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Championing Legal Horror

I’m a wonk. it’s true. And like all well-behaved wonks, I have a mild addiction to watching episodes of The West Wing (except for season six for reasons that are obvious). Part of what made The West Wing such a winner was it’s rabid partisanship –on both sides. This Chestertonian blaze of having both sides sit in the same scene led to really remarkable encounters like this one:

I love Rob Lowe’s character’s argument, “Until they pulled the trigger, they had yet to commit a crime.”

When we look at the the horrors of the school shootings, we see children –innocent children– being gunned down in cold blood. And the fact of those cases are that, politics and talking points aside, when those killers walk into a school and shoot those students, they commit a crime. And in most cases, they commit many, many crimes.

And that brings me to the point of this post: Cecil Richards, president of Planned Parenthood, had this interaction with Andrea Mitchell:

Essentially, her argument is, “Those edited videos don’t prove that anything illegal is going on.” That may very well be true, but it neglects a salient point and the central question raised by these videos: can people do truly abominable and horrifying things without breaking any laws?

In the horror of a school shooting, even if the shooter obeys every gun law on the books (as anemic as some think they are), he still commits a crime when he kills the children in that school because killing innocent children and/or attempting to kill innocent children with any kind of weapon is against the law. After all, you can keep every gun law and still break a murder law. But according to Ms. Richards, doctors who crush and pull apart babies and then ship them off to be sorted through for “science” can do so without breaking a single law. Not one.

Isn’t that the real problem?

The way I see it, it should bother pro-choice advocates that the president of Planned Parenthood is forced to champion the mere legality of these obvious horrors. And we should work towards legislation so that, when we watch videos of the sort that have been released, we can all confidently exclaim, “But that’s illegal!” Because it should be.