Similar Debates

There’s an extraordinary parallelism in the gun / abortion debate. People want a simple solution – a ban – to solve the the issue and “save lives.” Both groups are completely convinced that a legal ban will stop people from seeking and obtaining guns / abortion pills. Both groups react very aggressively to the suggestion that maybe the issue is more complicated and it makes sense to look at what drives people to seek guns and abortion pills.

Within the past two weeks, I somehow ended up in an online exchange with representatives of both the “ban guns” and “ban abortion” camps. The rhetoric they used was so identical that it would take me a second to figure out which particular debate I was in at any given time. The argument that both groups deployed repetitively, insistently and with no variation was “You want children to die.” It is hard to avoid suspecting that the whole point of both debates is to be able to repeat the words “children” and “die” in the same sentence many times in a row.

It’s very similar to the BLM or the trans debates where absolutely any questioning of puberty blockers or Patrice Cullors’s fabulous wealth merits you an immediate accusation that “you want black people/ trans children” to die. Ditto for the immigration debate. “You want immigrants to die!” Reliving the symbolic death of black people or immigrants in a socially acceptable format seems to be the most important goal of this exercise.

9 thoughts on “Similar Debates

  1. Reply to: “Similar Debates”

    There is, however, some experimental evidence. Australia “banned” guns. for the most part, some years ago, the incidence of mass shootings there dropped dramatically.


    1. I personally have no investment into the subject of gun control but I do feel that something must have gone terribly wrong for an 18-year-old guy to decide to go shoot up a school. I don’t think it would be a waste of time to discuss what causes this kind of thing to happen so often.


  2. Well I hope we can all agree that the tragedy of children with names, personalities, families, friends, and interests being shot at a place where they should feel safe and happy vastly vastly outweighs the “tragedy” a woman aborting a pre-conscious fetus that is dependent on her body for survival. They truly are not comparable.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. True. Yet on the other hand, an abortion always ends the potentiality of a child while the overwhelming majority of purchased guns never make it to a school shooting.


      1. It strikes me as profoundly unfeeling if not cruel to compare the “potentiality of a child” to actual dead children who were blown to bits while at school. And suggesting that “denying potentiality” to a yet non-existent child is somehow an evil on par with murdered children leads to some strange places. By this logic, in order to allow for potentiality, women shouldn’t use birth control or even refuse sex. There are some religions who practise this of course. But that’s a very extreme take. Much more extreme than saying perhaps we ought not to be selling military grade weapons to 18 year olds with mental health issues. And truly, it is mind boggling that a general citizen has access to that type of weaponry. These weapons are not for hunting or home protection. They are used to either a) satisfy a bizarre gun fetish or b) hurt people. It’s not insane to question why we sell these particular types of weapon so freely.


        1. You are forgetting that I support abortion rights. Always have and always will. My point here is not to condemn abortion or defend guns. My point is to show how ineffective and counterproductive the arguments typically used in both discussions are.


            1. Banning all abortions (or no abortions) is not the mainstream position either. Most Americans support abortion rights in the first trimester but are opposed to abortion in the third trimester.


        2. “These weapons are not for hunting or home protection. They are used to either a) satisfy a bizarre gun fetish or b) hurt people.”

          Do you know any hunters or gun-owners?

          Everybody I know who owns an AR-15 uses them for hunting, and not one of them has ever shot up a school, church, or business. Lady friend says the appeal is that it’s lighter than a standard hunting rifle, and there’s a lego aspect to them, that means you can buy all sorts of accessories and customize, without needing a professional to do the work (to, say, shorten the stock for her).

          Are they needed for hunting? No. Humankind has been hunting with rocks, slings, arrows, atlatls and all sorts of other things since we learned to use tools. But they are apparently quite handy for that purpose, and it’s probably their most common use, domestically.


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