About a year ago, I learned that there is a website which has photos of crime scenes. They are the pictures that are taken by the police when they arrive at the site of a murder. At this horrifying website, you can see the tortured bodies of the victims of Charlie Manson, Ted Bundy and O.J. Simpson. It’s horrific – and I won’t give you the address.
I started thinking about that website after the massacre in Newtown. In particular, in a goulish moment I started to envision what the first policeman saw when he entered that classroom, what it must have looked like to see the bodies of those little children riddled with bullets.
We all know that the gun control debate has heated up and, as a gun control advocate, I support stricter controls on guns. I realize that it’s not the magic answer but I think it should be harder to get a gun and bullets than to get a prescription renewed. And when it comes to trying to persuade our legislators to support more restrictions, I think they should see exactly what happens when someone uses bullets in a rapid fashion. They should see the bodies of the children. Oh, sure, I can imagine the gun control lobby balking at such a drastic tactic but perhaps the shock of the photos would finally result in some action.
This situation reminds me a lot of the constant debate within the pro-choice movement over whether or not they should display the photos of the bodies of women who died from illegal abortions. I’ve seen a few of them. The pictures are old, of course, because they are from the 1950’s or 1960’s and they are very grainy. They are pictures of women lying in a pool of their own blood, the result of an illegal abortion performed by an untrained “abortionist” or a self-induced abortion where the woman used a coat hanger or a chemical concoction. They are horrific images.
But, perhaps like the gun control lobby, the pro-choice movement – most of them at least – are far too civil to resort to using these images to make their point. The point, of course, is that before abortion was legalized many, many women died or were injured as a result of illegal abortions performed by themselves or by unqualified people. And we spend a lot of time talking about the days of illegal abortions but talking does not have the same impact as observing the result. When you see a woman – or a child – lying in a pool of their own blood it has to have an impact. Reality can be horrifying.
Maybe it’s time for gun control and abortion rights advocates to get down and dirty, to shock the public, to make them more aware of the horrors that can be caused by a semi-automatic weapon or a coat hanger.
- 2012 was an unmitigated disaster for abortion rights (salon.com)
- 2012 Review on Reproductive Health & Rights: It Could’ve Been Worse (marissavelarde.wordpress.com)
- Pro-Life Dry Cleaner Puts Anti-Abortion Message on Coat Hangers (jezebel.com)
- Volunteers Defy Chile’s Abortion Ban, and Risk Own Safety, to Provide Information on the Procedure (lawprofessors.typepad.com)