Why only some killing matters

I have heard a lot of debate recently, in the run-up to the US Presidential Election, that focuses not on the issues, but on principles. I support this generally, but there's one issue which manages to obtain far more credence than others, and I genuinely don't understand why. In this post, I hope to show at least one would-be Trump voter, that voting for him is the intellectual equivalent of voting for late-term abortion. Incidentally, late-term abortion is not on the table during this election because everyone agrees that it is wrong in 99% of circumstances.

In everyday life, it is difficult to differentiate between cause and effect and effect and correlation. To explain:

  • I vaccinated my child, they have autism - that is not cause and effect. Vaccines have been proven to have no link to autism or other serious side-effects.
  • I didn't vaccinate my child and they have not caught measles - that is not cause and effect.
  • I didn't vaccinate my child and there was a measles outbreak - that might be cause and effect.

If you don't vaccinate your child against Rubella (the R in MMR), the effect is that the herd immunity conferred by mass vaccination is lost. You have a moral obligation to vaccinate your child. Otherwise, you are tacitly allowing an infection to cause miscarriages (2011, CDC).

Is there an intellectual distinction between actively seeking an abortion and actively not giving your child a proven-safe vaccine that stops the spread of a disease that causes miscarriages?


Guns are a terrible idea. They allow death at a distance without any opportunity to regret your actions, and far fewer muscles than their predecessor, the bow and arrow. In the developed world, gun ownership is low, and the result is (to paint broad pictures) low murder rates and low suicide rates.

If people on the Right in the debates for the Presidential election really want to reduce death (as they claim by fighting abortion even when it's not on the cards) then they should want to do something about the US's abysmal record on gun-related deaths (2016, BBC News). The US stands out in an horrific and terrible way, from the rest of the developed world in this respect.

I hear loud shouts from people claiming that the US constitution is sacrosanct, but it doesn't matter. The facts speak for themselves - owning a gun is dangerous for you, is dangerous for society and does not reduce crime, or your risk of being a victim.

In summary

If you are pro-life and are using that as a basis on which to choose your candidate, look at their positions on vaccination and on gun-control (e.g. sanity checks). These kill people and are far more prescient concerns than abortion which, as a scientific issue, is being pushed towards the religious perspective anyway (as younger and younger babies become viable).

If you agree with what I've said, you cannot possibly vote for Trump.


January 5, 2016. Guns in the US.  Retrieved from: http://www.bbc.com/news/world-us-canada-34996604/.
April 29, 2011. CDC. Retrieved from: https://www.cdc.gov/rubella/.

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