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Jill has been blogging for Feministe since 2005.
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18 Responses

  1. Vail
    Vail May 27, 2011 at 11:21 am |

    This scares the crud outta me. This guy was really lucky that no one was hurt at the hotel. It’s not like Motel 6 has super thick walls.

  2. Ellie
    Ellie May 27, 2011 at 12:38 pm |

    I’m already bothered enough by the abortion protesters I go by regularly in Milwaukee… I hadn’t even considered how the new concealed carry law may affect that.

  3. Shannon Drury
    Shannon Drury May 27, 2011 at 12:44 pm |

    Between this fresh threat of violence and the move to stop funding hospitals that train doctors to perform abortions, our access to abortion services just shrank even more. So much for “choice.” Can we drop that language now?

  4. Greg
    Greg May 27, 2011 at 1:11 pm |

    As a pro-choice Madisonian, this scared the crap out of me. Look at this map:

    http://tinyurl.com/3bck3y4

    His motel is literally around the block from the clinic. They got him just in time.

  5. Aletheia
    Aletheia May 27, 2011 at 2:11 pm |

    Pardon the pedantry, but there is an egregious grammatical error in the title of your post.

  6. Bushfire
    Bushfire May 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    Those “pro-lifers”: always valuing life by killing people.

  7. Bushfire
    Bushfire May 27, 2011 at 5:19 pm |

    Those “pro-lifers”: always valuing life by killing people.

  8. Antoinette
    Antoinette May 28, 2011 at 10:56 am |

    It is frightening how this guys felt it was perfectly normal to inform police of his assassination plans. He honestly believes that police should be “executing” abortion providers and all clinic staff for that matter; this is the kind of insanity that is truly scary.

    http://prochoicewashington.wordpress.com/2011/05/27/can-the-obama-administration-stop-the-planned-parenthood-defunding-domino-effect-2/

  9. William
    William May 28, 2011 at 1:03 pm |

    Ellie: I’m already bothered enough by the abortion protesters I go by regularly in Milwaukee… I hadn’t even considered how the new concealed carry law may affect that.

    Honestly, a concealed carry law is more likely to be a good thing for providers than a bad one. There are already guns in Wisconsin and you can already put them in your car and drive around with them. Someone like this little theocrat is going to be able to take a gun, put it in his trunk, and drive to a clinic if he wants to start shooting regardless of the prohibition laws a state does or doesn’t have. Just like, in the 30 years Chicago’s handgun ban stayed in effect, the gang bangers always had ready access. Prohibition only effects people not planning on committing murder.

    Concealed carry, on the other hand, might actually make clinics safer. Gun are easy to get, but the cost of carrying one you’re not supposed to is high enough to stop most law-abiding citizens from carrying one. That cost isn’t relevant to someone like the man in this article, its probably pretty relevant to the people he was planning on murdering. Its not pretty and its not right and I wish it wasn’t true, but if this guy walked into a clinic and started shooting he’d have a long time before police arrived and were able to stop him. The only recourse people in the clinic would have would be to try to disarm an armed man while themselves unarmed or wait for police, who in many areas don’t give two shits about them, to come and save them. Concealed carry might well make the difference between someone like him having 3 or 4 minutes (if you’re lucky to have a good response time from your local uniformed thugs) to start shooting and take hostages or him having 30 seconds.

    We already live in a world where people are willing to murder abortion doctors. I think its frankly unconscionable that we still have two states in this country where providers, nurses, other staff, and patients are made into criminals for daring to defend themselves from violence.

  10. William
    William May 28, 2011 at 3:03 pm |

    It is frightening how this guys felt it was perfectly normal to inform police of his assassination plans. He honestly believes that police should be “executing” abortion providers and all clinic staff for that matter; this is the kind of insanity that is truly scary.

    This is not insanity. This is privilege, a sense of entitlement, and the belief that one is in possession of a moral authority. Cruelty, evil, a lack of modern liberal beliefs, none of these things necessarily equate with experiences of madness. A propensity for violence is neither the special province nor even a common factor in mad persons. Check the ableism, please.

  11. Lasciel
    Lasciel May 28, 2011 at 10:44 pm |

    William: This is not insanity. This is privilege, a sense of entitlement, and the belief that one is in possession of a moral authority. Cruelty, evil, a lack of modern liberal beliefs, none of these things necessarily equate with experiences of madness. A propensity for violence is neither the special province nor even a common factor in mad persons. Check the ableism, please.

    While it’s true that most people suffering from a mental disorder aren’t prone to violence, that’s not quite the same thing as saying that people that are prone to commit crime are mentally disordered. The fact that most male criminals qualify for an APD diagnosis alone gives evidence to that.

    If you’re going to tell people to check their ableism you might want to brush up on some criminology facts.

  12. William
    William May 29, 2011 at 3:18 pm |

    While it’s true that most people suffering from a mental disorder aren’t prone to violence, that’s not quite the same thing as saying that people that are prone to commit crime are mentally disordered.

    I was specifically responding to someone who called this person’s thought patterns “insane.”

    The fact that most male criminals qualify for an APD diagnosis alone gives evidence to that.

    So, we’re bringing the DSM into this? Ok. First and foremost, the DSM has a major problem in that its a fundamentally descriptive method of diagnoses. DSM diagnosis is not like medical diagnosis. We aren’t talking about objective standards or criteria based upon clear etiological data, we’re talking about vague syndromes whose presence or absence are defined by value-laden norms. This is a fundamental problem in the DSM. Second, Axis II diagnoses are especially problematic because (with the exception of Mental Retardation) they’re essentially disorders organized not around an individual’s complaints but around things the individual thinks, feels, or does which persons determining criteria believe to be pathological. Axis II diagnoses are moral in nature. Third, Antisocial Personality Disorder in specific has been heavily critiqued not only for it’s significant gender and cultural biases but because it is essentially a means of medicalizing criminality. The criteria for Antisocial Personality Disorder are essentially the same criteria by which we judge someone to be criminal. Saying that “most male criminals qualify for an APD diagnosis” is a meaningless statement because the criteria are so broad, so vague, and so closely associated with judgements about lawful behavior that you’re saying “most male criminals qualify as male criminals.” Thats before you begin to consider that many of the criteria of Antisocial Personality Disorder are also common ways that male socialized individual act out in response to depression and trauma. More, its worth considering that behaviors like lying to one’s parents, smoking pot, or truancy are given the same weight in DSM criteria as violence or cruelty to people or animals.

    More to the point, you might want to brush up on your Millon and Axis II theory, because it seems your criminology facts have a gaping theoretical hole in them.

    If you’re going to tell people to check their ableism you might want to brush up on some criminology facts.

    If you’re going to lecture people about DSM disorders you might want to avoid doing so to people whose doctoral theses revolved around critiquing the moral, normative, and cultural baises inherent in the ways we judge madness.

    But hey, I’m sure we could just say “fuck it” and go on defining madness as “things people do that we don’t like” so that we have an easy means of othering them and don’t have to worry about the implications their actions have on us. I mean, who cares if some crazy people end up getting hurt by what that does to discourse, they’re fucking crazy, right?

  13. Aletheia
    Aletheia May 29, 2011 at 3:57 pm |

    We have a tendency of associating violent acts with mental illness. But from what I understand, the two have not always been associated with each other.

    More specifically, we generally associate mental illness with illegal acts of violence that those in power don’t like. The men who organized 9/11 are “out of their minds,” while the men who fought in the American Revolution are seen as these glorious, heroic revolutionaries. We capitalize the “R” in “Revolution” and sing praises in their name; no one associates what they did with mental illness in any way.

    It should be clear that there is no relationship between violent mental illnesses and the extralegal use of force. On one hand, we think of violent acts against those in power as being perpetrated by violent mentally ill people, as is the case here. On the other, we see violence carried out by some assholes (excuse me, Heroic Revolutionaries) who didn’t want to pay their mother country’s taxes as being motivated by something else.

  14. Lasciel
    Lasciel May 29, 2011 at 10:56 pm |

    William: If you’re going to lecture people about DSM disorders you might want to avoid doing so to people whose doctoral theses revolved around critiquing the moral, normative, and cultural baises inherent in the ways we judge madness.

    So you think if a person blathers on about the DSM at university then they should get immunity from being criticized? Good to know.

    You can dismiss personality disorders all you like? Don’t worry though-I’m sure anyone with one will be comforted by the fact that you’re doing your doctoral theses on what a load of made-up bunk their disorder is. “Axis II diagnoses are moral in nature. ” So a diagnosis of borderline, for instance, isn’t motivated by any complaints of the patient, it’s just a moral judgment by their doctor?

    And for last statement? Discussing any links between criminal convictions and mental disorders is hurtful to people with mental disorders why? Because you think there’s something inherently *morally* wrong with criminals? You think any hint of connection to criminality is insulting and distasteful? My my my. Gee, it’s not like we have loads of people in the system that aren’t guilty of any real evils at all. It’s not like we don’t disproportionately convict the poor and black or anything.

    Gosh, sorry! I guess I shouldn’t discuss the disturbingly disproportionate amounts of POC that are targeted by our justice system either. It’s OTHERING and hurtful to make any connections between disprivileged groups and criminality. Because the important thing is not mentioning anything unpleasant or crime-related so that disprivileged people that *haven’t* been targeted by the justice system don’t have to feel, gosh, uncomfortable or anything! I have to apologize, I forgot that once you go to jail you’re just an icky bad person and you’re totally divorced from an oppressive society and gee, people that are for social justice shouldn’t be concerned with you. The important thing is disprivileged people that *aren’t* criminals, right? Jeez, better not suggest people with mental disorders could be unfairly treated in our justice system, that would just be disgusting and offensive.

    Yeah, let’s just totally avoid examining the treatment of people with mental disorders in the criminal justice system. That way no one will get hurt, right? And there couldn’t possibly be anything ableist in saying “Hey, your mental disorder isn’t real! it’s just a *moral* problem, quit complaining.”

  15. William
    William May 30, 2011 at 12:06 pm |

    So you think if a person blathers on about the DSM at university then they should get immunity from being criticized? Good to know.

    You appealed to the DSM as an authority, I challenged that authority. I’ve researched it, I’ve written about it, I’ve won awards for my work on the subject, and I work with patients who have Axis II diagnoses.

    You can dismiss personality disorders all you like? Don’t worry though-I’m sure anyone with one will be comforted by the fact that you’re doing your doctoral theses on what a load of made-up bunk their disorder is. “Axis II diagnoses are moral in nature. ” So a diagnosis of borderline, for instance, isn’t motivated by any complaints of the patient, it’s just a moral judgment by their doctor?

    Borderline Personality Disorder is notoriously over-diagnosed, often for specifically gendered reasons. I’ve seen far more patients who were misdiagnosed with BPD than I have patients correctly diagnosed. There is also, again, the question of trauma responses and their relationship to BPD. More than that there is the perception that Axis II disorders, in general, are untreatable leading to a lot of women (who are overwhelmingly the holders of the Borderline label) being diagnosed as a means of dismissal. Look at the criteria for Borderline Personality Disorder. Included are behaviors judged purely from a moral perspective (promiscuity, substance use, etc), behaviors that are judged largely from a normative perspective (“inappropriate” displays of emotion or anger), and identity disturbances. At no point is the subjective experience of the patient necessary, or even central, to the diagnostic process.

    And for last statement? Discussing any links between criminal convictions and mental disorders is hurtful to people with mental disorders why? Because you think there’s something inherently *morally* wrong with criminals?

    Society thinks theres something inherently morally wrong with criminals and, historically, we have used diagnosis of madness as a means of bringing certain kinds of discipline to bear against criminals who are not easily understood or explained. The problem with that is that it contributes to the myth of the dangerous madman and, by linking criminality to madness, supports and advances the social stigma that mad persons face in our society. The bottom line is that mad folks are more likely to be victims of crimes than perpetrators. They also happen to be disliked for a whole host of reasons and linking them to criminals makes it very easy for society to disregard them.

    Gee, it’s not like we have loads of people in the system that aren’t guilty of any real evils at all. It’s not like we don’t disproportionately convict the poor and black or anything.

    Yes, we do, and thats part of the problem. There are a lot of mad persons in prison too because thats what society does with people it finds undesirable. The dangerous black man, the violent mad man, the “criminal underclass” are certain kinds of myths that are perpetuated by linking people we find undesirable to criminality as a means of disregarding and oppressing them. Part of how we do that to mad persons is by calling evil acts, like the one this guy in Wisconsin tried to do, “insane.” Thats ableism, thats what I was calling out.

    Gosh, sorry! I guess I shouldn’t discuss the disturbingly disproportionate amounts of POC that are targeted by our justice system either.

    Not if you’re going to imply that POC are disproportionately involved in the justice system because their color makes them criminal. If you did that I’d call you a racist and kindly ask you to shut the fuck up. Same thing applies to madness.

    Because the important thing is not mentioning anything unpleasant or crime-related so that disprivileged people that *haven’t* been targeted by the justice system don’t have to feel, gosh, uncomfortable or anything!

    …what? Where did I say that? Mad folks have been targeted, POC have been targeted, I was calling out someone for specifically referring to what appears to be rational, though evil, behavior as “insane.” Where are we disagreeing?

    Yeah, let’s just totally avoid examining the treatment of people with mental disorders in the criminal justice system. That way no one will get hurt, right?

    A good argument had that been what I said.

    And there couldn’t possibly be anything ableist in saying “Hey, your mental disorder isn’t real! it’s just a *moral* problem, quit complaining.”

    I apologize if thats what you read. I don’t deny the existence of the symptoms associated with most personality disorders (although, in my experience, APD is extremely rare and the diagnostic hallmark isn’t antisocial behavior but a lack of empathy), what I deny is the ways in which we diagnose them and the meanings clinicians draw from them. Axis II disorders are generally used as a proof that someone isn’t worth treating. Its a terminal diagnosis, an excuse for a clinician to say “well you know…they’re borderline, theres nothing I can do.” They also serve as a way of pathologizing certain responses to trauma and oppression and, I would argue, a means of avoiding responding to the sources of specific forms of trauma and oppression.

    Still, this is a derail. #9 had a moment of ableism, I called it out, you had a response to that, I had a response to you, but we’ve gone past relevance to the thread.

  16. Spay Your Sea Kitten
    Spay Your Sea Kitten May 31, 2011 at 5:23 am |

    I hate the silence around terrorism when it’s “pro-life”. Is it ignored outright or isn’t it considered to count as terrorism (despite meeting the dictionary definition)?

    Is there a list anywhere that has compiled all the incidents of anti-abortion terrorism in the US? Or a terrorist attack list in general? I hear about anti-abortion attacks/attempts from time to time but they get lost in the sea of ignoring.

  17. Shaun
    Shaun May 31, 2011 at 6:08 am |

    SYSK (awesome name), remember, it’s not terrorism when it’s white people, only brown.

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