Of all the potentially explosive political topics in America today, abortion and guns probably reveal the most—regarding our intense moral, ethical, and ideological divide.
In both cases, the antis are SUPER DUPER ANTI. It’s tough to find somebody who is just sort of “meh” anti. No. They are RAGING ANTI. Hotly, loudly, fist-shakingly anti.
Also in both cases, the antis are (in their minds) fighting for life. They are sure of this in their bones. If you disagree with them, you are (to them) stating you are against life. This makes you bad. Very, very bad.
Meanwhile, for both cases, the pros are SUPER DUPER PRO. Tough to find people who are just kind of “meh” pro abortion, or “meh” pro gun. It’s MEGA MONDO PRO. They are hotly, loudly, fist-shakingly pro.
And the pros all frame their arguments with FREEDOM. Pros are fantastically dedicated to preserving what they consider to be a bedrock liberty. Infringing upon or denying this liberty is heinous and evil. Mess with freedom at your peril!
Pro gun will say it’s not about killing people, and never was. And from their specific point of view, they are 100% right.
Pro abortion will also say it’s not about killing people, and never was. And from their specific point of view, they are 100% right.
I have spent most of my adult life walking back and forth across this divide. I have friends and family on both sides. I have seen and read all the arguments. I am also sympathetic to the moral basis for the antis and the pros, in both camps—all four quadrants.
Me myself? I am against abortion, but I don’t want it outlawed. Because not everything immoral, must be illegal. That way lies totalitarianism and tyranny. For the same reason, I can be sympathetic to the emotional basis for almost all the gun control arguments, without agreeing with gun control itself. Because again, that way lies totalitarianism and tyranny.
People think totalitarianism and tyranny can’t happen here. They are wrong. It happened against the American Japanese in World War 2. It happened against almost every First Peoples tribe in North America. It happened against all the Africans imported from African slave-sellers, who peddled to the English and the French. It happened against the Mormons—my personal little piece of the puzzle—under a governor’s extermination order. And so on, and so forth.
Totalitarianism and tyranny—even the kind cloaked with good intentions—must be resisted. I believe this at a very fundamental level. And the older I get, the more I see how easily and quickly we Americans allow ourselves to succumb to the totalitarian, tyrannical impulse.
Ultimately, if I am pro 2nd Amendment, it’s only because I know from the examples of history that our ballot and jury boxes are worthless—once they’ve taken away both our soap boxes, and our cartridge boxes.
(NOTE: that is my S&W M&P 15, pictured above, when I bought it new in 2016. It is just one of several firearms I own and use on a regular basis. I have put easily a thousand rounds of both 5.56x45mm and the less powerful .223 through this rifle. I have taught both my wife and my daughter to shoot it. Not once have I ever had to charge this weapon and aim it at a human being. God willing, I hope I’ll never have to, too.)