Yesterday I talked about the murder of Doctor David Gunn on March 10, 1993.  As I mentioned, after his shocking death his colleagues were denied the opportunity to go to his funeral because of a violent snowstorm in Tennessee.   So, abortion providers all over the country, who were in mourning over the incident, were not able to get together with their comrades for that “group hug” that they so desperately needed. 

Months later, members of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers started talking about how they would commemorate the one year anniversary of Doctor Gunn’s death.  An idea started to form that ultimately almost cost all of them their lives.   

It was suggested that the members of the organization actually go to Pensacola for some kind of tribute at the site where Doctor Gunn was killed.   NCAP staff flew to Pensacola and at the site found a lovely, open air amphitheater right across the street from the clinic.  They reported that it would be perfect for such an event.  So, NCAP announced that they would host a tribute to Doctor Gunn that would feature his son, David Gunn, Jr.  From the beginning, a number of NCAP members expressed their concern for their safety.  After all, not only had Doctor Gunn been murdered there just a few months earlier, but Pensacola had also been the scene of several abortion clinic bombings in years past. 

Still, most of the members of NCAP made the trip and on March 10, 1994, approximately 100 abortion doctors and clinic staff left their hotel, got into two buses and drove out to the site of Doctor Gunn’s murder.   Security was hired to cover the event but that didn’t assuage the participants, who were still visibly nervous.  They just didn’t know what to expect when they got out there.  Surprisingly, there was only one protestor at the site – Mr. Paul Hill.  This was the same Paul Hill who, months earlier on “The Donohue Show,” declared that it was “justifiable homicide” to kill an abortion doctor.  Interestingly, throughout the entire ceremony, Hill was quiet.  He just walked back and forth as he held up a sign saying “Execute Abortionists.” 

For the next hour, about 100 NCAP members sat down on the steps of the amphitheater and listened with great emotion to the speeches.  They gasped when a letter from President Bill Clinton was read, congratulating them on their courage.  Then, they walked silently across the street to the clinic and laid flowers at the spot where Doctor Gunn’s body was found.   The tears were unrelenting.

Little did they know that they had all narrowly avoided being the target of a massacre by an anti-abortion zealot.

It seems that a few days earlier, a man named Daniel Ware had boarded a bus in Houston carrying several bags of guns and hand grenades.   When he got to Pensacola, he told a local anti-abortion activist that he was planning on “wiping out” everyone at the scene of the Gunn tribute.   After all, despite a few security people around, the participants were sitting ducks. 

Fortunately, that anti-abortion person contacted the local police about Ware’s plot.  For some reason, the police did not arrest Mr. Ware.  Instead, they simply put him back on the bus to Houston.  I have no idea what happened to him after that.  

Then, just a few months later, the same Paul Hill killed Doctor Baird Britton and his escort as they entered the parking lot at a different clinic in Pensacola.  Another close call avoided.