COLORADO SPRINGS, December 10, 2015 (LifeSiteNews) – The man who opened fire in a Colorado Planned Parenthood proclaimed himself “a warrior for the babies” during a court appearance yesterday afternoon.
Robert Lewis Dear, 57, appeared unkept as he erratically shouted over his lawyer during his second appearance at the El Paso County courthouse – accusing the entire justice system of perpetuating a vast conspiracy to place him on psychotropic drugs.
“I am a warrior for the babies!” Dear yelled, as his public defender struggled to represent his client.
“I am guilty!” Dear hollared at one point. “There is no trial.”
His public defender, Dennis King, who defended Aurora shooter James Holmes, pleaded with the judge for extra time to “learn the depth of Mr. Dear’s mental illness.”
At times, he used Dear's paranoid ravings in the courtroom as exhibit A.
Dear called King “the lawyer for the Batman shooter that drugged him all up, and that's what they want to do to me.”
“This is unheard of that the prosecution's trying to get the truth out, and you're trying to silence me!” he said.
“I think the problem is obvious, Your Honor,” King said, not breaking eye contact with Chief District Court Judge Gilbert Martinez.
Dear remained adamant. “I know what you're trying to do. It's not going to work!” he told King. “I'm not going to agree to mental health evaluations where they want to take me and put me on psychotropic drugs so I can't talk like the Batman guy.”
“Planned Parenthood and my lawyer are in cahoots to shut me up, because they don't want the truth out,” Dear told the judge.
Statements like that call into question whether Dear is mentally fit to stand trial for the shooting and five-hour-long stand-off that took place inside the Colorado Springs Planned Parenthood facility the day after Thanksgiving. A former neighbor in Anderson Acres, near Black Mountain, North Carolina, told The Washington Post that Dear also sounded “very crazy.”
Local prosecutors filed 179 criminal charges yesterday, including eight counts of first-degree murder, 131 charges of attempted first-degree murder, as well as charges of assault, burglary, and criminal mischief. Sources say the federal government may charge Dear with terrorism for the November 27 rampage that left three people dead, including pro-life police officer and pastor Garrett Swasey.
That possibility increased based on the content of Dear's outbursts.
Objecting to an order that the trial's proceedings be sealed, Dear interrupted, “Seal the truth, huh? Kill the babies. That's what Planned Parenthood does.”
“You'll never know what I saw in that clinic, the atrocities,” he said. “That's what they want to seal. The babies.”
When told that no one associated with the trial could speak to the media about the content of the legal hearing, Dear said, “The babies that were supposed to be aborted that day – could you add them to that list?”
Nick Gillespie, a libertarian who supports abortion-on-demand, writes at Reason that, although Dear “most certainly seems” to be “certifiable…the presumption that violence at an abortion clinic is ideological seems pretty sound.” The blogger AllahPundit at HotAir.com called the outbursts “the missing proof that this guy is indeed a terrorist…which is not to say he’s not also a garden-variety nut.”
Dear is scheduled to have a status hearing on December 23 at 1:30 p.m. local time.
In the meantime, Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards and others have used the shooting to say pro-life advocates create an environment that leads to violence – and the public largely agrees. A recent YouGov.com poll found that a large plurality of Americans believe “pro-life groups encourage violence,” by a whopping 22-point margin.
Yet even some on the other side agree that the pro-life movement rejects terrorism or other forms of physical aggression. Violence against abortion facilities is “fringe,” admits Sarah Kliff, who regularly defends abortion and Planned Parenthood at the progressive website Vox. “Mainstream abortion opponents agree that violence is a grossly inappropriate action.”
National pro-life groups, which have always said that violence is an inversion of everything they stand for, immediately condemned the shooting. National Right to Life President Carol Tobias said the same day that NRLC, with all its 50 state affiliates and 3,000 local chapters, “unequivocally condemns unlawful activities and acts of violence regardless of motivation. The pro-life movement works to protect the right to life and increase respect for human life.”
Americans United for Life President and CEO Dr. Charmaine Yoest called Dear's shooting “an evil act.”
“We categorically condemn this violence,” she said the day after the shootings.
The Family Research Council responded the same day with the unique perspective as the victim of a politically inspired attack perpetrated by a homosexual domestic terrorist. “As the target of domestic terrorism inspired by the Southern Poverty Law Center, the staff of the Family Research Council empathize with all the victims of this violence,” FRC President Tony Perkins said.
“Only through peaceful means – not violence — can we truly become a nation that once again values all human life, born and unborn.”