Despite the vitriol and opposite political spectrums, those who debate abortion and guns have the exact same mindset. Guns, currently, and again, at the forefront of discourse. And much less noticed, but the most polarizing political viewpoint in the nation, abortion, was center stage just recently regarding a 20-week abortion ban. Recognizing these similar mindsets may, just maybe, be the key to ending the constant discourse.
Both sides pick and choose European comparisons when it suits them, ignoring Europe when it does not. One side highlights that many European countries ban abortion after 12 weeks and the other side highlights that many countries ban certain firearms.
Both sides ignore public opinion; the majority of Americans support stricter gun control measures and to an even greater degree, a majority of Americans support banning abortion after 20 weeks.
Both sides highlight instances in the 1%. Abortions after 20 weeks constitute around 1% of all abortions, yet receives the most targeted pleas to end. Gun deaths from semi-automatic rifles are also about 1% of total gun deaths. Both sides refrain “But one is too many.”
Both sides pretend that laws will prevent future mass shootings or post-20 week abortions. Both sides refrain “But if it saves just one life.”
Both sides ignore causes, and that the other side has valid points regarding solutions. The most common reason stated for abortion is lack of financial ability to care for the child, a situation potentially ameliorated by more expansive social programs for children. The most common trait of mass shooters is that they almost exclusively come from broken homes without father figures, a scenario long warned about by those who advocate traditional family values.
Both sides conflate, exaggerate and misrepresent the finances and political contributions of the NRA or Planned Parenthood.
Both sides offer solutions but have a NIMBY mentality; suggesting adoption while not adopting children, or suggesting the need for more mental health help while not becoming a mental health professional.
Both sides look to the federal government for their cause while ignoring the easier, and more practical route of having state laws enacted. State governments are more nimble and can issue gun control and abortion limitations.
Both sides evoke the Supreme Court; Heller and Roe as absolute, while ignoring my last point and the rulings’ nuances.
Both sides seek to manipulate language. Using “unborn child” or “child in utero” in lieu of the clinical term fetus. The other side chooses “weapons of war” or “assault weapons” instead of the technical term of semi-automatic rifle.
And not to digress, but it is for my next point. Assault rifles do exist. But they’re not for sale. An assault rifle has select fire and can shoot in a burst mode (2 or 3 rounds with a single trigger pull) or fully automatic. AR-15s cannot do this. And this is why both sides don’t trust each other.
If a 20-week ban was enacted the fear is the next target would be 19. Then 18. And so on. If a ban on certain semi-automatic rifles was enacted the fear is the next target would be handguns, given that they are responsible for most shootings in the US, and given that they have been (Columbine, Virginia Tech) and are used in mass shootings. Both sides would rather remain entrenched where they are than risk the proverbial slippery slope.
Either I’m crazy or an assault weapons ban (whatever those would be considered) in exchange for a 20-week abortion ban should be proposed. Both sides will lose their minds. It would never pass. But maybe, just maybe, the 2 sides would talk and not shout.
And that is the solution to any issue.
Thank you for reading. Feel free to tell me I’m crazy and / or share the post. View my homepage here. Thank you – Nick