I don’t like to make this a political blog site, but there is a an online debate that has gone viral on Facebook. Hopefully everyone can see the image attached to this page.
In light of the recent shooting, there is very much politicking about gun control. I write this blog as neither a Republican or a Democrat, but as an Orthodox Christian who is struggling to stay on the true path. I don’t want to be labelled in either one of those political boxes. For example, Democrats on the whole support the discarding of the unborn through the abortion process. Most Republicans believe in the death penalty and would like to see it actively enforced. Orthodoxy teaches that killing is wrong.
I just saw the mnemonic comparing gun control to abortion today—apparently I was one of the last to see. I thought this an odd comparison. The opinion appears to be that in light of the current, and very terrible, trend toward gun-related violence, legislators should make buying a gun as ‘painful’ as it is for a woman to get an abortion. Here is some of the information I was able to gather from online sources and medical professionals in Arizona, where I live.
How to buy a handgun—
- Fill out Federal form 4473
- Fill out an ATF form— seller fills out a couple more pages
- A person must be 21-years of age, except in Texas where a minor can purchase with his or her parent
- Must be a US Citizen
- Any restraining orders or criminal records impede one’s ability to purchase a handgun
- Waiting periods vary by state. Some states require a person to wait 3 days, while others require 7. Some states will transfer ownership as soon as the federal background checks are complete.Data is collected and a National Instant Criminal Background check is performed by NICS. This is required per the Brady Bill.
- According to the CDC website, there are 11,218 gun related homicides per year in the United States.
How to get an abortion—
- Go to the clinic
- Fill out forms
- Watch a video or listen to an audio recording describing a fetus at the particular state of development. The recording explains potential risks to an abortion, but also explains potential risks of birth defects and risks during delivery.
- Have a physical check, similar to any medical procedure, which will likely includes labs
- Some states require minors (under 18) to have parental consent forms. Many require no consent at all. A judge can waive this requirement in any state
- There are no age restrictions for this procedure
- No citizenship requirements are listed
- According to the CDC website, the average since 1970-2011 is about 1.25 million per year. The highest year was 1990 with 1.429 million. Reported abortions in 2011 were 730,322. This is the most recent year listed.
The points of comparison themselves are full of factual misstatements. Some states may have different requirements, but I am familiar with the process in Arizona and Texas. I will make an effort to be as factually accurate as possible.
The points of contention seem to imply that the current rules DO NOT apply to a person (assumed male in the mnemonic) interested in buying a gun.
I would agree that it does make sense to have some rules in place for somebody buying a machine that can endanger the lives of other citizens: guns, planes, cars, and the like.
I would like to go though the points of this viral post one-by-one:
Few states currently mandate waiting periods for an abortion. The ones that do have exceptions for cases of rape and incest. But, the mnemonic would have you believe that there is no waiting period for purchase of a gun. The federal law requires that transfer of ownership cannot occur until a FBI background check has been complete, or 72 hours. Many states have their own requirement. The average of these states is three days or longer for handguns, which seems to be the gun most in question here.
I guess the question is whether there is a hurry to kill the baby. The logic for waiting periods on guns is to reduce impulse violence and suicides. The statistics I have seen seem to support this logic. Wouldn’t the same logic apply for a woman considering ending the life of her own child?
Most states do not allow minors to buy or register guns at all. Texas does with parental consent.
Some states do require a minor to have consent of one parent, but a judge can waive this requirement.There are many states that allow minor children to abort their baby with NO parental permission. A girl can have an abortion with no consent from anyone regardless of her age in many states. I have a close friend who works pediatrics in the ER. They are not permitted to tell the parent anything without approval of ‘the patient.’ By the way, every menstruating female admitted to the ER is automatically given a pregnancy test. There is no patient consent required for this, it’s automatic.
Where did this come from? This is not a requirement for an abortion. See above.
Only 21-year-old adults can buy handguns, except in Texas where a parent can buy with the youth.
An ultrasound is not required for an abortion. Some private clinics encourage women to have an ultrasound, so that they can see their baby before making that crucial decision, but it is not mandatory.
There are no requirements for a video. Some places do offer them. There is an informational recording about the development of a ‘fetus’ at whatever stage of pregnancy the mother is in. It discusses the risks of abortion, but then also discusses the risks of delivering a sick baby at full term.
Many states require various training videos for the purchase and registration of guns. There are also safety requirements to fulfill…and this is for adults.
This is a blatant exaggeration. There is certainly more than one center available per state. There are several places within my own city where an abortion can be performed. In terms of the idea that one has to walk past protestors spitting on a woman and calling her a whore, this is atypical. Legislators don’t make broad legislation for one-off events. There are certainly protestors at gun shows too. I know of abortion clinics that are very nondescript and are in beautiful areas with trees and a pond. If a person lives in a rural area, they likely have to travel for most everything, especially medical procedures. I live in a town of less than 1 million people and we have several clinics in our town alone.
All the other points don’t seem to matter without this one. The viral post makes the following statement, “I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?” This question raises the point of killing and how efficiently one method is over another, correct?
The statement really implies that a man on a mission can kill more people than a woman having an abortion. Let’s consider another option: what would be more deadly, a coordinated effort by thousands of persons who each kill one other person each day or one madman killing a dozen or so people a couple times per year? Maybe the data can offer some insight. The CDC keeps records of all sorts about mortality rates and reasons that we die.
The vast majority of Americans own a gun of some kind. Most have never used one to harm another human being. Yes, like anything, there are those who use them in egregious ways. So maybe no mother has killed ten people in seconds, but every woman who has an abortion has killed another person. In fact, over 50 Million babies have been ‘terminated’ since 1970–more than 1 Million per year on average. Every day on average there are as many babies killed by their own mother as died on September 11, 2001. By the way, this is only in the United States!
So if a person were trying to prolong their life, statistically speaking, would he be safer at a movie theater, financial center, school, OR his mother’s womb? The fact that you are reading this means that you are one of the lucky 64% whose mother allowed them to live. Yes, according to the CDC, up to 36% of pregnancies in 1980 were terminated. So if you’re 35 years old this year, you’re lucky just to be alive. If you had a 36% chance of being killed going to Safeway, a school, a financial district, or a movie theater, would you go? Mass shootings or terrorist attacks have happened in each of these locales. Do you frequent them? The comparisons are ludicrous. There is such a disparity in the evil that it is a shame to take the time to compare them.
We as Christians need to take a look at the vitriolic way our society is allowing the systematic destruction of our most innocent citizens.
The viral comparison paints a picture of a poor girl being taken advantage of by bigots and hypocrites. People who buy guns deserve this treatment, they imply. They are the ones who kill.
There are exceptions to most things in life. But, the coordinated efforts of many mothers against their own young has resulted in more deaths than Stalin’s regime. This is an evil that we as a society and we as Christians will likely answer for.
St Basil the Great (C 329-379): She who has intentionally destroyed [the fetus] is subject to the penalty corresponding to a homicide. For us, there is no scrutinizing between the formed and unformed [fetus]; here truly justice is made not only for the unborn but also with reference to the person who is attentive only to himself/herself since so many women generally die for this very reason.