The lives of unborn children? Precious. The lives of those killed by gun violence? Not so much.

HOW BEST TO REDUCE THE INCIDENCE OF RANDOM GUN VIOLENCE IN AMERICA? BY RESTRICTING REPRODUCTIVE RIGHTS, OF COURSE!!

In the aftermath of two recent acts of gun violence, the House GOP caucus has been inspired not to pursue gun control legislation that could prevent future mass shootings, but instead to crack down on reproductive rights. “As we mourn the lives lost in Las Vegas this week, and welcome Whip Scalise back to Capitol Hill, we are reminded just how precious life is,” the GOP caucus writes in a blog post about new anti-abortion legislation approved by the House on Tuesday. “This message weighed heavily on the hearts of House Republicans as we spoke of the potential of life — especially lives cut short through abortion.” The post goes on to discuss Republicans’ motivations for supporting the so-called Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protections Act, which, as CNN reports, “would criminalize abortions after 20 weeks of pregnancy, with exceptions for instances where the life of the mother is at risk and in cases involving rape or incest.” The bill was approved by a largely party-line 237-189 vote in the House on Tuesday night. Though it has a harder path forward in the Senate, President Donald Trump has pledged to sign it if the legislation makes it to his desk.

I find it fascinating, if somewhat distressing, how different means of ending life are valued. Use an arsenal of automatic weapons to massacre 59 innocent citizens and leave almost 500 more wounded barely raises a collective eyebrow among Republicans. A woman uses her right (confirmed by the Supreme Court in 1973’s Roe v. Wade decision) to have an abortion…and it’s “OH, THE HUMANITY!!” As ThinkProgress has previously detailed, it’s already arguably more difficult to obtain an abortion than it is to buy a gun in a number of places across the country. More states impose a waiting period on patients seeking an abortion than those who impose a waiting period on people seeking to buy guns.

Republicans have mostly responded to the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history not by considering concrete policy solutions like tighter gun restrictions, but by offering “thoughts and prayers” and pivoting to other topics. A bill in the House which would ban a firearm modification the Las Vegas shooter used to make his weapons even more deadly doesn’t have a single Republican co-sponsor. Bring up common sense gun control…and the moral antenna of Republicans in Congress go on full alert.

As ThinkProgress has previously detailed, it’s already arguably more difficult to obtain an abortion than it is to buy a gun in a number of places across the country. More states impose a waiting period on patients seeking an abortion than those that impose a waiting period on people seeking to buy guns.

Nonetheless, Republicans have mostly responded to the largest mass shooting in modern U.S. history not by considering concrete policy solutions like tighter gun restrictions, but rather by offering “thoughts and prayers” and trying to pivot to other topics. A bill in the House that would ban a firearm modification the Las Vegas shooter used to make his weapons even more deadly doesn’t have a single Republican co-sponsor.

WE MUST SAVE THE CHILDREN WHO CAN’T SPEAK FOR THEMSELVES!!! And yet we hear crickets when the subject of innocent Americans killed by random gun violence is broached. Not that this stops Congressional Republicans from proudly flying the “pro-life” flag. It’s just that some lives appear to be more important than others when it comes to advancing their narrow political agenda.

There’s another way to look at this debate. Republicans are desirous of forcing their narrow, judgmental agenda on all Americans. Instead of that exercise in intolerance and arrogance, what if Republicans worked to create a world in which, in the words of Hillary Clinton, abortion was safe, legal, and rare? The goal is to reduce the number of abortions, right? So how about instead of forcing women into back alleys and unsafe abortion practices, they provided education, contraceptives, and reproductive health care?

Or is it really just about codifying into law the belief that women are the rightful property of men and have no rights to control their own bodies?

As if we don’t already know the answer….

1 thought on “The lives of unborn children? Precious. The lives of those killed by gun violence? Not so much.

  1. Harry Hamid

    It’s true, unfortunately. The state legislators in my state take every opportunity to throw roadblocks in the way of women attempting to exercise their constitutional rights concerning family planning, but claim there are roadblocks to guns where there are none.

    Here in Texas, we just passed open carry for swords and machetes. Because that was such a problem. There are so few regulations of weapons that in order to convince us they are supprting our gun rights, the legislature has to pass some pretty weird laws.

    Reply

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