Blog for Choice Day News: Shooting man in head is not murder?

Blog for Choice Day started with my usual wake-up method of listening to NPR’s Morning Edition, which included the news that today begins the trial of a man who drove miles in order to shoot a man in the head, in front of many witnesses; once apprehended, he confessed to the crime.   This may sound like a straightforward case of murder, except that the murder victim was a doctor who performed abortions, and the shooter was pro-life:

Roeder says he should be able to tell jurors why he committed the act — to “protect unborn babies,” he says. But prosecutors say any evidence about abortion is irrelevant. They say it’s an open-and-shut murder case.

Roeder allegedly drove from suburban Kansas City to George Tiller’s church in Wichita, where he pulled out a gun and shot Tiller in the head. Many witnesses saw the shooting, and Roeder has admitted he did it. But the case may not be so simple.

Judge Warren Wilbert ruled that Roeder cannot use a so-called justifiable homicide or necessity defense. But the judge did not rule out evidence that could lead to a lesser voluntary manslaughter charge.

According to Kansas law, that’s the “unreasonable but honest belief” that deadly force was justified.

The Blog for Choice website asks participants to consider the question, “What does ‘Trust Women’ mean to you?”   The question itself makes me reflect on the extent to which we live in an untrustworthy world.  Women are not trusted.  Those who aid them risk being shot in the head.  Whom can we trust? 

I suppose that it means, in part, we must act to protect each other, to deserve the trust of women.

5 thoughts on “Blog for Choice Day News: Shooting man in head is not murder?

  1. ProfBigK, you write: ““What does ‘Trust Women’ mean to you?” To me, it means we need not premeditate the shooting death of others.” There are many possible interpretations of this. Can you elaborate?

  2. Hm, if there are many possible interpretations, then I’ll modify the post! I don’t wish to sound like I’m jokingly recommending violence on a day too full of it already.

  3. […] is Blog for Choice Day by PhDork at The Pursuit of Harpyness Blog for Choice Day News: Shooting Man in Head is Not News by ProfBigK at Feminist Philosophers Blog for Choice 2010 by Frau Sally Benz at Feministe Reality […]

  4. This pairs in an interesting way with the fat-man-and-trolley problem of your other post. There’s an inclination to push moral questions straight to the level of lethal force justified as preventing deaths, as in the notorious “wouldn’t you approve of torturing a terrorist to find out where the nuclear time bomb is?” argument. At least Godwin did not propose murdering Fenelon’s chambermaid.

  5. So if I were to find somebody that kills, say cattle because I don’t eat beef, or unarmed civilians in any number of current conflicts that I don’t agree with, I could consciously plan a trip to that person’s residence and shoot them in the head and justify that action with the excuse “I was trying to protect helpless so and so’s” ? HARDLY!

    The man committed an act of pre-meditated murder! He did not run the doctor down in an “involuntary accident”.

    To me, in this particular context, “trust women” means this: Of the 10 women I’ve met personally who needed abortions, 9 were under the age of 21, one was 24, and battered. One was 14, in the care of Family and Children’s Services, and dating a heroin addict. 3 were themselves addicts at the time of their abortions. Half were prostitutes at the time of their abortions and 2 were former prostitutes. All but one were battered.

    All but 3 of these women (girls) went on to better relationships and gainful employment because of their decision to terminate their pregnancies. I’m not sure about the remaining 3, because I only knew them casually and chose not to get too close. There’s human interest, and then there’s masochism–I won’t risk my own safety to “trust” too much.

    For the most part, I find it hard to believe that women undergo such a physically and emotionally agonizing procedure for “selfish” reasons. Quality of life seems to have been more important than “right to [tortured] life” in the cases I’ve studied. I guess you could say that I trust even the most victimized women to “find themselves” and not use their trauma as an excuse to mistreat themselves or others. Euthanasia is NOT mistreatment!

    “Trust women” in general… I guess that’s just something I do without even thinking about it. Men in positions of authority have to work a little harder to earn my trust. I’m constantly checking them for signs of incompetence or nepotism/biases in the mechanisms that gave them their authority. A woman has to do something pretty vicious to lose my trust, because I assume in her case that she must have out-performed hundreds of men to earn her rank. If I do find a female authority figure abrasive or mean, (and it’s a rare occurrence) I blame the power/money hungry men that wrote the usually contradictory regulations that she’s attempting to enforce.

    Powerful words. I think that putting more trust in our sisters and our collective potential, we could achieve some pretty amazing things. Including a serious REDUCTION in the number of arbitrary massacres that happen globally every day.

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