Saturday, September 12, 2009
Owosso, Michigan is my hometown, a cute little town in middle Michigan. Crime is rare, violent crime is practically unheard of. This is the high school I attended, across from which live the parents of one of my friends from elementary school. On Friday morning, something horrible happened that has rocked the community.
The media coverage is focusing greatly on the fact that one of the two victims, Jim Poullion (the uncle of another high school friend of mine), who was a very well-known voice opposed to abortion. Around town he was known as the sign man or the abortion man. He was controversial, and stirred up mixed feelings in many people. The media seems to be painting the murder as a crime against the anti-abortion movement, but that's not REALLY the truth. The truth is that the shooter is a deeply disturbed man who had a vendetta against THREE different men in Owosso, two whom he got to, one whom he didn't. One of those victims offended the shooter with his protests, the other victim was a 63 year old owner of a local gravel pit, who was a former boss of the shooter's mother. I'm not even sure what the connection of the third man on the list was. But only one was known in the anti-abortion movement. This wasn't a statement against the anti-abortion movement, it was the personal, random, vendetta of a sick man.
I moved from Owosso 16 years ago, but I still have friends and family there. I know people who know both victims and killer. This isn't about anti-abortion and an attack of the movement. This is about senseless killings that have taken brothers, uncles, sons, grandfathers from their families. It's about high school kids who saw the drive by shooting across the street from the high school (one of them my cousin's daughter, and another elementary school friend's son). It's about a very close knit and safe community being deeply wounded by this selfishness and rage of one twisted individual. That's the real story. Not that the anti-abortion movement is under attack yet again.