I first want to apologize for the strong implication of the title of this post, but I am afraid that most conservatives do more damage to their cause than they could ever realize. I am a conservative in every implication of the word, I am pro-life, for our right to bear arms, against illegal immigration (aliens), for the sanctity of marriage, and for our government to be fiscally responsible. The conversation that drives me crazy though is not hearing the liberals fight against the principles I stand on, it is the conservatives completely whiff in their defense of these principles. Though there are several arguments I could point out I want to point out the one that is at the forefront of social media: banning guns is wrong because we haven’t banned abortion. I know it sounds completely ridiculous when it is summed up like that, but there are hundreds of posts, videos, and memes that are pointing out how gun control is a bad idea because planned parenthood in 2014 killed a child every 97 seconds. Once again, I want to point out I am 100% pro-life and I am 100% for our right to bear arms, but I am against the under-development of the “logic bone” in conservatives.
Why do conservatives tie abortion and gun-control together whenever liberals beat the drum for gun-control? There really is a simple answer and that is that conservatives according to their world-view see a very inconsistent standard in liberals. What the conservative is trying to point out to the liberal is “why do you fight so hard to prevent mass shootings when thousands of more lives are lost to abortion, something you defend.” This seems like a great tactic and point, I mean it completely touches your heart when you realize thousands of innocent children die every year due to abortion, but it really doesn’t hold up if you look beyond the emotional implication.
It fails to the liberal because of their world-view. We must remember there is a fundamental difference between conservatives and liberals and it has to do with how we perceive the world. In the liberal’s world-view, an abortion is not the killing of a baby rather it is the disposal of a fetus. Now I vehemently disagree with this but I am not a liberal. When a conservative points out abortion statistics it literally means nothing to most liberals, as they define life at the point of birth and not conception. Essentially this is like trying to convince the average American that soccer is the real football. Obviously, the debate of abortion and when life starts is much more serious, but it is just as foreign to a liberal to believe life starts at conception as it is for an American to believe soccer should really be called football.
This argument also fails in the world-view of the conservative though. The right to bear arms is okay because it kills fewer people than abortion? I thought as a conservative we were supposed to be pro-life, fighting for the right to bear arms is not justified because it kills fewer people. If that is your true belief then you are not pro-life, you are just anti-abortion. If the right to bear arms is based on the fact that guns kill fewer people than other things like cars, abortion, and heart failure; then we are merely arguing that guns are a “lesser evil” and therefore okay. Of course, this logic has driven conservatives in the way they vote, this is fighting to come in second to the last place instead of winning. A conservative’s opposition to gun control should have nothing to do with being pro-life; these are two completely separate issues, though they are born from the same world-view.
The conservative’s opposition to gun control should be rooted in the conservative’s belief in individual responsibility. As conservatives, we believe that the individual is responsible for their actions. This should drive us to be for capital punishment in the case of murder in order to make people think before they act. Our argument should be that the criminal needs to be controlled not the tool that they are using. As conservatives, I would challenge you to be pro-life, and that means to be grieved for those who lose their lives in mass shootings, but it also means we fight for those lives by controlling the criminal, not the gun.