Klundt’s Actions Have No Place in the Flathead

The attack was motivated by hate

By Ben Long

The facts that have recently come to light about Zachary Klundt’s rampage against All Families Health Care reinforce that, legalities aside, the attack was motivated by hate.

As a community, we need to understand the nature of this crime, and stand together to send a message that this kind of action is not tolerated.

In March 2014, Klundt bashed in the door of the health care clinic and went on a rampage. As the city’s lead detective testified at the sentencing hearing: “Anything that could be destroyed, was destroyed.” It was the greatest destruction of personal property he had seen in 21 years on duty.

“The feeling of hate was palpable,” testified Susan Cahill, the physician’s assistant who owned the clinic, describing her reaction to seeing the wreckage of her life’s work. Pictures of her child and grandchild were destroyed with a claw of a hammer.

Klundt’s attorney has suggested the Klundt is the victim of alcoholism and mental illness. Klundt has pleaded guilty and apologized. These should be taken as mitigating factors. Klundt is a young man and should be given the opportunity to reform.

Yet, Klundt was sober enough to steal tools for to smash-up the clinic. He was sober enough text his mother and ask for the name of “the abortionist.” He was sober enough to tuck a loaded pistol in his belt. And he was sober enough to stop toward the end of the rampage and document it on his smart phone, before picking up the fire extinguisher and hosing down the entire mess.

Regardless of political or religious differences, the people of Flathead County need to speak with one voice and say, no. No ambiguities, equivocations or qualifications. There is no place in Montana, or America, for this sort of behavior.

Ben Long