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Pro-life Man Shot and Killed in Michigan, Nuts Rejoice (Update)

John on September 11, 2009 at 10:18 am

From the Flint News:

Activist Killed

Path of the bullets through the sign carried by Jim Pouillon

An anti-abortion activist gunned down Friday morning in front of Owosso High School has been identified as James Lawrence Pouillon, 63, of Owosso.

Pouillon was a longtime abortion protester, known for his highly vocal and visible public demonstrations around the community and even outside the state.

Longtime friend and fellow activist Judy Climer, president of Flint Right to Life, described Pouillon as “just a nice, elderly gentleman who was disabled, used an oxygen tank and wore leg braces.”

Climer said Pouillon had a regular weekly schedule of visits to abortion clinics in Flint and Saginaw, where he would park across the street and pray when abortions were allegedly being conducted.

“I knew him very well. He told me one time God put in his heart a passion for the little babies that have the right to be born and they were being denied that right,” said Climer, who said Pouillon often stopped at her office for coffee breaks as he drove from one location to another to demonstrate.

“He even told me once he’d be willing to die for that belief. That’s what I hear him saying right now.”

The 33 year old shooter also killed another older man, owner of a gravel pit nearby. His name has not been released yet.

The Flint News has published every violation of law Pouillon ever had, including tickets for seat belt violations, speeding and littering. Why is all this relevant? Is the Flint News trying out the “he brought this on himself” argument?

It’s still possible his pro-life views weren’t the motive for his murder, though he was holding a pro-life sign at the time he was shot. What’s indisputable is some of the vile stuff coming up in the comments on this story. A sample:

Finally someone took revenge for Eric Rudolf, Michael F. Griffin, Rev. Paul Jennings Hill, John Salvi, James Kopp, etc. These nut jobs have been killing in the name of Christ for years. I guess not EVERY life is precious. Fight fire with fire. – PTrollinger

Kill the zealot, kill the zealot, kill the zealot! – llortamai

The way past lifers, deathers and birthers is to make them so scared they lock themselves in their homes and sit with their guns in their laps. – herden

I woke up to great news this morning, Its about time! – eastside32

The old man got what he was asking for. He was asking for publicity and he got it… people need to be careful what they ask for. – jsjsjs

I guess someone has taken Obama’s call for a day of service to the community seriously. – cjspeaks

They aren’t all like that. There are some responsible people on the left saying things like this:

Did I necessarily agree with how this man protested or the graphic pictures he used? No, not at all. But the fact is that someone gunned him down while he exercising his right of free speech. So I’m absolutely disgusted with people who are forgetting that. – ally2010

I think most people on the left probably feel more like that last comment, but given the focus on the “climate of hate” after the Tiller shooting, I think it’s worth pointing out that there is plenty of hate to go around.

Update: This is shocking if true. I thought the sequence of events was the other way around. I guess we’ll see.

Meanwhile, the folks commenting at HuffPost are certain this had nothing to do with abortion. Nothing at all.

Update 2: USA Today has the name of the shooter:

Harlan Drake of Owosso, near Lansing, was arraigned on two counts of first-degree murder and other gun-related crimes. Prosecutors said Drake also had planned to kill a third, unidentified person.

“The indication is that he had ill will … a grudge against these three individuals,” said Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry. “The defendant was offended by the manner of Mr. Pouillon’s message.”

So it’s confirmed now. This wasn’t random. It was a killing over someone’s speech about abortion.

Detroit News has a slightly different quote:

In the case of Pouillon, Drake was offended by Pouillon’s photos of fetuses, the chief said. “Mr. Drake did not believe children should view the graphic material on the signs Mr. Pouillon carried,” Compeau said.

So instead he murdered Pouillon in front of these same students. Good thinking. According to the same story, it sounds as if the sign he was holding at the time of his death was not gruesome at all:

Pouillon had been holding a photo at the time of his death of a 4-month-old infant with the word “Life” above the picture. The photo was of Trewhella’s [a local pro-life leader's] son.

Okay, it was a double-sided sign. One side said Life. The other side said abortion:

Activist Killed

Update 3: According to the Flint News, we’re part of a “feeding frenzy” now.

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