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Letters to the Editor

Intimidation

June 20, 2009

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To the editor:

In Ohio, the Operation Rescue van drives by an abortion clinic at five miles per hour. Plastered on it are the usual doctored and Photoshopped pictures of bloody fetuses with one chilling exception. Now added to that is a picture of Dr. George Tiller. With a bullet hole in his head.

At a clinic in North Carolina, anti-abortion protesters link arms and chant, “You’re next! You’re next!” as the owner of a women’s clinic enters the building.

On the Internet, T-shirts are being sold with a picture of Dr. Warren Hern on them. Under the picture are the words, “You’re next, Dr. Hern!” Dr. Hern is the physician at a women’s clinic in Boulder, Colo. He is one of the few physicians left in this country that provides late-term abortions to women with nonviable babies.

This is all being done under the guise of “First Amendment rights.” However, I want to know when incitement to murder of innocent people involved in legal activities became protected speech. How is this any different from terrorism? The First Amendment is there to protect citizens from being prevented by the government from engaging in free political discourse. But this is not politics nor is it political speech. This is intimidation and threat. Plain and simple.

Comments

Brent Garner 5 years, 6 months ago

It is obvious that the actions described in the LTE are offensive to the writer of said LTE. While she makes no demand of action the suggestion is that those engaged in the described activity are violating the law and should be dealt with. A good point. However, consider this. When Prop 8 passed in California mass demonstrations took place outside the LDS Temple in Los Angeles. People attempting to enter the temple property were threatened and violently harrassed. Gross and threatening graffiti was painted on the retaining wall surrounding the temple. When a woman attempted to wash some of the graffiti off she was assaulted by the protesters and beaten. All of this under the watchful eye of the LAPD who stood by and did nothing. The LTE writer wants people punished for incitement. Ok, but let's be consistent across the board. If we punish the anti-abortion protesters we should punish the anti-Prop 8 protesters.

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

Gee I wish you guys had been around 40 years ago when Kent State and the '68 Democratic Convention happened.

Brent Garner 5 years, 6 months ago

Cait48

I was around during the period you referenced although just a young teenager. I do remember the two events. However, I failed to understand the connection between your posting and the previous postings including mine. I am not being critical, I literally failed to make the connection. Could you explain, please?

kansastruthteller 5 years, 6 months ago

I did a search on the internet and can't find the t-shirts the lte author describes - do they exist?

And, I suppose, a frequent comeback by abortion supporters to those that oppose abortion is approrpriate here - "get over it, it is legal."

Cait McKnelly 5 years, 6 months ago

Brent I was referring to the fact that people defend hate speech that actually threatens murder as "freedom of speech" yet there were people beaten up and killed at the hands of govt. authorities for much less 40 years ago.

jaywalker 5 years, 5 months ago

"It is obvious that the actions described in the LTE are offensive to the writer of said LTE"

They should be offensive to everybody.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 5 years, 5 months ago

"... innocent people involved in legal activities...."

Ah, clearly the limited, legal definition of "innocent" meant here. Constrain a term sufficiently, and it loses more than its meaning... it loses its spirit.

( Eventually, all is lost. )

Kirk Larson 5 years, 5 months ago

Liberty_One (Anonymous) says… ...it's not a stretch to say that there is a political element to the speech at issue here since these folks' real aim is to outlaw abortion.

Yeah, sure. And there is a political element to Ahmadiejad and the Iranian mullahs sending out the basiji to whack protesters heads with nightsticks. If the anti-choice people want to change the law, they should do it through means other than vandalism, harassment, threats, bombing, and outright murder. There is a political process in place among civilized people for making change without violence. And until the law is changed, like the man said, "It's legal, get over it".

jaywalker 5 years, 5 months ago

stillmansrun, (or anyone),

Are you meaning the LTE is just a pile of BS? I'd like to hope that's true as it sure sounded over the top.

think_about_it 5 years, 5 months ago

What? You mean an untruthful, plagiarized LTE from a far left zealot? Say it ain't so!

liberalminded 5 years, 5 months ago

If the letter writer's information was outrageously false but nevertheless defended by some as an exercise of free expression just how far would the putative free speech advocates go in their pretend quest to uphold the Constitution? I get the clear impression that some of you wingnuts out there would send money to the Scott Roeder defense fund if retained counsel would articulate and forward the defense that pulling the trigger was a mode of protected expression.

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