Hey, Media: This Man Is Not A ‘Gunman.’ He’s A Terrorist (VIDEO)
Terrorism experts would agree Robert Lewis Dear’s A terrorist, even if Planned Parenthood wasn’t His target.
Dear Media: Please stop calling Robert Lewis Dear a ‘gunman’ and a ‘shooter.’ He’s a terrorist. If you don’t report him as one, you’re part of the problem with mass shootings and domestic terrorism in America. I, too, am guilty of this. In my first post on the Planned Parenthood shootings, I referred to him as a ‘white gunman’ — although i was sorely tempted to lambaste him as a marauding, right-wing, anti-choice terrorist thug — because I didn’t know “all the facts” and wanted to be “responsible.”
But guess what? We bloggers, journalists, activists and social media mavens are perfectly within our rights to call a mass shooter a terrorist. Even if Planned Parenthood hadn’t been the target and even if Robert Lewis Dear has no political reasons for his crimes, he’s still a terrorist, and terrorism experts would agree.
1. The Dept. of Homeland Security‘: defines domestic terrorism as: “Any act of violence that is dangerous to human life or potentially destructive of critical infrastructure or key resources committed by a group or individual.” Surely, shooting up a health clinic, a school, a church, or a public thoroughfare falls into that category.
2. Philly Mayor Michael Nutter: In a Nov. 16 phone meeting with U.S. Attorney General Loretta Lynch and other U.S. city mayors, Philadelphia Mayor Michael Nutter called for treating gun violence as a form of terrorism: “These criminals are terrorizing our citizens and that same level of fear of violence, the death of citizens, the destruction of property, are the same [as terrorist attacks like the recent one on Paris].”
3. Dallas Mayor Mike Rawlings: In response to Texas Gov. Greg Abbott seeking to ban Syrian refugees from the state, Mike Rawlings told MSNBC: “I am more fearful of large gatherings of white men that come into schools, theaters and shoot people up, but we don’t isolate young white men on this issue.”
4. Heidi Beirich, SPLC: In Oct. Heidi Beirich, intelligence director for the Southern Poverty Law Center, told NBC that most acts of domestic terrorism involve so-called “lone wolves” like Robert Louis Dear and Dylann Roof: “We’ve seen lone actor attacks about every 33 days, mostly white supremacist or anti-government extremists.” The Dept. of Justice (DOJ) has even opened a new position to address our nation’s home-spun terrorist threats.
5. The Police Executive Research Forum (PERF): In June, The New York Times did a survey of 382 law enforcement agencies with PERF and found 74 percent see anti-government domestic terrorism as far more of a threat than attacks by DAESH (once known as ISIS) and other Jihadist groups:
The report also states that right-wing extremists may not see themselves as part of a group, but they share “a fear that government will confiscate firearms [and] a belief in the approaching collapse of the government and the economy.” Oh, and “right-wing extremists averaged 377 attacks per year since 9/11,” according to the report.
And make no mistake, all of the mass shooters we’ve shed tears over in recent decades have at least one right-wing belief in common: The right of any one to own a gun and use it when and how they see fit. They may seem like loners, but they network and get information — often anonymously and online — on how to amass weapons and plan their attacks.
You don’t need a degree in counter terrorism to see what Robert Lewis Dear really is.
The mainstream news outlets all seem highly reluctant to call Robert Lewis Dear what he really is: A terrorist. And mumbling about how our law requires us to presume suspects as innocent until proven guilty is a load of B.S., given how often the media portrays people of color as thugs and terrorists. Nonetheless, the Colorado Springs police have their work cut out for them.
So far, they claim they haven’t shared much because they’ve had a hard time getting any coherent information out of Robert Lewis Dear. By nearly all accounts, the man is batsh*t crazy.
But, with all that expertise on terrorism aside, we do have some fairly strong indications that Robert Lewis Dear just might be an example of right-wing stochastic terrorism:
1. The AP reports “The mayor of Colorado Springs says authorities aren’t ready to discuss a possible motive of the gunman who attacked a Planned Parenthood clinic there but says people can make ‘inferences from where it took place.'” Um, that’s a rather broad hint, don’t you think?
2. NBC reports the “suspect” ranted about Barack Obama and “no more baby parts.” Yet they still insist the “extent to which the ‘baby parts’ remark played into any decision to target the Planned Parenthood office was not yet clear.” Excuse me, but that sounds an awful lot like he’s obsessed with the anti-choicers’ bogus Planned Parenthood videos.
3. NBC adds that neighbors reported our white terrorist du jour often acted strangely, though of course they never thought he was dangerous. One said he often offered “unsolicited advice,” like putting a metal roof on your house so the U.S. government can’t spy on you. Others said he did things like hide caches of food in the woods and lived in a cabin that had a homespun cross made of tree branches on the outside, but no electricity or running water. That was back in North Carolina: When Robert Lewis Dear moved to Colorado, he upgraded to a trailer.
Here’s the video with a report from NBC that makes no mention of terrorism, but still manages to pack in a lot of information about the Planned Parenthood shootings and about what we know so far about Robert Lewis Dear.
Photo: Colorado Springs Police Dept.