This past Friday, a lunatic with a gun he no doubt purchased legally opened fire outside a Planned Parenthood facility in Colorado Springs, CO, killing three people, including a police officer responding to reports of shots fired at the clinic. From the beginning, the Right began lying about what happened and why it happened. They tried to say it had nothing to do with Planned Parenthood or abortion, and that the shooter just happened to pick that nearby building to take cover. That was not true. The entire incident took place at the Planned Parenthood facility. They tried to say it started out as a bank robbery, but that was also untrue. The shooter started shooting at Planned Parenthood and when police cars started arriving on the scene, he started shooting at them. As some took cover behind a nearby Chase bank, the shooter took shots at them. That’s how the bank robbery lie started. After he was arrested and identified, the Right tried to claim the shooter was transgendered, and a Leftist (they love using that word, “Leftist.” It’s so close to calling us “Communists” and, as we all know, Communism is Pure Evil. And since “Leftist” sounds like “Communist,” that leans Leftists must be evil, too. See how easy it is to be a Conservative? No thinking required.) The same voter registration form from which they determined he used to be female (it was an obvious typo) also listed his party affiliation as Unaffiliated. As for why he did it, the police have not released any official determination, but it has been widely repeated in the media that one cop said the shooter had muttered something about “no more baby parts” as he was being led into custody. This would appear to be a reference to the debunked videos which were purported by their publishers to show Planned Parenthood personnel negotiating the sale of human fetal tissue, but which actually, showed no such thing at all due to their being deceptively edited.
And yet the Right refuses to acknowledge that fact. Just yesterday morning, Chris Wallace of Fox News Sunday allowed Carly Fiorina to further the false claim that the videos were legitimate and showed that Planned parenthood was selling baby parts. She also lied and said that they announced they would stop selling fetal tissues which would imply that they were doing so before. Again, a lie. What Planned Parenthood actually said was that they would no longer accept reimbursement for the costs of providing the tissue for medical research, which is all they were accepting money for in the first place. But Wallace just let Fiorina lie as if it was of no consequence. Even the Fox News article to which I just linked is in denial about the videos:
The attack thrust the clinic to the center of the ongoing debate over Planned Parenthood, which was reignited in July when anti-abortion activists released undercover video they said showed the organization’s personnel negotiating the sale of fetal organs.
I suppose you could say that, technically, there isn’t anything untrue about what they wrote, other than that it’s incomplete and makes no mention of them being deceptively edited. But because of that deception, there are people believing exactly what the video producers wanted them to believe – that Planned Parenthood was aborting fetuses for the purpose of selling off the body parts for profit. What other purpose would there be to making the videos?
What’s worse is that it’s impossible to deny that someone violently opposed to abortion might use that misinformation as justification to start shooting people at a clinic where abortions might be performed (though in much, much smaller numbers than the person believing the first lie might think true.) Liberals tend not to use violence against people to protest their views, but Conservatives have been known to do it many, many times in this country’s history. If heard and reported accurately, the reference the shooter made to “baby parts” is a direct reference to the doctored videos, which means the people who made those videos, as well as the media organizations that promoted them as undisputed fact, and even including the presidential candidates who intentionally lied about the videos’ content, share responsibility for the murders those videos incited. They can’t have it both ways. They can’t deliberately manipulate peoples’ emotions in a way certain to drive them to anger, and them claim no responsibility when they act on that anger and good people die. This can’t be allowed.
Nor can it be allowed that we not discuss how easy it is for such gun violence to happen in the first place. The gun supporters say there isn’t anything you can do about that, but there is. And it’s perfectly constitutional. You can tax the manufacture of guns. Put a $5,000 or even a $25,000 non-refundable tax on the manufacture of every handgun. The gun manufacturers would pay this tax as soon as they make the gun, and not when they sell it. This is perfectly legal and perfectly constitutional. Part of the problem has been that gun makers made excessive amounts of guns and then have to find ways to dump them off somewhere. And they know they can, so there’s no real downside to over-manufacturing. Unless you have to pay to do it and may never recover the taxes you pay to make the guns. No, it doesn’t solve the problem entirely, but it makes a lot of it go away. And that’s reason enough to try. Conservatives won’t see it that way. They’ll find some ridiculous reason based on the concept that this won’t stop all gun violence, and wouldn’t have stopped the Colorado shooting, so why bother? That’s why conservatives are part of the problem.
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