Arrested in 1996, after a traffic stop based on his sovereignty license plate caused police to look in his trunk and find ... explosives.
The DA was pretty explicit:
Roeder had associated with the Freeman movement - a right-wing, anti-government group - causing then Shawnee County assistant district attorney James Brown to label Roeder a "substantial threat to public safety."
"This defendant has chosen to exempt himself from our laws," Brown said during the August 1996 sentencing hearing. "He doesn't recognize your authority."
Unfortunately, the officer who stopped Roeder apparently did not follow the rules: an Appeals Court over-turned his sentence based on an illegal search.
Roeder did time again for parole violation [refusing to pay his taxes].
He visited the man in prison for a previous attempt on Dr. George Tiller's life.
He posted direct threats on anti-abortion websites, including plans to get inside Tiller's church.
His wife divorced him in 1996 because his anti-abortion views had grown so extreme:
Lindsey Roeder, who filed for divorce in 1996 after 10 years of marriage, said her then-husband's views on abortion grew so extreme she wouldn't talk about the issue with him.
"It scared me," she said.
His family recognized the signs of mental illness, but--as families are wont to do--couldn't make the leap to possible violent behavior:
We know Scott as a kind and loving son, brother and father who suffered from mental illness at various times in his life. However, none of us ever saw Scott as a person capable of or willing to take another person’s life.
The timeline is therefore quite revealing: Roeder had become rabidly--possibly even violently--anti-abortion since the 1980s, and was arrested in 1996 en route to the Montana Freemen stand-off with law enforcement carrying a trunk full of explosives. He went to jail rather than pay his taxes even after an Appeals Court over-turned his conviction. He had a long history of mental illness, and was open about his personal approval of violence against abortion providers:
"I know that he believed in justifiable homicide," antiabortion activist Regina Dinwiddie told the Kansas City Star. "I know he very strongly believed that abortion was murder and that you ought to defend the little ones."
That name Regina Dinwiddie should be a key clue, as dear old Regina is one of a number of people who do qualify as anti-abortion terrorists, having publicly issued the following statement (among others):
The Defensive Action Statement I of the Army of God:
We, the undersigned, declare the justice of taking all godly action necessary to defend innocent human life including the use of force. We proclaim that whatever force is legitimate to defend the life of a born child is legitimate to defend the life of an unborn child. We assert that if Michael Griffin did in fact kill David Gunn, his use of lethal force was justifiable provided it was carried out for the purpose of defending the lives of unborn children. Therefore, he ought to be acquitted of the charges against him.
Mike Bray - Pastor, Reformation Lutheran Church, Bowie, Maryland
C. Roy McMillan - Executive Director, Christian Action Group, Jackson, Mississippi
Andrew Burnett - Director, Advocates for Life Ministries, Portland, Oregon
Cathy Ramey - Associate Editor, Life Advocate Magazine, Portland, Oregon
Matt Trewhella Pastor, Mercy Seat Christian Church, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Paul J. Hill - Director, Defensive Action, Pensacola, Florida
Paul deParrie - Author of Numerous Titles, Portland, Oregon
Regina Dinwiddie - Christian Pro-Life Activist & Producer of Rescue Radio, MO and KS
Michael Dodds - Leader of Wichita Rescue Movement, Kansas
Henry Felisone - Director, Queens Pro-Life Group, Queens, New York
Tony Piso - Pastor, Evangelical Mission Church, Forest Hill, New York
Jacob Miller - Evangelist, Assembly of Yahweh & Pro-Life Activist, Tampa, Florida
Dan Bray - Director, Defenders of the Defenders of Life, Bowie, Maryland
David Crane- Director, Rescue Virginia, Norfolk, VA
Donald Spitz- Evangelist & Assistant Director for Rescue Virginia, Norfolk, Virginia
Michael Jarecki - Ret. Pastor, Saint Mary's Church, Brushton, New York
Bill Koehler - Director of Project Awareness, North Bergen, New Jersey
Kenneth Arndt - Director, New Hampshire Rescue, Windham, New Hampshire
Dave Leach - Editor, Prayer and Action Weekly News, Des Moines, Iowa
Mike Walker - Leader in National Assoc. of Planned Parenthood Fighters, Alabama
Thomas Carleton - Catholic Priest, Presently Incarcerated in Billerica, Massachusetts
Joseph F. O'Hara - Director, Wyoming Valley Rescue Group, Pennsylvania
David Graham - Attorney at Law, Olathe, Kansas
David Trosch - Catholic Priest, Publisher Justifiable Homicide Cartoon & President
Life Enterprises Unlimited, Mobile, Alabama
Dawn Stover - Assistant Director, Advocates for Life Ministries, Portland, Oregon
Mike Meyer - Chairman, Tri-State Rescue Committee, Cincinnati, Ohio
David Craig - Former Presbyterian Pastor, Hope, Indiana
John Brockhoeft - Author of "The Brockhoeft Report," incarcerated in Burlington, Kentucky
Donna Bray - Co-Founder, Defenders of the Defenders of Life, Bowie, Maryland
Media Consultant - Gary McCullough; Publicist - Jerry McGlothlin
These assholes ARE supporting domestic terrorism, and doing so openly. The question then becomes one of why law enforcement agencies weren't looking closely at known mentally-ill individuals with criminal histories who had made public statements about infiltrating Dr. Tiller's church, and who were publicly known for believing in the concept of justifiable homicide?
Myabe they were, and they just missed it. It happens.
Plainly, an individual like Scott Roeder appears to have been an explosion waiting to happen. Yet the idea that the millions of people, like my friend Dr. Eric Schansberg in Indiana, who oppose abortion on moral or religious grounds are responsible for what he may allegedly have done is a blatant political smear campaign designed to stifle certain kinds of political free speech.
Curiously enough, not even President Obama wants to do that:
I am shocked and outraged by the murder of Dr. George Tiller as he attended church services this morning. However profound our differences as Americans over difficult issues such as abortion, they cannot be resolved by heinous acts of violence.
Notice that the President's statement allows for legitimate differences on the issue, while decrying violence.
Unfortunately, many of his partisans don't see it that way.