Dr. George Tiller, whose Kansas women's clinic frequently took center stage in the U.S. debate over abortion, was shot and killed while serving as an usher at his Wichita church Sunday morning, police said.I found it fascinating that he was killed in church. Perhaps this is where two of our favorite discussions merge, abortion rights and the right to carry guns in church. I wonder if guns were allowed in this particular church in Wichita. Do you think that would have mattered, one way or the other?
Wichita police said a 51-year-old man from the Kansas City, Kansas, area was in custody in connection with the slaying of Tiller, who was one of the few U.S. physicians who still performed late-term abortions.
The killing, which came about 16 years after Tiller survived a shooting outside his Wichita clinic, took place shortly after 10 a.m. Sunday at Reformation Lutheran Church. Officers found the 67-year-old dead in the foyer, police said.
Why do you think some pro-life activists do this? Do you think there is a grassroots support of this kind of thing? Remember when Eric Rudolph was in hiding, supposedly getting assistance from the support base?
My favorite one is the 1994 murder of Dr. Britton in Pensacola Florida. There, deep in the Bible belt, Dr. Britton was performing abortions which some considered murder. Paul Hill, the former minister, murdered Dr. Britton for that. And the State of Florida, what did they do? They murdered Paul Hill.
If Tiller was killed because of his work, he would be the fourth U.S. physician killed over abortion since 1993.
In 1998, a sniper killed Dr. Barnett Slepian in his Amherst, New York, home. Anti-abortion activist James Kopp was later arrested in France and is serving life in prison.
In 1994, Dr. John Bayard Britton and one of his volunteer escorts were shot and killed outside an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. Paul Hill, a former minister, was convicted of the killings and executed in 2003.
And in 1993, another doctor, David Gunn, was shot to death outside another Pensacola clinic. His killer, Michael Griffin, is serving a life sentence.
Has there ever been a better example of the absurdity of using violence as the answer, including state sanctioned violence in the form of capital punishment?
What's your opinion?