, Gloucester, MA

December 26, 2012

Letter: abortion issue hardly parallel to shootings

Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

I am writing in response to Mr. Burgess’ letter headlined “Where’s the outrage over abortion ‘deaths’” (the Times, Monday, Dec. 24)?

Mr. Burgess, you expressed disenchantment over the outpouring of grief for the slaughter of students and faculty in Newtown, Conn., while you cavil about abortions.

Does this mean you are willing to serve “in loco parentis” over every potential abortion across the whole world? Of the nearly 7 billion people living on this planet, many contemplate with sadness and reticence the decision to have an abortion. You, who have complained in the past about a miniscule raise in Massachusetts sales tax, are now defending providing community support that will increase the tax base for all 7 billion of us? Welcome to the Dark Side, my brother.

If abortion is a no-no in Massachusetts by your standards, then it must also be a no-no in Cote d’Ivorie, India, The People’s Republic of China, Tajikistan, and other countries neither of us can locate on a map without help. If an action is unethical anywhere it must be unethical everywhere, otherwise it becomes a simple matter of local custom. Massachusetts as an exemplar of morality lacks a certain “je ne sais quoi, non?”

There are many terrible things that happen daily and some are, as you have wisely noted, preventable. No one is forced to indulge in acquiring firearms; no one is forced to sample addictive chemicals; no one is forced in having an abortion — oops.

The latter two claims might not be accurate. I leave it to you to figure out why.

Then, there is this ever present problem: We murder more people every year than the rest of the world combined. We don’t prefer chopsticks, hockey sticks, or even fiddle sticks. We use pistols, revolvers, rifles, shotguns, and assault weapons. To me, using a modified semi-automatic rifle with a potential to fire a few hundred bullets every minute or so just seems so much more efficient than a pair of chop sticks.

I wager that it is far easier for a young, angry, Caucasian male to stride into a public setting and commit wholesale slaughter than it is for a scared, young woman to walk into a hospital or clinic and simply ask for advice. Those women go there because they cannot trust their parents, their churches, their “pastors,” or their friends to be objective.

They want help, not lectures.