David Gunn (doctor)

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David Gunn (November 16, 1945 – March 10, 1993)[1] was an American physician. He received his bachelor's degree from Vanderbilt University and earned his M.D. at the University of Kentucky. Gunn moved to Brewton, Alabama, after his residency, choosing to provide OB/GYN and abortion services in rural America.

Gunn was murdered in Pensacola, Florida, by anti-abortionist Michael F. Griffin,[2][3][4] described by The New York Times as "a fundamentalist Christian and a loner with a bad temper".[5] Griffin originally claimed to be acting "for God"; his attorneys would later assert on his behalf that he had been "brainwashed" by another anti-abortion activist, John Burt.[6]

From March 1993 through May 2009, Gunn was first of a total of four doctors murdered by killers proclaiming pro-life motivation. The others were doctors Barnett Slepian, John Britton and George Tiller. Gunn's murder helped lead to the passage of the Freedom of Access to Clinic Entrances Act.[5] Gunn's death also prompted Paul Jennings Hill to issue the Defensive Action Statement, signed by 30 anti-abortion leaders, which justifies the killing of abortionists to protect fetuses.[7]

In popular culture[edit]

In 1994, Gunn's violent death inspired the first official single "Get Your Gunn" by alternative metal band Marilyn Manson. The lead singer, Marilyn Manson, explained in a 1999 Rolling Stone op-ed piece on the Columbine High School Massacre, that to him, Gunn's murder by "pro-life" activists was the ultimate hypocrisy he had witnessed as a young adult.[8]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Florida, Death Index, 1877-1998
  2. ^ 2 abortion crusaders meet - and 1 is dead, Chicago Tribune, March 19, 1993
  3. ^ William Booth (March 11, 1993). "Doctor Killed During Abortion Protest". The Washington Post. p. A01. 
  4. ^ Kushner, Harvey (2003). Encyclopedia of Terrorism. University of Michigan, Ann Arbor, Michigan: SAGE Publications. p. 154. ISBN 978-0-7619-2408-1. Retrieved 14 February 2010. In 1993 ... Griffin became the first activist to murder an abortion provider, ushering in a new level of terrorism in the abortion wars. 
  5. ^ a b Sara Rimer (March 14, 1993). "The Clinic Gunman and the Victim: Abortion Fight Reflected in 2 Lives". The New York Times. 
  6. ^ Rohter, Larry (March 5, 1994). "Towering Over the Abortion Foe's Trial: His Leader". The New York Times. Retrieved May 1, 2010. 
  7. ^ Donald Spitz. "Defensive Action Statement". Pro-Life Virginia. 
  8. ^ Marilyn, Manson (1999-05-28). "Columbine: Whose Fault Is It?". Rolling Stone (815). Retrieved 2010-11-17. 

External links[edit]