Category Archives: Law, Crime, and Judiciary

On the Riots in Ferguson

Back in July of 2013, when the jury delivered its verdict on the trial of George Zimmerman for the murder of Trayvon Martin, many pundits wailed in dismay and bewilderment: “What are we to teach our kids about this outcome?” “How can I sincerely tell my son or daughter that the criminal justice system will protect them as faithfully as their white counterparts?” “How can black children be safe when white murderers cannot be punished?” Now, in the Missouri town of Ferguson, a grand jury has decided not to indict Officer Darren Wilson for the wrongful death of Michael Brown, and in the midst of the resultant protests, demonstrations, and riots, we hear similar refrains from activists and media alike.

I am not, nor have I ever been a parent; but I hope to be one someday, and I find myself asking the same questions, though for a different reason. Most critics of the criminal proceedings—or lack thereof—view these tragedies as harmfully reshaping social norms. They fear the resurgence of a world in which racial prejudices invade our social and legal institutions, tipping the scales of justice in favor of those who, all else being equal, would be punished or penalized.

While we should not ignore those concerns (I would caution, however, that the arbitrary and excessive use of police force is not strictly a racial issue), Ferguson’s reaction to the grand jury’s decision leaves me wondering if a different, yet equally insidious social standard is not being fashioned in the aftermath. What am I to tell my son when he sees the riots in the streets? When he sees the burning and looting, the abject disregard for persons and property, the hair-trigger uproar upon receiving the official decision, how should I explain it?

I would start by telling him that the social norms of our nation are, in fact, regressing to a more archaic state. But it is not in the manner that mainstream critics predict. I would respond to my son’s inquiry with some questions of my own.

If criminal justice proceedings that employ facts and evidence are met with such blatant, open hostilities as we see today, how can we claim to value those methods of adjudication? And if we do not value facts and evidence, what criteria will we choose instead to accurately judge these situations? By definition, the only alternative to judgment based on facts and evidence is judgment based on prejudice. How can we claim to be judging someone by the content of their character if this is the norm?

When all people, not just police officers, face the proposition that any use of deadly force for self-defense will invariably be met with a public outcry and racial controversy, regardless of the final verdict on the justifiability for that action, how will that engender feelings of safety and good will in racially diverse communities? How will neighbors come to regard each other when such occurrences foster the political-identity attitude that breeds racial and class antipathy?

How will the health and integrity of our public discourse fare when we automatically label as racists and oppressors those people who adhere to the principle of justified deadly force in self-defense, and express their support for those who exercise it? This abolishment of any possibility for active listening would seem only to neuter the freedom of speech.

As these new, changed norms spread and ossify, how long would we have before they start to permeate our legal institutions? How would the behavior of criminal justice officials change under the continual specter of riots and destruction? That change, for which the many loud activists clamor, may indeed produce outcomes that they find more agreeable, but would that be a testament to the triumph of some universal notion of justice, or would that be the result of acquiescing to those who most credibly threaten mass violence?

Even setting aside how I would teach my son, I wonder how his interpersonal relations should change as a result of us condoning riots. How can I advocate strict adherence to a principle of non-aggression when social or legal outcomes can be so easily and legitimately influenced by wanton violence? Is it wise to instruct my son only to use force in self-defense when I know that others will not hesitate to incite and partake in violence to achieve their political goals? And if he follows their example, by what criteria should he do so? What moral cause is great enough to warrant such action? In an act of disservice to the rest of us, the people now in the streets neglected to establish such a standard before commencing with their holy march, seemingly relegating the question of what constitutes a just cause to peoples’ fickle and subjective whims.

For some of these questions I can only speculate as to the answers; some of them are simply impossible for any intellectually honest libertarian to answer, as they invite only arbitrariness. Luckily for me, I am not yet in the position of having to confront these questions with an impressionable child, so I will focus on preventing such matters from becoming prevalent while I have the time. Granted, the issues of excessive force by police and civil asset forfeiture are being brought to the forefront right now, and we should refrain from pretending they do not exist; but of more immediate and fundamental concern should be a restoration of confidence in the use of facts, reason, and evidence to judge disputes. A justice system that operates by any other mode is really not a justice system at all—it perpetuates not a rule of law, but rule of man. That is not a world into which I would want to bring a child.

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On Crime, Gun Control Misses the Target

Aurora, CO. Milwaukee, WI. Newtown, CT. These and other tragedies have marked 2012 with physical and emotional pain. The killing of innocent men, women, and children reveals the grotesqueries in our nature which civilized society (too) easily allows us to forget. Citizens everywhere—many of them viewing these incidents as part of a growing trend in mass shootings—have called for an end to the violence; and as politicians promise “meaningful action” to prevent further attacks of this sort, a flurry of political debates has enveloped the nation.

In the wake of these catastrophes, emotions run hot, and people seek answers. They scapegoat, and they create demons, and those demons often reinforce their long-held beliefs. For some, the availability of guns is to blame. For others it’s the prolific violence in TV and video games. To be honest, we simply do not know what drives people to commit these atrocities, and even if we did know, it is not clear that we could do anything to stop it. The advances in science which have allowed us to understand the causes of volcanoes, earthquakes, and hurricanes have yielded no prescriptions for their prevention. They have, however, helped us develop ways of dealing with these phenomena, and minimizing the damage they cause.

We must treat mass murderers the same way. Given our limited knowledge of psychology and criminology, we must, for the foreseeable future, assume that the people who are predisposed to commit such crimes will indefinitely be a facet of our society. Given that understanding, the question then becomes how to deal with them, and how to minimize their damage.

One solution which has been offered repeatedly throughout history, though in many different iterations, is gun control. Gun control, generally speaking, is the implementation of systemic, legal restrictions on the distribution and ownership of firearms. Notwithstanding proponents’ incessant drumbeat to strip Americans of their Second Amendment rights, we should first ponder both the feasibility and the morality of gun control.

One problem with gun control is that it is simply impractical. Concordant with our observations on the prohibitions of other goods and services like alcohol, drugs, and prostitution, it seems safe to say that people will always find ways to obtain guns. Black markets inevitably emerge, and the importation of guns from other jurisdictions outside of the United States presents an insurmountable hindrance. Indeed, a prohibition on guns may prove more costly and unfeasible than other prohibitions because those gun owners who would resist firearm confiscation are inherently more apt to cause damage while doing so, simply because the product being confiscated is a weapon.

That said, the enforceability of a law should not be the only criterion for judging its validity—no prohibition can ever be completely effective. If we were willing to live in a police state, we could probably achieve a near-perfect enforcement of some laws, though most people would probably view the costs of that approach as outweighing the benefits.

But aside from its impracticability, the main problem with gun control is its immorality. Gun control betrays the main purpose of owning a gun in the first place. The gun, like all other weapons, works as a power-equalizer between those who are naturally weak and those who are naturally strong. If no person ever transgressed against another, then natural inequalities in power would be inconsequential. Unfortunately, criminals exist, and so there is a need to be mindful of these power differentials, and to take precautions which diminish them. This understanding of human relations is greatly damning of gun control. There is no reason to believe that the same criminals who perpetrate violence against their fellow citizens would suddenly follow the laws with respect to gun possession. The only logical result of gun control, therefore, is the minimization of law-abiding citizens’ power relative to that of criminals, and a placement of the former perpetually at the mercy of the latter.

Empirical evidence supports this criticism. Every mass shooting in the United States since 1950, with the exception of one, has taken place in areas where citizens are banned from carrying guns.

One other problem with gun control is that guns do not kill people—people kill people. A gun is one particular tool for doing so, but any individual who is predisposed to kill another will carry out his intentions using whatever tool is at his disposal, whether that tool be a knife, a baseball bat, or a car. Therefore, laws should focus on the violent act, not the tool(s) used in carrying it out.

This argument is often countered by pointing out that guns, unlike other tools used in murder, are unique in that they only serve one purpose: the exercise of deadly force. Since a gun, conversely, can serve no other purpose, the benefit of banning guns (if it were feasible) is therefore infinite compared to the cost.

But deadly force is, in itself, not a purpose. It is a means to an end, and the legitimacy of an end determines the legitimacy of the means required to achieve it. If the desired end is defense for oneself or other innocent people, then deadly force may be entirely appropriate. If the end is unprovoked harm or coercion, then deadly force is rightly prohibited, and we should implement criminal laws to deal with actions of that character. Gun control only works to ensure that a legitimate end is impossible, and an illegitimate end is more likely.

As discussed earlier, gun ownership creates a balance of power between the weak and the strong, and it deters the exercise of force by one against the other. Force can manifest in the actions of common criminals, but force can also be perpetrated by government. When government acts legitimately, its use of force is not a problem. When it acts illegitimately, or tyrannically, it must be controlled using a comparable amount of force. This principle was the primary impetus for the framing and adoption of the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The Framers included the prefatory clause, “A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state[…]” because the individual right to keep and bear arms is a necessary safeguard against tyrannical government. Gun control, in addition to placing law-abiding citizens at the mercy of criminals, also places individuals at the mercy of government, and removes any incentive for government to act within the confines of law.

On the whole, it would seem that the arguments against gun control are fairly strong, but there still exists a problem (at least a perceived one) of violence in the United States, and a need to ensure that harm does not befall innocent citizens, while at the same time preserving their liberties.

One set of solutions involves prevention. This means putting the teeth back in our psychiatric institutions, which could keep violent people off of the streets. Bolstering law enforcement efforts, and imposing harsher sentences for convicts would also be entailed. Theoretically, this would increase the deterrent effect of law, and improve the ability of police to intervene in ongoing crimes. Unlike gun control, these solutions certainly will not worsen the problem.

However, individuals who are insane, disgruntled, evil, etc., are not likely to be deterred by these changes, and no matter what, the police can never be omnipresent. We must accept a certain possibility that harmful individuals will enter our public venues, and we must also accept that their presence is so dangerous as to warrant an immediate and pacifying response.

Professional armed security guards, stationed in our public venues, could provide this response. Ultimately, though, the decision to employ armed security would be up to the governments who provide the funding. There is a possibility that governments may choose not to install armed security guards on the premises of schools or other buildings, and even if they do, it is possible that murderous gunmen may kill or slip passed them. If this occurs, self-sufficient, everyday citizens need a way to protect themselves and other innocents that doesn’t require security guards, police, or sheer dumb luck.

The only feasible and moral solution to this problem is to allow the carrying of firearms by any/all individuals in any/all public venues. This means that anyone who wishes to take precautions which balance their own power against that of an aggressor would be allowed to do so. Also, if a law-abiding citizen with a gun neutralizes an aggressor in public, this will produce a positive external effect for other innocent civilians in the area.

It has been asserted that such a scenario would amount to a “wild west” in which the ubiquity of guns would somehow incite extra violence. However, the logic simply does not pan out: Presumably, the criminals—the only ones who would ever be violent—will already have guns, regardless of whether or not there is gun control. The legal carrying of a gun by a law-abiding citizen—one who is not predisposed to violence—will cause no more harm than a scenario in which guns are banned. In fact, overall violence may decrease, as criminals become less bold in their transgressions, and those who remain bold enough to commit crimes will become less successful, as they will more-likely be stopped.

Though many have promised meaningful action in the wake of Sandy Hook and other shootings, gun control inevitably fails to hit the mark. Gun-control advocates, stuck in the “never let a serious crisis go to waste” mentality, unfortunately use incidents like Sandy Hook to advance their own agenda, which not only does a disservice to the memory of the victims, but it does nothing to ensure the safety of our citizens. More guns make us more safe, not less, and so the proper solution is to expand freedom, not restrict it.

Herman Cain: Brave or Bigoted?

Herman Cain has been taking a lot of heat for his comments on FOX News Sunday about communities banning mosques (the entire interview can be found here):

Cain: “Our Constitution guarantees the separation of church and state. Islam combines church and state. They’re using the church part of our First Amendment to infuse their morals in that community, and the people of that community do not like it. They disagree with it.”

and later…

Wallace: “So you’re saying, any community, if they wanted to ban a mosque…”

Cain: “Yes, they have a right to do that.”

Predictably, these comments sparked outrage among Muslims and leftists generally. U.S. Representative Keith Ellison called Cain a “religious bigot” and the Council on American-Islamic Relations (CAIR) demanded that Cain “apologize.” But are these reactions warranted? What exactly about Cain’s comments is controversial?

According to the dictionary, a bigot is “a person who strongly and unfairly dislikes other people, ideas, etc.” Cain’s description of Islam, that it is a blend of church and state, is accurate: In addition to its creeds and personal moral codes, Islam includes a system of government and law, called Sharia, which is binding upon all people. Because Sharia emanates from the Quran (the holy word of God), it can be the only legitimate law in the world, and it is incumbent upon Muslims to spread Sharia globally. Islam and Sharia are inextricably linked, which is one of the reasons people are averse to the presence of a mosque in their community.

Cain’s characterization of the situation in Tennessee is no less accurate. The people of Murfreesboro, like the people in communities across the country, are fearful of the implementation of Sharia in American courts. This fear is not baseless, as such a phenomenon has occurred many times already in the United States.

Finally, because Sharia is an integral component of Islam, Cain is justified in his assertion that the mosque is similarly integral in the promulgation of Sharia Law, even its more violent aspects, within a non-Muslim community.

For the purposes of labeling someone as a bigot, it is possible to disagree over what constitutes an “unfair” dislike of “other people, ideas, etc.,” but given Cain’s impeccable knowledge of Islam, I can only assume that the left’s smearing of him as a bigot has less to do with the veracity of his comments than it does with a sheer disapproval of his opinions, and the unabashed nature with which he expresses them.

Cain’s comments shed light on a larger issue as well: The First Amendment has, with increasing frequency, become an excuse for people to affront the laws of their community, state, or country. “Freedom of religion” has hijacked the hiring, firing, and general operations of private businesses, and it has even been used as a vessel to silence so called “hate speech” (though ironically, always in the name of tolerance). A line must be drawn between spirituality, which is merely a contemplation of the supernatural world, and actions which infringe upon the rights of others. Religion offers no more prerogative for unbridled action in the public square than the nonexistent “right to privacy” offers in one’s own home. That is the price of self-government and life in a civil society.

These days, one need only uphold the values and achievements of western civilization to earn the title of “bigot” from the Left. However, if it is bigotry to oppose a religion which demands the subversion of communities which do not comport with it; if it is bigotry to oppose a religion which treats women, Jews, Christians, homosexuals, and many others as (at best) second-class citizens; if it is bigotry to oppose a religion which has neither a concept of equality under the laws, nor freedom from a theocratic state, then consider me a bigot. Is this an unfair characterization of Islam? Or has the Left simply bastardized the English language, using it as a weapon against those bold enough to espouse opposing views? If Herman Cain has shown us anything, it’s not that he’s a bigot, but that bigotry is the new bravery.

Sotomayor and Race

I would now like to comment on something which should be completely trivial and unnecessary in rational discussion: Judge Sotomayor, and the question of race in the context of her confirmation. I am not the first to examine this topic, but I believe it is part of a larger whole that is the use of identity politics in America today at all levels of government. To start out, let us remember a point she made from one of her speeches in 1994, which she recycled and used again in 2001:

“A wise woman with the richness of her experiences would, more often than not, reach a better conclusion than a man.”

…and here is the 2001 quote:

“I would hope that a wise Latina woman with the richness of her experiences would more often than not reach a better conclusion than a white male who hasn’t lived that life.”

As these statements halfheartedly trickled down through the catacombs of mainstream left-wing reporting entities, the “wise Latina woman” herself has had ample opportunity to justify her words, and ample opportunity to be attacked. That aside, you know as well as I do, if a white male had made similarly bigoted comments about the superior judgment of his own race, and the value of his own experiences in judicial rulings, the mainstream left-wing media would never let it go; we would never hear the end of it! Here is my message to any senator—Democrat or otherwise—any judge, or any other supporter of Sotomayor because of her race: If you find yourself incapable of judging her (or anyone else) as a nominee using an immutable standard such as constitutional interpretation or originalism as opposed to variables, and characteristics respective of different national or ethnic groups, you only show a deep and malignant blemish on your character. The fact that she can get away with this (in hearings by rephrasing her words like any good politician, and on the floor of the Senate, where she will most likely be confirmed by vote) is bad enough. It is yet another example of the incompetency of our representatives and parts of their constituency who do not understand the role of a justice. But the fact that this has even developed in to a valid discussion in the first place, and successfully distracted us from the nominee’s positions on constitutional issues is even more disgusting. It was apparent from the start that the President nominated her because of her race and background. The mainstream left-wing media doesn’t even need to make the case for judicial activism on her part or anyone else’ because the debate is framed around whether or not the opposition to her confirmation represents racism in America. This is to be entirely expected when the debate concerns a liberal politician, and I must give her credit for dodging every question possible regarding constitutional interpretation, but I digress. Americans need to understand that the role of the justice, whatever gender, nationality or race they may be is not to vote or rule based on empathy, nor is it to institutionalize identity politics in any branch of government, nor is it to create policy. We must not let nomination based on racism become the precedent for the high courts of the United States.

The Race to the Nanny State – Part 1

Here’s a story right out of my own metro area newspaper. I don’t know if this hatred of trans fats has been on the table before in the Twin Cities, but the outlook is that this will be a relatively swift decision.

This is a perfect example of a step in the wrong direction. Let’s imagine for a second that trans fats are in fact as dangerous as some would make them out to be for everyone in these cities. There may be many truthful arguments to this cause. But take a step back, and look at what is happening. The article mentions that certain national restaurant chains have already eliminated trans fats from their menus. These are companies making rational business decisions. Concordantly, all companies that have not eliminated trans fats from their menus are also making a rational business decision, for any number of reasons.

The problem with governments getting involved in the food industries (and pretty much any other industry, e.g. energy, auto, food, and housing industries) is that you are no longer allowing companies to make decisions based on voluntary consumer actions, but instead compelling them to work under unprofitable conditions. Of course the advancers of the nanny state, almost always being liberals, always find some way limit freedom and enterprise in the name of health, safety, or the environment. Also, almost all provisions associated with nanny states are in conflict with the progression of natural selection. So I say, “Let the fatties eat, smokers smoke, bungee jumpers jump, and SUV drivers drive”. In the end, the market will sort out all inefficiencies, and natural selection will remove the weak from society.

On Gay Marriage

When people raise issues of gay rights, most commonly they are pondering or pontificating about how our government should address homosexual couples who wish to be married. Since that question concedes the underlying premise, however, that the government should be involved with marriage in any capacity, we invariably resign ourselves to the wrong side of the issue.

I used to think that the problem of gay rights in the United States today was largely one of semantics. I used to think that homosexuals should have the ability to obtain government-sanctioned unions, as should everyone else, and that those unions should impart equal legal privileges upon all who hold them. I used to think that a “separate but equal”-style system, in which the institution of marriage could be preserved in its traditional state, would satisfy all parties involved. However, after pondering the evolving political climate surrounding this issue, I can no longer hold that view. It is quite clear that granting separate civil unions to homosexual couples will never bring about the kind of equality we desire, simply because marriage has intrinsic spiritual meanings which a mere civil union can never entail.

The solution pushed by the gay marriage lobby is simply to add another facet to the legal definition of marriage. This would allow homosexual couples to enjoy all the legal benefits of marriage, and it would allow them to enjoy all of marriage’s spiritual connotations.
Unfortunately, this solution doesn’t address the fundamental problem: a lack of equality. It simply adds another group of people to be graced by government. It doesn’t end the “legislation of morals” which so many leftists decry. It simply substitutes the legislation of one group’s morals for another.

We have to remember that rights are inherent to individuals, not to groups. Groups are social constructs, superimposed upon individuals. In ensuring rights for all individuals, the solution proposed by the gay marriage lobby falls short. Their solution only creates and expands privileges for groups. It is a quick, politically expedient, but inevitably flawed solution.

Re-examination of the fundamental problem reveals not an unfair distribution of privileges, but a complete disregard for any separation of church and state. The sanction of traditional marriage in our legal codes has caused two negative consequences: First, it has produced a legal system which unfairly discriminates against homosexuals. Second, it places the institution of marriage in the precarious position of being subject to public scrutiny, and the further entrenchment of traditional marriage pushed by conservatives through their various state/federal marriage amendments only intensifies the problem. On the other hand, the solution proposed by the gay marriage lobby would, in the eyes of many traditionalists, defile the institution of marriage. Is there not a solution which could satisfy all parties?

Let us consider the extreme logical outcome of the solution put forth by the gay marriage lobby: Even if we overcome the impossible political task of expanding the definition of marriage to include any and every conceivable kind of union between people, we will still have discrimination between those who are married and those who are not. If we expand privileges even further to include both married and non-married people, then we entirely defeat the purpose of having those privileges, and we find ourselves back at square one. In addition to being pointless, a situation in which everyone subsidizes everyone else could be harmless, if not for that fact that money must be skimmed off the top in order to pay the salaries of the bureaucrats administering these programs.

Given this lesson, I think the ideal solution would be to completely remove government from the business of marriage. Abolish all definitions of marriage from legal code, and abolish all privileges enjoyed by married couples. Allow couples to seek any kind of union they choose, from whatever private institution they choose. Leave questions of inheritance, hospital visitation, end-of-life care, etc. for individuals to decide through contracts. Let people be equal through liberty, instead of grasping at an ever elusive equality through privilege and restraint.

If the laws were changed this way, homosexuals could benefit spiritually, and all individuals would be legally equal. It would also insulate the religious community from political scrutiny, and allow heterosexuals to pursue marriages unadulterated by those who hold morals different from their own.

I think many of my fellow conservatives have lost their way on this issue. Reminiscent of leftists, they take the attacks of the other side personally. This is understandable, because traditional marriage, an institution they hold dear, is so ingrained in public life. However, it is nonetheless reprehensible. They allow their spiritual convictions to drive their political convictions. This disregard for individual liberty is the kind of behavior I expect from the left, but to see it come from the right is discomfiting, to say the least. To my conservative friends, I would offer this prescription: if you wish to stop the destruction of traditional marriage, then fight that campaign within the private square, because the continued entrenching of traditional marriage in legal code is an inevitably untenable position. The most constructive action you could take in the public square to save traditional marriage is to join in calling for its complete absence from the law.

As an atheist, I have no vested interest in protecting the institution of traditional marriage. However, I have a deep-seated interest in protecting liberty. I wish we could let that become a uniting factor among both traditional marriage and gay marriage advocates, instead of being driven by divisive emotions.

People should not be ashamed of their sexual orientation, and they should not be subject to institutionalized ostracism or mistreatment because of it. Love is a natural and important aspect of all our lives–far too important to place in the hands of government.

Abortion

I like to unwind with a social issue every now and then.

I would like to start out by saying that based on my views, I would have to identify more with the pro-life side of the argument. However, I am not pro-life for the more conventional reasons as are usually presented in the abortion debate. My argument is based on reasons of personal responsibility, not religious views.

The most common pro-choice argument, that “the woman has the right to choose” is inherently illogical and irrelevant, regardless of where you stand. What many pro-choice supporters fail to realize or choose not to realize is that the woman already made her choice. She was faced with a choice between having unprotected sex, and not having unprotected sex. At the first moment the question of abortion comes to the table, the argument is no longer “the woman has the right to choose” but instead, “the woman has the right to change her mind”. She has made an apparently unadvantageous decision, and she wants to now terminate the pregnancy to make it all right. The problem lies in the fact that abortion nullifies the apparently negative consequences of partaking in risky behavior. By allowing abortion, society has decreed that this behavior is responsible, and even respectable. And when people are no longer forced to take responsibility for their actions, they are more likely to repeat those actions. I guess you could say I am pro-choice also, but I am for a different choice. Also, I know that there are a few cases in which women are raped, and in a few cases the woman’s health is endangered by the birth of a child, but those make up a very small percentage of total pregnancies, and even then in the case of rape, there are alternatives to abortion.

The second most common pro-choice argument, that “the woman has the right to control her body (and the fetus, as it resides within her body)” is logical, but only depending on how far you are willing to extend that logic. I could kill another person by using my finger to pull the trigger of a gun, and then argue that I should not be punished because I have the right to control my body. I would be laughed at, though, as any action a human being exercises requires control over one’s own body. We outlaw certain actions in order to protect the freedom of other people. To question this pro-choice argument, I would say “Why not allow the rape of a woman? She will just have an abortion anyway, and the rapist was simply exercising control over his body.”

In the previous paragraph, I outlined the reason we have laws: To protect the rights of other people. I now realize that this begs the question of “When does the fetus become a person?” Although I will be more than willing to take in to account any definitive scientific proof on this matter, for the time being, I will address the question through a lens of practicality. The mutual objective of the progenitors (excluding cases of rape) is to create a new human being, and since conception is the first purposeful and definitive step to fulfilling this objective, I will define this moment as when the group of cells begins to identify as a person. However, let not this assumption shift the focus of my main argument: It’s mostly about personal responsibility. If more people used good judgment, many fewer people would need abortions in the first place, and many more people could get along.

If we must retain abortion as an acceptable action in society, government should act regarding abortion as it did before Roe v. Wade, and have the power reside in the states to decide how abortions are handled. Or perhaps no government regulation is needed at all. All I ask is that abortion be justified as a responsible act first (which I see as a very difficult task), and then perhaps let the market decide its fate.