Friday, November 27, 2015

Multiple Injured in Shooting by Unidentified Gunman at Colorado Planned Parenthood

Earlier today, a gunman opened fire inside of a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs, Colorado. Officials say that there are an "unknown amount of casualties," but hospital officials have said that 9 victims have been admitted so far, 4 of which are police officers.
The shooting occurred around 11:30 am, when the unidentified shooter, described as being male, in his mid 40s, wearing a black coat and hat, entered the planned parenthood building and opened fire. As the police arrived at the scene, a the gunman opened fire on the officers, injuring at least 4.
Lieutenant Catherine Buckley said that the victim was taken into custody just before 5 o'clock, after officers inside the building made contact with him for the first time.
As for the motive, it is assumed that the random act of violence stemmed from the release of undercover videos, made by an anti-abortion organization, that provided evidence supporting the claim that Planned Parenthood had been selling leftover tissue from abortions on the black market. One of the clinics targeted was located in Denver.
Although the videos do not prove these accusations to be true, Planned Parenthood has still seen a huge spike in threats against other abortion providers, with 4 cases of arson occurring since the videos release. These videos have also sparked Capitol Hill to launch multiple investigations into Planned Parenthood's practices, and an increasing desire of some Republican Governors to cut off Medicaid and grants to the organization.

After watching the video, do you think the claims against Planned Parenthood are valid? Also, assuming that the allegations are true, do you feel that an act of violence or retaliation against the organization was uncalled for, or justified?

Here is the link to the Planned Parenthood exposé video:
Planned Parenthood Exposé



Alex Binsacca said...

After viewing the video, I think the evidence is pretty valid that the allegations against Planned Parent Hood are true. The quality of the video, and the way the each person gave their answers were pretty realistic. My only problem is I am unsure why these people would be so open to a random person who just walks up to them. For instance they just walked up claiming to be new planned parent hood company researchers and the Medical Director just gives out so pretty confidential sounding information.

Do I think that this evidence is a just cause for a person to go out and shoot at random innocent civilians? No, no I do not. There is no just cause(unless to defend a third party, or something similar to that.) for a person to take the law into their own hands and potentially kill other people. Plus the gunman took it to a whole other level by shooting at the police. To me this is just another example of extremists protesters taking their beliefs too far, to the point where innocent peoples lives are put into danger.

Juliana Stahr said...

Thank you Ethan for this great post. I think more people need to dig into this topic and understand what is really going on here. Anti-abortion groups are trying to receive a spotlight to talk about the "evil" crimes that continue throughout Planned Parenthood locations, however, they are wrong.

After watching the video, I do not think the claims against Planned Parenthood are valid. To me, the video is sad because the whole topic of aborted babies is depressing no matter what context. Most people do not want to know what happens to aborted babies simply because the event is so traumatic and awful. I do believe, however, that sending aborted babies to facilities to conduct research may be beneficial. I do not think we should be quick to say Planned Parenthood is terrible and wrong. The source where I watched the video contains links throughout the article saying "Defund Planned Parenthood" and "Sign the Petition." Evidently, the source is completely biased and not credible.

After reading articles against the video, a source claims that "In the longer version of the raw video footage — which includes more than 150 additional minutes that didn’t make it into the final nine-minute version — there’s one instance when she says quite directly, “Nobody should be ‘selling’ tissue. That’s just not the goal here.” Nucatola, the women in the video, repeatedly emphasizes "tissue donation." Clearly, there is no selling of anything that is taking place here. The video was created to spur a reaction and unfortunately, it did. Now two presidential candidates hope to further investigations in various Planned Parenthoods.

Of course this act of retaliation is not just. Shooting people to bring attention to an issue is never the right way to handling anything. First off, did anyone notice his ironic name? Mr. Robert Dear?! Hilarious! Anyway, let's face it. The man is crazy. Reports indicate Dear had lived part of the time in a cabin with no electricity or running water in the North Carolina mountains. The man was also said to have kept "mostly to himself" and when he did talk, it was a combination of topics that did not make sense. I think anti-abortion organizations are trying to make this issue related to the "selling aborted fetuses," however, the two incidents have absolutely NOTHING to do with each other. I think we need to start realizing when were are victims of propaganda.


Jack Loar said...

I agree with Juliana that in no way are the claims against Planned Parenthood valid, and even if they were, it is very much unrelated to the shooting itself. While the shooter's motivations may have been related to these claims against Planned Parenthood, they are beside the point. Someone shot and killed three people to make a statement about their own political beliefs.

People should be more focused on the shooting itself rather than the motivations. However, shootings like this happen far more often than is acceptable, so the motivations and the location are what set this apart from all the rest. The United States needs to make policy changes to prevent shootings like this from occurring at all, regardless of the motivations of the people who wish to carry them out.


Huayu Ouyang said...

I agree with Juliana and Jack that the videos allegedly showing Planned Parenthood selling fetal body parts are purposefully edited to mislead viewers because Planned Parenthood is only donating fetal tissue with the consent of the patient for the purposes of medical research, and they are not profiting from this donation.

I don't think the attack on Planned Parenthood is justified in any way, even if that video were to show Planned Parenthood committing a crime, which it didn't. If Robert Dear was attacking Planned Parenthood because he is pro-life, it would be kind of ironic considering that he killed three people, including a police officer, and injured nine others.

TJ Bonbright said...

Whether or not the allegations against Planned Parenthood are correct is irrelevant when considering the validity of the motive. This is because the act of shooting and killing innocent people, even if to speak out against something that one believes is unjust, is not justifiable. In the society we live in today, there are laws in place to protect its citizens. One such measure is the agreement to outlaw murder, regardless of the motive. If a society allows people to go around killing others because they have a difference in opinion, then what is the point of having laws to protect people in the first place?

As for the video, well, I wouldn't place a whole lot of trust in it. As Juliana mentioned, the source where I viewed the video is significantly biased. In addition, the organization which released the video, The Center for Medical Progress, is anti-abortion, giving it a reason to distort evidence to favor their opinion. While watching the heavily edited video, I noticed one particularly questionable editing technique. When the editor wanted to emphasize an incriminating piece of evidence against Planned Parenthood, he would insert the record-scratching sound effect then repeat the clip of the evidence. This effect is used often for comedic purposes when identifying mistakes and bloopers of some sort, so to include this effect in a video covering such a serious topic seems unprofessional. This, along with all that has already been said or revealed about the video, makes me very hesitant to believe that the allegations against Planned Parenthood are completely accurate.