On Friday, November 27, Robert L. Dear Jr. attacked people using a semi-automatic rifle at a Planned Parenthood in Colorado Springs. He shot twelve people, killing three - including a police officer, an Iraq war veteran, and a woman there supporting her friend.
Hundreds of people were forced to hide for hours while the gunman held them hostage. They hid in ultrasound rooms and behind equipment, terrified that they would be discovered before the police could help them.
I was horrified to hear this story. I'm a long-time Colorado resident and I've used Planned Parenthood as my primary women's health provider for almost 20 years. When I didn't have insurance and had a limited income, Planned Parenthood was the only place that I could go for free or reduced-cost check-ups. For many women in Colorado, it's our only way to make sure we catch ovarian cancer before it's too late, to make sure a lump isn't breast cancer, or to get us through pregnancy safely.
It's no coincidence that this shooter targeted a Planned Parenthood: in his post-arrest interview, law enforcement officials report that he mumbled "no more baby parts." This is clearly a politically motivated crime, not only unfairly targeting women, but unleashing terror on hundreds of other individuals in the shopping center.
We can't continue to brand violence abroad as terrorism and fail to do the same for extremists here in the United States. The Justice Department is considering investigating this as a domestic terrorism case.
Please sign this petition to urge that the Department of Justice treat this horrific, unprovoked act of violence as domestic terrorism.
I hereby urge you to charge Robert L. Dear Jr. with domestic terrorism.
Mr. Dear targeted women seeking health care and attacked dozens of people for a sustained period of time. He used a semi-automatic rifle to hold people hostage, shot twelve people, and murdered three people including a police officer, an Iraq war veteran, and a woman there supporting her friend.
It is very important that as we punish terrorism abroad, we also punish it at home. It is unacceptable for individuals to threaten the safety and security of dozens of innocent individuals and not face the severe punishment that this type of crime demands.
Please ensure that Mr. Dear is charged with domestic terrorism, the crime that best fits his hateful and extreme actions of violence.