Anti-Abortion Activist Murdered

A man carrying an anti-abortion sign was murdered this morning.

michigan-abortion-murderA well-known anti-abortion activist was shot multiple times and killed Friday morning in front of a Michigan high school and another man was shot and killed just miles away in what police are investigating as related incidents.

Michigan State Police have taken a suspect into custody but have not released the name of the victim, the Flint Journal reported. The school was placed on immediate lockdown, though no students were injured or involved in the shooting, Ossowo Hish School officials told the paper. School officials say the shooting took place outside of school grounds around 7:30 a.m., when most students were already inside the building for classes. The school, located 20 miles west of Flint, is now allowing students to leave with a parental escort, WLNS News reported.

The suspect was picked up at his home at about 8:15 a.m. and is now being investigated in connection with a second killing that occurred a few miles away from the school, WNEM News reported.

As police sift through the second “homicide scene” near an Ossowo gravel pit Friday morning, they have ringed off a section of street in front of the high school, where a large sign bearing the image of a baby and the word “Life” can be seen, the Flint Journal reported.

Having only the information quoted above, I agree with Megan McArdle that “this seems more like a lone lunatic than a political killing” and share her hope that “if it does turn out to be someone with a political agenda, the right can manage to refrain from claiming that this is really a symptom of some dark rot at the center of liberalism.”

It does, sadly, seem yet another data point in my longstanding There Are Nuts on Both Sides meme.  Thankfully, even though this is the issue that seems to motivate the most vitriol in our politics, the number of murders committed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade can still be counted on both hands.  There have been more people killed for their sneakers than their views on abortion.

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James Joyner
About James Joyner
James Joyner is Professor and Department Head of Security Studies at Marine Corps University's Command and Staff College and a nonresident senior fellow at the Scowcroft Center for Strategy and Security at the Atlantic Council. He's a former Army officer and Desert Storm vet. Views expressed here are his own. Follow James on Twitter @DrJJoyner.

Comments

  1. Billy says:

    This incident is bizarre. I can’t imagine anyone loves abortion enough to kill (an adult) for it, but still.

    Countdown until someone on the right makes exactly the claim that you are hoping against. 3, 2, 1…

  2. Triumph says:

    Thank you, Barry Hussein, for spreading your death panel mentality throughout this great country.

    This is a harbinger of what will ensue if the Pelosi-Clinton-Frank-Barry Bonds crowd passes their health “reform.”

  3. FormerHostage says:

    if it does turn out to be someone with a political agenda, the right can manage to refrain from claiming that this is really a symptom of some dark rot at the center of liberalism

    That didn’t seem to stop Obama mere hours after the murder of George Tiller. I guess as long as it’s the “right” people killed we should show restraint.

  4. Steve Plunk says:

    James, Thanks for bringing some perspective.

    Abortion is one of the most passionate political issues ever yet we have little violence to accompany that passion. It gives hope we are still a civil society.

  5. Wayne says:

    “the number of murders committed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade can still be counted on both hands”

    Not if you count the number of fetus murder. Sorry had to throw that in. It was too much of a softball.

  6. Ilishe Mikos says:

    Unless you count all the actual babies aborted, then you’d need a lot more hands.

  7. […] James Joyner: It does, sadly, seem yet another data point in my longstanding There Are Nuts on Both Sides meme.  Thankfully, even though this is the issue that seems to motivate the most vitriol in our politics, the number of murders committed since 1973’s Roe v. Wade can still be counted on both hands.  There have been more people killed for their sneakers than their views on abortion. […]

  8. It seems this may have been a vendetta against gravel pit owners and realtors, too. In other words, it may have had nothing at all to do with abortion.

  9. Brian Epps says:

    Maybe the killer, having already decided to kill the guy at the gravel pit, decided to off that “annoying sign guy” as well.

    That’s my theory, at least.

  10. just me says:

    Apparently the murder was motivated by the political message.

    http://www.cnn.com/2009/CRIME/09/11/michigan.shooting/

    Authorities say the suspect, Harlan James Drake, was offended by anti-abortion material that the activist had displayed across from the school all week.

  11. DL says:

    It’s not about nuts.

    It is about the idea that precious human life is a commodity to be disposed of at will when it becomes inconvenient or troublesome. Just as stealing small things turns into stealing big things,once stealing becomes acceptable, so does the abortion mentality turn into things like Obamacide and the justifiable murder of those we abhor become acceptable -just as Mother Theresa and John Paul II warned us.

    It’s sad that so many don’t yet get the connection.

  12. odograph says:

    “It does, sadly, seem yet another data point in my longstanding There Are Nuts on Both Sides meme. ”

    No, you jumped the gun. You can’t use this as an example of nuts on “sides:”

    Colbry said authorities do not believe that the two homicides and the third plot were related, saying, “They stemmed from individual grievances Drake had with the victims.”

  13. Pug says:

    This is a harbinger of what will ensue if the Pelosi-Clinton-Frank-Barry Bonds crowd passes their health “reform.”

    Barry Bonds?

  14. James Joyner says:

    No, you jumped the gun. You can’t use this as an example of nuts on “sides:”

    I caveated this pretty well, I think.

  15. odograph says:

    You caveatted it, but what was the purpose of the post, if it wasn’t to work the “side” issue?

    You don’t normally cover the murder of gravel company employees, do you?

  16. James Joyner says:

    It was a breaking news item that was naturally going to spawn a lot of commentary based on the abortion angle. I wanted to point out that, regardless of whether it was abortion-related, 1) it wouldn’t prove anything about “the Left” or even the pro-abortion-rights movement and 2) there’s remarkably little violence around the issue given the heat.

  17. just me says:

    I think what is notably different is that there isn’t much media coverage of the event. Not sure if that is because the media is more interested in 9-11 stuff and Wilson’s “liar” or because they don’t care.

    But I do find it curious that two things the media loves to cover, cover cover are abortion related shootings and shootings/gun incidents close to or on school property.

    The victim here was a pro life advocate protesting abortion across from a high school and he was murdered in front of the students going into that high school.

    The media, while not entirely silent, is comparatively silent.

    I can’t help but think if the guy killed was a pro choice advocate, we would be getting 24-7 coverage of the event and how horrible it was to shoot somebody in front of children.

  18. There’s no clear narrative, that’s why the media isn’t giving it much time. It’s a disjointed story of pro-life guy, gravel pit guy and some other guy, all on the killer’s grudge list. No one even knows whether the shooter gave a damn about abortion.