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June 27, 2006

Fathers' Rights Leader Under Investigation For Message He Circulated About The Darren Mack Case

Update: At ANCPR's blog, the following comments were made about Randy Dickinson and the threats he made. The comments are more threats of "do what we demand ... or else." All misspellings were in the original. Please note that the founder of ANCPR is Lowell Jaks, who was jailed for kidnapping his son. His ex-wife has custody. ANCPR's primary goal is to help men avoid paying child support. To read about Jaks and the kidnapping, go to my sidebar, scroll down to "Categories", and click on Lowell Jaks/ANCPR

http://ancpr.com/blog/archives/375

Sadly this appears o be an attempt by “Silver” to intimidate an activist that points out facts and truth. I guess the old adage 'never trust someone with a precious metal for a name' rings true in this case. I love how it he hides behind his counsel. What a baby old Sheldon is. Maybe he should tell us how little money it took from N.O.W for him to decide this information was worth twisting onto and disparging and activist for families and not gender feminists. Nice goig Sheldon! You make all honest men want to puke.

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I'm sorry, but we've been out there doing the right thing, condemnig violent attacks, and what does it get us? Nothing. We don’t have to _condone_ the attacks, we just have to point out that if all peaceful options are shut down, what do they expect?

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I am sure most reasonable people do not want to resort to violence and will seek peaceful means until all other avenues have been exhausted. But what happens then? Again, most will shrug their shoulders and continue on as best they can. Some will not. Some will take matters into their own hands. It is an unfortunate but true fact of life. The system has made so many men desperate beyond control and this type of outcome is inevitable. Shame on the man who comitted the violence. Double shame on those involved in, and even profit by, a corrupt system and refuse to try and change it.

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Not any ol' judge was shot, um… no, it was a corrupt one that feeds the power hungry evil monster that destroys families. And not any ol' corruption, but the one that benefits mothers 85% of the time. Humm..

Now what would happen if this weren't such a lucrative buniess for those abusing the authority granted them?

If I ever meet Darren Mack not only will I thank him, but will provide him whatever aide and comfort he needs to continue on his journey and all those in power be DAMNED they get nothing of his whereabouts from me.

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This is good news. I think these criminals are beginning to realize their fate. It may not be too long before the pounding at the door will be for criminals like Sheldon Silver. Except, when they come for Sheldon it will be in broad daylight and the door will open or be kicked in by officers executing a "lawful warrant" for his arrest.

This is "unadulterated proof" that these criminals are in fact a "domestic enemy", guilty of some of the most heinous crimes imaginable, and will try desperately to avoid their ultimate fate. They are directly responsible for tens of thousands of deaths and untold pain and suffering; making the egregious claim of acting in the “best interests of children”, while clearly in pursuit of nothing more than the almighty dollar.

In my opinion, no expense should be spared in rounding up, prosecuting and punishing these criminals to the fullest extent of the law. We must set an example that the last thing anyone in government will ever try again, is to pretend to know what is best for our children, or to violate our constitutional rights as United States Citizens.

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When the law and the people who administer it become corrupt, who is to say that violence is unjustified - we now live is a lawless society created by a mindless power hungry legislature and imposed by the very court system set up to administer the law. At this time it is now only a matter of point of view as to who is acting in an unjustified mannor. The thin veneer of respected authority is all that stands now before the complete collapse of the law. I suspect there will be more needless violence followed by heavy handed repression followed by more violence and more repression. More judges will be hurt or killed and some politicians like Sheldon Silver may also find themselves in the mob’s path. And to think this is all very unnecessary.

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Here is yet another father' rights leader threatening violence if fathers' rights demands are not met.

Dickinson is the vice president of the Coalition of Fathers and Families in New York. Members and leaders of this group had harassed women's activists and legislators during and after the failed New York shared parenting bill was heard in New York. The bill, which failed in committee, is mentioned in the article below. Dickinson was under investigation for messages he had sent to legislators about wife-killer and judge-shooter Darren Mack. He wrote: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable." He said: "[T]hey [legislative leaders] cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner."

As I have been saying for years, these guys aren't poor, beleagured dads who are victims of vindictive ex-wives and biased court systems. They are abrasive, violent, and angry. They have supported what Darren Mack had done. They also make threats.

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Message proves unsettling

First published: Monday, June 26, 2006

One of the Capitol's best-known father's rights advocates found himself under investigation after he circulated a news story about the shooting of a judge.

Assembly Speaker Sheldon Silver's office said it couldn't discuss matters under investigation. State Police could not immediately provide details this weekend.

Randy Dickinson, vice president of the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, said he sent an e-mail out to legislators earlier this month. It contained an Associated Press story about the June 12 shooting by a sniper of a Nevada family court judge.

According to published reports, Darren Mack, 45, allegedly stabbed and killed his estranged wife and shot Washoe County Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who had been handling their divorce case. Mack surrendered to authorities Thursday in Mexico.

Dickinson also attached a quote from John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

According to Dickinson, someone apparently took the missive as a threat and Silver's counsel, Dan Conviser, contacted State Police.

Police showed up at Dickinson's house at 11:20 p.m. on June 16, "ringing the bell, pounding on the door, and calling my number via cellphone from outside the house." He didn't answer, he said, since he didn't know who was there.

Another officer showed up at 10 a.m. the next day and interviewed him. The officer, Dickinson said, found no crime had been committed, and told him "it was a little absurd for him to have even been instructed to look into the matter." Dickinson said he believes the case was closed.

Dickinson's group has been pushing for what it claims would be more equitable divorce and custody laws in New York. One of its priorities this year was a shared-parenting bill opposed by the National Organization for Women's New York chapter. It died in committee.

Dickinson said he was just trying to make a point the group has communicated in the past to legislative leaders, that "they cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner."

The quote, he said, "was meant to emphasize that one of their own heroes and an icon of the Democratic Party warned them that the lid cannot be kept on people's passions forever, without expecting trouble."

"You'd think they might appreciate being made aware of public sentiment and the consequences of ignoring it," Dickinson said. "Maybe not."

Posted on June 27, 2006 at 10:46 AM | Permalink

Comments

I don't know, Trish. This is a slippery slope.

If copying and pasting a news article on the internet and then parsing it with a quote from a famous leader is construed as a threat that needs investigation by law enforcement, then I'd have to say that sites like yours will require criminal investigation!

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 11:10:13 AM

No. There's a difference. Unfortunately, had you read the article, these guys are now ballsy enough to start targeting people like Sheldon Silver, a powerhouse in New York State politics. Like bullies and power-hungry abusers everywhere, they don't stop till they are stopped. People like Randy have no doubt bullied the people in their families for years, and have probably got a away with a lot of shit. Now this fool is targeting very powerful people with the same intimidation tactics and it ain't flying. Silver's staff called the police. Not what you might dismiss as a lot of whimpering women. They clearly saw through what Mr. Dickinson was implying. Of course, now the FR's (like abusers everywhere) are in denial mode (I didn't really push you down the stairs, I didn't threaten to kill you. You're just IMAGINING it).

Posted by: silverside at Jun 27, 2006 11:51:08 AM

Finally, someone realizing white guys can be terrorists too.

If that was a muslin organization, they'd all be in jail by now.

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 11:53:40 AM

Granted I'd call it a dumb move on his part, but to liken it to terrorism or abuse?!

I've been terrorized. I've been abused.

That was neither.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 12:13:02 PM

Dirk, when you get right down to it, that just wasn't very smart of Dickinson. I'm sure that courthouses around the country are on extra alert status because of Mack, because he shot a judge. I posted about legislation being considered to provide for more security at courthouses in light of Mack shooting the judge. I also posted a story about another angry man who had threatened a judge when he didn't get his way in his divorce case (the judge gave his ex-wife custody). Courts are now on the alert. Silver and the police had good reason to take what Dickinson had written as a threat. The Coalition of Fathers and Families of New York already has a reputation for harassing behavior. Courts take that kind of behavior very seriously. When confronted by the police, Dickinson downplayed what he had written just as Silverside said he did. You are doing the same thing.

Too many fathers' rights activists are talking about "taking things into their own hands" when their demands aren't met. Those are threats, and they should be taken seriously. Those kinds of statements are coming out in droves now that fathers' rights activists are supporting what Darren Mack had done.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 27, 2006 12:47:59 PM

I'm trying to give this Dickinson guy the benefit of the doubt, but the only conclusion I can reach is that he is seriously delusional. He sends a e-mail to lawmakers referencing the Mack case and threatening more violence if his group's demands are not met. Even better, he suggests they should be grateful he gave them a warning!

It is one thing to be angry at injustice and devote your life to correcting it. What so many of these men's/father's rights activists cannot seem to understand is that that no one in power will ever, ever take them seriously unless they learn some self-control. They play right into their opposition's hands, and I'm not sure they even know it. Even if they do, they seem unable to stop themselves. Or maybe they're just hooked on the short-lived, pseudo-power high they get from bullying someone.

Posted by: at Jun 27, 2006 12:52:42 PM

Just noticed how well Randy plays the good cop/bad cop shtick: "they [the legislators] cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner."

Bad Movie Translation: "I don't wanna kneecap ya, see. But my buddy here, he gets a little itchy. So you better deliver the good. Capiche?"

Posted by: silverside at Jun 27, 2006 1:02:36 PM

Silverside, why do I suddenly want to watch "Goodfellas"? ;)

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 27, 2006 1:11:29 PM

Well I think one bit of insight this can give people is that there are many folks on both sides of the custody issue that are in the situation they are in because they have problems with judgement and self-control. The little editor in the brain that most folks have is asleep on the job.

And I say that regarding both groups that advocate so aggressively for both men and women; fathers and mothers.

It's funny to see how the media might depict a story and then to actually know the people that are being depicted. I'm not a part of any group actually, though I find family court issues incredibly important and interesting.

This sort of gives me the freedom to be a fly on the wall and detatchedly observe the players in the family court saga around Albany. It reminds me of the year that I worked six months with a Palestinian and six months with an Israeli: they were both vindictive nuts!

So yes I agree that any reasonable person would be able to foresee the outcome of sending such a letter to Sheldon Silver (who also BTW is a jerk) and yet this guy couldn't stop himself. Though to liken it to terrorism or abuse I still have to say is simply melodrama!

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 1:24:44 PM

Yeah, Dick, nice job equivocating there except, men and women don't react equally as you say. Men get violent, and women get screwed.

Posted by: ginmar at Jun 27, 2006 1:33:06 PM

You can't dance around the truth, Dirk. Fathers' rights activists are the ones advocating for an excusing violence. Women's activists who work on divorce and custody issues don't do that. Dickinson is getting some much-deserved heat for what he had written. You can't just brush that under the rug.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 27, 2006 1:38:17 PM

Granted I'd call it a dumb move on his part, but to liken it to terrorism or abuse?!

I've been terrorized. I've been abused.

That was neither.

What do you call targetting a specific group of people with violence if you dont get your way?

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 1:56:34 PM

He didn't target them with violence.

He targeted them with an email.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 1:59:19 PM

It's not just an email. When you are looking at abuse, you are looking at PATTERNS.

A guy leaves a rose on your doorstep. Once, it's likely just a nice gesture.

What if he does it every week? Even after you have moved? What if it's accompanied by vague, threatening letters? What if he calls your friends looking for "information" on you (actually, I have heard an NYS activist complain that Randy has been calling up her relatives looking for "information" on her.) Surely we are capable of discerning here what is a pattern of stalking, abusive behavior. The FRs don't fail to see it when women do it (like the starstruck, crazy girls who stalk various movie stars). So how come they suddenly get rabidly dense when their OWN pattern of harrassment is right before them? Note that members of various feminist groups have also received explicitly threatening emails in the past from this group. This behavior is nothing new to them. This is a pattern, not an isolated event.

Posted by: silverside at Jun 27, 2006 2:37:11 PM

Silverside: "So how come they suddenly get rabidly dense when their OWN pattern of harrassment is right before them?"

I don't think they're dense. I think they're just excusing their behavior. They know what they're doing.

Posted by: The Countess at Jun 27, 2006 2:41:56 PM

Pheeno said,
"It's not just an email. When you are looking at abuse, you are looking at PATTERNS.

Ok Pheeno, if that's the case, then please show me the sources documenting this guy's other harrassing emails to Sheldon Silver.

If you're saying this guy somehow established a pattern, then show me the pattern.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 2:45:28 PM

He didn't target them with violence.

He targeted them with an email.

And thats different from saying bad things could happen if you support american troops in Iraq, um HOW?

That email is tacit approval of the use of violence.

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 2:45:57 PM

Pheeno didnt say that. Silverside did.

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 2:47:00 PM

Pheeno- right. Sorry about that.

We're talking about Iraq now? Where'e that come from?

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 2:58:12 PM

Dirk, I think the point is that what Dickinson is doing meets the definition of terrorism.

The Free Dictionary defines terrorism as "the unlawful use or threatened use of force or violence by a person or an organized group against people or property with the intention of intimidating or coercing societies or governments, often for ideological or political reasons."

It does fit.

Is threatening more shootings of ex-wives and family court judges as bad as threatening another 9/11? Well, probably not. But that wasn't the point.

The point is, the tactics are are the same.


Posted by: Helena at Jun 27, 2006 3:18:44 PM

Yeah but he never actually made a threat and in fact the law enforcement that investigated it came to that conclusion.

The article says: "Another officer showed up at 10 a.m. the next day and interviewed him. The officer, Dickinson said, found no crime had been committed, and told him "it was a little absurd for him to have even been instructed to look into the matter." Dickinson said he believes the case was closed."

He never made a threat. He stated that it is his belief that these sorts of attacks will happen as long as the family court system is brutal.

I challenge you to show me an actual threat.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 3:26:15 PM

In a way this is kind of reminding me of the incident in Florida where the media is trumping up the situation of those seven guys as a threat to the Sears Tower.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 3:27:48 PM

A dead judge and court reporter is a pretty good example of an actual threat.

That email was a thinly veiled " this can happen to you too". Not only that, but there was no condemnation of it.

Take columbine for example. If immediately afterwards, a group of students circulated an email about it with that quote at the end of it, it would be investigated as a threat.

Smart people don't word things in ways that incriminate them. They find ways to get the message across that leave them a loophole.


And given the fact the guy going around murdering people was in fact capable of killing his wife while their child was upstairs, I don't believe him not getting custody and having to pay child support was in anyway unfair. Turned out he ISNT a fit parent and his actions proved it.

So the court wasnt actually "brutal" to him. It treated him as what he was.


Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 3:34:07 PM

Wriggle wriggle wriggle.

Pheeno said, "Take columbine for example. If immediately afterwards, a group of students circulated an email about it with that quote at the end of it, it would be investigated as a threat."

Sure it'd be investigated as a threat. If it came up with no threat, like this case did, people wouldn't still be running around saying, "Look a threat!"

Look, dickinson was stupid and politically naive to do what he did and in the end hurt his cause.

But I stand by my opinion: to characterize this as abuse or terrorism is nothing short of meoldramatic hysteria.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 3:39:18 PM

Dirk, this is easy. I'm going to take the same facts but substitute less controversial players.

Let's say I am an Islamic fundamentalist. You are a bigwig in the Bush Administration who was recently instrumental in the decision to stay in Iraq. In response to that decision, I decide to send you an email referencing the 9/11 attacks. I include, as part of my signature, the quote "those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

When asked about it, I explain that if the Bush Administration continues to ignore our demands, he can expect violence from members of my group.

And that's not a threat? Of course it is.

I wonder: if you don't feel Dickinson's e-mail was threatening, why do you feel he was "dumb" (in your words) to send it?

Posted by: Helena at Jun 27, 2006 3:51:13 PM

And to brush off an email that incites people to violence is nothing short of wantonly naive.

Posted by: pheeno at Jun 27, 2006 3:52:31 PM

Helena said, "When asked about it, I explain that if the Bush Administration continues to ignore our demands, he can expect violence from members of my group."

Helena-
Please show me the part where dickinson said they can expect violence from the members of the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York. It was a famous quote from JFK. It may have just been his signature line for all I know.

Pheeno said,"And to brush off an email that incites people to violence is nothing short of wantonly naive."

Who was incited to violence?

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 3:58:15 PM

Helena said, "I wonder: if you don't feel Dickinson's e-mail was threatening, why do you feel he was "dumb" (in your words) to send it?"

Well for a couple of reasons. First, any note like that sent around a time after the Mack incident and especially after 9/11 is just asking to be blown waaaay out of proportion. Sure there was no real threat, but any reasonable person should expect an investigation and possibly some negative press for his cause.

Second, it's a huge mistake for any father's rights activist to associate himself with a person who it looks like committed pre-meditated first degree murder.

Dickinson is his own worst enemy. If anything father's rights groups need to distance themselves from the batterer stereotype that is such a small minority of men and embrace the image of so many of the fathers who are my personal friends.

Like this one guy I know. He's a photographer and journalist who's been the primary parent of his daughter since she was born. He's been taking her on all his assignments since she was a baby (she's five now) in a carrier on his back while he interviews people and takes pictures. It's funny. As a result of her experiences she knows all the peace activists and mounted policemen on a first name basis.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 4:07:05 PM

Dirk, read the article. He SAID :

"[the legislators] cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner."

"Those inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner" = Certain Men Who Feel They Have Been Screwed By Family Courts, a.k.a. (insert whatever local/national MRA/FRA group you like here).

You keep bobbing and weaving, Dirk.

Still waiting for your explanation for why you think the e-mail was dumb, if you don't feel it was threatening. Or do you agree it was threatening?

Posted by: Helena at Jun 27, 2006 4:08:10 PM

I answered your question in a fairly lengthy post.

Helena said, ""Those inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner" = Certain Men Who Feel They Have Been Screwed By Family Courts, a.k.a. (insert whatever local/national MRA/FRA group you like here)."

You just made a leap there.

What he said was no different for example than saying something like, "Until we do something to solve the problem of inner city poverty, we can expect more violent crime from those inclined to do so."

If someone like Jesse Jackson says something like that then finishes with a tag by JFK should call him a terrorist and the Rainbow Coalition a terrorist group?

If there was a real threat against an Albany insider like Sheldon Silver, Dickinson would be spending the night in jail.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 4:21:15 PM

Whoops, Dirk, I apologize. I think we posted at the same time. You did respond to my question.

But you're still bobbing and weaving. You can't seem to admit Dickinson lodged a threat of more violence, yet you concede his e-mail warranted an investigation, that the the guy is a loon for sending it, and that father's rights groups should distance themselves from people like Dickinson.

I can certainly agree with most of your post.

Posted by: Helena at Jun 27, 2006 4:22:30 PM

I just think it's so funny that Randy Dickinson defends fathers who want more custody by explaining how prone to violence they are when they don't get their way.

Now there's an effective argument.

Posted by: Txfeminist at Jun 27, 2006 4:23:34 PM

It's not really funny. But it appeals to my sense of absurdity.

Posted by: Txfeminist at Jun 27, 2006 4:24:45 PM

Hey - I'm a realist. Political naivete isn't going to gain these guys anything. In fact with regard to the A330 issue, I think that rather than going for presumptive shared parenting what they should be going for is something more along thelines of a family law code and defined and protected parenting arrangements, of which shared parenting would be one.

In time judges will arrive at a more fair balance, parents will have their rights protected, and judges will maintain the discretion needed to see all cases as different.

But frankly, I see just as much overzealousness on the mother's advocate side as I do with the father's rights activists. Whether it's Marcia Pappas, Mo Hannah or (sorry) even Trish Wilson. One thing is for certain, probably 90% of the cases presented by each side aren't nearly as black and white as they're presented to be.

But back to the bobbing and weaving remark: No I don't think there was and actual threat of violence. But at the same time, anything that could be even ever slightly perceived as having a threatening overtone to it and sent to a politician is going to get some sort of response.

Politicians THRIVE on this stuff. Believe me, Silver didn't see threat when he read that note, he saw OPPORTUNITY!!!

Silver just got his name in the paper for doing absolutely nothing accept trying to make the world seem a little scarier (especially to women) than it actually is.

Posted by: Dirk at Jun 27, 2006 4:31:25 PM

What he said was no different for example than saying something like, "Until we do something to solve the problem of inner city poverty, we can expect more violent crime from those inclined to do so."

If someone like Jesse Jackson says something like that then finishes with a tag by JFK should call him a terrorist and the Rainbow Coalition a terrorist group?

No Dirk... very different. The main difference is that poor people don't have an organized group with "leaders" telling them how to get their message across. The implicit threat in Dickinson's e-mail is that he will incite his members to mimic Mack's actions if the joint custody bill doesn't go to vote.

And to change your hypothetical a little, if Jesse Jackson were to send legislators a recent article about an African American person shooting up some perceived oppressive governmental agency, making sure to insert a tag line about violent revolution, and then "explained" that ignorance of his agenda will only lead to more violence, then yes, I would consider that a terrorist tactic.

Posted by: Helena at Jun 27, 2006 4:57:55 PM

>...The officer, Dickinson said, "found no crime had been committed"..., Police showed up ... "ringing the bell, pounding on the door, and calling my number via cellphone from outside the house." He didn't answer, he said, since he didn't know who was there.<...

I am leary of believing a defensive quote made by someone who is accused of a crime, if there weren't any witnesses to corroborate. In addition, if the police came to your door and knocked, they always identify themselves, and then to call him from a cell, his excuse for not answering the phone or door was that he didn't know who was there makes me disbelieve anything else he says.

Posted by: justonemom at Jun 27, 2006 5:32:08 PM

Something I've noticed...whenever a FR poster boy gets caught doing something evil, his defenders seem want to join forces with women, at least in the media forum. The language turns to "men and women", "fathers and mothers" when they are excusing the criminal behaviors of a "NCP" or parents who are going through the family courts.

I am a NCP who lost custody due to lies and perjury by my abusive X. I am also outspoken and make many demands for truth and justice but never, never have I threatened murder.

When I look at the liars in family court, I think only about exposing the lies and how someday they will face justice for their criminal acts. I believe many protective moms feel as I do, and we are somewhat responsible for our loss of custody because we did not feel the *end justified the means* of getting there. We are good parents trying to minimize the damage to our children, even if it means being beaten down ourselves. That is a moms self-sacrificial love. Maybe men just can't understand that.

Posted by: justonemom at Jun 27, 2006 5:46:45 PM

But whatever trap you got caught up in is exactly what is here and now.

You will have to look at who is trying to change this and who want's it to stay exactly as it is if you want to see your children again.

Need I say more?

Posted by: Stella at Jun 29, 2006 5:33:20 PM

The Jamestown (NY) Post-Journal published the following as a "Community Column" on 7/4. Unfortunately, it's only in the print version, and not in their truncated on-line version. Yours truly wrote it.

Murderous Dads Don’t Deserve “Rights”

If you follow the newspapers or television, you’ve probably heard of Darren Mack, a Nevada pawnshop owner who allegedly stabbed and murdered his estranged wife, Charla Mack. Mrs. Mack was found in a pool of blood on the floor of their townhouse garage while their eight-year-old daughter was upstairs. Then Mr. Mack apparently decided to take out his displeasure on Washoe District Family Court Judge Chuck Weller, who was handling the Macks’ divorce. While Judge Weller was standing near his third-floor office window, he was shot in the chest by a sniper who fired from a parking garage more than three football fields away. A woman staff member was also injured. Fortunately, Judge Weller and the staff person are recovering. Recently, Mr. Mack surrendered to authorities in Mexico, and will face criminal charges. That Mr. Mack’s bedroom apparently contained bomb-making materials will probably add to his legal troubles.

The reaction has been swift—but sometimes in ways that are more revealing than not. New calls have been made to improve court security—certainly a worthy goal. However, there has been little dialogue on the need to improve security for battered women and their children, the true victims here. In this case, the true victims include a mother who tried to warn her friends of her husband’s potential violence, but to no avail. The true victims include a daughter who will grow up with nightmares about what transpired right below her feet, and with no mother to comfort her. Unfortunately, these simple facts are being lost.

In fact, in a bizarre twist, Mr. Mack and his allies in “Nevadans for Equal Parenting” and other Fathers Rights groups are now claiming “victim” status. They whine that they are the “victims” of “unfair” judges who won’t cave into their demands regarding custody and child support (in reality, Mr. Mack had custody of his two children from his first marriage, despite his history of abuse, and joint custody of his daughter). Mr. Mack is miles from being a “victim.” But like many domestic abusers, many of whom are flocking to the Fathers Rights movement, he styles himself a “victim.” That murdered and injured people and their loved ones are the actual victims doesn’t even seem to register on their puny moral radar screens.

All of that would be self-evident to any reasonable and decent person. Nevertheless, the internet is afloat in Fathers Rights bloggers who are busy blaming Judge Weller for “bringing it on himself” and Mrs. Weller for “deserving what she got.”

Well, you might think. That’s out west. Land of all those survivalists and other wacko cults. Plus, we’re talking about wingnuts who live by their computer screens. What’s that got to do with us?

Unfortunately, it’s not just the wingnuts out west. It’s also the leaders of Fathers Rights. And right here in New York State.

According to the Albany Times Union, Randy Dickinson, vice president of the Coalition of Fathers and Families New York, sent an e-mail to New York State legislators earlier this month which included a news clipping regarding the shooting of Judge Weller. Dickinson also attached a quote from John F. Kennedy: "Those who make peaceful revolution impossible will make violent revolution inevitable."

A staff member from Sheldon Silver’s office contacted the State Police.

According to the Times Union, “Dickinson said he was just trying to make a point the group has communicated in the past to legislative leaders, that ‘they cannot continue to ignore our issues and refuse to provide any relief or accommodation, without encouraging violence from those more inclined to express their frustration and anger in that manner.’”

Um, does that sound like a threat to you? Like one of those good cop/bad cop shticks? “I don’t want to kneecap ya, see. But my buddy Rocky here is getting kind of itchy. So ya better deliver the goods, capiche?”

And how does Mr. Dickinson defend his crass appropriation of John F. Kennedy’s words? The quote, he said, "was meant to emphasize that one of their own heroes and an icon of the Democratic Party warned them that the lid
cannot be kept on people's passions forever, without expecting trouble."

Let me tell you what I think. Let’s put the lid on Mr. Dickinson and all the others who justify terrorist tactics and threats. There is no right to murder or violence, whether you’re a dad or not. And frankly, I think Mr. Dickinson and his ilk are an insult to all the good dads who aren’t abusers or criminals.

Posted by: silverside at Jul 5, 2006 2:21:05 PM