Abortion and gun control arguments, a symmetry?

Steven Den Beste thinks there’s an odd symmetry between the arguments in America about abortion and those about gun control. I’ve spoilered the link because the site isn’t really SFW

Prima facie he seems to be onto something but not being American, my exposure is rather limited - primarily the SDMB, in fact.

I’d rather the thread didn’t go into arguments about gun control or abortion themselves, but stick to the similarities & differences between the arguments. IOW let’s keep it meta.

I think it captures the way both sides are “dug in”, with little hope of a middle ground. I’m not sure it’s a good representation due to differences in the actual subject matter. Neither side in the gun control debates is defending a real religion, just deeply held differences on rights and violence causes.

I don’t know if this analogy is more symmetrical, but I find it easier to understand the whole debate if I recast it as a dog breed argument. I try to re-read the arguments and replace “guns” (or assault weapons) with “Pit Bulls”. I realize there are huge differences but it allows me to at least see the other side’s point of view.

FWIW: I’m a very strong 2nd amendment supporter. I find myself occasionally (erroneously) equating Pit Bull owners with wannabee tough-guys who own them just for the swagger factor. I know this isn’t true, but it’s probably how the gun-control advocates view me.

I don’t see any sort of analogy. I see a description of the US political process.

I don’t see much in common between them at all.

I view abortion as intrinsically evil; it should always be illegal.

But guns… guns are a totally different story. They are neither intrinsically evil nor intrinsically necessary. I can see a wide range of acceptable points at which to draw the line concerning what weapons should be permitted for private citizens.

Your link doesn’t work for me. It goes to that site, but it’s about Japanese Military Ranks.

Link didn’t work. But I find it interesting that there is a group of people who argue that abortions shouldn’t be illegal because women would still get obtain them illegally at more or less the same rate who also simultaneously argue that there should be ban on (certain types off) guns, because limiting gun ownership will reduce the total number of gun crimes. Never really understood that line if reasoning. Either banning something reduces its incidence or it doesn’t.

Who says women would get abortions at the same rate if abortion was illegal? People argue that many women will still get abortions, and they won’t be as safe, but I’ve never heard that we’d have the same number of abortions regardless of the legality.

I think the pro-choice argument says that if it’s outlawed, more women will die from back-alley abortions, not that there will be the same number.

I think you oversimplified the abortion in comparison to the gun argument.

I would think the view you have on “abortion” the act that’s being done could easily be applied to “guns” the weapon whose sole purpose is to kill/wound something.

I agree when you say abortion is intrinsically evil, but if you were to state that “gun” wasn’t intrinsically evil, I would think your thinking is skewed.

There you go.

The central premise? Making abortions illegal have little affect on the abortion rate. You just make them dangerous if you do so (this board is rife with such examples of purple stating as much that I’m far too lazy to hunt down right now). But that’s off topic.

From your link:

Someone doesn’t know what “more or less” means. Did you even try to read the whole thing? Rhetorical question, of course.

Edit: You didn’t even read my quote, which you quoted.

I thought “more or less” meant “about the same”. And of course I didn’t read the whole thing! I only had two minutes!


I took the central premise of your link to be “banning abortion will reduce the abortion rate, but not eliminate it, and will result in much greater risk to women”, not “banning abortion will have little effect on the abortion rate”.

Since you want to cherry pick quotes, allow me to assist you (these are all direct quotes):

Try to pay “Gotcha!” elsewhere.

Well, that settles it! Who knew that all this time the body politic was just waiting for conclusory statements about how Weeping Wyvern views various policy debates.

Why do people argue this way? Do you suppose that anybody is going to be persuaded the least bit by this kind of argumentation? What if I retort, “Well, I don’t see abortion as ‘intrinsically evil.’” Guess we’re at a POV impasse, huh?

Articulating a perspective is the very first step in making a policy argument. And it is quite a useless step if the case begins and ends there.

All of those support my point!

Edit- ok, only the third one does.

But it’s so much fun.

But I’m not “making a policy argument”.

The only symmetry I see is that on each issue, one side assumes that the Constitution doesn’t say anything in particular. People want to ban guns even though the Second Amendment says you can’t do that, and also argue in favor of Roe v. Wade, even though the Constitution does not assign the power to regulate abortion to the federal government.

The groups are not always the same people, although there is a lot of overlap.