Domestic Terrorism

The Islamic terrorist attacks, especially deadly and frequent as of late, are reprehensible. People are rightly outraged. Unfortunately, many are proposing unreasonable measures in the name of safety, such as shutting down mosques and refusing refugees from Syria.

We are often blind, however, to our own terrorism: the home-grown type. The kind of terrorism that is, at least in some part, caused by prominent political figures and the people who vote for them.

There is one particular target that has been the favorite of domestic terrorists. Between 1977 and 2006 there have been seven murders, 17 attempted murders, three kidnappings, 152 assaults, 305 completed or attempted bombings and arsons, 375 invasions, 482 stalking incidents, 380 death threats, 618 bomb threats, 100 acid attacks, and 1,254 acts of vandalism (source).

So what is that target? Well, it’s a national chain of about 700 health clinics. It provides cheap or free cancer screenings, tests for STDs, and helps prevent countless unwanted pregnancies. About 3 percent of what these health clinics do, however, is vehemently opposed by a very large and irrational portion of our populace despite being completely legal. Yes, I’m talking about Planned Parenthood of course.

And while details are still coming in about the attack in Colorado at a Planned Parenthood clinic yesterday in which multiple people were killed in a six-hour shootout with police, it seems fairly likely that yet another act of domestic terrorism will pass by without any changes to prevent future attacks. We won’t change our gun laws. Conservatives won’t stop inciting anger towards a health clinic. Politicians whose words started the whole thing won’t take responsibility and their constituents won’t hold them accountable.

People are screaming for war in Syria, eager to send hundreds of billions of dollars and American soldiers into a conflict that will ultimately end up just spawning another terrorist group or two. But this, home-grown terrorism, we choose to ignore.

Sometimes it’s depressing to be a human being.

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