Yes we know there are those who will always be opposed to abortion, none more so incensed when they hear of illegalities, by what laws we do have regulating it, violated to the determent of such innocent life. Yes we know for many to be against abortion is a moral imperative of the utmost importance akin to being against murder, and who isn’t against murder? Additionally, we know abortion has been characterized, for the last generation, as a go to response for women too irresponsible to use other birth control methods, simply keep their legs closed and stop having premarital, immoral sex, men ever willing to get into a woman’s pants yet rarely willing to be fathers looking for a quick fix and unscrupulous doctors looking to make a buck. Preachers have stood in pulpits naming so called abortion clinics abortion mills, adjacent women’s health services provided forgotten in their righteous anger calling on the believing masses to rise up against its evil; resounding question from the religious, conscientious mind: how can we let this happen, continue to happen? The question never asked, if our perception, their perception constitutes reality, if what we’ve been saying about abortion and its presented root causes are the truth? Likewise yes we know the world has become an increasingly scary place post 9-11, wounds from that horrible day still raw and fresh to many who lost family; anxiety multiplied 10 and 100 fold by 2 wars one to stop the madman who struck against us and the other to prevent the next madman from striking, shoe bombs, underwear bombs, printer cartridge bombs, explosive chemicals disguised as mundane toiletry items, pressure cooker bomb instructions on the internet that wreaked havoc at a marathon, the Times Square bomb never detonated and countless other plots foiled besides. Understood is that fear was just greatly intensified with the attacks in Paris several individuals spraying bullets in open cafés, a trade mark establishment there, killing people who showed up to a rock concert, setting off panic at a soccer stadium. Reverberations felt all across Europe as those who perpetrated it led police on a merry chase encompassing multiple countries before most were caught; one blowing herself up in an apartment building, one still the subject of an international manhunt. Heightened alert here at home as, too familiar now, ISIS or Al Qaeda videos claiming credit promise we’re next; here too of course we’re talking about guns and their facilitation of deranged, elaborate to simplistic plans by mentally ill persons, to terrorist agendas designed to wage jihad on American soil. Be it the military recruitment center shot up earlier this year or the Texas convention center fired upon over holding a Mohamed cartoon contest similar to what happened in France with Charlie Hebdo just after new year’s, or the all too convenient target Planned Parenthood, demonized because they provide abortions along with varying reproductive, gynecological health services for women. Continuing a long and bloody history of violence against abortion clinics nationwide oddly enough fueled by Christian religious fervor using god as their justification to end abortions at any cost; doctors, staff there are seen as less than human because of the service they avail to the general public. Subject to harassment, bodily injury, picketers holding up widely ranging signs depicting varying degrees of gruesome pictures showing what abortion does to something clearly alive; hoping to get through to staff or patrons of the facility to stop, what they see as the madness, reviving memories of the abortion bombings circa the ‘90’s we thought we had put behind us. Article after article commenting on America’s gun insanity, America’s gun epidemic remarking crime is at all-time low while mass shootings are at an all-time high shaking their heads, writing about despair the Washington needle never moves, the people never galvanize into that force to rise up and demand common sense gun controls, bans on assault rifles, comprehensive background checks, sane limits on ammunition. While others scream you’re not taking my guns away, stocking up out of fear they won’t be around much longer, more buying into the belief they could have done something to stop the horrific loss of life, if they’d had a gun, if they have a gun when encountering a mass/active shooter in the future. Yet another section buying a gun in the wake of this latest tragedy, lining up at a shooting range to learn to shoot it, because, though they are terrified of guns, they feel it their only option to protect themselves. Few realizing we’ve essentially made our own beds, allowed our leaders to make our beds on both topics making it about murdering innocent lives in the case of abortion not the physical, biological changes to a woman’s body while pregnant or that everyone should have autonomy and control over what happens to their person. The very real possibility for women, even in the first world, child birth, bringing a baby to term can be deadly, things do happen rendering a fetus non-viable or conservatives and conservative stance’s role in creating the socio-economic factors causing more abortions. Regarding terrorism, shameless news articles labeling San Bernardino terrorism, engaging in fear mongering Islamaphobia before there was even a complete victim count, let alone details surrounding what happened and who did it; right wing politicians and news anchors positively gleeful when the FBI announced it was being investigated as such. Less because of the loss of life, less because they were intrinsically right about the cause spurring the idea they were right regarding things they say we need to do to prevent it, and more because they had a big I told you so flag to wave at their most hated person in the country, president Obama.
Rhetoric, not access to guns compelled the man, Robert Dear, to shoot up his local Colorado Planned Parenthood mumbling ‘no more baby parts’ when apprehended by police; rhetoric that had been spewing out for months particularly from the conservative network Fox News, Bill O’Reilly and the usual clan, purporting videos had on camera Planned Parenthood workers selling baby parts, talking about selling baby parts; presenting it as one of the evils to allowing abortion to be legal in this country, consequences of our immorality, total disregard for human life. Sara Palin referencing baby parts too, clamoring it had to be stopped, culminating in republican presidential hopeful Carly Fiorina feistily challenging Hillary Clinton and Barack Obama to see the video of a fetus on a table heart beating, legs kicking hearing people say it must be kept alive to harvest its brain. Problem, as pointed out by responsible journalists, the Planned Parenthood videos in addition to being salaciously edited for maximum effect, to generate the appearance of catching on camera workers caught doing something illegal, shorted to that same end, even with unrelated material actually inserted from the anti-abortion group’s known YouTube stock footage, showed no such sequence on tape. Still Fiorina doubled down calling for the defunding of Planned Parenthood clinics across the country from the government on down, not investigation, possible arrest, at the very least, employment termination of the workers in the video, possible shut down, certainly investigation of that specific Planned Parenthood. Worse the videos truthfully show negotiation for the price of processing fetal tissue samples to be sent to a lab for medical research purposes potentially aiding in finding cures for devastating diseases, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s; research that may or may not have been a ruse to get these people on camera talking the way they were to further their anti- abortion agenda. Multiplying the ultimately tragic consequences, every political conservative, their media mouth pieces fell for it, failed to identify the propaganda shoved into interview footage, failed to believe mainstream, real news outlets when told it was, failed to do their own digging, their own discovery to ascertain the source. And now when their words have spawned the horrific, incited someone to maim and kill, mainstream media again calling them out for their violent rhetoric railing against abortion and what it has it has led to, they are saying hey not us; Ted Cruz, one more presidential hopeful, laying blame squarely at the left, beyond permitting abortion in the first place, accusing them of vicious rhetoric and playing the victim saying he, they, conservatives are being attacked for being pro-life. Ted Cruz, just before this happened who had gone out of his way to associate himself with the most violent, extreme edge of the anti-abortion movement. Correction, no you are being “attacked,” called on the carpet for your BS, ultra-hard stances on abortion unwilling to make exceptions to save a mother’s life. Party representatives, members making up their own facts pretending women can’t get pregnant during rape, negating the need for it when a women has been violated, forced to have sex against her will resulting in pregnancy; continually drumming the beat of personhood bills sans just how many times voters use their ballots to say no. Attempt to force everything from religious literature not based on scientific fact, to trans-vaginal ultrasounds down women’s throats, put them through varying degrees of humiliation, when they request the legal medical procedure abortion. Ted Cruz who alleged Dear was registered to vote as an independent and a woman calling him a transgender, leftist activist to explain his rampage, not the ‘no more baby parts’ line his colleagues kept repeating. Yes also a common denominator is guns, high powered rifles evidenced by the Rachel Maddow’s chronicling of anti-abortion violence both here and in Canada, along the Canadian border, yet the other common denominator, possible mental instability sparked by inflammatory political statements, commentary shouted relentlessly to the masses. Obviously Mr. Dear could easily be mentally ill, mug shot complete with wild hair and equally wild eyes; interesting when Glen Campbell and Nick Nolte sported similar ones for DUI we comprehended they were drunk, why should it be any different because the target, topic was abortion? Or Dear is feigning it setting himself up for an insanity defense considering the dozen outbursts at his latest court hearing, but remember many of the attacks carried out where bombings, NARAL (National Abortion Rights Action League) identified, in a letter to the attorney general summer of this year, arsons at abortion facilities rendering the weapon he used less important to what made him pick up a weapon to begin with, rhetoric. We’ve seen it before, the Sikh temple shooter in Wisconsin who thought they were Muslims and was either frightened of terrorism or sick of the ‘towel heads taking our jobs,’ a common mantra of recent years perpetuated by republicans promising to bring back long lost manufacturing jobs, key pinnacles of ‘greatness’ nostalgia; already on an FBI watch list not for suspected crimes against minorities, red flag or numerous gun purchases rather his affiliation with a large swath of white supremacists groups, who quickly distanced themselves from the man. The reported gay activist who walked into the family research council headquarters in Washington D.C. brandishing a gun, shooting a security guard in the shoulder yelling what amounted to ‘I don’t like your politics,’ found with Chick-fil-a paraphernalia. Actions taken shortly after the president of the fast food chain randomly decided to use his restaurant as a Sunday morning pulpit quoting bible verses and speaking out against homosexuality while customers ate; though there was no bill slated to go before the state or city legislator, no activists hanging around the restaurant, no public campaign against them until the president made his views unmistakably known garnering nation attention, seemingly no rhyme or reason for doing so. Want a sharply clear cut example indicating unrestrained rhetoric is bad, leads to violence, is a cautionary tale reminding us to be careful what we say; look at these Boston brothers in second to final video below who when arrested for beating up and urinating on a Latino homeless man in a subway said ‘Donald Trump was right all these illegals need to be deported.’ His response my people are passionate; once more after calling Mexicans, Mexican illegals all murderers and rapists, capitalizing on the death of Kate Stinely to make his point. Anyone examining things objectively concludes one is undeniably related to the other, you likely wouldn’t have one without the other. Proving you can have all the guns in the world you want absent rhetoric provoking violent responses, absent thinking the gun is the worst tool of violence to be used in our time. Tell that to the 2 men who got in a fight were set on fire by a third coworker suffering burns to 60 and 90 % of their bodies respectively.
However if we were serious about preventing abortion rather than controlling sex, who has it and under what circumstances (only in the confines of holy matrimony) sandwiched between the constraints of religion, promoting religion and an almost universal religious tenet, chastity there would be, according to a very intelligent author at salon.com, programs helping parents overcome their discomfort to ‘create healthy, age-appropriate conversations about genitalia, sexual health, sexual pleasure, intimacy and reproduction.’ Rather than the myth that talking to kids about sex causes them to have sex, abstinence only sex education is the best route or my teen won’t have sex, I raised then better, virtually ending the Bristol Palin phenomenon. Relatedly they point to ‘promoting open, honest conversations about sex within religious communities’ since 85% of Christian youth they found have sex before marriage and possess identical abortion rates to non-believers; doubtlessly tied to the shame of giving into their carnal nature, fear of their parents disappointment, fear they won’t be able to keep the child anyway. Sensible cure whether salon says it or someone else, giving Christian youth, along with everyone else, the knowledge and power to control their fertility, actively getting pregnant only when they want to. End to the shaming, religion enforced denial of sexual urges as existing period, especially during puberty, the teen years and moving to recognizing them as normal, managing sexual desire; end viewing teen contraception as premeditated sin, or as Rick Santorum stated regarding birth control, a license to do unnatural things. Ending the idea god doesn’t want sex to be pleasurable for his people under the right conditions, with the right person and is something he shuts his eyes and turns his head to allowing it for procreation; read the songs of Solomon evangelicals. Open conversations and medical information getting into the religious community that would have kept Ben Carson from putting his foot in his mouth hoping women who had been raped went to the hospital and received RU486, the abortion pill, not the morning after pill, known under the generic title plan B, the perception they are one and the same in what they do to pregnancy; though one actually induces an abortion and the other prevents components ever merging to facilitate pregnancy. Scientific information filtered into religious sectors that would cease calling newer forms of birth control abortifacient. Dovetailing into the salon author’s next point making the education system a part of the sexual education process as opposed to splitting the two, seeing the latter as something taught at home, the responsibility of parents to impart the information regarding sex, sexual health, reproduction as well as their value system sounding the subject. A tall order despite obstacles to all children receiving that, families combatting mental illness, addiction, the unfortunate reality some children suffer unwanted sexual contact at home; many parents may not be up to date on the latest intel regarding STD rates, birth control options, teen trends in sexual behavior making it better left to a professional teacher, nurse type person armed with those facts. Comprehensive sex education statistically shown to work far better than the Ohio school board so paranoid about what children might learn about sex, their own bodies they didn’t stop at abstinence only sex ed. but put limitations on biology, anatomy and physiology taught to high school students, education that would stop Todd Akin’s totally inaccurate comments on rape and the dozens more like it. Going down salon’s list, society would simultaneously accept changing gender roles and family dynamics no longer looking down on young families and getting better birth control stimulated by research geared toward more long acting birth control methods replacing take daily pills, things you must do, put on every time you have sex, hopefully working better than Yaz, Yazmin and Ocella’s devastating side effects, potential death. Poor, minority, marginalized communities would be given reproductive health services free of charge because they are most in need of it, and no it wouldn’t be shorted to derogatory names and forced sterilization, stigma attached to getting condoms at the county health clinic and you are somehow low class if you do. Currently, cited by salon, Title X family planning services prevent 2.2 million unplanned pregnancies yearly, without which the abortion rate would be two-thirds higher; oops conservatives missed a few facts did we? Mandated also, updates to medical practices making family planning an integrated part of adolescent medicine, family practice, prenatal care, and hospital labor and delivery services; if they did, gone would be guidelines for doctors restricting when women can get their tubes tied provided they are at least 18, perhaps 21, it is simply done rather than doctors refusing, trying to persuade patients, who know what they want, onto another method sans medical justification, the best on market now contraceptive for women over 35 who can no longer safely take the pill, the most common birth control form. On the heels of declining abortion rates salon predicts would be manifested by implementing the above, women faced with surprise pregnancies wouldn’t be driven to pregnancy termination by financial, career or education concern; a common thread today with statistics indicating many abortion recipients are married, have at least one child shedding the minority, uneducated hood rat stereotype. But why wait, congress could act today giving paid family leave to workers, could legally require both family friendly workplace policies and mom friendly educational spaces for youth who go ahead with an unplanned pregnancy. If 2016 candidates, particularly republicans, wanted the votes of the majority, they would stop viewing women as second class citizens or this unclassified other and grant them equal pay for equal work under better defined laws, raise the minimum wage so more people could take care of themselves, their 1-2 children, needing less welfare. Rather than demagoguing it and creating your own version of fraud based on the foodstuffs purchased; instead we have Fox News hosts doing just that and congressmen a-la Rick Brattin attempting to limit meats bought with food stamps. Lastly salon quotes a number to be allotted to male reproductive prevention, making them equal partners in reproductive decisions moving beyond the condom. Sadly instead of a future with tangible methodologies to abortion simply going away, finding it no longer needed, we have all the above counterproductive persons including Ted Cruz distilling birth control down to ‘we don’t have a shortage of rubbers in America.’ Inevitably we also don’t have a shortage of condom misusage, and no, not teens turning them into water balloons, rather teens, adults who improperly apply them leading to breakage, the condom getting “lost” during sex, because when liberals dared to include demonstrations on condom usage in sex ed. classes, they were scandalized people dared suggest teaching them such a thing in a school setting. Kind-a explains that 1in 6 pregnancy rate compared to 1in 2,000 for female birth control right up there with why, despite a resurgence in conservatism, family values, traditional roles we wish hadn’t come back, abortion has never left or the violence meant to stop it.
Radicalization cloaked in the guise of religion, not religion alone, one religion in particular, Islam, Muslims emigrating to the U.S. from the Middle East, or guns, how they obtained their guns, are responsible for what happened in that San Bernardino county health department. Not how easily Muslims can get in this country, not where we allow people to travel on vacation, in search of religion, finding a mate, having a wife. And suddenly as details emerge we were supposed to know, government officials we fancifully believe are supposed to be responsible for fantastical and impossible screening processes, digging into every nook and cranny of a person’s life, were supposed to find these ‘well hidden’ radicals when, despite the thousands of rounds of ammunition cataloged from their apartment, the only outward sign anything was ‘up,’ something was odd was an unusually high number of packages delivered by UPS. But having a 6 month old baby and living in the most populous state in the union it could have been everything from baby supplies to grocery delivery. A young couple whose neighbor’s idea of suspicious behavior was the number of Middle Eastern people coming and going from their home, who could have easily been relatives there to visit the baby, participate in a religious ceremony, regular prayer service or celebration of someone’s birthday, job promotion, plan a relative’s impending wedding. The FBI was supposed to comb their e-mails pointing to their radicalization discussing jihad and martyrdom before Syed Farook and Tashfeen Malik were engaged, because she applied for a fiancé visa, independent having the funds or the personnel to do so; never mind the little hiccup Syed Farook was an American citizen born on American soil, not merely naturalized, affording him minimal shielding from warrantless wiretaps and other post 9-11 surveillance. Undisclosed is in what context they mentioned either jihad or martyrdom; were they supporting it or denouncing it. Forget Malik applied for a visa from Saudi Arabia, a U.S. ally, not a known terror hotspot, pervious time, education in Pakistan or no, and for all the speculation they weren’t simply inspired by ISIS/ISIL rather representing a new plot to send radicals to America using the fiancé visa program, there is zero definitive proof of that, educated guess level evidence. Someone somewhere was supposed to figure this out when the AR15 rifles used in part to kill 14 people were bought by a childhood friend of Syed Farook allegedly so his name would not be associated with the fire arm. The childhood friend, Enrique Marquez, who checked himself into a mental facility the very night of the attacks but has been talking to FBI agents for 5 plus days, whose ramblings about Muslim, Islamic sleeper cells was ignored by friends because he was routinely drunk when he said it. And we’re supposed to buy his assertion they both planned an attack in 2012 scared off thanks to arrests in that same area of California apprehending other suspected terrorists, when even the FBI remains unsure of his mental stability and therefore his credibility? Fact is there are several things that don’t add up calling this the usual terror plot on soft targets, even calling it the new face of terror plots against America, still don’t add up; reaching past the incomprehensible juxtaposition of baby items, crib, toys, baby formula, indications of the American dream alongside bomb making supplies, computer shells and guns, ammo in their home, the unfathomable concept of dropping off their baby with a grandparent saying they were going to the doctor or running errands only to take gun on a jihadi rampage, indicating we just don’t get these people, what drives, motivates them. For all the significance placed on Malik’s time in Pakistan, her reported training as a pharmacist in that country, how it could translate into assembling chemical components to explosives, which is what news report experts were hinting at mentioning it at all, the most sophisticated thing they found in the home pertaining to explosives were pipe bomb type devices and materials to make more. A gun instructor at the range they visited as little as 2 days before the massacre noted Farook’s smoking rifle coupled with the question he asked telling news reporters it indicated to him the rifle was new and that he was unfamiliar with it. They had the guns for 4 years but did nothing with them, he was still inexperienced in using it yet decided to take it on a killing spree; assuming Marquez’s statements about a planned 2012 attack were accurate, after that failed, they waited another 3 years to make a move? It isn’t that we haven’t seen long term plans by ISIS/ISIL, sleeper cells imbedded for years; it’s that them being so and choosing a health department holiday party seems a waste of time, materials and planning. Remember her pledge to ISIS found on Facebook solidifying this as indeed an act of terror was made that day; further his communications with someone on the FBI’s monitored list, by their own admission was not serious enough to initiate intense scrutiny. And considering who ends up on a government monitoring list of any kind, sex offender to no fly, confirmed list of terrorists, for what crimes the distinction is next to meaningless. It is much more plausible to believe an earlier theory floated by CNN that yes they were planning something in the very early stages, but decided to take immediate action when Farook was taunted for his beard, his faith at the party, witnesses said he abruptly left and came back to, to open fire. All the more reason for America to get out from behind the cultural 8 ball, dispel it and its peoples’ deepening cultural ignorance, you never know what you could provoke; how do we know for certain she was radicalized before coming to the U.S., came here with the specific goal of performing an act of terrorism? Truth is we don’t, she could have just as easily wanted to travel to the U.S., live here, met her husband on a Muslim dating, marital arrangement site according to their culture; how do we know she and in turn he, weren’t radicalized when she came to America and saw what was going on? Agreed we need to have our act together, we need to know what’s going on, we must have appropriate, adequate screening processes; caution is they have to be the right processes.
But banning Muslims, surveilling mosques for no other reason than they are a mosque is neither an appropriate or adequate screening process, immigration strategy to prevent terrorist entry into the U.S. Not solely because it will not work, will only serve to send disillusioned Muslims betrayed by the American dream, tried of the taunts, accusations and misunderstandings into the waiting, open arms of ISIS and more importantly, because to do so would fundamentally dishonor who we are. To do so would forever disregard and cast off our history as a melting pot nation founded and built by immigrants as a place for immigrants. We don’t ask your religion upon coming here, we don’t say yay or nay to your entrance based on your religion; we don’t discriminate and denigrate people based on what faith they choose to follow, practice, becoming more active, devout within that faith, where or how they choose a wife, decide to get married. There are no religious tests to hold political office here and we have separation of church and state to ensure we remain a democratic republic as opposed to a scripture driven theocracy, no matter which holy book you base it on. Crafting laws governing strictly personal choices like style of clothing, sexual activity between consenting adults, driving a car, working are based on licensure in the first case and qualifications in the latter not your sex, whether you were born male or female, identical with education; it has never been the tenet of a major American practiced religion to deny women and girls education only a social one systematically eradicated over the last 2 centuries. Plans to ban Muslims from visa access to America are by definition also logistically unworkable and impractical including turning away those from Africa, Asia, the pacific rim having nothing to do with jihadi extremism, jihadi radicalism, the Islamic state; said strategies, such as they are, doing nothing about American born Muslims, converts to Islam currently comprising the homegrown, lone wolf threat dampening the ‘constitution doesn’t apply because the people aren’t in the U.S. yet’ argument. That ideas for sudden bans, surveillance of any house of worship for the sake of it being a house of worship, a house of worship belonging to a religion we don’t particularly understand or like, are coming from Donald Trump should put them in perspective; unfortunately it only seems to solidify his poll numbers, get more people to agree it is a necessary evil, far too ready to believe it’s a temporary measure. What isn’t temporary, backlash against Islam and its Muslim practitioners who are peaceful, are not in any way connected to, interested in radicalism, the Islamic state, who are openly saying to press the violence Farook and Malik espoused to was wrong, does not represent Islam; the possible firebombing of a California mosque miles from the San Bernardino shooting, the severed pigs head left on the doorstep of a Philadelphia mosque hardly coincidental a single day after Trump’s proposed ban. A pigs head highly offensive, insulting as pork is seen as something unclean and is not consumed or handled by practicing Muslims. Events transpiring while conservative politicians, too many presidential candidates openly accuse the Muslim community of not helping, helping us enough when they are directly tied to alerting authorities, stopping 1in 2 such plots according to some data and the San Bernardino shooter stopped going to masque, where he would be seen regularly by his community weeks before. Predictably because someone might have noticed a change and asked questions, or he was indeed struggling with his faith, the ostracism he felt at work and the shooting was his way of lashing out. Trump doubling down in the days post San Bernardino saying not only would he deny entry into the U.S. for Muslims but would go after the wives of suspected terrorists who ‘100% knew what was going on.’ This is how we respond to a tragedy; this is how and individual vying to be leader of a country known globally as the free world chooses to deal with international relations, balance potential threats and eager immigrants looking for the fabled American dream. Harkening back to an inhumane deportation program enacted by President Eisenhower to handle Mexicans purportedly pouring over our too porous border killing indiscriminately, raping with impunity, when the actual research quoted spoke of rapes happening on the way here not once immigrants were here; going back even further into America’s history vault to Roosevelt’s Japanese Italian, German internment camps set up during World War II to justify his Muslim ban. However, the distinction is that was during war time, an official war declared by congress with definitive objectives; historians without hesitation calling the camps a mistake seeing as who was rounded up were immigrants having nothing to do with the Nazism spreading across Europe, wanted no part in Japan’s involvement in World War II. And we wonder why we are a terrorism target; it couldn’t possibly be the giant bull’s-eye we’ve painted on ourselves, no not Girls Gone Wild or MTV, the freedom we allow women and others to drive, wear what they choose, work, pick a husband of their own free will or remain unmarried. But the ignorance, the lack of understanding and consistent mocking of what isn’t immediately understood visited on the peaceful who only want to practice their religion, adhere to their faith and be left alone.
We cannot frame this as a war between Islam and the west not singularly because that would be an abject failure of epic proportions framing it as a religious war of ideologies, which are varying and can be had by many people in many different ways while still fostering co-existence. But because we don’t have the right to condemn differing religious beliefs when we have our own extremists here willing to resort to violence on behalf of their religious passions, convictions; abortion just one ongoing blood bath. We cannot effectively chastise them for rejecting modernity, wanting to take the globe back several centuries when we have our own dark history with women and women’s rights, female education; when we ourselves reject evolving views on homosexuality, marriage equality, when people have died for their sexual orientation, transgender status due to Christianity’s interpretation of both as wrong, an abomination against god. Nor can we frame this as solely about guns depending on the background check or the, as another Salon.com author suggested, idea of making guns as hard to get as an abortion in order to stem terroristic violence. What we can do, get far more articulate and specific about what we are against, what we will not tolerate, extremist violence, who we will not allow into the country, those espousing extremist violence, independent under what cloak they try to mask it. Our most effective tool to combat terrorism, extremist violence, regardless of origin, flavor is, be educated, intelligent enough to say this isn’t about Islam, religion, sect of Christianity whether we’re talking about abortion violence, homosexuality violence or jihadi violence; it is about extremism using various religions, religious beliefs, holy tenets to create an excuse to manifest violence, to kill and maim for a ‘cause.’ The arrogance of any religious group to assume the world can only be one way and be right, only they have the premium right to exist on the planet, only they are considered human beings, persons worthy of fair treatment, safety, security, because they follow ‘the faith,’ concepts coming from both faiths, to varying degrees, and more besides. Never mind in-fighting among multiple groups of the same faith willing to splitter off over minor, should be morally neutral preferences even kill each other because of them. Instead of recognizing the wholly insane idea of live and let live; the planet belongs to everyone not a single, particular country, certainly not a single, particular religion. You can have any religious belief you want as long as it breaks no laws and harms no one, you are free in America to proselytize, attempt to convert people to your religion as long as you don’t cross the line to harassment, you are free to live, again in America, the western world by whatever moral, religious tenets you wish provided once more it breaks no laws and doesn’t infringe on the rights of others. If that means chastity until marriage for you, an aversion to homosexuality so be it; if that means wearing a hijab and playing 5 times a day ok. It’s time someone told Christians murder in pursuit of a cause is still murder and we have better ways rid the world of abortion without abolishing it than massacring doctors and blowing up medical buildings. Or that policies based on fiscal realities, employment numbers and real life situations, not the protestant work ethic’s highest distortion, would ensure people’s minimum health, lessen abortion, as a reduction in bureaucracy would lessen people waving weapons out of frustration, gun or something else. Homosexual people are still people to be loved into the kingdom of god not tied to fences and virtually stoned to death, driven from the faith by its parishioners for which they will have to answer to before their god. It’s time someone told the Islamic state we, the west, America are not at war with you because of your religion rather because of your violence. The reason the west got so involved in your business wasn’t because they refer to us as the great satan and we were insulted, but because of the terrorist who attacked us and the people liberated from the strictest of religious rule, people who wanted to shave their beards or perhaps listen to the radio. Saddam Hussein and Iraq were interfered with ‘destabilizing the middle east’ originally on the threat their dictator posed to us and on humanitarian grounds to his own people engaging in rape rooms and mass genocide; the problem being the dictatorial regime, not that they were a primarily Muslim nation. Libya was aided by the U.S. and western world allies to fulfill their wish to rid themselves of yet another dictator slaughtering his own people and attempt a democratic government. Syria has been watched by the U.S. actions there condemned on the same grounds mowing down of their own people by leaders; dido in Africa circa previous decades. It is time someone told the Islamic state and others laws should be made on the basis of order and function not a holy book; stealing, killing, lying erode social order where their opposite prevents chaos. Laws against indecent exposure and public nudity may be rooted in religion but also prevent rampant sexual assault, lack of function as people gawk at each other’s attributes rather than obeying traffic lights; whereas what you cover your body with, if you cover your hair or not, wear makeup or not are personal preferences that should be decided by the person. End extremism and you don’t have to worry about religions or guns.