Time To Start Treating Guns Like Abortions

It's time we start regulating guns like we regulate abortions.

Because it just makes sense that we regulate these individual rights in the same way.

Because the Supreme Court, in the Heller case, concluded that there is an individual right to own firearms found in the Second Amendment - just like they ruled in Roe v. Wade that there is an individual right to have an abortion found in the Fourth Amendment.

Yet - the Supreme Court notwithstanding - Republicans have spent over 40 years regulating abortion providers and inserting themselves into the lives of women seeking a safe and legal abortion.

Thus, in the midst of this gun crisis we are experiencing in America, it's time to start regulating gun dealers and people trying to buy guns in a similar way - particularly since the Second Amendment is the only one that actually uses the word "regulated".

It anticipates regulation.

Twenty-seven states require that a woman get counseling before an abortion, often including exposure to graphic pictures or ultrasound images.

So why don't we require people trying to buy guns undergo counseling that graphically teaches how many children are killed in households where guns are kept and shows pictures of those dead children?

After all, statistics show that if you have a gun in your home, it is far more likely that your children will injure or kill themselves with it than that you will use it to stop a crime.

And that counseling session should also graphically inform the potential gun owner about the fact that the more guns there are in a community, the more likely people in that community are to commit suicide with them.

A number of states require that women be given ultrasounds, and that the doctor must display and describe the ultrasound image to the woman.

So wouldn't it be a good idea to require that any potential gun buyer undergo a background check in addition to a battery of psychological tests - maybe do a brain scan - and then be forced to learn in detail about the results?

And while we're at it, we should re-enforce rules on waiting periods. So that anyone who has to buy a gun has to wait at least 48 hours after counseling and psychological screening before finalizing any purchase, just like so many states of waiting periods for abortions.

Then let's take a look at the provider: nearly half of the states have special regulations for both the doctor and the facilities where the abortions are performed.

Twenty-two states require abortion facilities to maintain standards on that far exceed for more expensive than what is necessary to perform an abortion.

So why don't we put similarly tough standards on gun ranges and gun stores?

If an abortion clinic has to be comparable to a hospital, then a gun range should have standards comparable to a military base or a police station.

There should be narrowly described standards for the materials used to construct a shooting range - the distance between stalls should be regulated to minimize the collateral damage from different types of misfires.

We should tightly regulate how guns are handled within those spaces. Every range should have a quartermaster. And every person who works in a gun range or a gun store should be required to have several years of EMT training in emergency medical techniques and the law.

It just makes sense - and it would just be consistent.

If we're going to regulate a woman's Fourth Amendment right to an abortion so tightly - we should do the same for the Second Amendment right to buy and own a gun.

There are actually strong and rational reasons for this. .

Every six months - guns kill more Americans through accidents, homicide, and suicides than have died in the last 25 years in both terrorist attacks and in the Wars in Afghanistan and Iraq - combined.

And more Americans have died from gun violence in the US since 1968 than died on every battlefield of every war in American history all the way back to the American Revolution - combined.

And according to Harvard professor David Hemenway, American children are 14 times more likely to die from guns than children are in developing countries.

It's about legal consistency.

Even though the constitution protects a woman's right to an abortion, states have found draconian measures to make exercising that right onerous and discouraging.

And that's exactly why - and how - we should start regulating the right to buy and own guns in America.

It would save lives and bring America back into the community of civilized nations.

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