Magazine March 19, 2018, Issue

Life, Death, and Politics

(REUTERS/Michael Laughlin/Pool)
Debates over abortion and guns take a familiar form.

Guns and abortion have been neuralgic issues in American politics for a long time now, and the divisions are pretty familiar. They are so familiar that we don’t often think about the extent to which these two bitter debates are really the same debate, just with the sides reversed.

Both the NRA and NARAL deploy the rhetoric of individualism and libertarianism. They say they want to keep the government from restricting your freedom. Their opponents, on the other hand, think of themselves as fighting to protect innocent life. In their most heated moments, gun controllers and anti-abortionists describe the other side

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Ramesh Ponnuru is a senior editor for National Review, a columnist for Bloomberg Opinion, a visiting fellow at the American Enterprise Institute, and a senior fellow at the National Review Institute.

In This Issue



Books, Arts & Manners


Seizing the Future

Arthur Herman reviews The Wizard and the Prophet: Two Remarkable Scientists and Their Dueling Visions to Shape Tomorrow’s World, by Charles C. Mann.




Rejecting Despair While admitting that William F. Buckley Jr. himself would probably have a more optimistic take, Richard Brookhiser writes: “The conservative movement is no more. Its destroyers are Donald Trump ...
The Week

The Week

• We don’t even want public-school teachers teaching our kids. • Historically, the National Rifle Association has derived its political power from two sources. The first is the broad popularity of ...


Sometimes the frost comes early when it might have held its crystallizing of the leaves.
Happy Warrior

Brushing Alone

Your views on Delta Airlines and Hertz rental cars now correspond to how compelling you found the cable-news appearances of a survivor of the Parkland school shooting.


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