I'd like to make a view additional comments on anti-abortion violence. To some degree, this is a follow-up to my "Kill at your own risk" post.
From what I've read, the only organized anti-abortion violence was sponsored by the Army of God, a domestic terrorist cult. In addition, some figures, like Eric Rudolph, aren't focussed on abortion, per se.
Whenever there's an incident of anti-abortion violence, which is increasingly rare, there are the usual demands to denounce it and "tone down" the rhetoric.
A few quick points:
i) I'm the wrong person to ask. If someone demands that I denounce anti-abortion violence, they will get a twofer. I'll simultaneously condemn violence both inside and outside the clinic. I'm more than willing to condemn anti-abortion violence, but that's not all I'll condemn. So they may be getting more than they bargained for.
ii) It's possible that some anti-abortion rhetoric is over-the-top. I don't move in those circles.
Often, though, this is just a matter of using accurate terminology rather than euphemisms.
Likewise, gruesome posters of aborted babies are no different than news footage of corpses at Auschwitz, or pictures of piled skulls in the Killing Fields of Cambodia.
Finally, I'd like to expand on a previous point. Let's take a comparison:
A hapless thief is hoping Mafia don Vincent (The Chin) Gigante will let bygones be bygones. Willie King yesterday kissed up to the reputed head of the Genovese crime family and humbly apologized for mugging his 94-year-old mother. King had second thoughts about trying to beat the rap at a trial and decided it might be safer to spend some time behind bars. He pleaded guilty in Manhattan Supreme Court to grand larceny and will be slapped with a jail term of 11/2 to 3 years when he is sentenced Aug. 19. "His motivation was to apologize to the Gigante family and Mrs. Gigante," said King's attorney, Steven Warshaw. "In this way, he is trying to put this behind him, and he also hopes the Gigante family puts this behind them.
"King, 37, of St. Nicholas Ave. in Manhattan, became the unluckiest mugger in town July 21. He snatched Yolanda Gigante's wallet outside her Greenwich Village apartment as she returned home from a shopping trip with her son the Rev. Louis Gigante. Witnesses who trailed the fleeing thief flagged down Lt. Robert McKenna, who arrested King, recovered Yolanda Gigante's wallet and her $90 and then revealed to the mugger the identity of his victim. McKenna said King slumped in the patrol car's seat and rolled his eyes.
Now, it wouldn't be my duty to exact revenge on the mugger. For one thing, she wasn't my mother.
But imagine if Vincent's men caught up with King before the police did. Imagine King walking by the newsstand the next day and reading about the crime. For him, life would get very interesting very fast.
Suppose I was present when Vincent's men show up, with baseball bats in hand. Is it my duty to interpose myself between the mugger and the avengers? Hardly.
He mugs little old ladies at his own risk. This time he picked the wrong victim. Big mistake.
But that's his problem, not mine. Even if I disapprove of vigilantism, I'm not going to get that worked up over what happens to the mugger. I'll keep on walking.