Black Friday in Colorado Springs

All week, we have been watching media reports on the ramped-up security at airports, train stations, shopping malls, and public events—all intended to discourage ISIS-led or ISIS-inspired attacks and to reassure the public that there will be a rapid and decisive response if any such attacks should be attempted.

Very thankfully, no such attacks have thus far occurred.

But this afternoon, in Colorado Springs, a gunman has reportedly shot at least three police officers and “multiple” (that is, as yet uncounted) civilians. The incident was first reported by phone from a Planned Parenthood office in a suburban shopping center, and police have not yet entered or secured that location. In fact, they have not yet even located the gunman or gunmen.

The scant available details do, however, include this sketchy description of a gunman, from the local newspaper: “The suspect is using a ‘long gun’ and he wore a long coat with a ‘hunting-type’ hat.”

At the risk of jumping to conclusions before even the basic facts are known, that does not sound to me like a description of a member of ISIS, and it does seem unlikely that ISIS would select a Planned Parenthood office as a target.

On cable news, someone just speculated that the Planned Parenthood office may not even have been the target—that the incident might have escalated from a bank robbery or some other crime gone awry. If that turns out to be the case, I will be very surprised. It would seem the equivalent of gunfire occurring in a bank simply because someone chose to follow someone else into the bank and to murder him or her while he or she happened to be standing in line waiting for a teller.




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