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In The United States of America, you have had the right to keep and bear arms since December 15th 1791, according to the second amendment in the constitution. All you need to buy a gun is proof of age, evidence of mental stability and to have no criminal record. Yet when all goes wrong, the potential for killings is all to common.

When a woman wants to terminate a pregnancy in the States, she has to go through many emotionally traumatising procedures to gain permission. So why shouldn’t the same rules apply to gun owners?

By Slowking4 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
By Slowking4 (Own work) [CC BY-SA 3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
A quote from an anonymous author went viral recently through social media regarding abortion and gun law:

How about we treat every young man who wants to buy a gun like every woman who wants to get an abortion- mandatory 48hr waiting period, parental permission, a note from his doctor proving he understands what he’s about to do, a video he has to watch about the effects of gun violence, an ultrasound wand up the ass (just because). Let’s close down all but one gun shop in every state and make him travel hundreds of miles, take time off work, and stay overnight in a strange town to get a gun. Make him walk through a gauntlet of people holding photos of loved ones who were shot to death, people who call him a murderer and beg him not to buy a gun. It makes more sense to do this with young men and guns than with women and health care [sic], right? I mean, no woman getting an abortion has killed a room full of people in seconds, right?

(Anon. from Huffpost Women, 10/05/2015)

This quote sparked an article from journalist Alanna Vagianos in the Huffington Post. She also expressed the view of ‘how little mass shooters have to go through to obtain a weapon (Vagianos, 2015). Why is it acceptable that it is easier to have the power to go on a random killing spree, yet unacceptable to make a difficult but personal choice to terminate the progression of a pregnancy?

A recent example of a mass shooting occurred in the Oregon School on the 1st October 2015. In response, President Obama spoke out against gun law by saying

“thoughts and prayers are not enough… It does nothing to prevent this carnage from being inflicted someplace else in America, next week or a couple of months from now”

(The Independent, 2/10/2015).

By Will White from Ridgefield, USA (Obama at American University) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Due to the constant reporting of mass shootings in America and the tough laws surrounding abortion, I thought it would be interesting to compare the two. The research I conducted shows some shocking results and proves to me that America is not really the land of the free.

The definition of ‘freedom’ according to the Oxford Dictionary is: “The power or right to act, speak, or think as one wants”

(Oxford Dictionary, 2015, 3rd ed).

 

I personally believe that if America defines itself as a country of freedom, then getting an abortion should be such an act of freedom akin to owning a gun.

A recent protest has arisen in the state of Texas called ‘Campus (DILDO) Carry’. A governor in Texas, Greg Abbott, signed a law called ‘Campus Carry’ which entitles licensed gun holders to carry a concealed weapon in universities. The organiser of the protest, Jessica Jin, stated ‘Texas has decided that it is not all obnoxious to allow deadly concealed weapons in classrooms, however it does have strict rules about freed sexual expression, to protect your innocence’ (Facebook, Campus (Dildo) Carry, 2015). This clearly links in with both gun and abortion laws because Campus Carry allows a person to take a concealed weapon into an educational environment. This also contradicts statements that by carrying a weapon ‘less mass shootings will occur’. Rather than taking away the weapons, a Texas governor thought by letting more people have the option to carry one, this would reduce mass shootings? As they are providing the opportunity for someone to potentially kill a group of people, why would they not consider letting woman terminate a pregnancy?

From the observation of statistics I found that 19% of Americans in 2015 believed abortion should be illegal under any circumstances compared to 13% in 1993. It is a shocking fact that citizens living in the twenty-first century have stronger pro-life views compared to those in the twentieth century. This shows America as going backwards to a time where women had little or no rights over their own bodies. 51% of people think abortion should only be legal under certain circumstances (Gallup, 2015). It would be intriguing to know what would be defined as a certain circumstance. Rape? Incest? Teenage pregnancy? Health issues? Financial issues? Not wanting a child altogether? What is a good enough reason to be allowed an abortion? Compared to reasons for refusal of firearms, abortion refusal continues getting higher. Below are reports related to shootings in America from mid-October 2015:

Table
Gun Violence Archive, 2015

 

These statistics show that although not everyone is killed by guns, the person who owned the gun still had the intention to seriously harm or end another person’s life. It is difficult to comprehend why gun laws are not stricter than abortion laws. There have been more mass shootings than there have been days in America; that is more than one a day. Surely this might be a sign to the American government and its citizens to look at the bigger picture?

Unfortunately the American people seemingly believe owning a gun is more important than a woman’s well being. Where is the freedom there? No country is perfect, but many women are being emotionally tormented by restrictive abortion laws and classrooms of students are continually being killed because of less-restrictive gun laws. I believe there is an obvious issue with the system that should receive urgent attention. This process will continue for years to come if people do not change their outlook or their definition of life.

Share your view by posting a comment below.

If you have been affected by any of the issues in this article or require any further information please see the links below:

Solent University Student Support –

Website: www.solent.ac.uk/studying/student-support/student-support.aspx

Email: mailto:student.hub@solent.ac.uk

Phone: 023 8201 3427

4 COMMENTS

  1. While school shootings are undoubtedly horrible acts of violence, we are often mislead into believing that this is the worst form on gun-related crime because of its coverage by the media. Out of 8500 total firearm homicides in the USA in 2013, 5800 of them were committed by assailants wielding handguns. In light of this, I would like to suggest to you that school shootings in the USA, while certainly sanguinary subject, is just the tip of the iceberg concerning gun-crime, the media and the public are ignoring the more immediate problem. While I don’t necessarily disagree with your argument, perhaps look at the broader picture concerning gun crime.

    • Hi there, I completely agree with what you are saying. However, my article was primarily focused on abortion vs gun laws, I simply used school shootings as an example as to how it relates to abortions. If I was writing only on gun laws I would have done a lot more research into the types of homicides involved a firearm.

  2. I think this is an incredibly interesting point. The fact that there are foetus lawyers who fight in court for the right of an unborn child to live, and that a rapist can legally challenge their victim’s decision to abort a child, seems beyond logical. Yet both things are fact. America seems to be becoming a scary place of late. The world will never be perfect, but it could certainly be better, and it often feels at times with this debate and others that the supposed Land Of The Free are taking a great effort to step backwards rather than forwards.

    • Thank you so much for that information! I had no idea rapists could even have a say into what happens with that foetus!

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