Anti-Gun is Pro-Life, Right?

James Mumford thinks so:

To me, the Planned Parenthood scandal seems the ultimate commodification of the body under the conditions of late capitalism.

Moreover, I agree that in the end it comes down to a trade-off between life and freedom. Pro-lifers often sheepishly downplay what their view entails: radical restrictions to a woman’s autonomy, both in having to undergo pregnancy—a burden I will never experience—and then either embarking on the project of a lifetime in raising a child she didn’t choose or, if she opts for adoption, knowing her child is walking around in the world without her.

So it struck me as all the more strange that, in complete contrast to the abortion debate, when it comes to guns American conservatives reverse their priorities. They rank freedom over life. “I never saw a body with bullet holes that was more devastating than taking the right to arm ourselves away.” Dr. Ben Carson’s response to the Umpqua Community College shooting in Oregon befuddled me.

Presumably, those who own guns for self-defense wouldn’t accept the claim that they rank freedom over life. They would say the freedom to own guns is precisely a freedom to defend life, their own and other people’s. Yet are more lives saved than lost by people having such easy access to lethal weapons? . . .

no possible reading of the Second Amendment can possibly excuse the fundamental hypocrisy here. Just because you’re free to do something doesn’t mean you should do it. Conservatives like me who care deeply about family values typically forego their freedom to sleep around.

Plus, a right is never absolute anyway. In 2008 Justice Scalia, writing the majority opinion in Heller, recognized that even the individual rights reading allows for a raft of gun-control measures—prohibitions on carrying weapons in public, extension of background checks, etc., etc. So there’s a lot for consistent pro-lifers to be campaigning for with as much vigor as they’re trying to defund Planned Parenthood.

Mumford is British. So is it a form of American exceptionalism to make round the square of defending guns and opposing abortion?

38 thoughts on “Anti-Gun is Pro-Life, Right?

  1. “if she opts for adoption, knowing her child is walking around in the world without her.”

    Is that a worse feeling than knowing your child is dead as a result of your own choice?


  2. Apparently this Mumford fellow is not familiar with McDonald v. City of Chicago in which SCOTUS “… held that the right of an individual to “keep and bear arms” protected by the Second Amendment is incorporated by the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment and applies to the states … the decision cleared up the uncertainty left in the wake of District of Columbia v. Heller as to the scope of gun rights in regard to the states …”

    So…if some drug crazed whacko breaks into your home you have no right whatsoever to do anything to stop him form down harm from your family? Similarly, if you live/work in an area known for violence (gangs, random armed robberies and/or rapes, etc.) you are not allowed to defend yourself, even though you have little or no choice other than to live in such an area, economically? Fine, turn in your weapons at the next no-questions-asked nanny state authorized collection event.

    Or, in keeping with the previous mayor’s immediate response to the McDonald v. City of Chicago decision, you can just stay indoors (not on your front porch, even!) waiting for harm to come your way and lament about it.


  3. George, you do know that many Americans live at home without a gun and not in fear. I thought society was supposed to be more secure than the state of nature.


  4. cw, who’s denying? I’m no vigilante. Power resides securely in the District of Columbia, Lansing, and Hillsdale. I’m talking about logic, you know, the way Roman Catholic apologists do.



    Mark Driscoll–Take any notion you have of a Big Lebowski-looking Christ who rides the clouds on Falcor the Luck Dragon, handing out puppies and skittles out of Santa’s bottomless gift bag and put that image into the dustbin of your mind. Gird up your loins like a man. Instead, focus on Christ, who is the second person of the Trinity and who transcends in divinity the temporality of his earthly walk, and let us develop a theology of self-defense. Focus on the Christ who suggested his disciples go out and buy a sword on the night of his crucifixion


  6. Hauerwas—They tell me that you are the King of Jews. Is that true?” Pilate’s question is meant to see if Jesus is “political.” Jesus responds by asking if Pilate came up with such a view on his own or did others tell him such was the case. “I am not a Jew, am I?” replies Pilate.. “If my kingdom were FROM this world, my followers would be fighting to keep me from being handed over. ” This is a response used often to deny that Jesus was political. But Pilate rightly saw that Jesus’ denial that his kingship was not of this world is not the denial that Jesus is king. Jesus denied that his kingdom was just another form of Rome.


  7. @dgh
    “George, you do know that many Americans live at home without a gun and not in fear. I thought society was supposed to be more secure than the state of nature.”

    Yeah, but you like to live dangerously smoker. When seconds count, the police are only a few minutes away.

    On the other hand, it does seem a little crazy to let college kids carry guns to class. I guess I’m old fashioned like that.


  8. DGH: … George, you do know that many Americans live at home without a gun and not in fear. I thought society was supposed to be more secure than the state of nature …”

    George: Sure, but do they live in the kind of high crime areas I described? I’m not sure that if I was their shoes I’d want to 1) wait from the 911 operator to get done with his/her lunch break, 2) for the 911 operator to get around to dispatching the police to the scene, and 3) the 20-30 minutes it could take for the police to actually arrive (all the above have been documented in recent Chicago incidents). All I’m suggesting is that if a citizen lives in FUD they should be able arm themselves if the feel the need.


  9. I’ve read a couple of reviews that agreed that S4 was the weakest, that it ended implausibly, and got all over the road along the way. No kudos for the Omar “Do tell?” reference? I hope you don’t walk around the house whistling “The Farmer in the Dell.”


  10. I view guns like I view my dogs, not just anyone should have one, or two, as the case may be.


  11. George, there are some even in those areas who don’t think the answer is to be armed. Like my brother who flies commercial planes says to those who want him armed, “I get it, you like guns, but arming me isn’t going to do what you think it will.”


  12. cw, I’m not sure how S4 could be the weakest with that set of kids, Namon, Randy, Dukie, and Michael. Put that together with Presbyluski and you have life with spice.


  13. Everybody dies. Take care of your soul. And give people a helping hand instead of being selfish. That’s the message of Scripture. But I guess gun control and Larycia Hawkins are a lot more interesting than The Wheat and Tares, etc.


  14. I never comment on here because a.) the level of meta-sarcasm baffles me, 2.) reading OP comments leaves me baffled, and c.) Darryl Hart and David (Bentley) Hart always get confused in my mind.

    But S4 of the Wire was incredible and I have gun in my avatar. And my wife works for a pro-life organization. And this is the most non-conservative sentence I’ve ever read on a “conservative” website: “and then either embarking on the project of a lifetime in raising a child she didn’t choose.”

    I know Brits begot Anglicanism, but are they really at a point where the logic behind their language implies that all babies are conceived in rape? Because that’s what I’m reading there. And God knows I don’t wake up every morning to a screaming child thinking, “today I choose this boy.”


  15. Zrim, that’s interesting. Also, probably reveals personal proclivities-gunny or no. I know a pilot who’s more than happy to be armed. He’s pretty sure being armed is going to do what you think it will.


  16. Zrim, my dad is a captain for one of those commercial airlines and he’s armed. They do have to go through special training and constantly re-qualify, so probably if your friend was carrying a gun he’d be competent enough to do what we think it would do. And the walking stereotypes never fly commercial airliners (not sexy enough). But that’s why they put two pilots on each plane. Technically this is confidential information, but one pilot has to be a member of the NRA and the other has to vote democrat.

    Liked by 1 person

  17. Zrim, I think he’s a cap. but not sure. Retired AF. I’m sure it’s all driving a bus to him compared to what he used to do. I care and I don’t care. All depends who’s wielding it. But like I tell the guys at church, let me out of the room before you go to saving me from crazy.


  18. I haves, it’s assumed he’d go through training to become competent. The point is a pilot isn’t a cop and if a pilot is distracted from his piloting to play cop then it’s not good for anybody. If you want cops on planes then put cops on planes (and don’t expect them to fly it when something goes awry plane wise). Duh.

    And everybody knows that there are two pilots on every plane in case case of the rapture. Double duh.


  19. Speaking of Democrats, someone at prayer meeting Wednesday night {insert scorn here} was asked about the “spiritual condition” of a terminally-ill relative. “Well, he’s a Democrat.” was the young lady’s response. Groans, laughter, a variety of uncomfortable mutterings greeted this response. Come down south, y’all — you’ll love it. But don’t tell urrbody if you’re agin’ guns.


  20. C-dubs, they struggle. But, they do have yoopers. Still, they have the yankee affiction. Not their fault. Well, it is, but it’s a nurture thang.


  21. Starting S5. As someone who used to be a newspaper guy I can say that the newsroom feels real but not as PC as newsrooms of the 21st century certainly are. The guy who played Carcetti and/or the dialogue written for him is weak. I don’t buy the political dialogue in general except for Davis.


  22. cw, but you gotta love Gus. Can’t get enough of that character (and the actor, Clarke Johnson, Philly’s own, I think directed the first and last episodes of the series).


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