Saturday, September 12, 2009

Distorting The Facts Of A Tragedy For The Sake Of The Cause

Yesterday in Michigan a pro life protester, Jim Pouillon, was gunned down while protesting in front of a high school. The shooter, Harlan Drake, was a truck driver with a grudge against three men, two of whom he murdered before being arrested by police at his home.

The following is from CNA and is full of distortions making the pro life protester and this situation out to be something it isn't. My quotes with in the article are taken from the Detroit Free Press. -- a real news agency. One that doesn't have an agenda.

Michigan gunman was offended by victim’s pro-life message (This is the first distortion.)
Owosso, Mich., Sep 11, 2009 / 06:33 pm (CNA).-

Harlan Drake, the 33-year old man arrested in connection with the murder of the Christian pro-life activist James “Jim” Pouillon as well as business owner Mike Fuoss told detectives that he targeted Pouillon because he was “offended” by his pro-life message. Drake also revealed that he planned to target a third man, but was arrested before he could carry out his plan. (This is not true. The true statement from police: "Colbry said Drake gave a motive for only the attack on Pouillon, saying Drake thought the protester's display of graphic abortion photos outside the school was inappropriate." Drake was opposed to the method, not the message. No one knows what Drake's views are on abortion.)

This morning around 7:20 a.m., Drake drove to Owosso High School where he shot and killed Pouillon as he held a poster of a baby with the word, “Life,” written across the front. (That was one side of his sign, the other side "a photo of an aborted fetus with the word "ABORTION" on the other.")

A press release from Citizens for a Pro-Life Society spoke about the dedication Pouillon had to protecting the unborn. “The victim, dependent on an oxygen tank and who wore leg braces, was a committed pro-life activist who for many years stood outside of Flint area abortion clinics and Planned Parenthood offices in the hope of turning women away from their abortion decision.”
Following the shooting, Pouillon’s sign and oxygen tank could be seen in the grass near the street.

CNA spoke with Cal Zastrow, a close friend of Pouillon’s for 18 years who described him as a “wonderful, Christian, peaceful man.”

“Jim was ready for this,” Zastrow said as he recalled a time when they were both protesting outside of an abortion clinic in Saginaw, Mich. and were threatened by someone in a car driving by. (Jim was not always so peaceful. That was a learned behavior brought on by the courts:

"He had an especially contentious relationship with an Owosso car dealership, now called Young Chevrolet, and some of its employees, according to court records. Pouillon was sued by the dealership and several employees for harassment and intimidation.
The clash began in the early 1990s, when the dealership displayed campaign signs for a candidate whom Pouillon believed to be pro-choice. He began staging demonstrations at the dealership.
One employee, a young woman, said he verbally accused her of various offenses, including killing babies.
In 2000, Pouillon was convicted of stalking the woman, a conviction he unsuccessfully appealed

Though some news reports have painted Pouillon as confrontational, Zastrow pointed out that abortion supporters consider “little old ladies with a handful of rosary beads on the corner” confrontational too. (Jim Pouillon may have been a committed activist, but he was not a "little old lady, with a handful of rosary beads on the corner". He was in the Terry Randall mode of protester.)

Poullion, a born-again Christian was “a very peaceful man,” his friend stated. “Very non-violent, he never approved of violence and he never threatened anybody.” )See previous quote on conviction for stalking.)

This morning, Drake also drove to Fuoss Gravel where he shot and killed company president Mike Fuoss. According to, NBC25, Drake’s mother used to work for Fuoss.

Drake told detectives that there was third man he was planning to target, a realtor named James Howe. Before tracking him down, Drake decided to stop at his own house, where police were waiting to arrest him.

Shiawassee County Prosecutor Randy Colbry has noted that “The indication is that he had ill will ... a grudge against these three individuals."

Colbry went on to say that Drake “was offended by the manner of Mr. Pouillon's message."
(Notice how the truth is buried at the end of this article.)

Director of Citizens for a Pro-life Society Monica Migliorino Miller defended Pouillon in a statement saying, “Jim died while giving a peaceful witness to the sacredness of human life. He stood outside of the local high school on many occasions holding a sign of a baby to send a message to the students that abortion is the taking of innocent life. Now his life has been taken as he stood in witness against the injustice of abortion.” (The truth is school officials were very concerned about the graphic nature of his signs:
Owosso Schools Interim Superintendent Susan Wooden said Pouillon had picketed near the school for years. Wooden said school officials were concerned it could be upsetting for some students.
"We had spoken to the gentleman before and insisted that he be off the school property with his message," Wooden said."

“Jim Pouillon is a hero—he died for the cause of life,” Miller said.

The organization, Missionaries to the Preborn, also spoke highly of Pouillon, “Jim was a selfless, soft-spoken, kind-hearted man. All who knew him, knew this. Please pray for Jim's family.”

The Catholic Diocese of Lansing, Mich. released a statement saying that while they don’t know the specifics of what happened, the shooting is a “tragedy, since violence is never a justifiable way to solve problems.” (At last a reasoned truthful statement.)


My intention in this posting this is not to justify Harlan Drake. Nothing will justify Harlan Drake. My point is that sanity can not return to the abortion debate if the loudest voices print willful distortions as in this NCA article.

The murder of Jim Pouillon is not about his pro life message, it's about the method he chose to convey it. It's about Harlan Drake who had personal grudges and chose to act on them. It has as much to do with abortion as it does gravel yards or real estate. Purposefully confusing these issues to the benefit of the pro life crusade is just plain wrong and hurts the cause.
Thank God the Lansing Diocese got it right.


  1. I know we are going crazy protesting against Abortions; however, have we lost the reason why abortions are being considered???? It’s called “Sex” and most of these are out of marriage…this is what we need to be discussing in order to stop putting the band aid on abortions…then we will see less of them taking place…Please, let’s talk more about Abstinence…

  2. Sad to say, while organizations like the RC church might have something to say about abstinence and family life and even sex, the reality is the RC church in particular has lost all credibility for a number of reasons to say anything of substance on matters sexual.

  3. People are not going to listen to a professedly celibate hierarchy on matters sexual when they protect and conceal sexual abusers in their ranks. Many lay Catholics have come to this conclusion, while others would defend the institution no matter what.

  4. Aaron nothing the Church says about abstinence rings true as long as the focus of abortion is exclusively on women. Women don't get pregnant alone, and any abortion clinic worker, and many pro lifers if they are being honest, will tell you that it's men who coerce pregnant women into abortions.

    So I would appreciate it if you would help stress the need for men to keep their own legs crossed.

  5. Not only do men get women pregnant, but they need to curb their aggression against women when they do get pregnant. A lot of women who get pregnant are often murdered by their boyfriends and spouses. Many of these women are missing or are found dead, along with their dead baby in their womb.

    Domestic violence is mostly perpetrated by men against women and this is an issue that needs to be addressed, as many a woman has lost their child when they were beat up by their man.

    While talking about abstinence, also talk about aggression by men and empower women to not be submissive in the culture.