Colorado Springs

Yesterday in Colorado Springs a mass shooting occurred when a man walked into planned parenthood, shot officers and civilians, surrendered on demand and was summarily arrested. 

Throughout the terrifying ordeal, reporters claimed that the shooter had been firing at cars early into his spree, which culminated in three deaths, and the injury of four officers and five civilians. A SWAT team managed to rescue seven hostages from inside the building, but the shooter was said to be still active during the operation and nearby business employees were encouraged to hide and stay away from any windows.

The shooter is now in custody. It’s fair to say then that he’s probably white. If he hadn’t been we would be talking about how a terrorist was shot dead, rather than a shooter arrested.

It’s early yet, but I think it’s only fair to speculate with the description of the attacker being a 40yr old white male that this attack did not happen to fall on planned parenthood unexpectedly, but that this was the intended target all along.

Why?

Well, maybe you’re aware of who they are, maybe you’ve seen the hashtag #shoutyourabortion which many people used to support the organisation which helped them through a difficult process in their lives. I too wrote about this just a couple of days ago.

Planned Parenthood are a family planning clinic, most famous in the US because they perform abortions, but they also provide a lot of other services to do with planning, building and raising a family. Obviously it gets a lot of shade from religious fanatics and pro-lifers who should probably just mind their own business, but I would say this is a strong contender for the reasoning behind this attack.

This happened on a day after thanksgiving,  a traditionally quiet and peaceful period. It happened in a place where women were discussing their futures and their options. There was no reason to believe that anybody in that building was attending for an abortion that day, but it didn’t matter to this guy. He didn’t have a coherent argument and a taste for debate. He had a gun and a sense of righteousness that made it a horrible sin for those women to carry out terminations if they so wished, but gave him a divine right to shoot and try to kill them for it. What a bizarre logic.

This is the second mass shooting in Colorado Springs in just a month. What a devastating blow to the community. Medical professionals, people who trained in their field to help people, to give people options and plans and stability, were left blood soaked and cowering for their lives for no other reason than this man felt it his right and privilege to dole out his brand of vigilante justice.

The gun control argument has been heard a thousand times. Should we disarm the public? Or should we now arm doctors and medical staff too? There is an arms race on the streets of America – the more people shoot, the more guns are sold. More shootings have been committed by toddlers than anyone else in the states this year – buying more guns and having them around your home simply is not the safer option.

I think the only thing that can combat horrific attacks like this is a control on firearms, a distancing of the church from governing bodies and education education education – for both men and women on their rights, their options and what they entail.

I had a very very pro-life upbringing. I hate that term. Because as we have seen from this attack, it is not pro-life simply  anti-choice. It was instilled in me from an early age through the church, and as I grew older and began to think for myself I realised how barbaric it was to impose that belief on somebody. Regardless of what you think of anybody and their decisions, it is not your body, it is not your business.

My heart goes out to the men and women in that clinic today, and the families of those killed or injured. We can only hope that Colorado Springs can find some peace to rebuild and move on, but there are lessons to be learned here that should not be ignored.

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