Short Circuiting Third Rails – Abortion and Guns

Democrats Unhinged Over Alabama's Abortion Bill
Democrats Unhinged Over Alabama's Abortion Bill

Fayetteville, AR – -(AmmoLand.com)-In American politics, a third rail is a program—Social Security is the typical example—that is seen as untouchable, analogous to the power conductor for electric trains. This is similar to topics that are supposed to be taboo in holiday gatherings, subjects that would be too controversial for peaceful conversation. These topics are also easy ones for stirring up trouble on social media. Abortion and gun control are two favorites, as illustrated by a proposal to treat young men trying to buy guns the same way that laws such as the ones passed recently in Alabama and Georgia treat women seeking abortions.

The specific statement—which does not come originally from Gloria Steinem—goes as follows:

“I want any young men who buy a gun to be treated like young women who seek an abortion.Think about it: a mandatory 48-hours waiting period, written permission from a parent or a judge, a note from a doctor proving that he understands what he is about to do, time spent watching a video on individual and mass murders, traveling hundreds of miles at his own expense to the nearest gun shop, and walking through protestors holding photos of loved ones killed by guns, protestor who call him a murderer. After all, it makes more sense to do this for young men seeking guns than for young women seeking an abortion. No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers.”

The rhetorical effect is clear, though there will be endless quibbling from both sides of the two issues over the nature and extent of the two sets of rights involved. The Bill of Rights specifically enumerates arms as a right, but whether that right originally meant only for people in militias or not is disputed. Abortion is not protected by name, but neither is self-defense listed as a valid reason for owning firearms, and both are understood by supporters as a means of exercising the right to be secure in one’s person. Guns are used to kill and to save a lot of innocent people. The same assertion is made about abortion, based on whatever one’s opinion happens to be about when fully human life begins and the medical necessity of terminating some pregnancies.

How many readers are still here, rather than pounding their keys down in the comments section? I am not in this article wishing to debate the merits and deficits of either the pro-gun or pro-choice positions. My point here is that if we take away the labels, the lived experience, the legal battles, and the motivation for supporting are identical. Both are obviously the subject of intense controversy that has exploded into popular consciousness as something worth fighting over in the last fifty odd years. Both divide states into ones that protect and ones that restrict, and the opponents of each have engaged in a dedicated strategy of chipping away at the legal protections in hopes of achieving a total ban. And opponents of both exist in a fantasy world.

I do mean exactly that. Where there is a demand, there will be a supply, whether we’re talking about alcohol, Schedule I drugs, guns, or abortions. Attempts to restrict access to any of those consistently fail, especially since such laws, proposed or enacted, typically aim at attacking the tool—for this article’s purpose, the firearm or the medical procedure—rather than addressing the factors that motivate problematic usage of those.

If we want to reduce the number of people who get shot or the number of people who get abortions—and when we clear away the tribalism that results from fighting for or against the rights in question, reasonable people surely can agree that we want fewer of both—the solution for each is the same: guarantee access to healthcare and education, promote safety education for guns and sex, and treat crimes of violence against domestic partners as the serious offenses that they are. This is a sample. The general principle is that we should work on the factors that motivate violence and unwanted pregnancy.


About Greg CampGreg Camp

Greg Camp has taught English composition and literature since 1998 and is the author of six books, including a western, The Willing Spirit, and Each One, Teach One, with Ranjit Singh on gun politics in America. His books can be found on Amazon. He tweets @gregcampnc.

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    Roy D.
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    Roy D.

    With this commentary Greg Camp has come out as a simpleton.

    TNoebel
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    TNoebel

    Yes – he simply supports individual freedom and liberty. The desire to live a life free from unnecessary government interference is, indeed, a simple concept. Do you have a logical rebuttal to the article or are you simply going to resort to ad hoc?

    Barry Hirsh
    Guest
    Barry Hirsh

    “The Bill of Rights specifically enumerates arms as a right, but whether that right originally meant only for people in militias or not is disputed.”

    Incorrect. It has been settled law since 2008.

    SETTLED LAW.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    It was widely known at the time it was written what it meant, many of the founding fathers, in speeches, various written forms, and in debates and discussions, made it clear that it was an individual right, and specifically for self-defense. That was so well-understood, it was not specifically written in the 2A. Jefferson stated that self-defense and the right to keep and bear arms are natural rights that pre-exist government and our Constitution.

    Mark
    Guest
    Mark

    The people are the militia. This was understood since the founding of the nation. Self government on the local front means self defense.

    The Revelator
    Guest
    The Revelator

    @Barry Hirsh

    Actually, it was settled law as of 1791.

    Deplorable Bill
    Guest
    Deplorable Bill

    I wonder what would happen if, those already under the death penalty were dispatched in the same manor as a partial birth abortion? It would be a safe bet that even the lowest of the low will have someone speaking up and saying something like “cruel and unusual punishment”. What’s more, they would be correct. And where is it written that those who are too weak to defend themselves, let them die? Are we to say it is ok to murder someone because that person would be an inconvenience to us? At some point, that person, that innocent baby, could… Read more »

    Morogan
    Guest
    Morogan

    And there is the prime example that why US politics are going nowhere and are always see as black and white. Why not leave the religion at home instead of spewing this crap over and over again.
    Politics like this should be free of religion of all colours.

    Deplorable Bill
    Guest
    Deplorable Bill

    When it gets down to it, your relationship with the Almighty is all that matters sir. “Religions”, at least Christianity if one could call it a religion instead of a relationship, among other things, encompasses a set of rules to live by that predates and out ranks the laws of mankind. These laws are the foundation this nation is founded upon. Just think what the world would be like if people actually lives the 10 commandments. These are the laws that mankind’s laws are based upon. Not the least of them says “don’t murder”. When I was a kid in… Read more »

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    Where the h is my comment. It was not under “moderation” just vaporized. The reviewers are getting sneakier probably because they had so many complaints. Where is the 1A allowed here?

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Greg Camp writes, ” … enumerates arms as a right, but whether that right originally meant only for people in militias or not is disputed. ” What!? That made up proposition was not even thought of for the first 150 years of our history. After the “militia theory” was made up by anti-Second amendment persons, it only fooled the useful idiots. Now, after DC v. Heller put a stake in the heart of the “militia theory” it is not in dispute at all, Mr. Camp.

    James Russell Bailey
    Guest
    James Russell Bailey

    Once again the author makes an utterly nonsensical and extremely subjectively biased argumentation which has no basis in logic, or empiricism! Murder has always been against the law. Abortion is the taking of innocent human life without just cause in 99% of the cases! Those are the empirical numbers, not my subjective personal opinion. The author is also incorrect as to whether or not the constitutional right to own firearms was designed as a multi-purpose right, against tyrannical governments and against would-be robbers, thugs, and murderers! The proof of the last statement is easily found in the argumentation made by… Read more »

    Dave C
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    Dave C

    I thought all this trouble would be over when condoms……. and then the pill was invented. Now they want us to pay for it. Then they came up with a morning after pill (for a bad date, I guess) It seems like men bear all the responsibility for the act, but reap no benefit of having anything to say about if there will or won’t be a birth. If there is a birth, men pay child support, sometimes without any parental rights. When a man and a woman are in a room, ONLY ONE of them knows if they will… Read more »

    Proctor
    Guest
    Proctor

    You missed the boat: the problem is not education but the value of human life, which our culture at large has lost. The murder of children in the womb or classroom is a symptom of the devaluation of human life. Murder, theft, violence, and other such severe infringements of the individual’s pursuit of life, liberty, and happiness should be illegal despite our society’s downward spiral of degradation. Maybe we the people can work and pray for a restoration of some basic moral principles at the same time.

    Bob
    Guest
    Bob

    FANTASTIC article, Greg! Thank you! The religious right and democrat party fail to see how much they have in common: individual liberties are solely for their approved pet projects. Everyone here acknowledges the democrat hypocrisies, but the religious right hypocrisies go unchallenged. End of Life Rights: God is a loving, benevolent god. Heaven is a wonderful place, where all burdens are left behind. So, let’s scratch and claw at every last shred of life, however painful, ugly, and undignified, to avoid going there! The promise of Stem Cell Research: An ovum is like a jug of milk. It goes bad.… Read more »

    Casey
    Guest
    Casey

    Bob, you make a good point about the religious right and democrat party having a lot in common. They are both basically conformist camps that support one right they agree with and then turn into a self-proclaimed “expert” that are morally superior control freaks on the individual right they don’t personally want or understand. Two peas of the same pod. Someone made a comment on another article about the NRA pandering to Christians and videos about “godless liberals” and how that alienates non-religious people that would otherwise step right up and be 2A supporters. Anytime a movement mixes in other… Read more »

    ron
    Guest
    ron

    Bob, nobody says that excising tumors is an emotionally difficult decision. Why not? Because, in our conscience, we know that a baby is made in the image of God and has great worth., whereas a clump of cells, which has life in it, is not a person and does not have a soul. Which genocide didn’t begin with the following concept: “I can kill that because it is NOT a human being.”? How are we defining “viable”, in your framework? Left to his own devices, a 12 month old male will not survive outside a shelter and the care of… Read more »

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    Some ponder the supposed phenomenon of yuong kids taking up arms and senselessly killing and maiming others with them. The BUG elephant in the room NO ONE really wants to see, let alone closely examine, is this: whether consciously or subconsciously, today’s kids KNOW deep down that some sixty million of their peers and the entire generation before them are not here, and should be. They KNOW that our culture so devalues life that sixty million of them have been senselessly slaughtered. Furthe,r since their adult supposed “betters” have done this, PROVING life is so unvalued, why should THEY value… Read more »

    Thinker1
    Guest
    Thinker1

    Guns have not killed 60 million people since 1973, either.

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Thinker 1, Even if everything that T wrote were true (and isn’t), it would be moot. Punishing me or unchaining the government would not solve the problem that he implies.

    Mr. Bill
    Guest
    Mr. Bill

    So would the abortion equivalency argument now support unlimited free guns of an caliber or capacity for young men?

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    @Mr. Bill, Yes, and excellent idea! We could start “Planned Pistolhood” and the federal government could fund it!

    Wild Bill
    Guest
    Wild Bill

    Oh, come on you guys. Planned Pistolhood! That is good. What a tough crowd.

    JPM
    Guest
    JPM

    A woman’s body, as with men, is hers to control and be responsible for. The abortion proponents simply are advocating the removal of accountability of women who choose to have sex and then, for whatever reason, become pregnant. This is nothing but the result of decades of rabid Feminism which has resulted in women becoming more male and less female in their behavior and men becoming more female and less male in their behavior. Abortion used as post sex birth control is criminal and, as clearly noted in several of the previous comments, murder of a human being – homicide.… Read more »

    Graystone
    Guest
    Graystone

    JPM. You have written the best summation of the entire argument! It can be applied equally to guns and abortion. “then it is their responsibility to deal with the results and not punish (kill) the result of their choice of action (the child).”

    Michael R Stuhr
    Guest
    Michael R Stuhr

    “No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers”
    More innocent lives have been taken in the name of “reproductive freedom” Than guns have killed in all crime.

    ron
    Guest
    ron

    I agree with Camp that education is the key to both issues. If the American populace were properly educated (classical education model), they would be both pro-gun and anti-abortion. “Education is thus a most powerful ally of humanism, and every American school is a school of humanism. What can a theistic Sunday school’s meeting for an hour once a week and teaching only a fraction of the children do to stem the tide of the five-day program of humanistic teaching?” (Charles F. Potter, “Humanism: A New Religion,” 1930) Teach kids that they have value and worth which should not be… Read more »

    Frank
    Guest
    Frank

    Well, let’s make a comparison. Gun The government says who can and cannot have a specific type of property and wholesale bans particular ones. This is despite a clearly worded right that has been recognized since the country’s founding. Abortion. The most state governments have given free reign to commit murder of an innocent third person in a way that would be considered “cruel and unusual punishment” if it was applied to a capital case. The “penumbra and emanations” that give the right to this killing of a third party being only discovered in the 70s. My lifestyle choice of… Read more »

    Missouri Born
    Guest
    Missouri Born

    The law says if you kill a pregnant woman you will be charged with two murders, so the government has proven with that logic that an unborn child is a person.
    In this day and age there is no reason for an unwanted pregnancy, say no, use protection, or keep your legs closed.

    Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D
    Guest
    Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D

    My “daughter-in-law” is the mother of three. Each has a different father. Each time she said she was drunk and high and just didn’t think about getting pregnant. I am afraid that there were some abortions between the second child and the one she carries right now. She says she is a good and faithful Christian, but I fear she has no idea what that truly means. She will not abort this child because she feels guilty about the other two (or three?) abortions she already has had. So now she will have to rely on the federal and state… Read more »

    Glenn Garamoni
    Guest
    Glenn Garamoni

    Punish the abortionist, the one who does the deed, not necessarily the pitiful woman not in her right mind. Mr. Camp’s logic is defective, and has lost my respect largely. Guns save lives in the hands of good people: abortion is murder.

    MacofJack
    Guest
    MacofJack

    @Glenn Garamoni Sorry but a woman with at sign saying ‘My abortion was the best thing I’ve ever done!’ is NOT a pitiful woman no in her right mind! She knew she was killing her baby and DID NOT CARE.

    Big Jim
    Guest
    Big Jim

    This whole article is like adding rusty lug nuts into a bowl of chicken soup. They just do not go together.

    John
    Guest
    John

    21 gun salute – the number of characters used to debunk the authors ludicrous comparison of guns/abortions. Your analogy correctly depicting the difference will garner, I suspect, a lot of chuckles.

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    Having recently dealt with some thirty rusty lugnuts, this was the perfect analogy. These were BIG rustly lugnuts, the threaded part being 3/4 inch hard steel. One of them broke my EXPENSIVE 3/4 drive German top quality breaker bar. Got out the BIG GUNS and the next stud broke…..

    great analogy there, and yes, you got a good but painful chuckle out of me.

    J
    Guest
    J

    None of the commenters so far will note that what they advocate is the government pointing its guns at a woman and telling her to do with her personal property and that they do so in the name of the collective. If she doesn’t own herself after becoming pregnant, who does she belong to? The government? That;s the collective argument. That yes, she does. She no longer owns her body once a man gets a seed inside her. If only men had a similar situation, they might form a different opinion. Because I’m pretty sure men would get pretty upset… Read more »

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    So, to shorten this long diatribe, what you are saying is that men that pull triggers to kill people are just as murderous as females that drop their panties, get impregnated and THEN decide to abort/kill the fetus? Void responsibility on ANY level?

    Then again, WHERE is the man’s CHOICE/RIGHT to protect his child once impregnating the female?

    Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D
    Guest
    Dr. Daniel R. Thomas. Ph.D. D.D

    My “daughter-in-law” is the mother of three. Each has a different father. Each time she said she was drunk and high and just didn’t think about getting pregnant. I am afraid that there were some abortions between the second child and the one she carries right now. She says she is a good and faithful Christian, but I fear she has no idea what that truly means. She will not abort this child because she feels guilty about the other two (or three?) abortions she already has had. So now she will have to rely on the federal and state… Read more »

    J
    Guest
    J

    Freedom isn’t pretty sometimes. Seriously, it isn’t.

    Grim
    Guest
    Grim

    Nicely stated!

    J
    Guest
    J

    You make my point that a woman must gestate at the government’s gun once you get your seed in her. She has no burden to bear your young. Your failure to prevent her impregnation is your fault or your desire. Further, let’s say you tried to prevent the pregnancy, if you didn’t want her to be pregnant, she doesn’t have a right to your income to support it if you don’t want it. I did fail to mention the men’s rights aspect of it. Men are screwed over when a woman DOES want to have the kid and the man… Read more »

    n r ringlee
    Guest
    n r ringlee

    Your argument is confused because it does not define the terms “your body” and “your life.” The whole point of the pro-life, antiabortion movement revolves on that set of concepts. What is the point of creation? Pro life people say it is when sperm meets egg and new DNA is created. The pro abortion crowd, which by the way is also the pro eugenics crowd insists that life begins when they say it begins and worthy life is what they say it is. Using their logic, Dred Scott is still in chains, the Nazis were just following the law…………………….. As… Read more »

    J
    Guest
    J

    I’m not going to call you anything because I understand where you are coming from. I just see it from a different POV than you do. You aren’t deserving of being called names. Nor do you get to claim pre-victim status from me as you try to attack my character as someone who would attack your character. There are 2 reasons I disagree with you. First is being depraved of life. One cannot be depraved of something it never had. And that is life in the outside world. What it never had was life outside the womb. This is an… Read more »

    MacofJack
    Guest
    MacofJack

    @J What a shame you don’t feel the same way about a BABY that has NO voice as you do for a woman that was too stupid to use protection and wants the baby to pay the price for her fun! The woman can do whatever she wants until she decides to be STUPID and not use protection. Don’t ever start with the rape and incest argument because that is a special case!
    Grow UP!

    J
    Guest
    J

    It’s obvious that you view women as second class and without rights. It’s all her fault. Isn’t it? Your post blames women for everything.

    Oh yeah, I will start with the rape and incest argument. If I was a woman. I would have the kid even if it was rape or incest. But it would be my choice. Not at the point of the government’s guns.

    Frank
    Guest
    Frank

    Not your life, not your property. Now, if you want to argue children are property and I can treat them like livestock, you might have some intellectual honesty. Instead you conflate war with murder and what is normally a consentual act with what amounts to squatting. The latter of both the government will point a gun at your head and tell you not to do it. And in case you forgot, the government has something referred to as selective service and previously the draft. So the government has told men at gunpoint that they are going to be “property” when… Read more »

    J
    Guest
    J

    Children are your property. If they weren’t I would use the government’s guns to prevent you from teaching them your religion. (I actually wouldn’t but I make the statement as point of debate)

    No, you are lacking intellectual honesty. You have the right to indoctrinate your kids as you wish.

    Again, another points out my argument about property. Do you own yourself or not? Apparently not if you are a female. You must use your body at the government’s gun for the man who got his seed in you.

    ron
    Guest
    ron

    J, you continuously reference the government’s gun. I would like to take a moment to analyze this point. We don’t want citizens to be individually and personally empowered to hamper the Negative Rights (https://tinyurl.com/q75fgx5) of others, perhaps we can agree. Therefore, people create governments to protect their individual Negative Rights (https://tinyurl.com/y4uanjqp), I trust that we can agree. The civil magistrate is properly applying force to prevent the murder of innocent life. You and I may differ on when life begins, but scientifically, conception (https://tinyurl.com/yb225bcg) is when a new genetically differentiated person begins. You would agree with civil magistrates protecting innocent… Read more »

    Tionico
    Guest
    Tionico

    That car parked in your garage was a car somewhere else before its driver figured out how to get it inside your garage. YOU have options for preventing the entry of that car into YOUR garage. And if you decide you REALLY do not like its presence in YOUR garage, you can always find a big chain and a bigger car/truck/tractor, hook the chain between those two items, and yank the car, unhurt and still fully functional, out of your garage and all the way to the street. Its owner can come and pick it up from there anytime, or… Read more »

    J
    Guest
    J

    Your argument is false. An unwanted kid may not become a contributing member of society but rather a drag upon it.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    J, and your proposal for addressing those that are “a drag on society” is what? I don’t see where a innocent life deserves death due to it possibly becoming “a drag on society”. The drag on society is the irresponsible woman who stupidly gets pregnant. We have “free” birth control. Besides, we have been told for decades that teaching “sex” education would eliminate unwanted pregnancies. If that were true, we wouldn’t need abortion to begin with. Sadly we called the Romans barbaric for killing babies born with birth defects. Yet we now have laws allowing a “doctor” to kill a… Read more »

    Bob Sadtler
    Guest
    Bob Sadtler

    BRAVO, J! I am with you 100%!

    Rocky Mountain
    Guest
    Rocky Mountain

    Colorado gov of mafia crime syndicate just passed law shutting down 100% of energy production to sell citizens their cartel green energy that will not work. Maria been doing this criminal conspiring for long time at our expense. Is why they are the mafia. Story revealing this is at completecolorado.com You see, they go after the guns so you can’t resist when they turn your energy off. Mafia disarmament of their enemy is like disarming Putin then fluxing him up his ass and killing him slowly. Only your enemies seek to disarm you and is why when they ask for… Read more »

    Rocky Mountain
    Guest
    Rocky Mountain

    And furthermore many police wear Nazi symbols as well as other symbols to include pedophila symbols on the uniforms as well as off duty attire. symbols are worth knowing. “They” do typically flaunt them.

    Gunner98
    Guest
    Gunner98

    Wow!

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    The only young men “allowed” to purchase firearms are of the age of majority. No woman of the age of majority is required to have the permission of her parents to obtain a firearm. He is making false analogies. Why? Did he get a 16 year old pregnant and fears the legal liability? Greg Camp typically makes sense, but this commentary is completely void of logic and reason.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Meant to state “No woman of the age of majority is required to have the permission of her parents to obtain an abortion.”

    n r ringlee
    Guest
    n r ringlee

    Why? Because it is agitprop. You see, my friends, as a life long communist hunter (Semper Fidelis) I share with you one simple truth. Senator Joe McCarthy was not a nice man, he was a drunk and a lot of other things but on one issue he was absolutely correct. There were in his time, the 1940’s and 1950”s communists and fellow travelers throughout our government and country. They are still here, invisible, working to rot our republic from within but now they word for government at all levels and especially in that haven for the mediocre, public education. The… Read more »

    Robert Messmer
    Guest
    Robert Messmer

    In some jurisdictions any pregnant girl can get an abortion without her parents’ permission or even their knowledge.

    Heed the Call-up
    Guest
    Heed the Call-up

    Robert Messmer, yes, I understand that, I was only countering Camp’s false analogy. His entire commentary was based on false analogy, lies and deceit.

    Rocky Mountain
    Guest
    Rocky Mountain

    Gloria openly admits she is alphabet soup eugenics program. Gun grabbers are alphabet soup eugenics program……………………….. Hitler/Globalist (Nazi) eugenics = long history in America under Nazi rule of the crown. Crown colony USA under Nazi rule for about 150 years and is why the crown has all those Nazi symbols stuck on to her. Not at the beginning of socialism but rather the end and is why genocide is on every screen in USA. End product of socialism is genocide. Americans begged FDR for socialism and he gladly gave it to them with his New Deal. USA got the socialism… Read more »

    Gunner98
    Guest
    Gunner98

    Huh? What? Ease up. Too much caffeine intake.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    Crack? Heroin? Pot laced with angel dust? What’s your secret?

    Reason
    Guest
    Reason

    Reagan once said something like
    “Seams all the people that are pro abortion have already been born”

    All these people that are afraid to say it KILLS a human baby must think as long as it’t not their ox getting gored tbey will stay out of it.

    Kind of like the Fudds and gun control. As long as they can have their bolt action hunting rifle they don’t care what gets banned. AR’s, bump stocks, full autos, semi autos, standard cap mags etc.

    Rocky Mountain
    Guest
    Rocky Mountain

    He also said the destruction of America would be through liberalism and that were never more than a generation away from it.

    Jim Mackey
    Guest
    Jim Mackey

    “No young woman needing reproductive freedom has ever murdered a roomful of strangers.”
    Nope, she just murdered her own child. So much better.
    But on the contrary not everybody who owned a gun has murdered others. Yet every person who gets an abortion has. 100% murder rate for abortion vs MUCH MUCH lower for gun ownership. Who’s the real problem here?

    Clark Kent
    Guest
    Clark Kent

    Best bumper sticker ever: ‘Smile; your mom was pro-life’.

    Gregory Romeu
    Guest
    Gregory Romeu

    The REAL problem is the masses of people that do not understand or refuse to understand your simple logic!

    tomcat
    Guest
    tomcat

    @ Jim Mackey, I like your analogy. I have been a gun owner for a long time and I have never murdered anyone and I can think of many others that own guns but never murdered anyone. I don’t know about women and abortion though because if they ever have they keep it to themselves because it is shameful murder.

    @Clark Kent, You finally said something truthful rather than try to provoke someone into bashing you. Congrads.