I didn't know George Tiller, but I did know John Bayard Britton and David Gunn. The connection? All three were physicians. All three provided abortion services. And all three were murdered--that is, shot to death at point blank range--by so called "pro-life" killers.
George Tiller MD was shot this morning by another antiabortion murderer in his church in Wichita, Kansas, where he served as an usher. I was in New York City on the July morning in 1994 when Paul Hill shot my friend and colleague, Bayard, along with his bodyguard, to death in front of an abortion clinic in Pensacola, Florida. He was wearing a bullet-proof vest, he knew the risks. He would have rather retired, after a career in family practice, but he was one of fewer than a handful of physicians in Florida who was willing to perform abortions at the time, and he felt it was the right thing to do.
Back in the early days of legal abortion, Bayard gave me a gun, "for protection". Not so odd, it was Florida after all. And we were under siege, getting picketed every week, bomb threats called into the clinic, personal threats to the staff and our family members. These folks called themselves the "Army of God." Meglomaniacal Murderers would be a better fit.
I still have the gun, a lady's .22 revolver, a lightweight. It reminds me of Bayard after all these years. Probably couldn't kill someone with it if I tried. If I wanted to. Which I don't.
I'm just saying.