A Sort of Reintrodution
On a warm spring day in March of 1993, I sat outside the Humanities building of the University of Alabama at Birmingham studying for a Semantics final exam; meanwhile and probably simultaneously, my dad arrived at work, parked his car, started to head toward the door to the clinic where he practiced, and was assassinated by a Christian terrorist named Michael Griffin. After pumping three rounds into my dad’s back, Griffin promptly walked around to the front of the clinic where the typical and regular antis were gathered, and turned himself in to the police who arrived on the scene to break up the protest which I always believed was contemplated and coordinated by the protest organizers to serve as the diversion Griffin needed to pull off his assassination unimpeded.
Since my dad has the bitter designation of First Abortion Provider Assassinated, a media circus ensured after his assassination, and I ended up fighting a battle on my dad’s behalf with the dual intentions of drawing the public’s attention to the Christian terrorists and their horrible tactics as well as doing whatever I could to keep another doctor’s family from experiencing what mine did. I spent almost 10 years in the trenches, hitting any media outlet I could, speaking to whatever group would listen, and lobbying our government for action. I certainly was not alone in these actions, and through the efforts of Pat Richard’s organization NCAP as well as other Pro-Choice organizations, we won a major victory with the passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Law which Pat and I watched President Clinton ultimately sign into law. Along the way, I married, had a child, and I reached a point where I had to pause my activism to raise a family which evolved to include a second child eight years after the first.
I recently reconnected with my old friend Pat Richards. We had a couple of phone conversations and swapped some emails which culminated in my being asked to provide some blog content which I am happy to do. In fact it is the least I can do and I have some sense of duty insofar as doing it is concerned. Now I’m a somewhat motivated person, but oftentimes I need a pressure point to get me off my arse. The arrangement between Pat and I results in my monthly blog contribution. Our project gives me the deadline I need to stress me to produce pages while at the same time gives me some encouragement to write the goddamned book I’ve been wanting to write for about 20 years now whose vague amoebic shapely mass lies somewhere between the brain cells you use daily, those that are reserved for recreational devastation, and those we can’t yet access but the Obama administration is currently making the Kennedian final frontier of R and D if you believe recent administration palaver.
I’m presently faced with the dilemma of which topics to cover, what salacious details to include, what to leave out to protect the guilty, how to make myself the Byronic hero shaking my fist at the heavens perched on a cliff façade, and where the hell to start.
I’ve been away for a few years so a reintroduction seemed like a decent initial post, but I do not know that I want to go the route of a typical linear biographical “I was the son of a share cropper” type format. What I’d really prefer is to utilize this opportunity to inspire me to do what I’ve been delaying for 20 years now and that’s write the goddamn book—in fact, I think if I finish it, that will be my title: The Goddamn Book by David Gunn, Jr. I think the folks in marketing could work wonders with such an appellation. It sure beats An American Tragedy or My Antonia or The Stand, or any title given to similar real-life tragicomic rehashing of events insofar as titles go in my opinion anyway.
Seriously, though, after my absence from the scene, if you will, and in light of Dr. Tiller’s recent assassination coupled with the renewed draconian Red State regulatory traps aimed at eliminating reproductive freedom by technicality rather than illegality, my desire to do something—and the something was some ambiguous uninformed action I could not label—led me to stumble upon Pat’s blog which allowed us to reconnect and brings us current while preserving the biographical fare for future posts which I hope will include some serial entries from The Goddamn Book I am now seriously starting to write and develop.
I am truly grateful for the opportunity Pat’s providing me and hopefully, we in the community who know the tragic and truly dangerous effects of living under constant threat while at the same time constantly remaining vigilant in our guarded responses to certain questions we get from normal folks—especially when you have kids cause you don’t want the response to negatively impact them indirectly—can become acquainted again, you’ll get something from my humble wordsmithery, and I may finally be able to cathart out The Goddamn Book I’ve been promising myself I will write for years. I’m looking forward to this new venture and am already finding it difficult to stop writing now that I’ve finally started. As of now, I resolve to contribute toward a solution to our problems in any small way that I can. I’ve grown weary of lacking conviction, and it is now time to confront those of the worst who have the passionate intensity desperately lacking on our side (thanks WBY).
- Debunking More Right-Wing Bulls**t: Liberal Shooters (addictinginfo.org)