The family of Dr. George Tiller announced today that his clinic in Wichita (one of less than ten in the country that perform late term abortions) will not re-open.
Just one question: Doesn't this suggest that violence works? Scott Roeder, though he attempted to drive away, probably was not all that surprised when he was caught. So even if he spends the rest of his life in prison or gets the death penalty, he will probably be satisfied, sort of like jihadists who praise Allah before blowing themselves up in a crowd, or before having their heads chopped off for acts of terror committed in Saudi Arabia.
Now I will grant that there are practical business reasons why the clinic will not reopen without its founder. For one thing there is certainly a limited supply of doctors who are willing to risk their lives to work there (even more so given that there is a limited supply of doctors anyway, in nearly all fields of medicine.)
However, not re-opening the clinic still seems to send a chilling message to those who contemplate any act of terrorism (be it against abortion, against taxes, against some racial or ethnic group, etc.) The message is that they can now not only carry it out, but if they do then they can actually succeed in changing things just as they wish to. This decision will lead to more domestic terrorism, not less.
This prediction didn't take long to become reality. Only one day later (today, June 10) a gunman carried out an attack at the Holocaust Museum in Washington. We don't yet know the details but it is clear that now that they've seen violence work in Wichita, every kook out there with a cause will be coming out of the woodwork, armed and ready to wreak havoc.