Jacob Sullum argues that the dual positions of pro-life groups reacting to Tiller's death - "his murder was wrong" and "abortion is murder" - are mutually exclusive:

[I]f you honestly believe abortion is the murder of helpless children, it's hard to see why using deadly force against those who carry it out is immoral, especially since the government refuses to act. It may be unwise or counterproductive to the cause, as [Rev. Rob Schenck of the National Clergy Council]suggests when he worries that the killing could be "a greater setback to the pro-life movement than anything the so-called pro-choice movement could do." Promoting an image of pro-life activists as murderous extremists might dim the prospects for legislation restricting abortion, thereby leading to more deaths of unborn children than eliminating one abortionist prevents. But this is a tactical question that does not have to do with the inherent morality of killing in defense of innocent children.

We want to hear what you think about this article. Submit a letter to the editor or write to letters@theatlantic.com.