Thursday, April 06, 2023

Unity Now a Four-Letter Word



This is the big, obvious, and immediate problem.
Nonetheless, there is another big problem, though far less obvious and immediate.

A survey conducted on a wide range of issues by Quinnipiac in March, 2023  found 73% of respondents believing abortion should be legal in "all" or "most cases (question #22). Only 25% believe abortion should be illegal in all or most cases, with a mere 2% undecided.

That's a great and liberal response! But curtail they eagerness or, as Larry David would put, curb your enthusiasm. The same survey disturbingly found

Americans are divided on a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons. Forty-seven percent support a ban, while 48 percent oppose it. This compares to a Quinnipiac University poll in July 2022 when 49 percent supported a ban and 45 percent opposed it.

As the cliche has it, "let that sink in." More Americans oppose a nationwide ban on assault weapons- which are easily trafficked from one state to another- than who favor it. Assault weapons. That's a firearm which refers

to a semi-automatic gun designed for military use and quick, efficient killing. Assault weapons are uniquely lethal because of their rapid rate of fire and high muzzle velocity — coupled with large-capacity magazines, which attach to an assault weapon to allow dozens of gunshots without needing to reload. A large-capacity magazine is typically defined as any magazine or drum that is capable of holding more than either 10 or 15 rounds of ammunition.

Yet, respondents who on the whole overwhelmingly in favor of abortion rights were (albeit by a tiny margin) opposed to a nationwide ban on assault weapons. 

It's speculation, but perhaps quite a few individuals may have been stuck on the "nationwide." This would be odd because it is illogical.  Banning assault weapons is unlike some issues, such as marijuana legalization, which individuals may oppose nationwide on principle, but  be supportive because of the economic benefits to their own state. By contrast, people armed with assault weapons and bent on murder are not discouraged from crime if they'd have to cross state lines and there is no rational reason to oppose a ban nationwide while supporting it locally.

There may be an instinct in that which is present in a new abortion law in Idaho, where Republican governor Brad Little on Wednesday 

that bans minors from traveling out of state for abortions without parental consent. The law creates a new felony crime called “abortion trafficking,” which the legislation defines as an “adult who, with the intent to conceal an abortion from the parents or guardian of a pregnant, unemancipated minor, either procures an abortion … or obtains an abortion-inducing drug” for the minor.

“Recruiting, harboring, or transporting the pregnant minor within this state commits the crime of abortion trafficking,” according to the legislation. The crime of abortion trafficking carries a felony offense punishable by two to five years in prison.

The law criminalizes anyone transporting a pregnant minor without parental consent within Idaho to get an abortion or abortion pills, which means it could apply to a grandmother driving a pregnant minor to the post office to pick up a package holding medication abortion or target an older brother driving a pregnant minor to a friend’s house to self-manage an abortion at home...

Although the legislation does not specifically discuss crossing state lines, most pregnant people in Idaho are not traveling in the state to get an abortion. Most are traveling to get legal abortions in neighboring states like Washington or Oregon. This law criminalizes the act of anyone driving a minor without parental consent to the border of Idaho with the intent of crossing state lines to get an abortion outside the state...

State Rep. Barbara Ehardt (R), one of the sponsors of the abortion trafficking law, told HuffPost last month that the intent of the legislation is to limit minors’ ability to travel out of state without parental consent, despite the text of the bill only discussing intrastate travel.

“It’s already illegal to get an abortion here in the state of Idaho,” Ehardt said. “So, it would be taking that child across the border, and if that happens without the permission of the parent, that’s where we’ll be able to hold accountable those that would subvert a parent’s right."



Maybe Marjorie Taylor Greene is onto something, a bad policy suggestion but in capturing a little of the mood of the country.


 


 We need to separate by red states and blue states and shrink the federal government. Obviously, a nationwide ban on assault weapons, of which there are mixed opinions, would require an act of the federal government. Abortion legal "in all" or "in most" cases would not.  

And more: we once tried separating by red states/blue states or, rather, slave and non-slave, states. It did not work out well. Yet, the squeamish about a national assault weapons ban, Greene's advocacy of a separation of states from each other, and the travel ban upon (some) pregnant women in Idaho suggest  a weakening concept of union.  

There is a trend toward localism reflecting a growing preference for insularity.  Leave us alone, the sentiment runs, to implement a gun ban if we want; prohibiting the mobility of women; and, ultimately, carving out two countries from one. Even the support for the right to choose, a proper instinct, is one which has something in common with the other perspectives: leave us alone to do as we choose in response to our own values. 

The inclination is constructive when when applied to a right to do as she wishes, within reason, with her own body.  In most ways, however, it is damaging.  A dystopian future, indeed.


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