Guns and abortion illustrate the chasm between American paradigms

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.)


  1. 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.

    None of those of us who are on the pro-gun side of the argument – hell, self-defence side of the argument – ever want to be in that position. But wishes and hopes are not reality, and we are aware that if we are ever in that position, we are able to defend and protect – ourselves, our loved ones, the ones around us who depend on us because they are unable to, or cannot defend themselves.

  2. and yet, the other side thinks it all about having a gun to shoot people, because that is apparently their fantasy of what they would do with one.

    I get to take my little (ok, she’s 40) sister to the range and teach her how to shoot…

  3. Underlying both arguments is responsibility. The anti-gun crowd is afraid, and fear makes them rationalize how taking guns from honest citizens in their neighborhoods prevents the mentally ill from harming innocents who may be hundreds of miles away. Facing the problem of mental illness requires taking responsibility. Having the government take control frees them from responsibility … responsible people are always responsible. That’s how they were raised.

    Abortions are about not taking the responsibility to raise a child … that one irresponsibly created. Pretending it is not murder enables one to return to irresponsible living. The great fear is looking in a mirror and seeing what one has become.

    Everyone has the right to live as they choose, and I appreciate the need to fantasize to hide ones fears and pretense of virtue. On my blog site “Strange Things Done” I use fantasy to turn this around … to reveal what is hidden.

  4. “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.”

    Well said, both you and Shadowdancer. I carry a pistol for self-defense every single day, and every single day I pray I do not have to use it. But, if I am forced to draw in defense of myself or another, then I pray my aim is true.

    Disarming me, disarming my wife, and disarming people like us will not make America safer. We are not the threat. Those intent on ill will – whether they’re terrorists, criminals, or they’re from the government and they’re here to help – will do what they’re going to do, no matter what the law says. You can’t legislate away evil. You can only be prepared to fight it.

  5. My problem with abortion is that it ends a human life. I have no problem ending a human life if that life is threatening the life of someone else. So abortion in the case of a life threatening problem is OK in my book, because I believe everyone has the right to defend themselves. Abortion because you don’t want to raise the child, or because the child has a particular disease/abnormality is something I oppose.

    It’s similar with firearms. If someone is threatening another with a firearm, I have no issue in taking that firearm away from them, or even ending their life. Outside of that, it’s gonna take some very specific, and narrow, events for me to support taking someone else’s weapons.

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