Debra J. Saunders

 My guess: The extremists are not members of the religious right; instead, these enemies of science hail from the rat-hugging left. They don't tote Bibles -- they join groups like SHAC (Stop Huntingdon Animal Cruelty), ALF (Animal Liberation Front) and WAR (Win Animal Rights) that oppose medical research on animals, as well as meat-eating.

 Allow me to explain why this story is important. First, sick people are less likely to be cured if violent fanatics scare researchers out of business. Second, as Sen. James Inhofe, R-Okla., wrote in a letter to NYSE President Catherine Kinney, "What happens, then, to the other companies in the same business as LSR that currently trade on the NYSE? Would you not expect activists to pressure the NYSE to delist those companies?"

 Third, if these tactics are successful, researchers could leave the country. As Frankie Trull of the Foundation for Biomedical Research said, "If the climate gets tough enough, these companies aren't going out of business, they're going to China," or some other country that would not tolerate these criminal tactics.

 Most important: Terrorism should never be a winning strategy. The activists would be a menace if they stuck to harassing medical researchers, but the animal-rights movement is so hate-filled that anonymous activists also harass civilians who are only loosely associated with the research. They don't just go after Wall Street execs, they also pick on paralegals. They don't just harass workers, they also harass their families. Like other terrorists, they apparently figure anyone who is not with them is guilty, and hence deserving of punishment.

 To reward their abusive behavior is to reward senseless violence. We wouldn't let zealots do this to people who work in abortion clinics. We shouldn't let them do it to medical researchers.

Debra J. Saunders

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