• Article by: Jonathan MS Pearce

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    • Geoff Benson

      Love it!

    • RexTugwell

      C’mon Jonny, sing along with me!

      One of these things is not like the others,

      One of these things just doesn’t belong,

      Can you tell which thing is not like the others

      Before I finish my song?

      If you guessed the right to bare arms is spelled out in the Constitution while to others were forced upon the American people by the courts then you’re absolutely right!

      • The Constitution is a bit of paper agreed by consensus, nothing more. People accord something like sacredness to it. Meh. Amendments and all that. You can change ’em. Clues in the title.

        Also, that right is given in a certain context which is simply not relevant or contextually correct to the uses they are accorded now.

        Of course, I could bring in ideas like the Right to Privacy under the 14th Amendment which is being broken by attacks on abortion etc.

        But the point of this is not about banning guns, but the cartoon picks on assault weapons.

        On your logic, a person could bear weapons in the form of an RPG, bazooka or nuclear missile. Now, they are sensibly banned. But on your logic from your comment, this should not be so. People have a right to bear them, right? You arbitrarily draw a line after assault weapons, it seems for acceptability.

        • RexTugwell

          I’m sure the lawmakers who take an oath to uphold and defend the Constitution view it as more than just a “bit of paper”. I’m sure those soldiers willing to die to uphold and defend the Constitution see it as more than just a “bit of paper”.

          You’re right about one thing though, you can change those amendments. The process is explained in Article V of said Constitution. While you’re reading up on Article V, do me a favor and locate the phrase “the Right to Privacy” for me. Let me know when you find it. You can find the right to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment.

          No, the point of the cartoon is to try to illustrate the the so-called inconsistent stance of the politician when he is in fact, constitutionally speaking, he is being quite consistent.

          • Um., I don’t think YOU understand the cartoon here. It is about logic and double standards. The Constitution is merely correlative to the main point.

            Ban A. Ban B. Ban C.

            Don’t ban X because people would still find ways of using them.

            The justification for not banning X is EXACTLY the same justification used to defend not banning A, B and C.

            So really your point is a straw man of the cartoon at very best!

            • RexTugwell

              Your last comment’s rather blatant incoherence calls for a response. If I may quote that eminent philosopher, Jonathan MS Pearce, “Um.,” Yeah, um. When I referred to the politician in the cartoon being inconsistent, well that’s kind of another word for double standard don’t cha know. So yes I do indeed understand the cartoon.

              Abortion. I’ll grant you that one. If someone is determined to turn their child into medical waste, they’re gonna find a way.

              The justification for not banning X is EXACTLY the same justification used to defend not banning A, B and C.

              In effect you’re saying that gay marriage proponents have claimed that “banning gay marriage won’t work. People would still find ways to get them.” Really? How would that work in practice?

              I don’t know of anyone, including politicians, calling for the banning of birth control let alone claiming that if it’s not available people will still find ways of using it. Just what century are you living in? I even clicked on the Birth Control tag on this page and this is the only post that came up. Birth control isn’t even on your radar. Talk about a straw man. However, if you’re conflating the banning of birth control with the Catholic Church’s opposition to having to pay for BC for its employees then you clearly don’t understand the debate.

              Finally, the argument “banning assault weapons won’t work. People would still find ways to get them” isn’t even close to the reason for opposition to their ban. Nice try though.

            • How would gay marriage work in that context? As it has done previously: going to other countries to do it, having it done in all but name in the US etc,

              ” Birth control isn’t even on your radar. Talk about a straw man.” – not sure that follows.

              On birth control itself, just do a simple bit of research…:


              Or maybe this one:


              “Of course Walker isn’t alone. Former Pennsylvania Senator Rick Santorum, who declared another run for the presidency in May, told press in 2012 that he disagreed with the Griswold ruling, and that at the very least, states should have the right to ban it, if for no other reason than states should always have the right to ban things if they want to no matter how ridiculous the idea might be. As for birth control itself, well, he considered that “not okay.” As he told one blogger on the campaign trail, “One of the things I will talk about, that no president has talked about before, is, I think, the dangers of contraception in this country … Many of the Christian faith have said, well, that’s okay, contraception is okay. It’s not okay. It’s a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.

              And former Texas Governor Rick Perry is right there with the rest. Perry referred to the Griswold decision as “nonsense,” saying, “The Court decided in 1963 that the people of Connecticut were unconstitutionally outlawing the sale of contraceptives, because—it imagined—in the ‘penumbras’ of the Constitution there is a right to privacy that prohibits that policy. Penumbras? What total and complete nonsense. The justices made a policy and then made something up in the Constitution to effectuate it.” Thenduring his 2012 run, the GOP candidate signed on to the Personhood USA pledge, agreeing to “advance state and federal laws and amendments that recognize the unalienable right to life of all human beings as persons at every stage of development.” Yes, even those unimplanted, fertilized eggs abortion opponents are convinced are starving to death in every uterine lining, a veritable “baby graveyard” below the belt.

              Of course, we cannot forget former Arkansas Governor Mike “Uncle Sugar” Huckabee, who believed that women couldn’t control their libidos and it was his job to free them from the tyranny of wanting birth control without a co-pay. In 2007 he told the Des Moines Register that “there are some forms of birth control that really are the destruction of a fertilized egg,” and when he was then asked if he though the government should ban that, he responded, “Yeah, I personally think there are better ways to deal with contraception than destroying a human life. So, again I’m going to say that I’m always going to make my position on the side of protecting human life.”

              Here we are, a full half a century after the Supreme Court ruled that a right to privacy incorporates the right to prevent a pregnancy using hormonal contraception—at least, for those who are married. Yet despite five decades of settled law surrounding it, and copious decisions cascading from it reaffirming that view, we have a pool of major GOP presidential contenders who if they don’t want to ban birth control all together, want to at the very least have the option to do so at a state level, or block access to it via conscience clauses, employer vetoes and federal defunding, or have sworn to back “personhood” bills that would make using them an actual crime.

              Grab your pills and IUDs tight, ladies. We may be celebrating an anniversary, but your birth control has never been more vulnerable.”

              It seems that I was completely coherent!

            • RexTugwell

              Nope. Still incoherent. Nobody thinks their birth control is threatened. A good thought experiment would be to imagine just what must happen to outlaw birth control even if a GOP candidate was elected who opposed BC. Honestly, who’s wringing their hands over this. By your logic, something is imminently threatened unless everyone is in favor of it.

              As an aside, opposition to birth control isn’t only because of its abortifacient effects.


              I personally know 2 women who’ve had a stroke at 35 and a heart attack at 26. Both on hormonal birth control. Real men protect women from harm. I guess you don’t qualify.

              So a couple can go to another country and get legally married and we’re supposed to find that compelling? Again, by your logic, we should reduce the age of consent for sexual contact because some countries have a lower age than we do and “people would still find ways to get to them.” Brilliant!

            • First of all, quit with the childish insults.

              Second, it was really quite clear from the direct quotes of GOP presidential hopefuls that they are making attacks on birth control.

              “Nobody thinks their birth control is threatened.”

              So you speak for the entirety of US females?

              Look, even our press in the UK reported on it this year!!!!


              Or perhaps this from 2013:

              “Contraception restrictions remain a top Republican priority”


              It’s ok, it’s fine to accept you can be wrong.

              Again, by your logic, we should reduce the age of consent for sexual contact because some countries have a lower age than we do and “people would still find ways to get to them.” Brilliant!

              Oh dear. You are straw manning my position. That’s just a complete non sequitur. My argument was from pragmatics and was a descriptive statement, not a normative one.

            • RexTugwell

              “It’s ok, it’s fine to accept you can be wrong” says the very quotable Jonathan MS Pearce

              Words to live by! Since you just proved me right, you may want to take your own advice. I was correct in assuming you were conflating the banning of contraception with the opposition of third parties to pay for it.

              According to you, a ban = an unwillingness to fund

              Congratulations! You just vacated the whole point of the cartoon. AR-15s are already banned because we have to pay for them ourselves. Who knew? Reading it again, I now find it funny. You get the last word.

            • “I was correct in assuming you were conflating the banning of contraception with the opposition of third parties to pay for it.”

              Not at all. They have tried to ban the sale of them in a general sense, pushing for over-the-counter. The Catholic Bishops has pushed for. As politicsusa states:

              “There is something to be said about Republicans and their never-change direction agenda that may be related to their “conservative” affliction. For the past five years one of the primary goals of Republicans they just cannot abandon is fulfilling the demands of the United States Conference of Catholic Bishops to ban contraception use in America. It was not enough that the Papal-5 on the Supreme Court ruled that religious employers could restrict their employees’ use of birth control, so now Republicans have resorted to their annual attempt to eliminate the Title X program that provides family planning services, including contraceptives, to roughly 4.6 million impoverished women. As usual, since Republicans in the House control the nation’s purse strings, they are using the 2016 budget to eliminate all funding for Title X and finally end the program that has been one of their cherished goals since taking control of the House in 2011.” http://www.politicususa.com/2015/06/20/religious-house-republicans-plan-deny-contraception-access-4-6-women.html

              They have also tried to ban contraceptive provision through employee health plans.

              You might also want to see Cory Garner: http://thefederalist.com/2014/10/29/new-naral-ad-cory-gardner-is-totally-going-to-ban-condoms/

              Rick Santorum maintained that contraception is “a license to do things in a sexual realm that is counter to how things are supposed to be.”

              and this


              and this reports a proposal to ban certain types of birth control.


              I tire of this.

            • Otto Greif

              There is no Supreme Court ruling that allows employers to restrict employee use of birth control.

            • Otto Greif

              Cory Gardner proposed legislation making prescription contraceptives available over the counter.

            • Hmmm, sounds like…. banning them from general sale…

            • Otto Greif

              How is making something available over the counter banning it from sale?

            • CLASSIC misrepresentation and selective quoting.

            • Otto Greif

              Your full quote was “Hmmm, sounds like… banning them from general sale…”. How is omitting “Hmmm, sounds like” selective quoting?

            • I think you’ll find the word “general” was the important one…

            • Otto Greif

              I find it redundant.

            • That would explain your poor comprehension skills.

            • Otto Greif

              How is making contraceptives available over the counter banning them from what bad writers call “general sale”?

            • Look at you two; picking up a minor point in a comedy satire cartoon, clearly losing the argument and whimpering on in a crappy attempt not to appear morally incoherent. Says it all!

            • Otto Greif

              I hope that reply was intended for someone else.

            • You are welcome to hope.

            • Otto Greif

              That reply had nothing to do with any of my comments, and I’m only one person. You must be off your meds.

            • There are two of you in this thread who have made similar and erroneous claims.

            • Otto Greif

              I haven’t made any erroneous claims, I haven’t read comments other than yours.

            • Geoff Benson

              Why does the Republican Party spend so much time obsessing about matters that don’t really belong in the national political arena; contraception, gay marriage, abortIon, all are matters of personal conscience and presidential candidates becoming so wrapped up in them does no service to America. This is something they just need to realise, though I have little optimism they ever will.

              When America has grown up enough to get over these matters of privacy then it can start dealing in a more considered way with things that actually matter, such as IS, Russia, world poverty and, oh yes, gun control.

            • Maybe I haven’t blogged about it, but many of my blogger colleagues are women, and I talk about lots of things off channel, on facebook etc. Heck, I’ve even been involved in researching and writing feminist essays. It is not a straw man, but a very real concern for many women in the US.

    • Geoff Benson

      I have little doubt that the Founding fathers would turn in their graves if they saw the mess that arose from their wording. I’m quite sure they’d point out they envisaged arming militias, not every idiot intent on causing harm.

      Of course the NRA (a nastier, more despotic organisation it’s difficult to imagine) has all sorts of hackneyed catchphrases for the occasion. For example, ‘guns don’t kill people, people kill people’. Funny thing is I never heard of anyone being shot without the presence of a gun.

    • I think Jim Jeffries got it spot on.

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