Robert Lewis Dear, Right Wing Ideology, And The Planned Parenthood Killing Spree
The Planned Parenthood mass shooting that was carried out by Robert Lewis Dear on Black Friday in Colorado Springs has led to furious discussions in the news and on social media outlets regarding the motives behind the killings. According to the New York Times, authorities say three people were dead and nine were wounded before the suspect finally surrendered. It’s also important to note that Dear was taken into custody alive more than five hours after the first shots were fired, unlike a growing number of African Americans who have come into contact with the police in recent months.While the police would not immediately discuss the motives behind Robert Lewis Dear’s attack, it’s no secret that the shooting happened during a time when the institution of Planned Parenthood has been under renewed assault by right-wing politicians nationwide. In fact, Republican presidential hopefuls launched an attack on Planned Parenthood at the so-called “happy hour debate” August 6, MSNBC reported.
“No one wanted to be outdone in their disdain for Planned Parenthood.”
How is this right-wing ideology related to Robert Lewis Dear and the 2015 Black Friday massacre? While it’s obvious the latest mass shooting was an act of domestic (white) terrorism, there is — as always — much more to the story, namely involving Dear’s anti-abortion ideology and overall worldview, which can be described as extreme nationalism that led (perhaps predictably) to isolationism and paranoia.
Details finally began to emerge Saturday, with NBC News reporting that after his arrest, Dear mentioned “no more baby parts” in reference to Planned Parenthood during questioning.
“He also mentioned President Barack Obama in statements.”
Officials described the interviews as “rantings,” and say Robert Lewis Dear talked extensively about politics and abortion. Colorado Springs Mayor John Suthers told AP writer Sadie Gurman of Austin’s KXAN that the public can make educated inferences about the shooting and the gunman’s motives “from where it took place.”
While the shooting was still in progress, Illinois 16th Congressional District Representative Adam Kinzinger (R) appeared on CNN to discuss the incident and a statement released by Planned Parenthood of the Rocky Mountains in response to the ongoing violence.
“We share the concerns of many Americans that extremists are creating a poisonous environment that feeds domestic terrorism in this country.”
In a display of what the GOP really thinks, Kinzinger was quick to deny a connection between abortion opponents and the attack. In fact, he wound up demanding an apology from Planned Parenthood during the interview and dubbed the actions of Robert Lewis Dear as a “mental health issue,” while also saying the shooter’s underlying sentiment was a “legitimate disagreement.”
“If we find out he was not targeting Planned Parenthood, I would fully expect an apology from the Planned Parenthood director.”
In taking a closer look at Robert Lewis Dear, it has come to light that he has had several former run-ins with the police, frightened neighbors, and has lived in remote cabins and trailers in North Carolina, South Carolina, and Colorado. Dear also had confrontations with law enforcement officers when his ex-wife said he hit her, pushed her out of a window, and locked her out of their home, and when police were called after his neighbor’s dog was shot with a pellet gun, KXAN reported.
“Dear lived for years in a cabin that had no electricity or running water in the North Carolina mountains, about 15 miles west of Asheville. His neighbors said the only companion they saw with Dear was a mangy dog that looked to be in such bad shape they called animal control because they worried he was beating it.”
A loner, Dear’s neighbors also revealed that he believed a metal roof could stop the government from spying, liked to keep to himself, and said they feared his retaliation for speaking with reporters.
[Image courtesy of @moira20025/Twitter]