Psychopaths and Public Debate
Harlan Drake or “Hale” as he is known to friends is now charged with 2 counts of 1st Degree Premeditated Murder for the killings of James “Jim” Pouillon and Mike Fouss. Police say that Harlan Drake has told detectives that he had a list of 3 people in his head that he wanted to kill.
Two of the people on his “list” have died as a result but the third, James Howe, was not attacked. Since he has admitted to a third person on his hit list, it is resulting in a charge of unlawful intent with a firearm. There is no motive behind Mr. Howe or Mr. Fuoss, who owned the Fouss Gravel Company. There is only one known connection between Mike Fouss and Harlan Drake, his mother used to work for Mr. Fouss.
As to the reason for the killing of pro-life activist Jim Pouillon, Harlan Drake has told police that he was “offended” by Pouillon’s anti-abortion messages.
The bottom-line, substantive fact is that Drake is a psychopath who decided to kill three people for random, personal reasons. A consideration on the periphery of that fact is that the nation in which Drake lived is in the midst of a decades’ long dispute about abortion in which those on the pro-abortion side often argue that the protests by those on the pro-life side are so egregious that their First Amendment rights ought to be denied. After George Tiller’s death, they also tarred the entire pro-life movement as culpable.
But those who advocate for abortion laws are not responsible for the murder of Jim Pouillon. The possibility that psychopaths might follow threads of the argument is an inevitable price of a free and open society and does not negate the rights or stain the morality of those who engage in the debate, much less those on one particular side or the other.