I guess I got used to the tension. I am pro-choice and volunteered for clinic defense. The bombs and the shooting seemed frightening but a fact of life. Later on, I didn't even like to discuss this belief in public. It was too much of a liability and too divisive. Most people could guess my opinion on the matter and I theirs. We danced around it.
Not everyone practiced avoidance. The worst of it happened today. A local physician, Dr. George Tiller, who performs late-term abortions, was shot in the lobby of his church this morning. Dr. Tiller knew so many people in this community, and he continued to do what he believed despite threats to his well-being.
The sad news has spread quickly. I was knitting at Watermark with Jill, and the news deflated us. She called her mom. I went to see my parents. At my parents house, we huddled around a computer to look at the news reports. I started to realize that he was probably shot in front of his family and people who loved him. It seems terribly unfair.
Perhaps this was predictable. I didn't see it coming. After surviving clinic bombings and being shot, Dr. Tiller seemed invincible to me. In the end, he was just a brave man who did what he believed. I respect that. Our town will not be the same without this doctor.