As Senate Democrats filibuster, I’m left wondering: what would Democrats do if conservatives agreed to halt the sale of semi-automatic assault-style rifles only if Democrats agreed to ban abortions after 20 weeks?
In the wake of the horrific murders in Orlando, the Left has reverted to their self-righteous talking points and cherry-picked facts. As we now know, this attack had an immediate cause—an evil guy with a Sig Sauer MCX—and underlying causes—mental health problems, an adherence to extremist religious propaganda, a struggle with his sexual orientation. For tragic perspective, last year, there were 372 mass shootings (defined as an incident in which at least four people are killed or wounded), killing 475 and wounding 1,870.
The Left says this is a preventable loss of life. We need to act now to prevent these heart wrenching deaths by addressing the immediate cause. We can pass laws to ban the type of gun he used, insist on more background checks, and prevent people being investigated by the FBI or on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun. This may not solve everything, but at least we can do better than doing nothing. Plus, while less than half of Americans want to ban assault weapons, over 80 percent of Americans favor background checks. And that includes gun owners themselves. So they want us to take that common ground and pass their legislation.
Conservatives point to our Constitution, the Second Amendment, and the Supreme Court, which has said the Constitution provides an individual right to bear arms. We say the Left’s so-called solutions won’t stop evil people from killing with a bomb or a knife or a legally purchased handgun. And their unwillingness to address the underlying problems by enforcing the laws we have, passing mental health reform, and calling it Islamic extremism makes us think they are just out to get folks like us.
As it happens, my husband and I are gun owners. We have a handgun and a shotgun in our house. I love shooting clay pigeons and he feels safer when he travels knowing we have a handgun in the home for me to protect myself (and the dog—he loves that dog!). I also grew up in rural Texas with a rifle at home that my mother used to shoot the armadillos digging up her azalea bushes and where deer hunting was a common father-son bonding activity. This is all to say, I happen to agree with the Supreme Court and believe I have a constitutional right—codified in the Second Amendment—to keep these weapons in my home with minimal government interference, but I am willing to hear genuine arguments on the other side.
But now, let’s talk about abortion. Every year, there are 700,000 abortions performed and about 15,000 of those killed are what we would call late term abortions where the baby could live outside the womb.
Conservatives says this is a preventable loss of life. We need to act now to prevent these heart wrenching deaths by addressing the immediate cause. We can pass laws to ban abortions after 20 weeks, insist that doctors who perform abortions have admitting privileges at a nearby hospital, and require women to receive counseling about their options beforehand. This may not solve everything, but at least we can do better than doing nothing. Plus, 64 percent of Americans think abortion should be illegal in the second trimester and 80 percent think it should be illegal in the third trimester. And those numbers go up among women. So we want to take that common ground and pass legislation to stop these deaths.
The Left points to the Supreme Court, which has said unrelated provisions in the Constitution provide a right to privacy, which in turn allows for abortion. They say our legislative solutions won’t stop unwanted pregnancies or back alley abortions. And our unwillingness to address the underlying problems by making birth control free, funding universal day care, and passing more equal pay legislation makes them think we are just out to get folks like them.
As it happens, I’m also pro-life. And I’ll admit that I’m simply stunned that people on the Left can argue with a straight face that a mother has a right to kill a baby that can live outside the womb. But, this week in particular, I’m even more stunned at the Left’s hypocrisy on gun control—demonizing conservatives who want to preserve their Second Amendment rights while refusing to even consider restrictions on killing tens of thousands of babies that could live outside the womb. This is why it continues to be hard for conservatives to take liberal’s arguments at face value when it comes to guns. Their ideology trumps logic and facts too often.
So here we are. Forty-nine people are dead because a hateful and evil person got their hands on a deadly weapon. Our political discourse—on both sides—has made me cringe last week. It’s embarrassing. And it’s a shame…because sometimes I think the two sides have more in common than they realize.