This is a bipartisan screed, so you’ll all hate me
However, it is my contention that Republicans are never going to outlaw abortion, and Democrats are never going to outlaw guns, and all the rhetoric surrounding both issues is merely political pandering, designed to wip up a healthy dose of fear among the political base merely to get people to the polls.
Sure, McCain may speak now about how life begins at conception, and Obama may make comments about getting assault rifles off of the streets, but both are perfunctory soundbites designed to assure their base.
Once elected, though, President Obama is not going to tour the country decrying the presence of handguns. Nor would President McCain give speeches condemning Planned Parenthood. To do so would be political suicide. The surest way to get a huge turnout among the opposition would be to actually deprive them of basic, fundamental rights that they believe they are entitled to. Neither side is so adamant about the issue that they would risk such widespread alienation.
I will concede that a Democratic President is more likely to sign restrictive legisation regarding guns (i.e. mandatory gun locks, or more extensive background checks), and a Republican President is more likely to appoint judges who disagree with the reasoning behind Roe v. Wade, but that doesn’t mean that the 2nd amendment won’t be respected, and that doesn’t mean that Roe v. Wade will be discarded altogether (precedent being such a strong directive in American jurisprudence).
It’s the fear that such things would happen, however, that drives the political posturing regarding these issues. And when I read from Dopers who make these issues the sine qua non of their voting decision, I get all twitchy. You are being manipulated, and are ignoring more salient issues at your peril.
Really. Does the fact that the Federal Assault Weapons Ban was successfully passed just 14 years ago, the last time the Democrats had a majority in Congress, under a Democrat President, make you feel any differently?
As I said in the OP, I’m not arguing that a Democrat would never sign gun legislation. Rather, I’m arguing that they would never be so fervent in their opposition as to seriously threaten the rights of people to own guns.
From Wikipedia’s article on the Assault Weapons Ban (AWB), I find these snippets:
In short, I stand by my proposition that a Democratic will never be so extreme as to attempt to ban guns. Nor will a Republican try and ban abortion.
But the fear that the other side will do such things is a common mantra meant to get people to vote, without consideration of issues that the parties really will push for.
I agree. It only takes a look at the last 7 years to prove your point. After 9/11 the Republicans could have passed almost any law they wanted having not only a majority in both houses but also a mandate to protect our country from the islamic fundamentalist and godless secularists attacking from all sides. It only needed some spin (something like abortion kills the future christian soldiers we are going to need in the war on terror so we have to make it illegal). The fact that they took no steps in this direction proves to me that abortion is more valuable to the R party as a rallying cry. Or I could be very cynical: they will never overturn it as the babies being aborted are most likely going to grow up to be democrats…
Republicans can’t outlaw abortion by law. Our Constitution says women have a right to choose. However, if they appoint a few more judges to the Supreme Court, Roe v. Wade might become inconsequential. Do you really think that might not happen?
As for guns I don’t really care as long as my city still has laws against conceal carry. I don’t care what the gun activist do in their cities.
Ah, not exactly. The Supreme’s decision inRoe v. Wade says so, although that decision is wrong on a number of levels; it’s just plain bad jurisprudence and blatantly has nothing to do with the law. You can say that the federal government has no compelling reason or enounced ability to ban it, but the shadow of a penumbra is thin peanuts. Likewise for drugs, but the Supreme Court has basically wiped it’s collective arse with half the Constitution for quite some time now.
Even if abortion remained exactly as it was, I’d wish to get rid of Roe v. Wade.
It would be a huge leap of jurisprudence for a court to actually come out and overturn Roe v. Wade, even if the current Supreme Court majority wouldn’t have ruled the same way. Sure, a conservative court might distinguish it, thereby narrowing its scope, and I can conceive that a GOP administration might result in laws that limit abortion somewhat (i.e. parental consent for minors, no partial birth abortions), but I don’t think that would mean that Roe v. Wade (and its basic premise that there is a constitutional right to privacy, within which reproductive decisions fall) would become inconsequential.
A bigger reason for this is what I had previously stated: To do so would be political suicide. The surest way to get a huge turnout among the opposition would be to actually deprive them of basic, fundamental rights that they believe they are entitled to. Neither side is so adamant about the issue that they would risk such widespread alienation.
To be clear, I’m not saying that Democrats don’t favor gun restrictions, and I’m not saying that Republicans don’t favor abortion restrictions. And voting for one party probably will mean that society will slightly veer towards their preferred stance, but Republicans won’t outlaw abortion, and Democrats won’t outlaw guns, and to vote based on either of these fears is naive, at best.
Sorry dude if you disagree, but the Constitution says what the Supreme Court says it says.
I hope you’re right that each side knows the political fallout of depriving the other of their basic rights. I still have doubts about Roe v. Wade though because social conservatives are no moderates, and McCain is promising them judges. I know Congress wouldn’t be so extreme as to ban guns, but the Supreme Court isn’t accountable to the people. If the court isn’t balanced I can imagine them giving a big “fuck you” to half the country.
More salient issues than contempt for the Constitution? Whether or not they’d actually go all the way and totally ban guns or abortion is not the issue to some of us twitch-inducers, the more restrictive legislation itself is unacceptable.
Blocking access to “morning after” pills is a fair indication that a politician cares nothing for the people they are supposed to represent. Banning firearms based on cosmetics indicates ignorance as well as contempt for constituents. Therefore, while many other issues are important as well, these two things quickly point out that a person is unfit to represent me in government. Sure, if I agreed with a candidate on most issues except that one, the person would get my vote.
Then you aren’t one of the people who frustrate me. Look, I think the morning after pill should be over-the-counter. And I can understand why gun enthusiasts oppose the assault weapons ban. All I’m asking for is a little temperance about the importance of these issues. To hear some people say it, abortion rights or gun rights are truly at stake in this election (I’m looking at you, Argent Towers ;)). While I think politicians would like voters to believe this to be true, I don’t think it is.
I don’t think democrats are lock-step on gun control, nor do I think that republicans are lock-step on abortion. I think it is fair to say that the current state of affairs are precisely what is practical for each party to acheive. To some extent these are purely political decisions in the “getting elected sense,” but I think it is dangerous to consider such issues as smokescreen and political expediency. There are laws on the books about abortion and guns. Do I think either party can muster up an amendment to the constitution? No. But there is political force behind these movements, both taking the same tactic of piecemeal compromise and erosion. Just because an amendment won’t get passed doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be wary, whatever our persuasion.
I get the useful-as-a-rallying-cry argument, but it seems clear that most republicans are truly committed to making abortion illegal. Overturning RvW is a very real possibility, and if that happens there will be a rush in both the state and national legislatures to introduce legislation banning or sharply restricting the procedure.
The gun issue is a bit different. Liberal activists and Democratic politicians decry the gun violence in the streets–therefore guns are bad, m’kay?–but there is tremendous diversity among non-conservatives as to what if any restrictions should be passed into law.
Banning gun ownership isn’t as near the top of the agenda among Democrats as banning abortion is among Republicans.
I find myself sort of agreeing with the OP. Both areas get a knee-jerk response from people. But so what if the Dems try for gun control and the Reps overturn Roe? The laws that matter in both cases are state laws. Overturn roe? Abortions will still be legal in California and New York, etc. Gun control? 33 states have “Shall Issue” CCW laws. New York might ban most guns, but people in Vermont will still be able to pack heat without a license. We are a large country, and that makes us capable of fitting in all sorts of ways of doing things.
I agree with the OP, but think he has it more backward.
There are fringe elements of both parties energized but such rhetoric, but I think it’s the Democrats telling the Democrats the evil Republicans are out to overturn Roe vs. Wade and the Republicans telling the Republicans the evil Democrats are out to take their guns that’s the real money-spinner.
I’m fine with regional gun laws. I think people who have guns in Vermont don’t care if it’s banned in New York. Though with abortion, a state by state solution is no good to either side. What’s a pregnant girl to do if abortion is illegal in her state?
They already have. Until recently, it was effectively impossible for a law-abiding citizen to keep a working handgun in their own home in Washington DC. It is still all but impossible in Chicago and New York The AWB banned scary-looking guns, and the ban on further manufacture or importation of full-auto weapons is meant to eventually starve out possession of them.
No, an Obama victory does not mean that a constitutional amendment overturning the Second will be immediately proposed. But this is definitely one of those “give 'em an inch…” issues.
Many Democrats are doing their best to ban guns. If not outright, they use the salami technique of piling on restrictions and regulations that make life miserable for everyone except criminals. They’ve been quite inventive. In many states, every legislative session brings a new batch of bills that have to be vigorously fought just to maintain the status quo.
What part of “shall not be infringed” don’t you understand?