How the gun debate and the War on Terror are connected

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San Bernardino shooting suspects, Tashfeen Malik and Syed Farook.

Right-wing extremism received heavy scrutiny for a few days following the Planned Parenthood attacks. Commentators and left-wing politicians criticized the venomous rhetoric the right uses to denounce its opponents, one of which – the red herring cry of “baby parts” – was used by the Planned Parenthood shooter himself. Since the San Bernardino shooting, committed by Muslims a few days later, white terror has largely fallen off the radar. It shouldn’t.

What hasn’t fallen off the radar is the gun debate. It’s being waged as aggressively now as it’s been in years, with President Obama calling for restricted access to assault weapons and other mild reforms. Conservatives, as expected, reacted with total apoplexy. There has been a strange development, though, as the gun debate has become part of the discussion on Islamic terror. Continue reading

In America, white terrorists are the deadliest kind

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Robert Lewis Dear is accused of opening fire at a Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood, killing three.

Around the globe, Muslims carrying out jihad are responsible for tens of thousands of deaths. Americans are occupied with what to do about the problem. Terrorism is a permanent fixture of the media cycle and our politics, but the deadliest terror threat to Americans is neither foreign nor Muslim: It’s the terror from a homegrown insurgency of angry white men.

Two atrocities, both bearing the grim stamp of white terror, bookended Thanksgiving week. In Minneapolis on November 23, four white men opened fire on a crowd of Black Lives Matter demonstrators, injuring five. And in Colorado Springs on November 27, Robert Lewis Dear opened fire at a Planned Parenthood clinic, killing two civilians and a police officer. Continue reading

Planned Parenthood attacks are the pettiest of politics

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform on Capitol Hill in Washington September 29, 2015. REUTERS/Gary Cameron

Planned Parenthood president Cecile Richards testifies before the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform.

Planned Parenthood has been cleared of wrongdoing on the federal level by the very congressman who was their most aggressive opponent, but the group remains hounded at the state level. In Texas, Republican leadership is cutting Medicaid funding to the nonprofit reproductive healthcare provider. Even though they provide a long list of medical services, the campaign against Planned Parenthood is all about conservative fundamentalism on the issue of abortion. Continue reading