A gunman who opened fire through the windows at a Planned Parenthood clinic in Colorado Springs, Colorado on Friday, November 27 is now being held in police custody for killing three individuals and wounding nine, including a police officer. Luckily, Planned Parenthood reported that all of its staff and patients in the clinic were safe.
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, faces murder and other charges after his shooting rampage at the clinic. Authorities have not revealed a firm motive for his actions, but have said that he mentioned “no more baby parts” in a statement taken taken by law enforcement after he was in custody.
This, however, was not Dear’s first run-in with the law. In the past, he was charged with personal intrusion, and was charged twice for animal cruelty.
“This doesn’t surprise me because people with mental illness often dabble in animal cruelty and that gets their courage up to do bigger and worse things,” says sophomore Kiera Sears.
This was also not Dear’s first time targeting Planned Parenthood. Dear’s former wife, Barbara Micheau, says that this is not the first time Dear had targeted Planned Parenthood, but this time around, he was just more violent.
In the past, he jammed the locks of a local Planned Parenthood clinic near their home in Charleston.
Micheau says she always knew him as a deeply religious person and that he, without a doubt, targeted the clinic due to its abortion-related activities.
After hearing that a middle-aged white man went on a murderous shooting rampage last week, terrorism would not be a word that pops up in most minds.
Federal law defines domestic terrorism as dangerous acts that take place inside your country that are intended to intimidate the public or to try to persuade government policy or conduct. This description is applied to anti-government anarchists, white supremacists and animal-rights activists.
All of these points apply to Dear, but people still had a hard time defining it as a terrorist attack.
The Justice Department is consistently pressing charges against individuals who join organizations like the Islamic State. However, they say that there is no way for them to prosecute domestic crimes motivated by extremist ideologies with no catchall charge or offense in the federal criminal code.
“I do believe this event counts as a terroristic attack because this man killed three people and also instilled fear in everyone in that area. But whether it’s domestic terrorism or not, it shouldn’t matter because the guy took three lives,” says sophomore Aisha Malik.
This is one of the latest mass shooting to occur in our nation, and it caused President Obama to warn us in a statement: “This is not normal. We can’t let it become normal. If we truly care about this — if we’re going to offer up our thoughts and prayers again, for God knows how many times, with a truly clean conscience — then we have to do something about the easy accessibility of weapons of war on our streets to people who have no business wielding them. Period. Enough is enough.”
What is your view on Dear’s actions? Could it be considered as a terroristic attack or not?