35 comments on “Warning Shot

  1. Religious zealots violating their most sacred of ideals, in a house of worship no less, all in the name of…uh…their sacred ideals. Riiiiiight.


  2. It is times like this where I hope true justice is served. This nutcase doesn’t deserve death…he deserves to live out the rest of his natural life in prison and being stripped of any chance to die a martyr. Most of those loons want to be remembered for dying (and, more apparently KILLING) for their cause. They are no worse that Islamic extremists. Death will give them a certain sense of satisifcation that lifelong imprisonment won’t.

  3. “This nutcase doesn’t deserve death…he deserves to live out the rest of his natural life in prison and being stripped of any chance to die a martyr.”

    Wha…?! Are you kidding?! The only way to deal with nutcases is to stop their potential for vitriol once and for all. The world is better off when nuts like this are off the planet and in the hell, pergatory, or whatever other area of limbo they are sent to.

  4. The Republican platform is simple: life is precious. Until, of course, the child is born. At that point, they’re on their own. On top of that, abortion is bad for them, but the death penalty, violent wars, torturing people, and killing abortion doctors are all perfectly reasonable.

    Do as I say, not as I do: the motto of the GOP.

  5. Right-wing radio commentators have been inciting their listeners for quite a while. Glenn Beck created a bunch of hysteria with people over Obama’s ALLEGED gun control, and people went nuts. Bill O’ Reiley went after Dr. Tiller about as much as he did any other person. With that, it is not a suprise somebody went off on the deep end.

    • Great point, geekgirl. Agents in the media bear some of the responsibility for allowing exaggerated “reporting” coming from the likes of Hannity, Beck, and O’Reily. This so-called reporting stirs enough anger, fear, and excitement for loons to be driven over the edge. Stopping the messengers is the best way to kill the violent fanaticsm.

      • Javar/geekgirl,

        I see your point, but I also think it’s a little too easy – and perhaps unfairl – to pull the conservative noise machine into this too much. While I DO believe they should know about many of the loons who listen to/watch their programs and operate based on what’s being fed to them, placing the blame on pundits is not completely the way to go.

        If somebody read my blog, noted a post where I was critical of a certain personality, and then tried to kill that personality, I certainly would not want to be held accountable. Give credit where it’s due. In this case, the credit for being a nutcase belongs to the nutcase himself.

        Besides all of that, I haven’t found any evidence suggesting that this dude even watched/listened to conservative programming. Maybe he did. Maybe he didn’t.

  6. I guess “By any means necessary” only applies to Somalian Pirates. You can’t have it both ways people. Condemn it all around or suffer being called hypocritical. On conservative talk shows; I have listened to Bill O’Reilly for years and never once heard him condone killing anyone. Am I to understand that simply opposing someone is the same as threatening them, or inciting harm? If that’s true-Freedom of Speech is dead. I think what your truly advocating is censorship, by you, for your own issues.

  7. Andre, if there is one thing you should know about the hard hitting game of politics is that extremists are reactionary to what they hear. There are numerous clips circulating where Bill O’Reilly specifically called Dr. Tiller “Tiller the Baby Killer.” Even now, Randall Terry from Operation Rescue is saying Tiller reaped what he sowed. To the extremist who needs that extra push, all they need are these kind of comments implanted in their head.

    thehc, Bill O’Reilly may not have said specifically said to do any harm, but he indirectly fed the monster. People like him HAVE to know that some loons listen to their shows. I don’t think all right wingers have lost it, but some have…it’s that’s small amount that have to be taken into consideration when these pundits go on their bashing rants. O’Reilly may not have pulled the trigger or told anybody else to. But he added to it.

  8. Also, thehc…free speech is not the issue here. Free speech that incites killing is. To deny that hateful propaganda like this could incite someone to violence, is just plain dilusional.

  9. Hi Geekgirl,
    I beg to differ. Free speech IS the issue. Whenever someone wants to censor someone else’s speech based on what THEY think is inciting violence it infringes on someone elses free speech. I have listened to Hannity, Rush and O’Reilly for hours on end. While I will grant you, their opinions are not mine, I would no more want to silence them than to silence you. There is far more to fear from censorship than from nearly anything someone else can say. I would never condone DIRECT calls for violence, but the leap you are making is too far. It’s the Butterfly Effect. If I disagree with hunting and call what they do murder, am I inciting someone to kill a hunter because I told them it was murder so therefore they have rightous indignation in murdering a hunter? Are animal activists therefore equally guilty? Your way will lead to the end of open debate. Understand, there is a line that cannot be crossed, but simply saying abortion is murder isn’t it. How about the anti-war people who call our soldiers murderers, should they be silenced too? How about people who pollute? Can I argue that villifying them incites violence against them? Your stepping into a very dangerous area and Free Speech most certainly is the issue when you no longer think the opposing side is entitled to to speak their mind because you can attach them to a heinous crime through three degrees. That’s exactly what Joseph McCarthy tried to do.

  10. There’s always one in EVERY group who tries to remove the responsibility when stories like this surface. Whether it’s you or Bill O’Reilly’s recent duck and dodge “Talking Points Memo” (which was even funnier because he also threw in a “what about the unborn fetuses line”), somebody will try to brush off the significance of the the right wing’s role in this. Yep, calling a man “Tiller the Killer” was never going to be a term that would get a nutcase riled up.

    By the way, those left-wing, anti-war advocates who call soldiers “murders” (whoever they might be), never went on a soldier killing spree.

    • No Greg, I put the responsibility right where it belongs-on the people that commit heinous crimes, not people who simply disagree with you. You seem to think this nut was a perfectly sane individual until Bill O’Reilly pushed him over the edge. Should we all suffer censorship because if I publically state “hunting is murder” it might push someone to kill a hunter? Come on. Your sinply using this as an excuse to silence people you disagree with. There will always be nuts who will find a reason to act on their sick impulses. Let’s not destroy the Bill of Rights because they found an excuse. there’s always going to be people who want to use isolated examples to rid you of your rights. Will it be O.K. with you if we outlaw Wrestling because a kid piledrove his sister, outlaw rap because HUNDREDS of people shoot each other? Where does it end Greg?

  11. This is an unfortunate example of the reality that right-wing domestic terrorism has never died. It’s always been here. Black people have felt its sting too long for us to remember…and now its starting to permeate other aspects of American life. For all the talk of extreme leftists, I can’t recall too many times where their protests have resulted in the person or people opposite of their views winding up murdered.

    The right wing of this country is turning into an American Al Qaeda.

    • “Terrorism”? Did you say terrorism?! Quick! Somebody invade Iraq.

      Oh, wrong people. Sorry.

    • The only motive mentioned was religion. Your comment on the article confirms what I was just thinking. Labels like left, right, progressive, and conservative are shorthand for “people who don’t think, look or worship like I do.”

      • This being religiously motivated only confirms that it’s not just “Christian fundamentalists” liberal love to beat on who commit violence. Muslim extremists are the killing as well. The only difference is liberals are willing to afford rights to Muslim terrorists. Talk about your barnburners! Libs are sending this country to hell in a handbasket.

  12. Is the killer’s location on one end or the other of an arbitrarily defined political spectrum really what matters here? The fact is, an individual took it upon himself to literally act as judge, jury and executioner on behalf of his personal cause. That kind of terrorism is an immediate threat to the security of our nation and should be stamped out by government authorities.

  13. @Greg,
    I noticed you completely sidetracked my argument about the anti-hunters which I feel is a perfect comparison. The bottom line? You have no problem stereotyping anyone on the right. If one person does a heinous act it’s an indictment against the whole group and anyone that supports them. I wonder how your comments would be received if you were using your methodology against gays, women or blacks? ONE person attacks a abortion doctor and suddenly it’s O’Reilly, Rush, Hannity, the Republicans, all people against abortion, the right, and I guess anyone else that has an opinioin other than yours. I wonder Greg, would you silence me if you could?

    • HipCon, if I hear some of the folks in the room correctly (and, y’all correct me if I’m wrong), most anti-activists on the left don’t prescribe to using direct violence against individuals perpetrating the objectionable deed in question. Josh tried to point out an example, but I don’t think it was a particularly good one. This isn’t to say they’re not around…I’m sure there are cases where extreme leftists are just as bad. But in the examples you cited, I can’t recall any recent incidents were killing was used as a method of righteous retribution. PETA does some pretty messed up stuff, but they don’t take lives.

      I always got a chuckle out of watching the right try to paint extremists like Bill Ayers as a terrorist when he never deliberately hurt or killed anybody (the only people killed by the Weather Undergroud was his boy and his girlfriend in an accidental explosion). Meanwhile, I can imagine that many folks on the right are secretly celebrating the fact that “Tiller the Killer” got what they would consider his comeuppance – a bullet.

      Now where the talking heads come in – I don’t think people are directly blaming the Hannitys, Becks, and O’Reillys of the world, but there IS some accountability that has to be there. Personally, I can’t hold them directly responsible for what some nut does…no more than I can be blamed for the actions of any of my readers. But if they have ANY indication that the rhetoric they use on the airwaves is falling on the ears of even ONE nutcase (how can they not know that…?), they should tone it down. Complete censorship? Absolutlely not. Just tone it down.

      I’m curious to hear how Scott Roeder learned about Tiller’s practice…and whether or not it was something he HEARD that caused him to killer Dr. Tiller. Much like the nutcase in Pennsylvania who stocked up on weapons (resulting in the death of three cops, I think) because he heard Glenn Beck spewing nonsense about Obama taking away guns, people are impressionable. The right words can entice people to do the unimaginable…especially if they believe there is some modicum of moral justification.

      • Hey Dre,
        “most anti-activists on the left don’t prescribe to using direct violence against individuals perpetrating the objectionable deed in question.”

        Neither do “most” people on the right, but where is the outrage against people like Rod Coronado? http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Rod_Coronado
        Is there anyone here willing to say we should that we should silence Ingrid Newkirk (PETA’s president) for her support of an arsonist? That’s only one example, I have many more.

        “I always got a chuckle out of watching the right try to paint extremists like Bill Ayers as a terrorist when he never deliberately hurt or killed anybody”

        It’s O.K. to blow up buildings UNTIL you ACCIDENTLY kill someone? Andre, please.

        “Meanwhile, I can imagine that many folks on the right are secretly celebrating the fact that “Tiller the Killer” got what they would consider his comeuppance – a bullet.”

        So far, every one of the talk show hosts that Greg wants to silence have condemned the killing of Tiller, despite their beliefs.

        Andre, the bottom line is the blame belongs on the people who commit the crime. Using this as an excuse to silence the opposition is simply wrong.

    • Andre, you hit some of my point. But unlike you, I actually PLACE BLAME on the right wing noise machine who keeps pumping out inciteful rhetoric. They ARE responsible.

      Tell me: would you have known anything about Dr. Tiller before Bill O’Reilly’s “reporting?” probably not. So when Tiller’s practice was broadcast all over the place, it was usually from the venemous speech from the right. I believe in freedom of speech too. But wht it could result in somebody’s death, it might be time to rethink things.

      • Dear Greg,
        I deeply respect your right to disagree, but once again, you answered none of my questions including whether or not you would silence me. You can’t say your for freedom of speech if it only applies to people you agree with. That’s not what it was created for.

  14. Hip Con,

    With the story of Rod Coronado: I didn’t read anywhere in that entry about people being shot dead. Similarly with Bill Ayers, I didn’t read anything about people dying in the name of his protest (again, except for friends who were accidentally killed). Now, I don’t deny that extremism cuts both ways. But blowing up a building or pouring paint on a fur coat is NOT the same as putting a bullet in somebody’s head. There is extremism. And then, there’s EXTREMISM.

    Andre, the bottom line is the blame belongs on the people who commit the crime. Using this as an excuse to silence the opposition is simply wrong.

    For years, gun manufacturers and advocates have sang that same mantra (i.e. “Guns don’t kill people, people do…). Likewise, cigarette companies followed that same philosophy. Blame the person who is using the product, not the producer. But after being on the receiving end of one lawsuit too many, they FINALLY started applying the warning labels. Maybe our folks over at Fox will do the same. Maybe we’ll start seeing a sign that says “Warning: What O’Reilly says is only meant to get ratings NOT to have y’all ignorant asses out there shooting people. Dictated, not read. Rupert Murdoch.”

    I know; that’s a stretch.

    • Hey Dre,
      I’m sorry, your all right (sarcasism added). As long as you don’t kill anyone it’s O.K. to burn down a MSU lab (while not even knowing IF anyone was in it) which is what Rod Coronado actually did. Or it’s perfectly O.K. to blow up a Federal building as long as no one was in it (which is what Bill Ayers did). That is as long as Bill O’Reilly didn’t tell you to, then it’s wrong. We all know how those right-wingers use their mind-control. Also, if you should kill someone, just be sure to blame Rush or Hannity or Bill, then at least the people here will be more interested in silencing people they disagree with then blaming the lunatic who pulled the trigger. I give up Andre, if all these people (with a few exceptions) want to keep excusing behavior, then don’t wonder why people in your neighborhood go on killing each other because you’ll never see the true reason and neither will they. Oh, but it’ll be perfectly O.K. for Keith Oberman or Bill Maher to incite violence against Bush, Cheney or any CEO. I swear If I pointed out the perfect comparison, you guys would say, “That’s different it was on a Wednesday.” Why is it words are so different when they come out of hate-filled preachers, left-wingers or even radical professors like Ward Churchill? Then it’s free speech. Honestly, this is nothing but self-justified hypocracy. I’m not mad, but I’m disappointed and I am at least consistant-I blame the criminal every time and want to silence no one, not even Keith Oberman or any of you.

      • Hip Con, I promise on everything I hold dear that if Maher or Olberman or any other lefties spewed vitriol…and a crazy leftist loon killed somebody in response, I’ll devote every ounce of my body criticizing them as well. I hope we won’t have to put that to test; but you know I’m good for it!

        To your other point, I’m sorry if you place as much value on infrastructure as you do a human life. I’m one of the types who would rather see an entire city block get destroyed for a cause (if no one is in those buildings, of course) than to see a person get in bullet in the head for that cause. As far as I can tell, nobody is advocating extremism on ANY count…but I’m at least saying that I wouldn’t compare blowing up buildings (as radical as that is) to killing a human being in cold blood. But I guess you and won’t see eye to eye on that one.

        I hope I can at least count on the fact that you won’t shoot me for it. 🙂

  15. I don’t care what anybody says, words are NOT just a string of letters people idly put together. They have a far more reaching significance than that. People like Bill O’Reilly can’t just go on and on with vicious rants and brutal name-calling and cloak himself in free speech once a crazy nut starts killing. I like the suggestion of disclaimer. At first, I thought it was on the comedic side…but now I’m starting to actually agree. If a person needed a little extra motivation to kill an abortion doctor, Bill O’Reilly offered it.

  16. Of all people, Gov. Palin makes the most sense of this whole thing:

    ““I feel sorrow for the Tiller family. I respect the sanctity of life and the tragedy that took place today in Kansas clearly violates respect for life. This murder also damages the positive message of life, for the unborn, and for those living. Ask yourself, ‘What will those who have not yet decided personally where they stand on this issue take away from today’s event in Kansas?’ Regardless of my strong objection to Dr. Tiller’s abortion practices, violence is never an answer in advancing the pro-life message.”

    She basically did not yield in her beliefs, but she also didn’t call for a crusade against anybody who does it. Bill O’Reilly could learn a thing from our often ditzy, but occassionally wise Governor from Alaska.

    • Whoa! Talk about a suprise! Palin said this?!

      If Gov. Palin had this kind of centricity during the campaign, she would’ve probably been Vice President right now. She essentially said the same thing I would’ve said to a young Bill Ayers before he started blowing stuff up, to PETA each time they pull off some ridiculous stunt, or to the scores of other loons who do off-the-wall things in the name of protest.

  17. Thanks for the video. Frank Schaffer is the kind of Christian other Christians should strive to model. He is the kind of American other people should strive to modle. If more people could see the dangers of fundamentalist thinking, perhaps Christ’s message of love would not be so easily overpowered by actions of hate.

  18. Suggesting that anybody is to blame other than the person @ fault is a stretch. If you subscribe to this belief, then we could spread around the blame for any crime to just about everybody. Besides, while I admittedly do not watch their programs, I would bet that whatever nonsense that has come out of the mouths of the entertainers (and they are, in fact, only that) being discussed is relatively tame to what one might find in some Churches that dare broach the subject. So is religion to blame too? It’s preachers? It’s followers? C’mon now…

    The bottom line comes down to individual responsibility. Everybody here has felt peer pressure @ one time or another, & everybody here has certainly had very strong feelings on one subject or another, but as far as I know, none of us have pulled a trigger because of them. Now ask yourselves, was the fact you didn’t a result of you not watching a certain program?

    Bill O’Hanni-baugh or not, this nut was going to do something nutty because that’s what nutty people do.


    • @ nic: “Suggesting that anybody is to blame other than the person @ fault is a stretch.

      Companies don’t spend hundreds of millions of dollars on marketing to create a world of compulsive shop-a-holics. They already exist. Instead the marketing dollars those companies spend are used to feed their compulsion. True, some people would go out and spend without any necessary motivation other than their own personal desires. For others, it’s that commerical or that billboard or that magazine ad that drives them to buy crap which they may have otherwise avoided.

      I say all that to say: I’m not directly blaming Bill-hanni-beck Coultbaugh for creating a legion of right-wing loons (nice combo of names, by the way. 🙂 ). They exist no matter WHO SAYS WHAT on Fox News. And I’m certainly not saying that these conservative personalities are apart of some nefarious plot to bring out the worst in those loons. But I am saying that their commentary has at least some ability to influence other people’s decisions. Knowing that…and knowing there are, in fact, scores of loons out there, the question becomes whether or not the talking heads choose to tone down their message.

    • Also, if you remember during the president campaign: John McCain of all people provided a good model on how to avoid the temptation of feeding the monster. During a town hall meeting where some ignoramus got up and said she didn’t trust Obama and that he’s an Arab, McCain jumped in and killed all that noise. Unfortunately for Sen. McCain, he took major hits from both sides for it (he got it from the right because they accused him of being too soft on this opponent…he got it from the left because he replied to her “He’s an Arab” comments by saying Obama was a decent guy; as if to say Arabs aren’t decent).

      All that notwithstanding, McCain could have easily rode the “Obama’s an anti-American, secret Muslim” wave, but he didn’t. I think he KNEW the nature of some of his supporters and did his best not to egg them on. If other people can follow the same suit, we might not read about stories like Roeder and Tiller.

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