• The confluence of gun culture and “pro-life” culture

    When I heard of the recent shooting in Colorado Springs, my first thought was literally: I hope it wasn’t anyone we knew from church. My second thought was: Goddamn, now that is a fucked-up thing to think. My family lived in Chaffee County for many years, and basically everyone I’ve met from out there firmly believes that abortion is murder and owns one or two (dozen) guns. You don’t need to spend too much time in central Colorado to appreciate the scope of the problem, though.

    At least 37% of Colorado voters believe in fetal personhood, although the real number is probably higher than that, as it is possible to believe in personhood as a moral position which ought to guide individual decision making without also believing that the State of Colorado should pass a vaguely written law likely to be struck down in the federal courts. Indeed, the results of this YouGov poll indicate that two-thirds of American think of fetuses as persons, and at least half of Americans think that abortion on demand should be illegal.

    Colorado has over 5 million residents, around 34.7% of whom own guns. If we assume (counterfactually) that gun ownership and belief in personhood are independent variables, then at least 37% of the 34.7% are armed with both guns and the firm conviction that abortion is murder, which works out to approximately 645,700 armed “pro-life” citizens in Colorado alone, or over 40,000 armed “pro-life” citizens for each and every surgical abortion provider in the state.

    The actual number of Colorado citizens armed with (1) the bizarre notion that fetuses are innocent persons who ought to be protected and (2) the means to do so using their own bullets is probably much higher than I’ve calculated here, seeing as I’ve deliberately low-balled the probability of believing in fetal personhood and also failed to take into account the likely correlation between conservative beliefs and gun ownership.

    Given that there are millions of Americans who have been taught by their faith community that fetuses are innocent victims worthy of personhood and taught by their political party that gun ownership is sacrosanct, is it really any surprise that at least a few of them resort to lethal force? Considering the confluence of gun culture and “pro-life” culture, I wouldn’t be remotely surprised if violent attacks on abortion providers were to become the new normal in the United States.

    Your thoughts?

    Category: Free Speech

    Article by: Damion Reinhardt

    Former fundie finds freethought fairly fab.