Gun Control

The Strange Convergence of Pro-Lifers and Gun Controllers

Inside the emotion-fueled politics of Planned Parenthood and school shootings

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Pro-life protesters outside the Supreme Court
RattleMan / Wikipedia

On September 29, Republicans in the House of Representatives conducted a theatrical grilling of Planned Parenthood President Cecile Richards after a series of underground sting videos showed her organization's employees haggling over fetal body parts. Two days later, a gunman at a rural community college in Oregon killed nine people and wounded 20 others in a depressingly familiar school shooting.

Clever culture warriors attempted to link the two stories as an indictment of the opposing side's hypocrisy. "If pro-lifers would just redirect their power toward gun violence, the amount of lives they save could reach superhero levels," said Trevor Noah, new host of Comedy Central's The Daily Show. "They just need to have a superhero's total dedication to life. Because right now they're more like comic book collectors: Human life only holds value until you take it out of the package, and then it's worth nothing."

"The fact remains that no pro-life advocate is in favor of firing a gun at people's heads," retorted Matt Bowman of the Alliance Defending Freedom, writing at CNS News. "Noah, it seems, is in favor of crushing baby heads. He is in no position to accuse pro-lifers of hypocrisy."

These two fights reliably fall along the traditional left-right split whenever there's a mass shooting or an abortion-related controversy, like the 2013 conviction of murderous abortionist Kermit Gosnell or the pro-choice filibuster that same year by Texas state Senator Wendy Davis. The roles are so well-worn by now that the immediate aftermath of such news events, particularly on social media and cable news, resembles less policy discussion than religious ritual, with the opposing side treated as not just intellectually wrong but morally evil.

Gun control advocates and anti-abortion activists may not overlap much in a political Venn diagram, but they actually share many key features in common, in ways that hold particular interest for those of us who find ourselves across the divide from them in moments of heightened stress.

The most important similarity is that on fundamental legal questions, both sides have lost decisively at the Supreme Court. Abortion was legalized nationally with 1973's Roe v. Wade, which located an expanded right to privacy within the 14th Amendment, and that protection was extended in 1992's Planned Parenthood v. Casey. Blanket firearm bans were declared unconstitutional in 2008's District of Columbia v. Heller, which found for the first time that the Second Amendment was indeed an individual right, and then 2010's McDonald v. Chicago (which, like its predecessor, passed with the slimmest 5–4 majority) extended that decision to all 50 states.

What do you do when you lose a big national fight? Libertarians are no strangers to this question, having taken drubbings a decade ago on private-to-private eminent domain transfers (Kelo v. City of New London) and medical marijuana/interstate regulation (Gonzales v. Raich). In those cases, both of which bucked popular opinion (support for medical pot and opposition to developer-enriching eminent domain both run near 75 percent), activists reacted by taking advantage of federalism, passing new freedom-friendly laws and ballot initiatives in cities and states.

You can see a similar approach on abortion and guns. State and local governments have passed more than 200 abortion restrictions over the past five years, adding waiting periods and parental notifications and mandatory physical examinations before the issuance of abortion pills. Abortion is still broadly legal, but the precise frontiers of that legality—the exact fetal age after which it becomes banned, the requirements imposed on abortion providers—are hotly contested at the margins.

Gun controllers started re-focusing on local success stories after the passage in November 2014 of Washington state's Michael Bloomberg–backed Initiative 594, which expanded and strengthened background checks in a way that national Democrats have been failing to do for the past several years. While we can expect to see more such activity in the wake of the Oregon shooting, gun control advocates face an uphill battle against public opinion: Gun rights have increased in popularity in recent years, and states over the past two decades have rapidly expanded the legal right to carry firearms. Frustration over lack of progress can leave activists reaching for a magic wand to make the unfavorable legal climate go away.

"All that is necessary for sanity to rule again, on the question of guns," wrote The New Yorker's Adam Gopnik in a much-discussed piece after the Oregon shooting, "is to restore the amendment to its commonly understood meaning as it was articulated…a scant few years ago. And all you need for that is one saner and, in the true sense, conservative Supreme Court vote. One Presidential election could make that happen."

Such simplicity reeks of an exasperated desperation. The notion that the Second Amendment protects a collective and not an individual right was discredited not by the late-breaking fantasies of conservative jurists but by the research of liberal academics like Sanford Levinson a quarter century ago. Even the dissenters in the Heller case recognized the Second Amendment as applying to individuals.

But it's more clarifying to think of post-shooting commentary as declarations of emotion rather than carefully thought-out legal history and policy analysis. Consider this child-like passage from Gopnik (emphasis in the original): "We know how to fix this. Gun control ends gun violence as surely an antibiotics end bacterial infections, as surely as vaccines end childhood measles—not perfectly and in every case, but overwhelmingly and everywhere that it's been taken seriously and tried at length."

When the Planned Parenthood videos started appearing in the summer, the overwhelming response by activists was bewilderment that the world did not share in their sense of horror. New York Times columnist Ross Douthat, who generally does a yeoman's job of describing conservative views to a liberal audience, likened the graphic footage in those videos with "that moment when you start pondering the possibility that an institution at the heart of respectable liberal society is dedicated to a practice that deserves to be called barbarism."

Having lost the big legal arguments, anti-abortion activists, much like their pro-gun control counterparts, are left with pointing at the blood and saying, "See?" It is undeniable that such emotional pleas to our sense of empathy and disgust are genuine, worthy of respect, and often persuasive, at least temporarily. But they might also be self-defeating.

Pro-choice advocates know that behind every new state bill about second-trimester abortion or parental notification lies a deep desire to make abortion illegal. So they react accordingly, treating every marginal fight—including, presently, the attempt to block Planned Parenthood by removing government funding—as the beginning of a slippery slope to remove a treasured right.

The same is true for guns. As Juliet Lapidos observed in The New York Times in 2013, "If the gun-control camp mentions restrictions the anti-gun-control camp hears bans. If the former mentions a ban on certain kinds of guns, the latter hears all guns, plus confiscation." Two years later, with President Barack Obama specifically referencing the gun policies of Great Britain and Australia (both of which have carried out confiscations), those seemingly paranoid worries look a lot more plausible, and gun rights advocates are again digging in their heels.

Many of us can feel uncomfortable or alienated during these moments of high political passion. But there's an important principle to remember: Prohibitions also create their own emotional outrages, while definitionally restricting individual latitude. And Americans have proven themselves open to logical arguments even in the face of tragedy.

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    1. Abort! Abort! Abort this abortion thread!

    2. I know. More gun nut garbage.

      1. You mean the nuts attempting to strip Americans of their God-given 2nd amendment rights?

    3. The truth of the matter is that more people in the U.S. defend themselves with a gun each year than are victimized by people with guns. Don’t take my word for it, ask the CDC.

      The truth of the matter is that gun control is counterproductive. Don’t take my word for it, ask Harvard.

      The truth of the matter is that there is more support for guns rights than gun control. Don’t take my word for it, ask Pew Research Center.

      The truth of the matter is that the crime rate, including “gun crimes” and gun homicides is at a 30 year low despite the sunset of the assault weapon ban”, liberalized concealed carry, steady gun ownership, stand your ground laws, and ignoring the DEMANDS of the “gun control lobby”.

      Regardless – Violence and gun grabs are coming.. Obama is the biggest threat to the American way of life…Obama hates Americans, the Constitution, and free market capitalism. He destroyed our economy with measures like the ACA and immigration amnesty. The “Affordable” Care Act has been nothing short of a disaster. My health insurance bill is up to $450/month. (Compare this to my $25/month auto insurance from Insurance Panda or my $10/month renters insurance? both private enterprise!) Keep your hands off us!

      It’s time to move on from “gun control”.

    4. Indeed. Matt must be in between Trump hit pieces and appearances on MSNBC.

  1. “District of Columbia v. Heller, which found for the first time that the Second Amendment was indeed an individual right…”

    Dear Matt,

    Would you please stop perpetuating this bullshit and do a quick case law search on the 2A?

    Thanks.

  2. After I read this article, I went out and bought another AR-15. 🙂

    1. After I read this article, I went out, bought another AR-15, and shot a pregnant woman in the uterus.

      1. Your joke/analogy is off. You shooting someone else is a crime (unless they willingly pay or ask you to do so). If the pregnant woman were to shoot herself of her own accord–either as a suicide or very aggressive abortion–then it would be an apt joke/analogy.

  3. This makes a lot of sense; both the gun controllers and pro-lifers fail to respect property rights. For many years I have wondered why the pro-life position wasn’t considered the liberal position, given that it simply extends the “obligation to support others” argument pre-partum.

    1. And animal rights activists. That’s the holy triumvirate of asshole movements.

      The reason the pro-life position is not liberal is because the origins of the pro-life movement are in fighting the civil rights movement and desegregation. The conservatives needed a social cause that could be sold as moral high ground to mobilize the evangelicals.

      1. because the origins of the pro-life movement are in fighting the civil rights movement and desegregation

        That is a ridiculously false assertion. Legal abortion, birth control, and encouraging their use, were mainstays of both eugenicists and progressives.

        There is really no “right side” to any of this. Both Christian conservatives and progressives are statists who don’t give a shit about liberty or individual rights; when they occasionally seem to embrace a position that looks like it errs on the side of liberty, it’s either self-serving or accidental.

    2. “For many years I have wondered why the pro-life position wasn’t considered the liberal position.”

      It helps if you stop thinking of Lib-Con, Dem-Rep as one party that wants to shove Big Government down your throat, and another party that opposes them, and think of them as two horny bucks, butting heads to determine which one gets to take THEIR Government and pound it into every hole you’ve got.

      1. Excellent. Very nice turn of phrase.

      2. Spot on. Richard Dawkins explained this quite well in The Selfish Gene. The two parties need each other as “enemies” in order to do mock battle (bucks and rams don’t actually mean to kill each other when they duel) and convert more adherents (suckers).

  4. One would hope that Libertarians don’t look at the pro-life cause as merely right wing. Likewise, pro-life is not only a religious position.

    Anyone who believes an unborn baby should have human rights is pro-life. At one end of the pro-life spectrum, you have complete abortion prohibition, while at the other end you have folks willing to allow abortion up to 20 weeks, and in special circumstances at any gestational age. Polls show that a substantial minority of Libertarians are pro-life – at varying places in that spectrum – which makes perfect sense since keeping one’s life is the most fundamental liberty.

    There’s another parallel in the article that is inappropriate. Yes, gun grabbers and pro-lifers both lost Supreme Court cases. But… the pro-gun decisions were deeply grounded in the Constitution. The pro-abortion decisions relied upon a radical distortion of the Constitution in order to achieve its ends. Hopefully Libertarians are for a system based on the Constitution, not one based on the whims of judges.

    1. I support the fetus ‘ right to life sometime after 20-28 weeks. But I also support the woman’s right to evict at any time. She just can’t kill the fetus after the fetus becomes a person. If you want to call that pro-life, be my guest.

      1. So individual rights begin after individual existence can be demonstrated, kind of like “All persons born…”

      2. If there is no reasonable — i.e., at the same (not necessarily monetary) cost to the mother — means of aborting a given pregnancy that minimizes fetal damage or death, then such damage up to and including death of the fetus is ethical. Those who are pro-life can therefore reduce the number of fatalities and injuries by researching ways to reduce the cost of live and minimal injury abortions or directly subsidizing the cost of such abortions to bring them in line with the alternatives.

    2. Polls show that a substantial minority of Libertarians are pro-life

      Just because you call yourself a “libertarian” and say you are “pro-life” doesn’t mean you are either.

      Anyone who believes an unborn baby should have human rights is pro-life.

      Your belief about who should or shouldn’t have human rights is irrelevant from a libertarian point of view, since you have no right to impose your views on others. Members of libertarian societies are, ultimately, simply defined by their ability to act and choose autonomously, not whether you, God, or the state believe that they should have that right.

      Entities that do not have that ability need to be protected by other means. For example, if you become disabled (or die), what happens with you is something you ought to have predetermined by contract or will. And for fetuses and babies essentially have their choices made for them by their parents, subject to whatever contractual obligations the parents have chosen to be bound by in regards to pregnancy and child rearing.

      We don’t live in a libertarian society, but our society is intended to function along similar lines, with local communities and freedom of movement taking the place of voluntary private associations. What does that mean? It means that the legality of abortion really should be a state or local matter. Unfortunately, neither side is happy with that; they are, after all, both statists.

  5. “…murderous abortionist Kermit Gosnell…”

    But I repeat myself.

    1. Murdeous in the full legal sense, the article means.

    2. When you use the word murder to describe removing embryos from a woman who doesn’t want embryos in her body, you’re stretching it to include things that are not murder, thus cheapening the word “murder”.

      1. God, you are a moron. Gosnell was not removing “embryos”. He was inducing labor in fully viable fetuses (aka “babies”) and then delivering them alive and well and then murdering them by cutting their spinal cords. This was one of the most vile, Ambrose Bierce-like villains that has ever been in public view. YOU cheapen the word “murder” when you deny his convictions for it.

      2. When you use the word murder to describe removing embryos from a woman who doesn’t want embryos in her body

        Man, one minute you’re just walking down the street, minding your own business, and the next minute BAM! there’s an embryo in your body. It’s a lot like getting hit by a bus…

  6. It helps if you imagine some coastal elitist reciting this column to you at a beltway cocktail party.

  7. “And Americans have proven themselves open to logical arguments even in the face of tragedy.”

    That’s true, but with all due respect, in this particular article Rico Suave has *not* shown himself to be one of those rational Americans.

    You don’t show moral equivalence between pro-lifers and gun-controllers by contrasting a ridiculous comment by a left-wing comedian with a rebuttal by a prolifer.

    And comparing the strategy and tactics of two different movements doesn’t make those movements morally equivalent. You can find parallels between the generalship of George Washington and the generalship of Erwin Rommel, but that doesn’t mean that the respective causes for which they fought were morally indistinguishable.

    1. It’s an article long association fallacy.

  8. The strategies and tactics are similar because people who keenly interested in controlling the behavior of others have very much the same mindset. It is not only about banning abortion or guns, the same can be said of people who want to ban certain books or speech or thoughts. You have to start by convincing yourself that your values and opinions are the final and perfect morals for humanity, and that gives you a missionary sort of righteous zeal in policing the behavior and thoughts of others. It is a dangerous sort of mindset, because if nobody stands up to these people, the lengths to which they will go to impose their will on others literally has no limits.

    1. ^^^this so much

    2. By “they” am I correct in understanding “people convinced that altruism is a good thing”?

      1. By “they” I mean people who believe they have a special mandate to exert control over what other people do, own, think, read, or say. Particularly when those thoughts or deeds or whatever do not in any way affect the person who wants to ban them.

        1. I disagree. I don’t think that abortion should be illegal, myself, but I find that too many people who make abortion rights arguments often refuse to accept that pro-life people start from the position that any human life, even in an embryonic state, have rights, or at least the right to life.
          If you accept that starting argument, then libertarians should be right-to-lifers.
          I don’t think embryonic humans have a right to life, but I understand that people who disagree are genuinely aghast at what they perceive as mass murder.

          1. You can’t grant an embryo rights, without denying rights to the person that is carrying it. Some states have been prosecuting mothers for years who test positive for narcotics, and in some cases, even simply alcohol.

            1. Here’s a link

              http://jhppl.dukejournals.org/…..75e6eee40c For those cases that are not mentioned in the article -what do you need?

            2. You also cannot grant rights to a child without denying rights to the person responsible for caring for it.

              Maybe your problem is that you think there is, or (perhaps) should be any sort of granting that is occurring by something other than necessity?

            3. “You can’t grant an embryo rights, without denying rights to the person that is carrying it.”

              The pro-life/pro-choice argument has been played out on the Reason board countless times, and there is no absolute “libertarian” solution between the parties.

              IF a fetus is a human being, you’re not denying rights of the mother by telling her she has to carry to term or be guilty of homicide because she (baring rape), chose by her actions to initiate that state of dependency (i.e. life). There’s no perfect analogy because it’s a unique situation, but it’s essentially like if someone forced you to be dependent on their blood (for 9 months), and then denied you the use of their blood because it’s ‘their body’, which killed you in the process. Their actions started the relationship of dependency in the first place.

              IF a fetus is not a human being, it’s just a simple medical practice and should be up to the individual.

              If someone takes the former viewpoint they’re actually pro-life because they’re adhering to the NAP. If someone takes the later viewpoint they’re pro choice because they’re adhering to the NAP. There is no cut and dry solution as far as libertarianism is concerned.

              I think it’s hard to hate either side because both are supporting the NAP. What’s really screwed up are those liberal Catholics who believe a fetus is a human and are pro choice anyway. That has scary implications.

  9. I don’t see how intentionally killing a innocent human being and owning a firearm are equivalent.

    1. Go back to bed.

  10. Analogy doesn’t fit. Gun owners are subject to any number of local and federal regulations and laws. One of the reasons gun control advocates arguments aren’t effective is because they’re often advocating for controls that already exist.

    No controls on abortion exist. It can be conducted anytime for virtually any reason up until the day of the child’s birth.

    And you Reason choicers at least acknowledge most of the time that pro-lifers don’t view an abortion as an act affecting just an individual but an act of harm conducted by one on another and therefore worthy of state intervention. Whether you believe that or not is irrelevant. Claiming abortion restrictions affect “individual latitude” without recognizing that pro-lifers obviously don’t see it that way is dissapointing. Libertarianism doesn’t answer the question, “what is life” yet here you’ve decided that it’s been done and settled.

    The majority of Americans favorite restrictions on abortion after a certain point in a pregnancy. Gun owners allow for background checks. Why isn’t it pro-choicers who are the zealous absolutists for refusing to concede a single second prior to birth that the infant might also have rights? No other “right” explicitly or otherwise in the Constitution has that latitude.

    1. Whenever you say “the majority of Americans favor restrictions on……”, that is exactly what the Bill of Rights is for. To protect individual liberty from the whims of popular opinion. Popular speech does not need protection. Democracy without liberty is two wolves and a lamb voting on what is for dinner.

      1. Congress shall make no law concerning …
        Freedom of speech? There are limits to freedom of speech.
        Arms? Regulations and restrictions on it.

        Abortion? None.

        So … not only are we discussing something that’s not actually in the bill of rights, but things that ARE in the bill of rights have limits. Abortion has none.

        Regardless this entirely ignores the fact that from the pro life standpoint it’s a majority of Americans that are trying to PROTECT individual liberty from harm conducted by another. You want to convince a pro-lifer they’re wrong? Stop talking about abortion as if it’s not an act involving 2 people and convince them an 8.5 month old fetus isn’t human despite having zero developmental difference from a newborn.

        I brought up the majority of Americans favoring restrictions on abortion because the author of the article attempted to portray lifers as zealots when literally the only zealoted position of them all is the one held by pro-choicers in practice and in theory. One which you seem to share.

        1. Nope, you forgot the ninth and tenth amendments.
          The constitution does not lay out what rights citizens have, it lays out what the federal government can do. Any thing not specifically mentioned in the constitution as a power granted to the federal government is specifically reserved to the states, or to the people. Since abortion is not mentioned, it should be a matter of state law. Oklahoma should be able to ban any abortion while California allows it until whenever CA thinks personhood begins.
          The only way the SCOTUS could rationally apply the fourteenth amendment to abortion is if federal law recognized that personhood started at an earlier time than state law says.

        2. I disagree with you on a couple of points. As far as I am concerned, your rights and political ideas end at my property line. I mean that philosophically and literally. You do not get to make decisions about either my wife’s or my daughter’s bodily autonomy. You don’t get to tell any of us what to think, read or do with our bodies. Your religious views do not matter to me, and nobody in my family is going to consult you, your Rabbi, Imam or Priest before we make medical care decisions.
          Abortion is horrible. I believe that life begins at conception. But I also believe that in the real world, the only person who can make decisions for the embryo or fetus is the mother. As soon as we let anyone else start making those decisions, it becomes tyranny.
          Bringing up abortions at 8.5 months is just silliness. Abortions anywhere near that late are only done under the most dire medical circumstances. But even then, If my pregnant wife is facing such a medical crisis, you don’t get a vote in the matter.

          1. I understand, and I actually agree. What I was trying to point out is that the other side doesn’t see it that way.
            They would reply “so, if you’re having babies and then sacrificing them to Satan, it’s ok?”
            They genuinely believe that abortion is murder, and your property rights don’t give you the right to murder.
            I don’t agree with them, but I respect the fact that they are arguing against murder, not acting as agents of the patriarchy.

            1. Sorry, patriarchy was the wrong thread. You weren’t saying patriarchy, you were talking property rights.
              Change ” patriarchy” to “theocracy”.

          2. Honestly I think this position is half-asses pandering that doesn’t hold up to any logical scrutiny. I agree with the “I don’t like this, but other people can do whatever the fuck they want on their own property” argument on practically every other issue, but it just doesn’t work here. By acknowledging that abortion is wrong because you feel that is ending a life, then you are literally conceding that it is murder. Unless you subscribe to some super-duper hard-core anarchist school of thought where you genuinely belief “yeah, murder’s cool as long as you do it on your property or to your own kids,” I don’t see how your position could make any logical sense.

            1. Okay, that came off as more of a SoCon-y rant than I intended it to be. To clarify, while I don’t necessarily agree with those who claim that abortion is okay because fetuses (fetusi?) aren’t humans, I can at least see how that is a legitimate position reached using logic, just based off different premises than I would personally use. Recently though, I’ve seen an uptick in popularity in arguments like yours resembling “live and let live”, which I agree with in almost everyotger case, but with this specific issue don’t make that much sense.

              1. In the case of abortion, I don’t mean “my property” in a literal sense. I can’t run a concentration camp on my property, or do a bunch of other things that would affect the neighbors. But I am pretty big on bodily autonomy. I do see embryos as potential people. I certainly see them as alive. I do think abortion is a bad thing. But that does not change my feelings about abortion. Somebody has to be in charge of making decisions about a woman’s body. If the person making those decisions is anyone but the woman herself, Then we have tyranny. As soon as you appoint yourself as spokesman and legal guardian of a woman’s fertilized or unfertilized egg, you step over a line that should never be crossed in a free society. It is possible to see abortion as a terrible thing, but also see abortion restrictions as far worse.

              2. All pro-life vs. pro-abortion arguments boil down to the definition of human.

                Since that definition is a “first principle,” is it meaningless for either side to call the other “wrong.”

                It’s all shouting past each other unless you can agree on a definition of human, and the fact that someone disagrees with you doesn’t make them “wrong.”

          3. “You do not get to make decisions about either my wife’s or my daughter’s bodily autonomy.”

            What about when your daughter is inside your wife?

            1. He already answered and here it is in case one whole post was too long for you to read:

              “Bringing up abortions at 8.5 months is just silliness. Abortions anywhere near that late are only done under the most dire medical circumstances. But even then, If my pregnant wife is facing such a medical crisis, you don’t get a vote in the matter.”

            2. Go on……

            3. Are they hot looking? Like in a ‘Moms Bang Teens’ (Google it) kind of way? If so, tell me more……………

    2. “No controls on abortion exist. It can be conducted anytime for virtually any reason up until the day of the child’s birth.”

      Bullshit: The Moral Crusader’s favorite weapon. Abortion is illegal after 20 weeks, without a medical necessity. But for some reason the anti-choice movement has this obsession with late term, partial birth abortion. It’s like how the Animal Rights movement is obsessed with animals being skinned alive. Anyone with any experience slaughtering animals, or even 2 minutes to think logically, can figure out that live skinning is wildly impractical, inefficient, and dangerous. The only reason to do it would be to intentionally torture an animal, but the Animal Rights movement is based on emotion, not logic. It’s made of people who can equate eating a hamburger with torturing a puppy. And the idea of poor little animals being skinned alive one after another is their bread and butter.

      Likewise the Anti-Choice movement is made of people who can equate taking a pill the morning after sex with stabbing a toddler. And they are obsessed with late-term and partial-birth abortions. It’s as if they think that women who plan on aborting would rather suffer through all of the morning sickness, weight gain, flatulence, hemorrhoids, incontinence, and other pleasures of pregnancy for 8 months, than get the fetus flushed while it’s the size of a grape. But, like Animal Rights Groups, if it weren’t for emotion and bullshit, they wouldn’t exist at all.

  11. Brazil is a wholly-owned subsidiary of Vatican City. Abortion or marijuana is illegal for rich and poor alike but callgirls and callboys are legal as sea salt. Just recently the looter politicians of all 32 parties voted to let themselves carry guns, alongside their bodyguards, but the public cannot own guns or buy ammo. This elite carry version of Kristallnacht legislation is not so stupid when you consider what happened to Huey Long. To a gradualist, it’s a start of sorts, to see politicians AND their jackbooted minions packing. I move we call it the Lolita Lebr?n law.

  12. Pro-life is a misnomer for sending men with guns to force women to reproduce. Anti-choice describes reality. Government schools also describe to a T the referent, but brainwashers want you to use some misleading expression instead. You’d think people would take more pride in what they profess to sincerely believe, even in the presence of folks who know better.

    1. You’re mendacious and boring. The fact that you refuse to accept that those who disagree with you are doing so from profoundly moral motives proves only that you are intellectually petrified.
      Notorious is wrong, but he could argue circles around you. And, he has no desire “

      1. Oops….
        As I was saying: Notorious has no desire for “sending men with guns to force women to reproduce”, as far as I know. He is arguing from a basis point of view: That all human life has potential, and had value in it’s own right.
        Sorry, Notorious, I don’t mean to put words in your mouth.

      2. Well, gun controllers and animal rights activists also believe that they are acting based on “profoundly moral motives”, but that doesn’t mean libertarians have to agree with them.

  13. Republicans are just democrats with bibles. The goal of both parties is social/economic engineering, the constitution just gets in their way.

  14. Be nice if the article pointed out the difference between pro-gun groups and Planned Parenthood regarding receiving tax dollars. I don’t dislike PP on moral grounds I dislike them because they are crony capitalists sucking at the government teat while claiming they aren’t. If they had half a brain they wouldn’t take a single government dime and tell their critics to suck it.

    1. There does seem to be a contradiction between calling yourself “pro-choice” like Planned Parenthood (a misnomer) and using the government to force people to pay for their activities. Has any newsperson ever asked the PP people about this contradiction?

    2. PP is protected in the manner it is because it is a gigantic slush fund used to siphon off taxpayer money to fix the coffers of democrat politicians. Goddamn PP, and Goddamn the democrats. They all deserve to be executed.

  15. If a fetus can survive outside of its mother’s womb as early as 24 weeks, why does a mother get to decide whether it lives or dies? Nobody asks the baby whether it wants to be born. Isn’t it possible the mother is holding the child against its will, since a baby can’t make itself be born? The mother’s body dictates when labor and delivery starts. Then, we give the right to end the baby’s life to the mother, despite the mother’s body preventing the baby from being born.

    Holding a person against their will (who could live, survive, and thrive on their own) and reserving the right to legally end their life… That doesn’t sound too different from slave owners killing their slaves because they were “just property.”

    The question is, “What gives life value?” Why does the right to abortion stop at birth? If it is a right for a mother to end her creation at 10 weeks or 30 weeks, why not at 100 weeks? Why not at 20 years? What is it about the act of being born that takes a baby that could survive on its own, trapped inside a mother’s womb, from commodity to valuable life? It’s not a heartbeat. It’s not a functioning brain or lungs or any other organ. The unborn baby has all of that. It’s purely the will of the mother. If society has accepted that one person can dictate the value of another’s life and has the right to end it… maybe that plays into the violent mindset of our country. Maybe that is a subconscious cause of gun violence.

    1. And no one here today has mentioned the father’s rights.

      The baby is in the mothers womb but half of it is the fathers and half of the legal responsibility for 18 years is the fathers.

      What happens when a woman aborts a baby that the father wants ?

  16. I wouldn’t hold out too much hope that an additional liberal justice on the Supreme Court would strike down Second Amendment rights. It’s much easier for five justices to uphold a right than it is for five justices to strike down a right. In both Heller and McDonald the dissenting justices never touched on the Federalist papers which dealt with why the Second Amendment was written into the Bill of Rights. Their dissents were all on sociological reasons
    ? 2015 jerryg1018

  17. What’s strange about it? Both Christian conservatives and progressives are statists who think that people’s liberties must be restricted for their own good. They happen to worship different deities, but there is plenty of overlap between them. Keep in mind that many of the supposedly so progressive European welfare states that people like Obama and Sanders point to as examples are run by Christian conservative parties.

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