The pro-life terrorist boarded the Greyhound bus in Houston in early March, 1994, carrying two duffel bags stuffed with semiautomatic weapons. His destination was Pensacola, Florida where he planned to conduct what the FBI later described as a “Beruit-style” massacre at a meeting of the members of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers.
Just a year earlier, a pro-life assassin murdered Doctor David Gunn as he was entering the office of the Pensacola Medical Services, one of several facilities where he performed abortions. The murder was national news, casting a pall amongst his colleagues in the field and NCAP members were determined to get to the funeral in Tennessee, but a major snow storm dashed those plans. Months later, abortion clinic staff across the country still yearned to get together for that much- needed “group hug.” Ultimately, NCAP announced it would host a one year anniversary event at the actual site where Doctor Gunn was killed. Right across the street from the clinic was an open air amphitheatre – a perfect spot for a series of speeches and rememberences.
Meanwhile, a pro-life activist named Daniel Ware took notice and made his plans.
The “David Gunn Memorial” went off without a hitch and it was a great opportunity for the approximately 80 abortion doctors, staff and clinic owners to finally get together and console each other. The evening before, however, I received a call informing me that a man had been arrested in Houston who apparently was headed for Pensacola to disrupt our event. No other details were offered and the next morning we told the attendees about the incident but no one seemed too concerned. After all, they lived with the threat of terrorism every day. Instead, they were intent on going to the clinic where David Gunn was killed.
Years later, I was at a conference about how local police forces protect (or don’t protect) abortion clinics. At some point, a reporter with the Los Angeles Times casually mentioned how the FBI had successfully thwarted a “guy named Daniel Ware who was in Pensacola intending to wipe out members of the National Coalition of Abortion Providers at a David Gunn Memorial.” I almost fell off my chair. I had never been told that Ware had actually been in Pensacola while we were there.
I later learned that a pro-life activist had tipped off the FBI that a man was in Pensacola with the intention of killing as many abortion providers as possible during the memorial event. The FBI then started casting a wide net, interviewing numerous local pro-life activists. Although all of the facts are not known, it seems that Daniel Ware got wind that the feds were onto his plot and he immediately turned around and went back to Houston. He was arrested when he got off the bus.
It’s hard to describe the feeling of knowing that someone was in the vicinity of an event you were hosting and he was preparing to kill you. As I celebrated Saint Patty’s Day this weekend, I couldn’t help but thinking about how lucky we all were back in March, 1994.
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- Man Arrested, Charged in Fla. Abortion Clinic Fire (foxnews.com)
- Dropping of Murder Charges Against Abortionists Brigham and Riley Denounced by Operation Rescue (deaconjohnspace.wordpress.com)
- Evidence Collected in Fire at Fla. Abortion Clinic (abcnews.go.com)