Recently on the evening news I was subjected to former Congressman Bob Barr saying, "It is all about the Big C -- Control." He could have been discussing his own record while in Congress, but he was actually talking about efforts to enact new gun control measures. Mr. Barr is a Board member of the NRA, so clearly he believes that government attempts to control Americans' love affair with firearms is wrong.
But it's curious that the Big C is negative mostly in relation to guns. Mr. Barr was a passionate and outspoken Congressional proponent of controlling who Americans can marry, which Americans are fit to adopt children in desperate need of homes and who should have access to abortions and birth control. In those instances, apparently the Big C was his guiding star.
What is it about politics in our country that makes it so easy for our leaders to decide which issues they will decide for us and which they should leave alone? It would appear that the Bob Barrs of this world see gay people and women as particularly unable to make wise decisions for themselves.
While in Congress, he voted to ban certain forms of family planning and abortion; he voted against allowing gay people in D.C. to adopt. The man who declared, "I am small government" clearly believes that women and gay people need the government to protect them from themselves, while gun owners need the government to step aside -- possibly while ducking for cover.
I have nothing against Mr. Barr, former Republican turned Libertarian. There are many other Mr. Barrs within our borders. But please don't fling the term Big C around when it threatens your precious guns and then stand under its banner when you apply it those who seek to make their own informed decisions in life.
We each struggle with decisions of morality and citizenship on a daily basis, and many of those decisions are really difficult. But the outcry against gun control the past weeks has merely highlighted the quiet storm that resulted from the more than 95 provisions passed by states in 2012 that restricted women's reproductive health and rights. A legal right to seek abortions is eroding daily. In my home state of Virginia, legislators enacted a law requiring women seeking abortions to first undergo a sonogram. Presumably, this is to ensure that women know what a fetus looks like. But apparently the NRA opposes a proposal expanding background checks on gun buyers because, what, we should just trust them? Like we trust women?
So to recap, apparently asking for stricter regulation for those seeking to stockpile arsenals of weapons in their homes is the bad kind of Big C. But treating women as too capricious to make their own decisions about their bodies is the good kind of Big C.
I've got to stop watching the evening news.
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