I met David Gunn, Jr. about ten days after his father was assassinated by an anti-abortion terrorist.
Doctor David Gunn performed abortions at several clinics throughout the Southeast. He was what they called a “circuit rider,” driving every day through Georgia, Florida and Alabama to provide abortion services to women in need. On March 10, 1993 his destination was the Pensacola Women’s Medical Services clinic. After parking his worn out car, he climbed out and headed for the back entrance to the clinic to avoid the protestors out front. But standing right there was Michael Griffin, a relatively new anti-abortion protestor, and as Gunn passed him Griffin took out a pistol and fired into Doctor Gunn’s back, killing him instantly.
The murder made instant national news because it was the first time that a doctor who performed abortions had been murdered because he was “killing babies.”
Of course, the news services put out a wide net to find anyone who was close to the players involved in this terrible tragedy. And without hesitation, one of those people came forward: David Gunn, Jr. His message was very simple: there was an anti-abortion conspiracy to kill abortion doctors and the Clinton Administration needed to do more to prevent this from happening again.
David was an instant “media star.” His waist-length hair immediately caught your eye. When he spoke to the camera, his soulful eyes enraptured the audience. He was soft spoken, not a rabble-rouser and his pronounced stutter made him even more compelling when he spoke. Over the next few weeks, he was a constant presence on all of the news shows.
I met David the day before we were scheduled to appear on “The Donohue Show.” We had a nice dinner the night before and he struggled to talk about his Dad. It was clear that by that time he was already exhausted from all of the media appearances, but he was willing to push on “for the cause.” The next day we sat on the stage together, accompanied by Mr. Paul Hill, an anti-abortion activist who actually told David and the national audience that his father’s murder was “justified” because Michael Griffin was “protecting the babies from being murdered.”
Over the next few years, David Gunn, Jr. became a national spokesman for the pro-choice movement. Indeed, pro choice organizations practically fought over him as they encouraged him to “endorse” their group. He basically put his life on hold and he travelled the country warning the nation that there were more murders to follow. And he was right.
David’s story is a story of relentless courage and persistence. And I’ve always thought that his experiences needed to be shared with the public. And that is why I am absolutely thrilled to announce that David Gunn, Jr. has agreed to become a “guest blogger” once a month on this page. He recently told me that he always wanted to write about him and his father but, like so many other young people he got preoccupied with raising a family, getting a job, etc. But now David will start writing that story in the form of a monthly blog.
We are honored to have David join us!
- Debunking More Right-Wing Bulls**t: Liberal Shooters (addictinginfo.org)
- Iowa anti-abortion radical: ‘If someone would shoot the new abortionists’ (dailykos.com)
- Anti-abortion activist Bernard Nathanson dies aged 84 (mikebenz27.wordpress.com)
- What It Is Like To Get An Abortion In Brazil, One Of The Most Restrictive Countries In The World (businessinsider.com)