“Antiabortion rhetoric” is as responsible for Planned Parenthood shooting as Black Lives Matter is for cop killings

That is to say, not at all.

On Saturday someone (see the person responsible above) shot up a Planned Parenthood clinic. As is typical of the proto-fascist left when one of their holy sanctuaries is targeted, the condemnation of free speech was immediate. The Washington Post claims the “link” between “antiabortion rhetoric” is being “dismiss[ed]”. Probably because there is none.

“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against abortion providers and patients over the last few months,” Cowart said in a statement. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”

But you could (but shouldn’t) make the exact same statement about anti-cop rhetoric in light of recent (though dramatically declining) killings of law enforcement officers.

“We’ve seen an alarming increase in hateful rhetoric and smear campaigns against [law enforcement officers] over the last few months,” [someone] said in a statement. “That environment breeds acts of violence.”

Speech does not “breed” violence. There are laws against direct incitement to violence. If you think someone incited the PP shooter to his crime, file relevant charges. If not, stop trying to silence constitutionally protected political speech.

Not a single pro-life activist or politician has condoned or endorsed the recent shooting, of course. And every Republican presidential candidate has condemned it. Perpetually wrong Mike Huckabee actually got this one exactly right.

“Regardless of why he did it, what he did is domestic terrorism,” Huckabee said on CNN’s “State of the Union.” “What he is did is absolutely abominable, especially to those of us in the pro-life movement, because there’s nothing about any of us that would condone or in any way look the other way at something like this.”

When a nutjob forest-dweller shoots up an abortion clinic and allegedly cites anti-abortion rhetoric, the rhetoric and political movement get blamed. When a black man shoots a cop 15 times in the back, his possible motives are only mentioned in passing at the end of the story.

Many others have brought up terrorism to contrast the treatment of the Planned Parenthood incident by partisan opponents. Each side notes that the other side wants to claim that the (unconfirmed) ideological source of a violent act is irrelevant. The left wants to absolve Islam of jihadist terrorism, while the right wants to absolve pro-life rhetoric of this weekend’s shooting. Neither realizes that hypocrisy taints both sides. But in this case they’re both right.

There is no such thing as political crime. Speech and religion are not responsible for murder, murderers are. In a democratic society we can discuss the motives of criminals, but we cannot blame the source of their motives for their acts. Our ideals of individualism and personal responsibility must stand fast even when the perpetrators of heinous acts share some of our other ideals. Just like guns, ideas don’t kill - people do.

Black Lives Matter is not responsible for Deputy Darren Goforth’s death, the Center for Medical Progress is not responsible for Officer Garrett Swasey’s death, and the Southern Poverty Law Center is not responsible for someone that uses their list of hate groups as a target. A court of law will determine who is responsible for these criminal acts, but political rhetoric will serve no sentence for it has committed no crime.

I’ll let Media Matters make my point for me with ultimate irony.


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