Role-Playing Can Be Dangerous

Anyone with a bit of exposure to JFA’s training program knows that our community values role-playing as a way to help people learn to dialogue about abortion.  Even those who think role-playing is not very helpful don’t generally think it’s harmful.  Clement Vallandigham might beg to differ based on his own experience with a different sort of role-playing:

[In 1871, Vallandigham] was representing a defendant in a murder case for killing a man in a barroom brawl. Vallandigham attempted to prove the victim had in fact killed himself while trying to draw his pistol from a pocket when rising from a kneeling position. As Vallandigham conferred with fellow defense attorneys in his hotel room, he showed them how he would demonstrate this to the jury. Grabbing a pistol he believed to be unloaded, he put it in his pocket and enacted the events as they might have happened, shooting himself in the process. Vallandigham proved his point, and the defendant, Thomas McGehan, was acquitted and released from custody. Clement Vallandigham, however, died of his wound.

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