist, I hereby condemn this heinous act of terrorism and hope for a complete recovery for the victim, and for that such a thing doesn’t happen again. On either side.

  20. 20
    Papa

    Amamda @#16: The leaders of this country both left and right speak of many things in the terms of war: the War On Drugs, the War On The Family for instance and , yes, the War On TERROR.
    In war, people get killed. By speaking of issues in the terms of war, one encourages violence as acceptable solution, such as a President who authorizes push-button, long-distance assassination of enemies by means of missles fired from predator drones and sorry about the collateral damage to innocent civilians.

    This -is- war, after all.

  21. 21
    dailydouq

    I totally agree, this is unacceptable. The other side may endorse or slipslide around their violence but a moral side should not.

    That said it doesn’t surprise me. The hate being spewed daily by the right is so vicious that I can see how sensitive individual may crack. I don’t condone it but I understand that living in world where people are so nasty to you distorts your reality.

    These ultra right-wing hate organizations love to provoke strong response, they’re bullies after all. While we should all resist their provocation I feel sorry for those who feel so oppressed (and possibly are disturbed) that they can’t resist. It is no excuse and still wrong but it is understandable that venomous hate sooner or later will find a troubled person who can not resist fighting back through the same means the other side supports. We can be better than that, but it is hard.

  22. 22
    ben

    Terrorism targets the general populace. I know that the USA is fond of redefining “terrorism” in order to confuse people about the target of crime, but the FRC is a bona fide enemy of, well, everyone here, and attacking your enemy is not terrorism.

    Furthermore, it it ludicrous to say that “Bullshit should be fought with truth, not bullets. Hate should be opposed with reason.” How well does that work? Really? Reason wins people over on the timescale of generations, but oppression happens on much shorter timescales. Some people cannot be reasoned with, as ought to be obvious given the research into persuasion and politics and whatnot.

    When someone disagrees with you, it’s not okay to shoot her. We all agree on that. But what about when someone threatens you with violence if you don’t act as that person wishes? That’s what society/government is for, but it ought to be obvious that government is imperfect. What do you do when government is unjust, and can’t be reasoned with quickly enough to prevent a great deal of injustice?

    The FRC funnels a great deal of money and resources into persuading the government to take violent action against its enemies (the government could not govern without the threat of violence). There is obviously some point at which violence is the only response that will produce a result. The shooter presumably thought that this point was _now_. I disagree with this specific evaluation, but in general, when someone attacks an enemy, that’s certainly not terrorism, and it’s certainly not _always_for_sure_no_matter_what_inappropriate_.

  23. 23
    Greta Christina

    ben @ #22: No. Period. Get the hell out of my blog.

  24. 24
    Anne C. Hanna

    Ben, I can see how what you said might have been well-intentioned, but let me try to make a stab at explaining why it actually wasn’t okay.

    If we were talking about violence in the abstract, I would agree with you (and I suspect most others here would as well) that while it’s not legit to shoot somebody just for disagreeing with you, it may be legit to shoot somebody who is responding to their disagreement with you by directly threatening your or someone else’s safety. And I’m sure we can all even think of a few people who have settled political disputes with violence, perhaps with names like Washington and Adams and Jefferson and Franklin (or maybe even John Brown), whom we admire rather than revile. So maybe you just thought you were being benignly pedantic by pointing all that out.

    But we’re not talking about an abstract situation here. Rather, we’re discussing a very specific situation in which violence was definitely *not* an acceptable approach. In this context, bringing up completely unrelated situations where violence might be justified seems less like innocent pedantry and more like you’re either derailing the discussion from a very serious issue in which real people were victimized or, even worse, trying to drag things toward justifying the violence which took place. Maybe that’s not even what you meant to do, but it could still have that effect whether you meant it to or not. And to someone who is a member of the group targeted by this most recent violent act would certainly read your posting as leaning towards justifying the shooter’s actions, which is exactly the kind of thing that Greta was trying to explicitly counter in this post.

    The point here is solidarity with the victims of this particular unjustified act of violence, not whether or not violence might ever possibly be appropriate in some unrelated situation. So you shouldn’t be surprised if people get angry when you don’t respect that.

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