Posts Tagged ‘civil liberties’

By R.C. Seely

“THE ENTIRE END CITIZENS UNITED team is heartbroken by the senseless loss of life in Las Vegas. To those grieving, please know that we are with you. Even in the face of such tragedy though, we must resolve to identify a new path forward. 

    At ECU, we believe our role in this fight is to call out the undue and devastating influence of the gun lobby in America . We all know the big money in politics corrupts our Democracy and nowhere is more clear than in the rejection of commonsense gun laws that could help our communities be safer.”

    That was a declaration made on October 2nd, 2017, shortly after the Las Vegas shooting by The End Citizens United campaign. This is common sentiment among those in favor of gun control. 

    The Progressive Turnout Project referred to not immediately advancing more strict gun laws as “ignoring the will of the people” and excoriated the Republican Party saying “tragedy after tragedy, the GOP has done nothing absolutely NOTHING but offer ‘thoughts and prayers’ to victims of gun violence.” Joe Biden called out the Republican Party for their “inaction” after the shooting.  

    Libertarian Party Presidential candidate Gary Johnson had this to say:

   “It is an unspeakable act causing unspeakable pain. As we would expect in this great country, the stories of horror and death are accompanied by inspiring stories of Americans doing what Americans do: Strangers saving the lives of strangers. First responders going into harm’s way. Thousands lining up for hours to donate blood, and millions of dollars pouring into funds for victims and their families.

 But sadly and predictably, the partisans on each side have already retreated to their respective trenches. Some laying blame on gun rights activists, and some of my fellow supporters of the 2nd Amendment refusing to even engage in a conversation.”

 

   I agree with that but it’s difficult to have a conversation with those who only offer demogogery. It doesn’t sound like they want to engage in a conversation. The activist group Some Of US, at least has a point, commenting about the recent push to deregulate gun silencers.

“Silencers would prevent a gun from making a loud popping–making it harder for the average person or even law enforcement to know when and from where shots are being fired.”

 

   I will give them credit for at least critical thinking but all the arguments against deregulating silencers are also valid ones in favor.

    If a gun owner at the scene had a silencer on their firearm and choose to act and ended the shooter’s life they would be more encouraged to do so. Say they took a shot and missed or only wounded the shooter, and another shot was necessary to end it. That anonymity would be a comfort in such a situation. The shooter would only want anonymity so they could get away and cause more chaos, and there has not been a recorded account of a shooter using one. A shooter wants chaos and a loud gunshot would provide that, these are not snipers remember, and many don’t care about hiding.

    The shooter having a silencer wouldn’t be as much of an asset as postulated anyways, the sounds of gun shots are not the best method for determining the location of the shooter. The visual clues, such as the blast from the muzzle or the trail from the bullet, are far more accurate. At best, it’s a pointless law but more than likely it’s causing more harm. 

    Many have been trying to determine the rationale for the violence. Was it because he lost big at the gaming tables? Was he slighted by a member of the hotel staff?

    The Las Vegas shooter scouted locations in Boston and Chicago as well, demonstrating a clear determination to kill multiple people and it didn’t really matter where. This was about ending as many lives as possible and making a name for himself, making him a clinical psychopath and making motivation a moot issue. Notority was all the motivation he needed. He also was planning more than the single incident–including a bombing similiar to the Oklahoma City bombing–but wasn’t counting on the efficiency of Las Vegas Law Enforcement. 

    Many criticize the media in all this, to a degree they are correct. If the media didn’t over-cover these tragedies it wouldn’t entice these glory-seekers of violence to commit such atrocities. On the other hand, such coverage probably saves lives too. Visitors and residents of Las Vegas knew to stay away from the area and they called loved ones in the city to make sure they were all right. Maybe limiting coverage wouldn’t be such a bad thought.

    Tougher gun laws are the answer and can make things worse and the control freaks in Washington know this, they have the CDC study on gun violence which was later replicated by Harvard University, and both had the same results. The largest source of deaths by guns are suicides, then the criminals and last the victims. 

    They are also ignoring the FBI statistics on violent crime, violence is at an all time low–even with the spikes during the Obama administration and this first year of the Trump administration. So what is going on here? 

    If legislators have access to all this data, why proceed do a pathway of obsolete laws? Because they are control freaks and they want you dependent on government services. But consider that a lot can happen between the time you call 911 for law enforcement or the ambulance. If you have the chance to end a violent shooting, you should do so rather than running like a scared rabbit. Otherwise this predator will treat you like a scared rabbit! If you can assist someone else after an accident, you should, or their death is on you. What’s more you have the right to buy a gun and you shouldn’t have to ask permission.

    We have to stop those with mental illness from getting guns though, is the most common response. Fine, I’ll discuss that, to start off we need to make sure that this is established as a case by case basis and strictly defined. According to many gun control advocates, even the desire for a gun is a mental illness. Sounds like they are unbiased and able to set realistic and fair laws in this issue. Mental illness is the problem but more strict laws on that demographic won’t do anything either, psychopaths and sociopaths generally are the most difficult to diagnose, they are exceptionally intelligent and easily manipulate others. Many doctors don’t even know they are being conned by them unless specifically trained to deal with them. Yet again, the laws would harm those who are innocent.

    Gun control has been tried many times in the United States, in different scales. The earliest attempts were simply cities, many in the mining and cattle towns during the heavy romantizing “Wild West” era. As the name implies, it wasn’t very successful and the criminals ignored the laws. Same as they do today. 

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. HE has also written books about pop culture the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victims Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ONE OF THE FIRST VIDEOS I DID FOR MY YouTube channel Americanus Libertae Television (ALTV) was an opinion piece about gay marriage titled “A Random Thought.” To summarize, I don’t care what two consenting adults do as long as both are fully informed. What do I mean by “fully informed?” In this case, transgenders have a moral duty to disclose they are transgender to potential partners. The video was done as a joke, thinking the idea that someone would hide this is aburd. I was wrong there.

    Within the LGBT community are extremists who believe keeping others in the dark about formally being a dude is acceptable. Let me see if I have this clear: The gay community has been fighting for decades against “don’t ask, don’t tell” and have been successful in this, only to impose it on those they wish to hook up with? Is this a fair assessment? 

    These few unreasonable malcontents are willing to push back their movement for sex, and they are not even considering how dangerous this position is. Think this through a little bit, when the relationship gets physical and the decieved find out the little secret–how do you think he will react?  Oh what a funny joke… That was a good one! More than likely he will be justifiably angry and turn violent. That would be gays getting hurt, and the tricked incarcerated needlessly for a secret they shouldn’t have been keeping anyway. That was why “don’t ask, don’t tell” was a bad idea, it stiffled the discussion about the issue of homosexuality. Just because it makes you uncomfortable, pretending it doesn’t exist, won’t make it go away. And it’s not unreasonable to conclude these extremists validate their actions because of “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. They were forced to hide before, might as well capitalize on it now. 

    That’s also why Trump’s transgenders in the military ban should be thought through, what are the unintended consequences? One is that volunteers negate the need for the draft. As long as they wear the proper uniform in battle, let them fight. Besides, with the sentiments about homosexuals and women in the Middle East, seeing both in battle might deter a few fights. Hmmm… Maybe they are inferior but they got us on the retreat. The ban is currently the only justified reason for anger I can see. For the most part homosexuals are fairly well socially accepted. 

    While a fraction of the LGBT community supports the concept of “uninformed consent,” another wants to advance an policy that is even worse, to completely abolish consent entirely. Let’s take a bad idea and give it steriods! Essentially, this portion of the community is claiming it’s immoral for you to say no to their advances and you’re homophobic. That’s a good way to lose the support of the public. Homophobic is when voters support laws that are clearly discriminatory–bans them from employment opportunities because of being gay, “don’t ask, don’t tell”, or restrictions from adoptions–not making the distinction about who you let in your life and home. Not properly alarmed by this yet? Well, let’s just say every rapist and pedophile will be supporting this, because it’s the end of consent. That’s where this is heading.

    I personally support marriage equality, adoption rights for gays and the end of “don’t ask, don’t tell” because such stances protect others rights to decide for themselves and avoids provable harm to others. The most ethical choice is not to defend simply your rights but everyone’s rights. The only purpose for these laws is to divide us anyway, to keep us from examining the laws that cause provable harm. While we’re talking about transgenders in the military, we’re not discussing “full disclosure.” Marriage equality gets a lot of attention and our consent laws continue getting eroded. 

    Finally to the gay community, in the past there were discriminatory laws against you but your movement has achieved a great level of social acceptance, enjoy that and don’t embrace these new policies. These “Transaggression” policies are a ticking time bomb to all that has been gained and the clock is ticking.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

AS THE “MANIFEST DESTINY” MOVEMENT TOOK hold and the United States expanded into the South West of the continent, mining towns started cropping up and with the mining towns saloons and brothels. After the weeks work of digging for precious metals and resources such as coal, the miners wanted to unwind–have a few beers or shots of whiskey, play a few cards or spend the evening with one of the prostitutes. As these mining towns grew and brought in more respectable businesses and families, the need to isolate the more seedy parts of the mining towns became a priority, so they came up with “red light districts” a separated part of town for saloons and brothels. It worked quite well, until the towns grew into cities and isolation wasn’t enough, full on prohibition was the new way to go. So the red lights turned into the “black markets” and the violence that the respectable wanted contained now bleed all across their cities. Eventually the issue of vice management became the responsibility of the states and many brought drinking and gambling back, a couple even brought back prostitution.

Back then the red light districts were a social compromise for the safety of it’s citizens, today they are areas that put the citizens at higher risk. A trend to demonstrate your antimosity towards firearms is to replace the regular light bulb in the porch light with a red one. Basically you are advertising to the world that your home is a “gun-free zone.” That’s a really smart move! Hey criminals, why not hit this house, we don’t like violence of any kind and expect you to respect that. Because that how the real world works. Now to the way a criminal sees it: Hey these idiots just made my job way easier. I think Ill go there and do whatever I want. This should be fun.

If you’re against guns that’s fine, don’t get one but don’t let everyone know about it. Not only are you unnecessarily putting yourself at risk but you are putting the whole neighborhood at risk too. You think the intruders will assume that it’s just you who doesn’t have a gun on the block? They might think others feel the same as you and simply choose not to mark their house. A friendly piece of advice if you see red light come up in your street; get a quality alarm, a gun, a dog and sign advertising it all. Your home just become a marked target all because the progressives next door hate the NRA.

Even during the era of the original red light districts gun control was tried and had the same results as today. A few towns tried to outlaw carrying guns in city limits and it was the respectable who obeyed the laws and the cowboys and miners who did whatever they wanted. At least back then they didn’t go around with a sign “We don’t like guns and are completely unarmed. We make the perfect victims.” That’s basically what these people are saying.

I think every home should have at least one firearm, and everyone in that home should be trained in how to use it at the right age. It might be an attitude that is viewed as antiquated but it’s also the safest. Otherwise you are dependent on the police and a lot can happen in the time it takes for them to arrive. Doesn’t it make more sense for you to be able to handle the situation yourself? And having a gun in your home does deter intruders, a study by the CDC demonstrated that. The findings were that most gun deaths are suicides and then the criminals. Harvard replicated the study with the same results. But if you don’t feel comfortable with a gun in your home, don’t get one that’s fine. Don’t make it more difficult for others to get one though by supporting extended gun control measures that don’t work. All they do is make it harder for the law abiding to get protection and easier for the criminals, who still have the black market to turn to, to have their way. In a few places they have ordinances that the citizens are legally required to have a firearm in their homes. That’s just as wrong as these laws that inhibit others from obtaining their tool of self-preservation. Whether you want one or not should be your choice and yours alone. Now turn off that red light before you wake the neighbors.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books on pop culture. The most recent, Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

ALONG WITH UBER AND AIRBNB, THE MONOPOLIES to traditional markets have another rookie to bring competition to another market–housing. Like other monopolies, the status quo titans are not giving up their power without a fight and the standard weapon of choice is the law.

    From Curbed.com, a housing business website:

“Despite the growing enthusiasm for tiny houses, it still isn’t easy to legally build them for full time use. Zoning laws and building codes by and large, require a minimum square footage for new construction homes, and progress to reduce that square footage is slow. 

Cities and towns that have started to accommodate tiny houses have typically been pushed by grassroots organizers asking government officials for changes to local building and zoning codes.”

    A little about “tiny houses” you should know, they are either a type of recreational vehicle or have a solid foundation like regular buildings. It’s the ones with the foundation that seem to have state legislatures in a frenzy. Many states are only allowing tiny houses to build within a tiny house community, if at all. The strict construction codes have mostly come from the same source, the International Residential Code (IRC) with such requirements as 70 square feet for room size and 7 foot tall ceilings, and a minimum 1,000 square feet for construction, all fairly common zoning guidelines. Also absurd for tiny houses.

    “Construction codes tell you how to build your home,”Andrew Morrison, of Tiny House Build says. “Zoning depends on where you build your home.” There are some states choosing to embrace the movement. Certain counties in the states of California, Colorado, Florida, Massachusetts, Michigan, New York, Oregon and Texas–but again still check out the zoning laws beforehand since it’s only select counties within those states. For more information, the American Tiny House Association has compiled a list of state regulations and state chapter leaders. They might even be of assistance in getting a variance for your state or county.

    The state of Utah might be joining the list, all with the help of the Utah based legal activist organization, The Libertas Instititute. Along with the other economic and civil causes on their long list, the right to build on your property free from the zoning gestapo. With the trend of the smaller dwellings popularity with millenials a reevaluation might end up being more than something to consider, but a necessity. Options for housing could help reinvigorate the housing market for the demographic most cynical about the idea of being home owners. Because of the economic incentive and not just the novelty of tiny houses, it appears to be more than “just a trend.” And the first step is to reconsider is the zoning laws. “There’s plenty of momentum to continue changing zoning regulations at the local level. But there’s movement on the national level, too. Tiny house advocates are currently pushing to include a tiny house code in the International Residential Code,” explains Morrison.

    Adapting the zoning and construction regulations would not only make sense economically but is protecting the homeowner’s right to utilize their property in the manner best for their needs. Control obsessed state and county legislatures shouldn’t have more say about what is built on your property or how you use it than you do. If you live in a planned community you have certain bylaws you agree to, that’s a voluntary transaction. You can always leave if you want or petition the board and your neighbors to change the rules. But you still had the choice. With these sort of laws you are robbed of that choice, whether it’s a traditional home or tiny one.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon

By R.C. Seely

EVERY JULY 4TH WE CELEBRATE THE ANNUAL birthday of the United States of America. Against all greater odds this great nation was formed, to give the world an example of what freedom could be, or that’s what we were told. Where did it go wrong? To avoid the majority rules, it was built as an amalgamation of constitutional republic and democratic order. And it was working but somewhere we, the people failed. The majority started wanting “free stuff” and freedom became less important. That’s the entire reason Bernie Sanders was even in the running for president.

    The question is: Can people change their thinking and return to the path of individual choice and personal accountability? There have been a few positive signs. Another widely popular presidential contender was Rand Paul. While not a “true libertarian” he has always been an ally to the party and his presidency would have been a way for the Libertarian Party to get invited to the adult table. Talking to progressives who supported Sanders, Paul would have been a welcomed option and polls showed that he could have carried enough support from the Democrats and Republicans to have bested Clinton even without the “rigging from the electorial college.” Is this the last time that Rand will run? Or will he pick up where his father Ron left off? I hope so, either Paul would be a welcomed–and accurately named–the true “hope and change” president. Maine passed a “food sovereignty” law which means the cities and towns of the state “may regulate by ordinance local food systems, and the state shall recognize such ordinances.” It applies solely to local markets “who sell directly to the consumers” for the time being but it’s a start. Nevada joins the growing number of states that have full legalization of marijuana and have started selling. Uber and Lyft are also spreading, opening up into Alaska now, a very positive sign for the future of the shared economy. Oregon lifted a restriction that their bars couldn’t​ post their happy hour special prices. And love him or hate him, Gary Johnson brought attention to the Libertarian Party and more were considering the alternative. If not for the presidential debates commission upholding it’s ruling against third parties, who knows what could have happened. Oh well, maybe things will go better for the Larry Sharpe 2020 campaign.

    With the good comes the bad, such as Minneapolis passing the $15 minimum wage completely ignoring the consequences of it from Seattle. Obamacare is still not repealed and Trumpcare isn’t looking like a better option. How about repealed and don’t replace, let the market take over. TSA is talking about expanding their security measures but books are not included. So you won’t loose your place in that paperback but you also won’t be leaving the security lines anytime soon, so better stock up on reading material. Trump plans more punitive tariffs, making sure all your consumables are labeled “Made in America” putting it at prices you can’t afford. Trump continues his war on the media and in the Middle East, both which appear unending. As does the federal prohibition on marijuana so watch out for the feds when in a Las Vegas pot shop. 

    All the bad mentioned have one thing in common, the absence of independence and the adoption of the collective ideals. The abandonment of the independent soveriegn individual’s right of personal choice. Whenever a law is passed that robs the individual of their right to make a personal choice–as long as it doesn’t harm another–then this is a loss of freedom. We have to get out of the mindset that independence is about defending our choices; but instead defending everyone’s choices. As long as those choices don’t cause physical injury to another person or damage property–even if you find those choices morally reprehensible–stand up for another’s right to make those decisions free from unreasonable federal consequences. That is independence. 

    Keep in mind that someone, somewhere will find a personal choice you make objectionable and might find it proper to try to strip you of that right. Don’t be like them, be better. Anyone who does so is in the wrong, even if it’s for the right. Dictating your personal morality on others by supporting prohibitions and “sin taxes” are the easy ways to force society to conform to your norms. Besides the fact such laws are not effective, they are also a violation of the principles of liberty. The principles of America. There are also enormous costs of fortune and freedom because of these actions. I’m no anarchist and not advocating the abolishment of all government, just shrinking it back to it’s proper manageable size and scope. Much of what has been granted as the duties of the government can and should be managed in a far superior manner by the states, which is why our Constitution specifically stipulated that it was the state’s duties. That way it’s far easier for tyrants be to managed and individualism protected. This is not anarchy, this is not madness, this is independence!

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV and has written books about pop culture, his most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available on Amazon.

By R.C. Seely

IF YOU SEARCH THROUGH LIBERTARIAN GROUP PAGES on social media sites one of the most common openings from trolls would have to be the question: “What is the libertarian stance on…” You don’t often see this on duopoly pages and it’s not only odd but demonstrates a fundamental misunderstanding of the party by the online passerby, or is drive by a more accurate description? Usually those who post such comments are not looking for a discussion, but to cause trouble, libertarians do this all the time as well, so I’m not condemning the behavior simply find the common socially accepted opening extremely amusing. It’s at a level that would be even less than sophomoric. Which also appears to match their understanding of the movement they so eagerly mock.

A far more effective phrasing would go along the lines of: “From your understanding of libertarian principles​, what is the party’s stance on…” or even better “What is your stance on…” Not only is it more respectful but demonstrates an understanding of those being addressed and the desire for an actual exchange of ideas.

The manner in which you conduct yourself both online and in person is entirely up to you, but if you want to have an actual discussion, statements such as “that’s a typical response” will get a typical–and well deserved–response of hostility. A piece of advice is simply don’t do it. If it would offend you, why do you think it wouldn’t offend others? And yet, they are surprised by the lack of engagement from the other person–go figure!

Critics of online social commentary claim that the anonymity makes them more brazen and hostile–and what’s your point? Of course it makes us more daring, it also spreads ideas and views that are contrary, and protects us from unreasonable consequences of rogue government agency enforcers. Just because we have the freedom of speech, doesn’t mean that those in power–who in general are not exactly advocates of constructive criticism–won’t enact laws to censor that said right. The law of Civil Disobedience for one, think it’s a coincidence it is open for interpretation? Or the Seditions Acts that have been introduced, and reintroduced, and reintroduced. Or how about the future laws from the current administration and social media compliance to curtail “fake news.”

What those who make their drive-by remarks don’t seem to grasp is they are not wrecking havoc on the libertarian party, in fact they are probably helping. Yes, there will be many who react to the intruder, but others will actually answer and engage, even when it’s clear the one who posted has fled. The libertarian prespective is less one of a collective view and more principles with an open dialogue to get back on the road of limited government. Some see that as keeping the death penalty, others abolishing it; some are pro-life, others pro-choice; some want a strong social safety net, others want it completely dismantled. Some are hard core environmentalists and feminists. Some voted Gary Johnson, others Hillary Clinton, and others Donald Trump and they are not any less libertarian for it.

The libertarian Party is not one that believes in ownership of the individual in any fashion, that’s why the common views are the draft is tantamount to slavery, why “taxation is theft”, and the wall is more of a tool to restrict movement than protection for the citizenry. That also means that the party doesn’t own the libertarian and the question “what is the libertarian stance on…” is a logical fallacy, it can’t really be answered, because that makes the implication the party owns you and you have to fall in line with their political dogma. So what is the libertarian stance on that? I don’t know but this is my stance.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He has also written books on pop culture, the most recent Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society is available at Amazon.

 

By R.C. Seely

THERE HAS BEEN A LOT OF IN PARTY FIGHTING going on amongst libertarians, the most common issues of contention seem to be trying to define what makes one a “true” libertarian and what the stance on abortion should be. The problem with the first issue: How does one accurately assess and quality a movement based on voluntary interaction? I really don’t have a good answer for that, which is why I tend to embrace the simplest of solutions and don’t try to define them. Unless the proposed solution increases the size of government I will listen. That’s why I’m pro-choice, I disagree with abortion and think it’s used far too often, but the debate has come up because the temperance movement invited government into the debate by demanding its prohibition. When does federal intervention actually work? One argument that has been tossed around: How can someone be pro-life and in favor of capital punishment? That has some validity from a policy concept free from emotional bias. Essentially the person’s life-whether a convicted criminal or innocent unborn-is decided for them, is this moral? Let’s examine it.

    Arguments in favor of abortion-on-demand center around the threat of children being born with certain physical or mental irregularities-many undetected until after six months, which is why the “need” for partial birth abortion. According to a Huffington Post article in 2013, “The two main reasons for late-term abortions are lack of access to better, earlier care and biology. A 20 week abortion ban would make problems worse by criminalizing them… Pregnancy is riskier for women over 35. Amniocentesis, the test for anomalies, is not done until 15-18 weeks, and ultrasounds for congenital malformations are done at weeks 18-20.” Other arguments are because the child is simply unwanted. Part of the problem is that adoption is costly and not an efficient process in many areas, reforming that process would help. Adoption reform is rarely included in the discussion and a big part of the problem many are adamant in their perspective of the issue. Most have adopted the two polar opposite sides on abortion; either full legalization or total prohibition. It wouldn’t be reasonable to have some restrictions-such as, limited time period in which the procedure can be performed and no more taxpayer funding for Planned Parenthood-but most restrictions won’t make abortion end, simply go underground. Oh good, another black market, just what we need. There has been a reported increase in the number of women suffering depression afterwards, that too should be in the discussion. Afterabortion.org offers this on the matter: 

“A study of the medical records of 56,741 California Medicaid patients revealed that women who had abortions were 160 percent more likely than delivering women to be hospitalized for psychiatric treatment in the first 90 days following abortion or delivery.

In a study of post-abortion patients only 8 weeks after their abortion, researchers found that 44% complained of nervous disorders, 36% experience sleep disturbances, 31% had regrets about their decision, and 11% had been prescribed psychological medicine by their family doctor.”

 

    A study by JAMA refutes these claims and finds that “abortion denial may be associated with psychological harm to women.”

“The longitudinal cohort study observed 956 women semiannually for five years… [The] women who were denied an abortion reported significantly more anxiety symptoms and lower self-esteem and life satisfaction, but similar levels of depression, as women receiving abortions; outcomes improved or remained steady over time.”


     JAMA further concludes:

“In this study, compared with having an abortion, being denied an abortion may be associated with greater risk of initially experiencing adverse psychological outcomes. Psychological well-being improved over time so that both groups of women eventually converged. These findings do not support policies that restrict women’s access to abortion on the basis that abortion harms women’s mental health.”


    What is considered more moral: A policy that ends the life of an unborn and arguably puts the woman’s life in risk, not just physically but mentally; or one that increases the government’s input in the matter, which will more than likely still put everyone in more danger but might not? 

    As for the death penalty, I do agree with its critics in federal cases, as for local that’s where the debate should continue. With local control, it’s easier to curtail the abuse within the justice system. A higher burden of proof for death penalty cases and updating interrogation tactics by law enforcement is part of the solution. Does this eliminate all the problems? Probably not. The justice system is based on a meritocracy of conviction rates not seeking justice or bringing down crime. Until that changes as well, false convictions will remain the norm, and that means the debate should continue. It’s critics argue that granting any government the right to decide who lives and dies is far too dangerous, going off history they have an excellent point. Even imprisonment or investigation of accusations, has been used as a potential weapon against supposed threats. This danger was born in the United States with President John Adams, in the form of the Alien and Sedition Acts, included in the Acts were pieces of legislation that made it illegal for anyone-including journalists-to criticize the administration without threat of incarceration. Doesn’t this sound familiar? During both World Wars the Sedition Acts were revived, but not for Korea, Vietnam or any current engagements. The illusion was created that the American people largely supported the World Wars after the attacks on the Lusitania and Pearl Harbor and that might not have been the case. By controlling the narrative, they controlled everything. We can banter about the specific semantics involved in the American wars but what is clear is the control created. If the government puts that much effort into keeping it’s war machine going, what would it do to its critics? Falsely incarcerate them, kill them? It’s not like the US government is above those kinds of tactics if one of its citizens is deemed “unpatriotic” or a “subversive.” Remember McCarthyism? And Trump has already started an enemies list. So, all things considered, is it really so imprudent to start reconsidering your perspective if pro-capital punishment?

    So, it appears the people of the United States do have room for further discussion and evaluation about the morality of these issues. Is the more morally consistent stance the one that grants a federal entity more control and yet devalues human life? Isn’t that essentially what you’re agreeing to if you abdicate for legalization of either? Can you be in favor of human life if you’re pro-choice but not the death penalty? Or vice versa? What would happen with a complete moratorium on the death penalty? Are there unintended consequences? We know that prohibitions generally end up with adverse effects, most common being the foundation of black markets, making society as a whole far less safe. The prohibition of alcohol, the War on Drugs and the restrictions on abortion, all had illegal underground markets, offering the desperate these bootlegged goods and services at inflated prices and unsafe conditions. Would a total death penalty ban end up with a black market? Could it result in a real-life punisher? Or possibly Lynch mobs, seeking vengeance instead of justice? We have a historical record to look at with abortion restrictions but not with the death penalty, so all this is speculative. We can study the crime rates in each state, to get an idea of the end results and hope it’s​ not catastrophic if nationally implemented. Deathpenalty.info has a side by side comparison of murder rates in states with the death penalty vs those without, and shows the murder rates are actually lower in the states without. While it fluctuates between a 4-46% difference in the span of 1990-2015, the death penalty states have a higher murder rate. According to their research “the average of murder rates per 100,000 population in 1999 among death penalty states was 5.5, where the average… non-death penalty states was only 3.6.” It appears the evidence is on the side of life in this matter. A certain amount of consensus is required to go forward in changing either policy, which I don’t see coming up in the near future.

    Questions of ethics are-and undoubtedly should be-difficult, they require juggling our perspective of the head and heart. What seems logical can also be construed as cold and callous, and the emotional can be viewed as weak or frivolous. No matter your view, you have to be able to live with what transpires. You didn’t end a life but your advocacy puts the guilt on your hands, doesn’t it? You could argue the death row inmate deserves it, what if he was innocent and succumbed to police interrogation? That means an innocent person still died and you had a part in it. If you call for an abortion prohibition which doesn’t work and simply creates a black market, does that make you guilty? And what if further federal intervention is advanced because of such prohibitions, does that negate the morality? The government has a bad habit of using such actions to validate its encroachment and expand its efforts of control. Is the risk worth it and once down that road can we make the U-turn? From my view, having the federal oversight in either matter is a major ethical violation but trying to squash any contrary opinions is an even bigger one, so let’s continue the debate.

R.C. Seely is the founder of americanuslibertae.com and ALTV. He also has written books about pop culture and his most recent is Victims of White Male: How Victim Culture Victimizes Society, all his books are available at Amazon.com.